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Re: The debate on Invariant sections (long)

Jérôme Marant <jerome.marant@free.fr> wrote:

> En réponse à Peter S Galbraith <GalbraithP@dfo-mpo.gc.ca>:
> > >   Emacs embbeds an info reader and makes possible to browse such
> > >   documentation.  There is no link in the code AFAIK.
> > 
> > It was argued in
> > 
> > http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200304/msg00169.html
> OK. I meant linked as with software, there is no code linking to
> documentation.

I'm not so sure.  The Info file isn't dumped raw into a buffer for
display.  The info files provides offsets to each Info node such that a
browser that quickly jump to any Node and display only that node.  Look
at the contents of /usr/share/info/emacs-21/emacs.gz and tell me that
Info files don't provide hooks to software.

>                But I understand now that the binaries and al.
> cannot come along with the documentation.
> > > > I think it's shortsighted to put documentation onto a pedestal
> > > > out of the reach of software.  What happens if I want to merge
> > > > this documentation into software?
> > > 
> > >   I don't know. How do software licenses deal with such a case?
> > 
> > I don't understand the question.  Such a case of merging software
> > into other software?  Well, the GPL allows that in GPL-compatible
> > derived works _without_ including invariant bits of code.
> No, code + documentation.

I'm still not sure I understand the question.  Do does a software
license handle mixing code and documentation?  Well, release the Emacs
manual under the GPL and I can create derived works that combine both
under the GPL.  I may extract bits from the manual to make balloon help
texts, or to make quick help texts under a menu.  In those cases I
obviously wouldn't include the GNU manifesto along with my short
excerpts.  But I'm not a vilain.  So if I redistributed the manual, I'd
leave it intact and the manifesto would stay in.  It would be common
sense rather than being forced-to in compliance with the license.


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