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Re: Consequences of moving Emacs Manuals to non-free

Quoting Sven Joachim <sven_joachim@web.de>:

> [ CC'ing debian-emacsen, as this should be of interest for Emacs users and
>   developers.  Also, I would like to read other people's opinion about this.]
> JÃ(c)rôme Marant wrote:
> > Since the FDL documents contain invariant sections, they will have to be
> > moved to non-free very soon.
> When you do this, please consider the consequences for Emacs' usability.

The Project has decided that invariant sections were unacceptable.
You could help us by talking to GNU people and asking them to remove
those invariant sections from their documentation.

> Removing the manual leaves only a bare minimum for learning Emacs (the
> tutorial, basically) and has a great impact even for experienced users

Newbies usually don't use Emacs. Experienced users are smart enough
to add non-free to their source.list APT file, and grab docs from there.
Were are talking about the info documentation.

> who know how to get information out of docstrings and the like.  I would
> go as far as saying that Emacs is unusable without the manual.  If you
> agree with that, you should make the emacs21 packages depend on (or at
> least, recommend) the "non-free" manual; of course, that implies moving
> the emacs21 package and everything that depends on it (rather than on
> emacsen) to contrib.  I would prefer a dependency over a recommendation,
> to ensure that users are not left stuck with an undocumented Emacs.

I think that docs are going to be moved to an emacs-docs package and
emacs21 will suggest it. I don't think it should go to contrib.

> Note that the same consideration applies to emacs-snapshot and the
> upcoming emacs22 release.
> > So, I'll propose to move those essays to non-free as well at the same
> > time in order to avoid changing the orig tar as much as possible.
> If you disagree with my above reasoning that emacs21 should depend on the
> "non-free" bits, this calls for a modification of help.el and startup.el,
> i.e. the functions `describe-project' and `startup-echo-area-message'.
> Otherwise, people might be in for a nasty surprise when they type C-h C-p.
> Oh, and several commands that look up documentation in the manual will
> not work at all.

Does C-h C-p points to the documentation (info documentation) or to
the DOC file ?
I guess some patches will have to be added to handle such cases, yes.

I'm sorry you don't like this. I'm not really fond of it either, but I
have the choice of either do what the Project decided or resign from the
Project. I've chosen the former.

Jérôme Marant

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