Re: Debian Free Documentation Guidelines was: License of old GNU Emacs manual
On Wed, 05 Jan 2005, Anand Kumria wrote:
> We wrote the Debian /Free Software/ Guidelines, there isn't anything
> stopping us from creating the Debian /Free Documentation/ Guidelines.
Indeed. And as you suggested, we can just let the maintainer choose whether
a document is to follow the DFSG (because he feels it is part of the
software itself) or the DFDG (because he feels it is just a document). This
assumes the DFSG to be more strict than the DFDG, and it should reduce a bit
any resistance against the DFDG (since a lot of people feel that essential
documentation that comes with a program IS part of the software itself, and
I am one of them).
As for what could compose the DFDG, there is a farily good set of ideas on
Manoj's page (which are in line with the DFSG):
< begin quote >
Freedoms for Documentation
Analogous to the software program freedoms, we need to articulate the
freedoms required for the subset of software called documentation.
1. The freedom to read the text, for any purpose.
2. The freedom to study how the text is written, and adapt it to your
needs. Access to the text in the preferred form for modification is a
precondition for this. This includes the ability to modify the work to fit
in low memory situations, reference cards, PDA's, embedded devices, etc.
3. Freedom to reformat the document into a preferred format or medium
(converting to braille, or speech, or hardcopy, or postscript, etc).
4. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
5. The freedom to improve the text, and release your improvements to the
public, so that the whole community benefits. Access to the preferred form
for modification is a precondition for this. For program documentation, this
implies being able to change the documentation to reflect the changes in the
6. Freedom to translate the text into any other language.
7. The freedom to keep your modifications, or even your possession of a
copy of the text, confidential.
< end quote >
IF we ever add some sort of rule that lets less-free documents make it to
Debian, I'd strongly suggest that said rule should only be applicable to
**TECHNICAL** standards such as RFCs, W3C documents, ISO documents, IEEE
"One disk to rule them all, One disk to find them. One disk to bring
them all and in the darkness grind them. In the Land of Redmond
where the shadows lie." -- The Silicon Valley Tarot