Re: Proposed statement wrt GNU FDL
Hi Matthew and all,
On Thursday 24 April 2003 13:21, Matthew Palmer wrote:
> I agree with what's expressed in the FAQ, but apart from the
> section on why we think software and documentation should be
> treated equally under the DFSG (quite a good argument there,
> BTW) there's nothing there about why we can't as a project,
> for instance, just relax the rules of the DFSG generally.
As a Debian user, I am glad that there is this set of rules --
namely the DFSG -- that strictly followed, help keeping Debian
100 % free software. I hope that these rules will not be
softened, so that in the end, Debian becomes a second SuSE.
I am also glad that the Debian project treats all different
sorts of content the same way, as I am very enthusiastic about
the idea of a transition of the principles of free software
towards other areas. The FSF has quite disappointed me in this
regard, as they not only deny the leadership of a general
free-everything-movement, but also discourage people from being
consequent by giving them a bad example. For me, this is another
reason why Debian should keep its rules as they are, and
continue to apply them consequently.
On the other hand, the DFSGly non-free docs that are about to be
thrown out of main are at least as freely distributable as any
other package in main. This is a quality that many packages in
non-free do not share with them. As I don't have non-free in my
apt/sources.list, from my point of view, moving these docs to
the 'non-free' section would practically mean the same thing as
moving them to the trash dump. I guess this step would be far
Also, it seems to be more difficult to write and test
documentation than software, as it works on human beings, not
machines. Further, there still is too few good documentation.
This makes me think that trashing freely distributable
documentation would not be wise.
So, now I'm repeating an idea that I alredy mentioned here,
after selfhtml had been kicked:
* Create a section 'distributable' that is between main and
non-free, for stuff that is not free WRT modification,
availability of the source code etc., but at least freely
distributable in any medium, by anybody, for any price.
* Therefore, create a subset of the GFDL (a 'relaxed' GFDL)
which regulates what can go in there and what not, but not as
a replacement of the current GFDL, but rather a different set
of rules for a different purpose.
I think this would be a good compromise for those people who
want non-free docs out of main, and those who don't want them
trown onto the 'non-free' trash dump, and those who want both.