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Re: A WDL.

Op wo 17-09-2003, om 01:06 schreef Anthony DeRobertis:
> On Thu, 2003-09-11 at 06:26, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> > 
> > A "Secondary Section" is a named appendix or a front-matter section of
> > the Document that deals exclusively with the relationship of the
> > publishers or authors of the Document to the Document's overall
> > subject (or to related matters) and contains nothing that could fall
> > directly within that overall subject.
> I think you should address what happens if a document undergoes subject
> creep such that what was formerly a secondary section no longer is.

Sounds reasonable, but not easy.

Will have to think that over.

> > The "Opiniated Sections" are certain Secondary Sections which are
> I agree with others that "Opinion" or "Editorial" would be a better
> term.

'kay, will call them 'editorial', then.

> > A "Transparent" copy of the Document means a machine-readable copy,
> > represented in a format whose specification is available to the
> > general public,
> Some formats aren't well-specified, yet should still be usable. HTML _as
> practiced_, for example.
> Also, what does it mean for a specification to be available to the
> general public? It must be freely downloadable? It must be under a
> license no more restrictive than this one? It must be available for no
> more than $200?

It should mean freely downloadable. As said, I'm not entirely happy with
the wording of that paragraph.

> AFAIK, the PDF spec is only available for a price. 

Ah? I wasn't aware of that.

> Same with the ASCII
> and Unicode specs.

That may have been the case, but try man ascii, or man utf-8 ('unicode'
as is is pretty useless, AIUI)

> > for which an editor can be implemented by anyone,
> > without requiring an implementer to have patent or other licenses to
> > that format.
> Perhaps a better wording would be "can be implemented without requiring
> patent or other licenses" 

sounds good, indeed.

> Though I think we might want to allow formats
> where there are patents, but the patent holder makes the patent
> available for royalty-free use by the public for any purpose (i.e.,
> defensive patents)

You wouldn't require a patent license for defensive patents; if you
would, the format wouldn't be free (since you would have to ask for
permission to extend or modify the format). Hence, I don't think that's
an issue.

> > 2. Verbatim copying
> > 
> > You may not put
> > the document on any medium intended for general redistribution whose
> > technical specifications make it impossible, or mostly so, to make
> > unlimited copies of the document to another medium.
> I can't put the document in an embedded device? I suggest adding
> something along the lines of "unless you also provide a medium with the
> same document in easily copyable form."

That's reasonable.

> > You must use the Cover Texts as stated in the license notice, putting
> > Front-Cover Texts on the front cover, and Back-Cover Texts on the back
> > cover.
> I don't think invariant front-cover and back-cover texts are DFSG free.

I'm inclined to think along the same way too, now. At first, I thought
it could be allright to have invariant, short, front- and back-cover
texts, provided you can completely drop them under certain
circumstances. I was probably mistaken.

I *could* drop the front-cover and back-cover sections, but that will
probably make the FSF reject the license. For instance, the back-cover
section of the gcc manual contains wording that encourages people to buy
a version printed by the FSF itself, because selling CD-ROMs and printed
books is one way the FSF makes money.

That doesn't mean I don't want to see this changed; only that this gives
me a dilemma.

> > The front cover must present the full title
> > with all words of the title equally prominent and visible. 
> Why must all words of the title be "equally prominent and visible"? It
> seems common practice in publishing to makes words like "and" smaller
> and less prominent.

I took that text literally from the FDL; I didn't see any reason why not
to. But indeed, maybe that should become something along the lines of
'the front cover must clearly and visibly present the full title', or

> > If the required texts for either cover are too voluminous to fit
> > legibly, you should put the first ones listed (as many as fit
> > reasonably) on the actual cover, and continue the rest onto adjacent
> > pages.
> I dare say this is a pretty good sign the license isn't free...

See above.

> > If you publish or distribute Opaque copies of the Document,
> The GFDL only made a lot of this apply for 100 copies or more. I think
> that may be a good idea, but I don't think it changes the freeness of
> the license.
> > download using public-standard network protocols a complete
> "public-standard network protocols" ?

Seems clear to me. "any network protocol which is a public standard."

What am I missing?
> > G. Preserve in that license notice the full list of required Cover
> > Texts given in the Document's license notice.
> Grrr....

See above.

> > K. For any section Entitled "Acknowledgements" or "Dedications",
> > Preserve the Title of the section, and preserve in the section all the
> > substance and tone of each of the contributor acknowledgements and/or
> > dedications given therein. You may remove them from the Document
> > itself, provided that you distribute them along with the Document; and
> > if the Document is part of a collection of other documents, you must
> > clarify that these sections refer to this Document, not to others.
> More invariant sections.

