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Re: Suggestion to maintainers of GFDL docs

iain d broadfoot <ibroadfo@cis.strath.ac.uk> writes:

>> > and possibly avoid referring directly to MSWord as well - a reference to
>> > 'binary, closed file formats' would probably do the same job.
>> Yes, that might be better.  I'd avoid the words "closed" and "binary",
>> as MS is already trying to redefine both.  Perhaps "formats of
>> proprietary word processing programs".
> hmmm, even that might not cover enough - we wouldn't want OOo Write
> format to be treated as Source Code presumably.

Actually, if I can get free software which can read it and parse it
into something useful to me, I'm content with that.  I'd prefer more,
but requiring that it's easily editable using free software is enough.

> perhaps it should be chopped back further, to say that the Source must
> always be directly editable as text rather than requiring to be parsed
> _before_ editing - that would cover plaintext, LaTeX, HTML etc and block
> PDF, PS MS, OOo, Abi, etc etc etc.
> 'Distribution in any format that requires parsing to be editable should
> be considered Object Code' or similar?
> maybe limit the allowed parsing to `cat $FILENAME`... :D

But I actually do write documents in raw PostScript, by hand.  It's
quite readable, well-commented code, too.  The requirement that
"source" be plain text seems... short-sighted.  A month after that
goes into recommended text, someone *will* show up here with an
illuminated manuscript they want to distribute, and the calligraphy's
important... oh, there you go: ideally, this text should work for
non-English text, and for documents which have embedded graphics.
"Plain text" really doesn't satisfy either of those.

Since this isn't actually license text, but merely accompanying
clarification, it's probably OK to be sloppy and request plain text,
or "must be editable with free software."


Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

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