Re: Suggestion to maintainers of GFDL docs
On Tue, 22 Apr 2003, iain d broadfoot wrote:
> but that allows MSWord docs, since i can edit them with Abiword, OOo
> maybe request a plain text version alongside any other formats? or
> "must be editable with free software and must be saved in a Free format?"
I'm not sure where this requirement is coming from. It goes quite a bit
further than the GPL requires for software. "The source code for a work
means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it"
The main ambiguity is "preferred by whom", and IMO the reasonable
interpretation is "preferred by the person who copies or distributes a
binary under section 3".
Whatever form the modifier prefers to work in is acceptible. In very few
cases would this form be so opaque as to be unconvertable into some usable
format by the next person downstream who had a different preference.
I wouldn't mind a clause requiring the format to be documented well enough
that a parser could be written, but it's going to far to require that
there already exist free software (by some definition) to edit it.
Further, there are plenty of free binary editors, and it's going to be
darned hard to define what level of editing features beyond that are
required to qualify as acceptible.
As long as there's a machine-readable stream of bytes which the upstream
author reasonably claims is the complete work in her preferred editing
format, the work can be considered free, IMO.
Mark Rafn firstname.lastname@example.org <http://www.dagon.net/>