More or less: imagine a free manual (i.e., one not licensed under the
GFDL). If there were any dedication sections in them, would you remove

OTOH, I don't think any sensible person would do so either. Perhaps I
should remove these, too.

> > 10. Opiniated Sections.
> > 
> > A document can contain any number of Opiniated Sections. An Opiniated
> > Section should be preceded by the phrase "This is an Opiniated
> > Section", and should be followed by the phrase "This was an Opiniated
> > Section".
> Glad it stops being opiniated after I finish reading it :-)
> > You are allowed to change, synthesize, or otherwise modify an
> > Opiniated Section. Should you choose to do so, you must replace the
> > marking that precedes the Opiniated Section by "This is a modified
> > Opiniated Section, altered by <your name>. The original, unmodified
> > Opiniated Section can be found at ", followed by a computer-network
> [...]
> > If you modify an already modified Opiniated Section, you must add a
> > statement under the marking that precedes the Opiniated Section, and
> > any other such statements (if any), saying, "It has been subsequently
> > altered by <your name>. A version without these modifications can be
> > found at ", followed by a publicly-accessible computer-network
> Don't we already have a history section? Is there any reason to add yet
> another, above and below each opinion section?

If you read carefully, you should see that this smaller history-section
is only above the editorial section. The one under it should only refer
to the one above.

Coming to think of it, replacing the smaller history by a reference to
the actual history section should work, too.

The idea of the markings is to alert the reader that he's reading
something which is more than just the next section of the manual. The
FSF wants to have Invariant sections because that will allow them to
spread their propaganda. To be accepted by the FSF, this license should
also allow the FSF to spread their propaganda, while still being a free
license. So, in the WDL, either a manual will contain an unmodified
editorial section, with the propaganda in it, a link to the unmodified
editorial section (so that a users interested in the subject will
probably have a look, and see the propaganda), or a modified editorial
section containing a link to the unmodified one (so that a curious user
will have a look at the unmodified editorial section, and see the
propaganda). This way, the propaganda is still spread; and I don't think
it will diminish the amount of people actually reading it.

The question is: will requiring those markings make the license

> > You are allowed to completely remove an Opiniated Section. Should you
> > choose to do so, you must make sure the final, modified Document
> > contains the phrase "The original, unmodified Document contained an
> > Opiniated Section, which handled about ", a short description of what
> > the Opiniated Section was about, followed by "and has been removed in
> > this version. You can find this Opiniated Section at ", followed by a
> Can we allow phrases to the effect of that? For example, a natural place
> to put this would be the history section; and then that wording would be
> quite redundant.
> If we can reduce both of these to a requirement to keep an accurate
> change log in the history section, I think I can live with that.

Considering the above, would a required reference to the history section
from a modified editorial section (or, perhaps, that and a required
reference to the original, unmodified editorial section) be OK?

> > In contrast to the terms as specified in section 3, for the purpose of
> > the messages preceding, following, or replacing modified or removed
> > Opiniated Sections, you are not allowed to point to a
> > publicly-accessible computer-network location which is not under your
> > control.
> Why not? A natural place to point would be the opinion section author's
> copy of that work. I think this requirement pushes it over the edge,
> such that it is no longer free.

As I have explained in a previous message, I wanted to require people to
jump through a number of hoops so as to discourage the modification of
editorial sections; I'd send the message "You're allowed to modify this,
but you'd better not do so unless you have a *very* good reason".

This was one of the hoops.

I started thinking differently about it, now. Requiring links to
unmodified editorial sections, in itself, may be enough.

> > In Section 4O, I have added the possibility to drop any Warranty
> > Disclaimers provided warranty is provided by a publisher.
> Not sure if this is a good idea or not. Assumabl, the FSF had a good
> legal reason for those disclaimers. In particular, it might be possible
> to go after the authors of the work if they are removed. No idea.

Perhaps the wording should be clarified in that a warranty section such

Warranty on the contents of this unmodified document is provided by
<whoever provides it>. For modified versions, there is NO WARRANTY; not
even for...<normal no warranty clause here>

or just

Warranty on the contents of this document is provided by <whoever
provides it>.

is allowed as a *replacement* of a 'no warranty' clause. The idea, of
course, is not to allow people to *remove* a 'no warranty' clause
without replacing it by something else.

After all, if you want to take the risk of being sued over things I
wrote, why should I stop you? Making money out of a document is a
freedom we should respect as well; and if I want to sign a contract that
warrants certain things about the manual, I should be allowed to do so.

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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