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Re: A possible GFDL compromise: a proposal


On Fri, Sep 12, 2003 at 05:05:52PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     I don't really believe it.  In the 1980s, formalized free software was a
>     new concept for almost everybody.  Today, there are too many free
>     software projects for the word _not_ to get out.
> My experience is just the opposite: our views are mostly suppressed.
> The open source movement is very effective at substituting their word
> for ours.  I find that most of the people who use our software have
> never even heard of our philosophy.

I find that to be a cheap, and unworthy shot by you against the Open Source
movement. It lowers my opinion of you, and by your strong association with
it, the FSF.  To cry conspiracy because a like-minded group "is more
effective" at spreading the word casts you in a lunatic, fanatical light.

For my part when talking with people within IT few see any difference between
the Free and Open groups.  And why should they if they coming from proprietary-land?
Comments like yours do nothing to help and only drive a wedge between the two
groups that should be fighting the "good fight" together.  If, and I mean "if",
we see more references to "open" then that may be because "open" has less
baggage than "free", and has be judged as a better term to use to enlighten
the masses.

Personally I think of "Common Software", but then I'm English and I grew up
with "English Common Law" and the "Village Common" as terms in everyday use.
This has instilled within me that "common" [1] can mean "belonging to the
whole community".

But this has taken us to far off topic.

While I accept and endorse the requirement of a derived work to give credit
to the other authors, I have yet to be convinced that "Invariant" sections
are the way to do it.  I do not see why a "Document History" section 
containing (at least) the past copyright notices, authors' names and URLs
would not do the job better.

I would appreciate if in future you would restrict you comments to the
need for the Invariant sections within the GFDL.


[1] http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=common
     While "common" does have a derogatory connotation to my mind the 
     term is less problematic than "free" or "open".
The easiest way to get the root password is to become system admin.
	-- Unknown source

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