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Re: Proposed statement wrt GNU FDL

Scripsit Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au>

>  It's easy to misapply the GNU FDL.

>    The GNU FDL says that only "Secondary Sections" (a term it defines)
>    may be marked Invariant, but does not say what should happen if a
>    section that is not Secondary is listed as an Invariant Section.
>    The FSF itself has made this mistake several times[1], so we know
>    it's an easy mistake to make.

Actually, I wonder whether the current application of the GFDL for
GNU manuals is internally consistent at all.

For example, the GNU diffutils manual is licenced with the Front-Cover
Text "A GNU Manual". Say now that I'm a FooBSD user who for some
reason have become dissatisfied with the quality of the documentation
for diff that FooBSD ships with (this is a hypothetical example; I
have access to no *BSD systems and don't know anything about the
actual state of their documentation). So I take the texinfo source for
the GNU diffutils manual and hack upon it so that it describes FooBSD

Now I have a manual for FooBSD diff whose license says that it needs
to be called "A GNU Manual" on its front cover. That could be somewhat
confusing for users - does this document describe the FooBSD or the
GNU implementation of diff? And is this front-cover text even
compatible with the requirement that I remove all Endorsements?

Worse yet, my FooBSD diff manual must say on its *back* cover: "Copies
published by the Free Software Foundation raise funds for GNU
development" which is rather meaningless as long as the FSF does not
publish copies of the FooBSD version of the manual at all!

Henning Makholm               "... not one has been remembered from the time
                         when the author studied freshman physics. Quite the
            contrary: he merely remembers that such and such is true, and to
          explain it he invents a demonstration at the moment it is needed."

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