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Re: Practical problems with the GFDL

On Mon, Jan 14, 2002 at 10:07:48AM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> barbier@linuxfr.org (Denis Barbier) writes:
> > a) Copyright notices
> > 
> > Most Debian packages with GFDL documentation do not mention in
> > /usr/share/doc/<package>/copyright that their manual is not released under
> > the GNU GPL, but the GFDL.
> > It would be nice if they did, with a list of invariant sections, front-cover
> > and back-cover texts, and with the text of the GFDL.
> Yes, they should do this.  Any that you know of, the appropriate thing
> to do is to file bugs in the BTS on such packages.

Ok, I'll do in few days, with a `normal' severity.

> > b) Copying in Quantity
> > 
> > GFDL states:
> >    If you publish or distribute Opaque copies of the Document numbering
> >    more than 100, you must either include a machine-readable Transparent
> >    copy along with each Opaque copy, or state in or with each Opaque copy
> >    a publicly-accessible computer-network location containing a complete
> >    Transparent copy of the Document, free of added material, which the
> >    general network-using public has access to download anonymously at no
> >    charge using public-standard network protocols.
> > 
> > As wording differs from GPL clause 3, I have no clue on how to interpret this
> > paragraph.  We distribute manuals in info format, which is surely Opaque, so
> > do we satisfy the first or second conditions?
> But we also distribute the Transparent copy (texinfo).  If the manual
> was originally written in info format, then that would be the
> Transparent form.  If the package includes foo.texinfo in the binary
> package, then it conforms to the first condition; because the source
> package is always available, we conform to the second.

Your interpretation looks fine to me.  But now, there are other practical
problems which come in mind when binary packages do not include TeXinfo files.
First, can a manual be considered ``free of added material'' when
it represents less than 10% of original tarball?

And next, here is what follows the previous paragraph in the GFDL:

    If you use the latter option, you must take reasonably prudent
    steps, when you begin distribution of Opaque copies in quantity,
    to ensure that this Transparent copy will remain thus accessible
    at the stated location until at least one year after the last time
    you distribute an Opaque copy (directly or through your agents or
    retailers) of that edition to the public.

IMHO we do not provide such a requirement, e.g. I have a machine not
updated for a while with tar 1.13.19, and its source tarball is no more
publicly available on ftp.d.o.
So maybe we should ship TeXinfo files along with generated manuals in
binary packages?

> > c) GDB Invariant Sections
> > 
> > IIRC, Thomas Bushnell said he will ask why GDB's manual contains an invariant
> > section which does not seem to fit invariant sections' criterion.
> > Did I miss his answer?
> RMS agreed that they shouldn't be invariant, and said he'd speak to
> the GDB maintainer.  I haven't heard back from him.  I'll ask him
> again.



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