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Re: The invariant sections are not forbidden by DFSG

Anton Zinoviev <anton@lml.bas.bg> wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 24, 2006 at 02:52:41PM +0100, Frank Küster wrote:
>> An other example is a reference sheet to be printed on the front- and
>> backside of a sheet of paper (autogenerated to always match the current
>> version) that contains the most important commands, functions or
>> whatever of the software that the manual documents.  For example a cheat
>> sheet for GNU Emacs.  
> It is not difficult to print two sheets - the invariant sections go on
> the second sheet and FSF wins more popularity. :-)

This is just working around the issue.  Let the sheet instead be a
coffee cup;  in Germany Lehmann's sell cups with Emacs or vi commands on
them.  You can't add a second cup for the invariant sections, even if
they fit on it, since people usually buy or donate (and use) only one
cup at a time.

>> And I must say that I didn't get your reasoning why it wouldn't be
>> necessary to include the invariant sections.  You talked about whether a
>> book with 90% non-technical invariant stuff is still technical, but I
>> missed how you want to explain that I may remove the invariant
>> sections. 
> Yes, the discussion was very large.
> You can structure the man-pages in a way that makes every single
> man-page to be only a part from a bigger document.  In order to fulfil
> the requirements of the license you only need to include the invariant
> sections in only one of your man-pages.  

How would that work technically?  The manpages need to end up as
separate files in /usr/share/man/man<section>/, needn't they?  So you
mean that there would be one foo_manifesto.7.gz, one foo_history.7.gz
along with the actual executable's manpages?  I'm not convinced that
simply referring to the invariant sections' manpages in the SEE ALSO
section would comply with the definition of "Secondary section" and thus
of "invariant section":

| "Secondary Section" is a named appendix or a front-matter section of
| the Document that deals [...]

A simple reference is not an appendix or otherwise a part of the
document.  That's different in an info file, where you start in one
displayed page that contains working links to the parts, and it doesn't
matter whether the info page is split or not.

> When the document is distributed in HTML-format, we do exactly this -
> each chapter can have its own short sized html-page and the invariant
> sections are separated in their own html-pages.  We do not include the
> invariant sections in all chapters of the document.

But this would only work if we always distribute the whole thing
together, and it works because the html page contains a back or contents
link that ultimately leads to the invariant sections.  If the document
is GFDL, you cannot legally distribute just one of the html pages.  And
that's what we want.

Imagine that AUCTeX's manual was under GFDL, and I want to distribute
only file:///usr/share/doc/auctex/HTML/auctex/auctex_11.html (which
deals with language support) in a documentation bundle about "Optimizing
TeX workflow for i18n and l10n".

> GFDL does not say what constitutes the whole document.  It is easy to
> write in each of the man-pages that it is only a chapter from a bigger
> text and to point to the man-page with table of contents.  Ofcourse
> you will have to distribute the man-pages as a whole.

It might be possible to do this, but what if I don't want to distribute
the whole thing?  Like because I'm only interested in one particular

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX)

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