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Re: query from Georg Greve of GNU about Debian's opinion of the F DL

On Tue, Apr 15, 2003 at 11:30:17AM +0200, Georg C. F. Greve wrote:

>  psg> I don't want to ship the 5MB documentation with my 100KB GUI,
>  psg> just the few paragraphs that matter.
> That seems too genereralized to be useful. 
> It seems hard to imagine a situation where an obviously very long and
> detailed piece of documentation -- 5MB is unusually large for plain
> text -- would not be useful as a whole. Or rather that including only
> a few paragraphs would be a useful activity. Do you have a concrete
> example?

I find it hard to believe that you are serious here.

If you really need a concrete example, fire up Emacs, hit C-h i,
choose any large package from the menu, and tell me with a straight
face that the introduction on its own could not be useful in another
context (I picked bison).

> And if it is just a few paragraphs that need to be hard-coded into
> your application, why not write them yourself?

Um, same could be asked of those few lines of code that you want to
use from any piece of software. You really are seriously missing the

> If it is more than just a few paragraphs, is this a special situation
> where harddisk space is so limited that the whole documentation could
> not be reasonable placed somewhere in the system?

This is just so far out it's almost funny.

>  psg> It's _very_ weird to have to convince a GNU representative of
>  psg> these issues.
> As the GNU Free Documentation License is the license that was written
> with a lot of thought going into balancing the rights of the author of
> a documentation and the rights of the users -- including, but not
> limited to, programmers -- I wouldn't find it surprising that GNU
> people will seek to explain the background.

All that should be needed is that the author be assured by the license
terms that readers will be given an accurate representation of the
degree to which any and all contributors are responsible for the work
that they are reading.

If authors want more, I'd like to see a damn good reason why they
deserve it, and so far none has been forthcoming.


Nick Phillips -- nwp@lemon-computing.com
Stay away from hurricanes for a while.

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