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Re: A WDL.

On Wed, 2003-09-17 at 05:55, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> Ah? I wasn't aware of that.

Yep. Same with PostScript. And many other document formats. And
programming languages for that matter, like C.

> > 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)

man utf-8 is pretty useless. After reading that, I still have no idea
how to even display a document in UTF-8. All I know is how to turn UTF-8
back into Unicode scalar values.

So, I have the Unicode scalar value 0x1F5F. How do I display that? To
know, I must look at the Unicode Standard. I have version 3.0 in front
of me. It's a several pound, 1100-pages of 8.5x11 book. Looking it up, I
have to display a:
I have no idea WTF that means, thankfully, the standard provides a
picture. Something like:


(except the ` is actually above the upsilon).

I also have no idea what direction to render the text (left-to-right or
right-to-left). The standard tells me.

Without the Unicode standard, which costs money, (amazon: $74.99 for
version 4, $49.95 for version 3) I can't display Unicode text.

> > 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

legally, you probably do.

> > 
> > > download using public-standard network protocols a complete
> > 
> > "public-standard network protocols" ?
> Seems clear to me. "any network protocol which is a public standard."

Same question as about the format standards. My network connectivity
arrives over a T1, which is running the Cisco HDLC protocol. I don't
think the standards for those (does one even exist for Cisco HDLC) are

Same with the standards for other common network protocols, like ATM and
frame relay.

I think you need to be clearer which layer on the OSI model you refer
to. I assume you're thinking of IP and TCP.

> 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
> those?

Not if those dedications were at all reasonable. If someone did a
50-page dedication to their gerbil, then I'd consider removing it.

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


> > 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.

Here's what I'd think of doing

The following is an editorial by J. Random Hacker as modified by John Q.
Public and Anthony DeRobertis.

Blah, blah, blah...

The preceding has been an editorial by J. Random....

In the history section:

2003/09/17  Anthony DeRobertis  Modified J. R. Hacker's editorial
further. Removed an editorial by John Q. Public arguing the superiority
of "Blat" over "Blah." John Q. Public's version are at <URL>

2003/04/01  John Q. Public  Modified J. R. Hacker's editorial. The
original can be found in J. R. Hacker's version at <URL>

2003/01/05  J. Random Hacker  Added an editorial on the word "Blah".

Even better might be if each person provided a URL to his own version.

> 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 question is: will requiring those markings make the license
> non-free?

Understood. I'm not sure if there is any real reason to require it in
the license (why wouldn't I identify it that way), but I think we can
get it past DFSG 3 and 4 iff its just a requirement to identify, not to
use specific wording.

e.g., "You must clearly and unambiguously mark all editorial sections as
such [otherwise, they are not treated specially by this license]."

> 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".

The more hoops you require, the less likely it can be nudged past DFSG 3
and maybe 4.

> After all, if you want to take the risk of being sued over things I
> wrote, why should I stop you?

My point was that by removing the disclamers, I may be creating
liability for the author (you). I don't know if that's true or not.

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