On 2003-09-29, Barak Pearlmutter <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> (2) No practical problems have arisen from allowing snippets to be
> included. No one has proposed any gedanken practical problem.
OK, here's one: what if the Japanese government wants to make a
completely localised version of emacs? They would be unable to,
because they would not be able to translate the GNU Manifesto, which
does not yet have an official translation into Japanese. They could
probably prepare a summary in Japanese, but that is different from
giving a translation.
You might argue that the GNU Manifesto is tangential to emacs and not
necessary to run the program, but that then raises the question what
it is doing in the package in the first place. To the extent to which
such a snippet adds to the package, it should be possible to make it
accessible to all users.
[To forestall one objection: obviously the translators would make it
clear that it was an unofficial translation. I believe a restriction
in the license to this effect would be accepted as DFSG-free.]
For another example, consider the "Free Software Needs Free
Documentation" essay, currently distributed as an invariant part of
the GDB manual. [This is not removable, so does not fit your
definition of a "snippet", but certainly could be distributed as a
snippet.] It contains an outdated statement about the documentation
of Perl (saying that it is non-free). One thing a maintainer would
want to do would be to add an editorial note mentioning that this is
no longer true.
I can imagine many of your other examples of snippets becoming
outdated in similar ways.