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Re: A possible approach in "solving" the FDL problem

Op di 12-08-2003, om 07:33 schreef Branden Robinson:
> On Tue, Aug 12, 2003 at 01:13:04AM +0200, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> > > Ridiculing and belittling the people who contribute to this mailing
> > > list by accusing them of constructing their own feifdom is an
> > > inferior approach.
> > 
> > It has never been my intention to do so; I'm merely stating my opinion.
> You've said outright that the debian-legal team is deciding things "all
> by itself".

No, I haven't. Read that paragraph again; it said '*if* the debian-legal
group *were* to decide all by itself' (markings from this post). That's
a conditional form.

> This is true only to the extent that the many self-selected
> non-members of that team fail to participate.  Participation means more
> than just making exhortations that package "foo" should be in main

Please point me at a mail where I made such an exhortation. It is not
because I'm saying that "documentation and computer programs aren't the
same thing" that I'm also saying "the FDL is free". I'm not. In fact,
have a look at http://cvs.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/nbd/nbd/ ,
and check out the reasons for my last commit to nbd-server.1.sgml and

The reason I mentioned the FDL in the subject of this thread is binary:
* first of all, it would give us a clear opinion, as a group, on how
documents are to be handled. I, personally, felt there was a gap there,
and that that was the reason there was so much discussion about the
subject; because some people say "the FDL can't be free, since the rules
of the DFSG imply it isn't", whereas other people say "That doesn't
matter, since the DFSG is about software, not documentation". Having a
clear policy about documentation would most certainly stop that
* Secondly, having rules that clearly define what documentation must
oblige to to be free would give us a strong base to discuss the issue
with the FSF. Right now, we're saying to the FSF "it isn't free, since
the rules of the DFSG imply it isn't", where they say "yeah, but this is
documentation, not software". Being essentially the same discussion,
having a strong base would have different results, in that it might
convince some people of the FSF to craft a free FDL.

> > Rest assured, I know. It's exactly because the debian-legal mailinglist
> > does *not* seem to be opaque to me, that I wanted to 
> ...?

Sorry. ...that I wanted to ask here first.

> > I'm not saying I find the interpretation the debian-legal mailinglist
> > has applied to the Social Contract and the DFSG 'foul' or 'disgusting'.
> > I'm merely saying that the way they have been interpreted, although the
> > only valid way according to the current texts of the respective
> > documents, may not be the correct way (apart from what the DFSG and the
> > Social Contract say), and thus that they may have to be altered, or
> > cleared out.
> They "may" not be correct, therefore they "may have" to be altered?

I started this thread to discuss that. I don't like people that claim
they have the knowledge of the world, so I wrote that in a conditional

However, since you ask: it is my personal opinion that the way it is
interpreted is not correct, and therefore that it should be
reconsidered. If that implies that the SC and the DFSG need to be
rephrased, then so be it, for it would be the right thing to do.

> > And yes, I know very well that I have all the power I need to propose a
> > GR, thank you. However, I would consider it very bad practice to propose
> > a general resolution on _any_ subject without first discussing its
> > subject with those that could, by the fact that they discuss it on a
> > daily basis, be considered to be knowledgeable on the subject.
> The problem is that this subject has been discussed to death.  There are
> literally years' worth of archived discussion of this issue.
> I think there are reasons that more and more regulars on this list have
> come to feel that the GNU FDL is non-free.

I'm not contradicting that. See above.

Wouter Verhelst
Debian GNU/Linux -- http://www.debian.org
Nederlandstalige Linux-documentatie -- http://nl.linux.org
"An expert can usually spot the difference between a fake charge and a
full one, but there are plenty of dead experts." 
  -- National Geographic Channel, in a documentary about large African beasts.

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