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Re: Please remove RFCs from the documentation in Debian packages



On Thu 03 Jul Petter Reinholdtsen wrote:
> 
> [Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña]
> > (For those who are not aware of this issue, please read #92810)
> 
> There seem to be someone believing that standard documents should be
> treated as software.  Standards are not software.  Standards do not
> improve if everyone is allowed to modify them and publish the modified
> version as an updated version of the standard.  Standards get their
> value from having a rigid procedure for updates and modifications.
> Software do not.

Ceci n'est pas une RFC. I think there's perhaps a problem with
terminology here.  A standards document is not the standard itself, it's
just a written copy of it.

Standards obviously do function by being commonly agreed, and therefore
the actual standards do require some form of change control to be
effective.  Where the 'actual standard' resides is another question.

The copy of the standard on my harddisk certainly isn't it though, and
it doesn't have to be under change control - as long as it is clear
whether it represents the standard or is just something similar, there's
no problem with it being mutable.

After all, if people being able to change copies of standards really was
such a huge risk, then you'd not be able to publish them at all without
some pretty serious DRM, just in case someone altered one and all hell
broke loose.  Look, I'm going to change the length of an IP datagram and
damn the consequences, mwahahahahaha!

Many of the reasons to prefer freedom in software apply to standards
also - if a community of developers think a standard is poorly designed
and wish to produce a new one derived from the old, that is surely of
benefit to everyone, and for exactly the same reasons as freeness is of
benefit in software.

doug.

-- 
Core GNOME developers are heavy Ketamine users 
    -- http://www.illusionary.com/GNOMEvKDE.html

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