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Re: A WDL.

Op za 13-09-2003, om 09:10 schreef Brian C:
> I'm a little concerned about merely offering a link to things. FSF has 
> always argued against this as regards offers of source,

That's not really true anymore. In the very text of the FDL, the FSF
allows people to have 'a computer-network location from which the
general network-using public has access to download using
public-standard network protocols a complete Transparent copy of the
Document, free of added material,' as a sufficient alternative when
distributing an Opaque version.

> in particular 
> because there are parts of the world where 56k access speeds would be 
> fast, and because some are charged per minute for such access. Perhaps 
> documentation doesn't get so large, but in general, putting the burden 
> on distributors might be better.

I partially agree. Indeed, having distributors distribute the
Transparent version along with the Opaque seems better, since you don't
want people to have to pay much to be able to contribute. There are
arguments for the opposite, however. For one thing, about 12 years ago
when the GPLv2 was written, not many people knew that there was
something called 'the Internet', and that you could have access to it at
home; and if you had known that it existed, your access speed would not
be above 14400bps, which is a fraction of 56k. For another, when
distributing computer programs on a CD-ROM, it's easier to distribute
the source code along with it than it is when publishing a book, which
cannot be anything else than an Opaque version of the document.

I'm not too emotional about this, though. If more people think like you,
I'll change it.

> I'm also unaware of free software that modifies all .pdf documents, and 
> even if there is such a thing, it seems likely to me that Adobe might 
> pursue patent infringement claims on such software, so I'd prefer .pdf 
> be cut from the list of acceptable "transparent" formats.

Do you think the same about 'PDF designed for human modification', as
well? Also, as I said before, I don't think that the unavailability of
free software to modify a document format makes the format non-free.
Next, I'm not aware of any patents on the PDF format. Do you have more
information on that one?

Wouter Verhelst
Debian GNU/Linux -- http://www.debian.org
Nederlandstalige Linux-documentatie -- http://nl.linux.org
"Stop breathing down my neck." "My breathing is merely a simulation."
"So is my neck, stop it anyway!"
  -- Voyager's EMH versus the Prometheus' EMH, stardate 51462.

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