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Re: GFDLed and preferred form

Mathieu Roy <yeupou@gnu.org> wrote:
> Walter Landry <wlandry@ucsd.edu> a tapoté :
> > Mathieu Roy <yeupou@gnu.org> wrote:
> > > Walter Landry <wlandry@ucsd.edu> a tapoté :
> > > > It is a restriction on how I can use and transform the document,
> > > > rendering the GFDL non-free.
> > > 
> > > If _I_ (note the "I") publish a manual under the GFDL, as plain text,
> > > with no invariant sections, you're allowed to modify it and
> > > redistribute it. At this point, you cannot claim it's non-free.
> > 
> > Sure I can.  I can't incorporate it into my thesis, which is written
> > entirely in LyX.
> Unless you find a way to make it suitable for modification to non-LyX
> users. Isn't is possible to do an html export or something like that?

Why do I have to make it suitable to non-LyX users?  If I translated
some GPL'd C code to Haskell, I don't have to port all of the changes
to the Haskell code back to C.

> > > But if you start modifying my manual under the GFDL with
> > > OpenOffice, the license _I_ chose force you to provide _along_
> > > with your modification something _I_ can reuse myself (even if I
> > > have not OpenOffice).  Because GFDL is not a BSD like license, it
> > > does not permits you to do transform the documentation into a
> > > binary only distribution (or something near).
> > > 
> > > It does not restrict how you can use and transform the document, it
> > > forbids you to forgot to provide the source that anybody having a
> > > computer can reuse, when you redistribute it (basically, it defines
> > > how you must redistribute it at least).
> > 
> > I _am_ providing the source.  The preferred means for editing my
> > thesis is with LyX.  The problem is that the GFDL doesn't think that
> > an open format easily modified with free software qualifies.
> I'm not especially familiar with LyX but I though it was similar or
> based on LaTeX. As LaTeX files are ok for the GFDL, shouldn't be the
> same?

The LaTeX file is akin to the html files you get from Dreamweaver.
According to this clause in the GFDL

  Opaque formats include...machine-generated HTML produced by word
  processors for output purposes only.

I would say that makes the LaTeX file Opaque.

> > No, I am saying that the GFDL has a screwy definition for source.
> I think it's pretty complicated task to come up with a perfect license
> and that the current GFDL can surely be enhanced in his letter. But
> the spirit seems fine to me.  

For this problem, I don't think I have any issues with what they are
trying to do.  However, I don't understand why they didn't use the
perfectly reasonable definition of source from the GPL.  That makes me
suspect that they might be trying to accomplish something that I don't
agree with.

> It would be interesting to have a clear list with a distinction
> between problem in the letter and problems in the spirit, in regard to
> Debian.

It is difficult to figure out whether a problem is in the letter or
the spirit since the FSF has been unwilling to discuss the issue.

Walter Landry

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