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Re: LDP in main?

On Sun, Dec 02, 2001 at 03:48:41PM -0600, Colin Watson wrote:
> On Sun, 2 Dec 2001 at 16:48:03 -0500, David Merrill wrote:
> > On Sun, Dec 02, 2001 at 08:14:22PM +0000, Colin Watson wrote:
> > > Would you mind if I forwarded this e-mail of mine on to -legal? It seems
> > > as good a place as any to start the discussion.
> > 
> > Please do. I would like to be part of that discussion if possible. Is
> > that an open list?
> Yes, absolutely. Most (all?) of the publicly readable Debian lists are
> also publicly writable. The archives are at
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/ if you want to catch up.

If I can just be cc'ed on the conversation, that would be best for me.
I get too much mail as it is.

> > > You're right, of course, although there has been a lot of discussion
> > > recently about how the DFSG should apply to documentation (especially
> > > documentation licensed under the GFDL, because exercising some of the
> > > options renders it non-free), so I'm not exactly sure where to draw the
> > > line.
> > 
> > We do not exercise any of those options. Only a few documents have
> > invariant sections. Does that make it non-free? What options do? I
> > would want to avoid them.
> I haven't followed the discussion in detail, but I understand the
> problems are with invariant sections used on anything but rather small
> sections of text (typically the copyright itself, a note about company
> sponsorship, or things like that). Documents without invariant sections
> are fine as far as I know.

I think we have only 1 or 2 that might even be questionable. I know 1
has a section added when it was archived. It shouldn't be an issue.

> > > I won't move things into non-free that should be in main, so the
> > > packages will have to be split. This means that somewhere I'll have to
> > > have a list of every item of documentation with its status, synchronized
> > > with the database, which is something I've been trying very hard to
> > > avoid - unless it would be possible to split the tarballs you distribute
> > > into free and non-free portions. Of course, this would involve the LDP
> > > accepting the DFSG's definition of free.
> > 
> > You should pull it from the LDP database, then. I will have to fix the
> > xml output that got broken when I switched servers last weekend. It's
> > a downloadable omf xml file. Or I can script whatever you want to work
> > with. It's a postgresql back end, so it's powerful and easy to
> > manipulate. Take a look at the database and let me know what would
> > work best for you.
> The XML should be easy enough to manipulate. In fact, this might be
> convenient as a replacement for some of the awkward automatic indexing I
> currently do in the doc-linux build process.

I'll get the xml output fixed after work tomorrow, then, or the next
day latest. Maybe even tonight, but probably not.

> > > It's a shame that this is likely to involve many fewer items of
> > > documentation being installed on Debian systems by default.
> > 
> > In the short term, yes. But I suspect when people read "LDP documents
> > non-free?" in the LWN it will actually cause more documents to
> > *become* free. Let's hope so. And I will step up my efforts to get
> > more documents under the GFDL.
> I'll send a note to DWN when there's been a little more discussion about
> this. The main/non-free distinction has encouraged a number of software
> authors to free their software in the past, and I'd like to think the
> same might happen with documentation authors.

Please cc me immediately so I can try to publish concurrently in the
LDPWN. It would be nice to have both come out in the LWN the same

I'm going to start wearing asbestos underwear for the near future,
even to bed. So much for my sex life. ;-)

> My current plan is to have my refresh scripts get the XML database dump
> first, then use that plus a set of licence rules to decide which
> documents to download to produce this month's doc-linux tarball. The
> main problem is likely to be deciding which of the documents with
> licences flagged as "OTHER" are free and which aren't, which is where
> debian-legal's decisions about documentation licences are likely to
> become most important.

Other usually means non-free, in my experience. Those "licenses" are
usually just a statement that it is freely distributable, not a formal

What is the latest we could put off the actual implementation? I want
a chance to get as many documents as possible relicensed before it
goes into Woody. Let's try to minimize the impact, heh?

Dr. David C. Merrill                     http://www.lupercalia.net
Linux Documentation Project                   david@lupercalia.net
Collection Editor & Coordinator            http://www.linuxdoc.org

In one piece of email people were suggesting that Office had to work equally
well with all browsers and that we shouldn't force Office users to use our
browser. This is wrong and I wanted to correct this.
	--Bill Gates, January 1997.

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