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Re: [DISCUSSION] SURVEY: Is the GNU FDL a DFSG-free license?

On Sun, Aug 24, 2003 at 12:39:04AM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
> > Yet we do routinely apply the DFSG to interpreted scripts where there
> > is *no* differentiation between source code and compiled form.
> Not really; it's just that the compiled form is often transient.

How is this different from documentation?  Most people don't read
HTML or SGML directly, they use an interpreter.

> But anyway, documentation is not source code.  That is my main quibble.

It looks like source code, smells like source code, and behaves like
source code.  Some documentation is flat text, but usually only if it's
very small.  Most documentation is provided in source form (html, docbook,
TeX, texinfo) and distributed in compiled form (text, ps, pdf, dvi, info,
html).  Sometimes the source and compiled forms are identical (usually html).
Usually the compiled form still needs an interpreter to be useful.
So far I don't see any difference between this and programs.

> We
> cannot just magically say, "well gee, our DFSG only covers things with
> source code, and this Emacs manual is a thing that we want to apply the DFSG
> to, therefore it must be source code." That is incorrect reasoning.  You
> must first establish that there is source or compiled work, and *then* apply
> the guidelines for source or compiled works to it.

The Emacs manual has clear source and binary forms.  What do you think
makeinfo does?  If you want to modify it, do you patch the info files
or the texinfo files?

Richard Braakman

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