Re: documentation x executable code
Henrique de Moraes Holschuh <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Tue, 04 Jan 2005, Matthew Garrett wrote:
>> If so, why do you believe that these freedoms are less useful for
>> documentation than executables?
> I always go back to the technical standards when asked that.
> Clearly, if anyone can change a standard (without going through whatever is
> the revision procedure for that standard), it loses most of its most
> important characterstics. It is no longer capable of ensuring that all
> implementantions are based on common ground, for example.
But that's covered by DFSG 4 - it would be acceptable for people to have
to rename modified versions. What if I base my fridge stock querying
system on IMAP? The easiest way to describe it to others would be to
modify the IMAP RFC.
We don't require the freedom that modified software can be passed off as
the original, and nor do we require the freedom that modified technical
standards should be passed off as the original. But we should require
that technical standards be modified.
The argument fails to stand up anyway. I can write a description of how
SMTP works by reverse engineering exim. My standard will deviate from
the RFC, but I could still claim that this was how SMTP worked.
Microsoft could do the same. Despite this, for the most part people
agree on what the standards are - in the case of RFCs, it's the RFC as
issued by the IETF. Having modifiable RFCs would make no difference in
Matthew Garrett | email@example.com