[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Advices on choosing a documentation license for an upstream project

Arnaud Quette <arnaud.quette@free.fr> writes:

> [@ -legal: please cc me on reply as I'm not subscribed]
> Hi folks,
> We (Network UPS Tools project) are currently
> looking at creating a complete documentation
> set using docbook, for output formats and i18n
> reasons.

That's great.  Thanks.

> This improvement in the upstream will, by side
> effect, (re)create a nut-doc package in Debian.
> Knowing that:
> - NUT is a pure GPL project, thus we need a _free_
> documentation licence,
> - GFDL seems to be to doc what GPL is to source code,
> so it seems the good choice for our aim,
> - the current consensus on -legal is that GFDL isn't DFSG
> compliant in its current form (from what I've read in the
> Debian Statement about GFDL and -devel),
> - Debian is our GNU/Linux reference distribution for
> several reasons, and we don't want nut packages to
> be split between main and non-free!
> - however, if choosing GFDL, the RM won't consider
> it as an RC bug (so not blocking for sarge/future stable),

The RM won't consider existing GFDL documents to be RC bugs.  New GFDL
documents might or might not be approved, and in the interests of
minimizing later headaches, I'd suggest avoiding that license.

Non-free documentation almost certainly will be RC at woody+2.

> - the FSF steps about modifying GFDL might not occur
> before long (a year seems, according to RMS main
> focus on GPL V3)
> So, what are your advices about choosing a _free_
> documentation licence for NUT?

Well, given you talk about being a pure GPL project, why not put your
documentation under the GPL as well?  Even if you were writing in
plain text or in a WYSIWYG program, it's a reasonable choice.  But
given you're writing in docbook, with a very clear
source-compiled-to-object mapping, the GPL is a great choice for a
free documentation license.

It has the added advantage of being GPL-compatible: that is, you *and
the recipients* can freely move data between the program and the
documentation.  This makes writing and examples easy and productive.


> Thanks for your constructive advices, and
> please, don't start any flamewar as it's not
> the aim of this mail.
> Arnaud Quette
> ---
> DD (nut, wmnut, knutclient)
> Upstream developer Team of NUT
> ...
> ---
> References:
> - NUT upstream: http://www.exploits.org/nut/
> - NUT Sid packages:
> http://packages.debian.org/cgi-bin/search_packages.pl?keywords=nut&searchon=names&subword=1&version=unstable&release=all
> - Debian Statement about GFDL:
> http://people.debian.org/~srivasta/Position_Statement.xhtml

Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

Reply to: