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Rewriting GFDL docs - where to start from? (was: GFDL again)


on debian-private, a discussion about GFDL drifted into topics that are
rather appropriate for a public mailing list. I'm going to do this for one
particular subtopic.

I was wondering whether we could start to rewrite the manual for
GNU Emacs, starting with a) the old manual, prior to GFDL and b) GPL'ed
docstrings in the source. However, it was pointed out that the old
license of the manual, before it was put under GFDL, is also problematic
with respect to the DFSG. I am asking:

- What is this license? Where can it be found? Is it also problematic
  with respect to GPL-compatibility?

  I tried to look at this in the Debian source package of emacs20 (from
  woody), but this is odd: There are only info files, and README says:

| `info' holds the Info documentation tree for Emacs.
| `man' holds the source code for the Emacs manual.
|    Note that the Emacs Lisp manual sources are distributed separately.
| (They are twice as large as the Emacs manual in the man subdirectory.)

  and I couldn't find the real sources in our archive.

  Nothing what I've written here is private, please move this to a more
  appropriate list (but notify or Cc me, cause I don't read every Debian

  I am kind of puzzled, because there is this project:


  which distributes Emacs-ru, a russian manual for GNU Emacs, based on
  emacs20 and its english manual, and says that this is GPL. The actual
  text of the manual (in file emacs.texi) does not say that the manual
  is under GPL, but still sounds DFSG free to me.

Regards, Frank

Frank Küster
Inst. f. Biochemie der Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer

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