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Re: GFDL/GPL issues
- From: "Alfred M. Szmidt" <ams at gnu dot org>
- To: Joe Buck <Joe dot Buck at synopsys dot COM>
- Cc: bkoz at redhat dot com, paul_koning at Dell dot com, kenner at vlsi1 dot ultra dot nyu dot edu, dnovillo at google dot com, dewar at adacore dot com, gcc at gcc dot gnu dot org, iant at google dot com, mark at codesourcery dot com, richard dot guenther at gmail dot com, stevenb dot gcc at gmail dot com
- Date: Wed, 04 Aug 2010 16:03:33 -0400
- Subject: Re: GFDL/GPL issues
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- Reply-to: ams at gnu dot org
> You are being denied by RMS. He controls the copyright, the SC has
> no legal say, and he's stubborn as hell.
> When presented with weak arguments, then yes he will be stubborn
> but rightly so.
> I don't see what the problem is with two manuals, from a users
> perspective I actually prefer that and doing cross referencing
> between manuals in texinfo is easy.
OK, let's say Don Knuth decides he wants to spend his retirement
contributing to GNU. RMS is effectively saying that "literate
programming" is banned from the GNU project and Knuth can just go
away if he doesn't like it (and yes, requiring GFDL for
documentation and GPL for code is equivalent to banning literate
programming). This is an anti-software-freedom argument, an
attempt by one man to impose his personal taste.
The GFDL isn't required for all types of documentation, sometimes it
makes sense to use the GFDL for a manual (for example, the emacs
manual) sometimes it might not. For literate programs, the comments
are as much part of the program as the code, it would make little
sense to require the GFDL for the documentation part of that program.
Infact, the literate programs that are part of the GNU project are
simply licensed under the GPL. So Knuth is most free to join. :-)
For some manuals, like the libstdc++ manual as someone mentioned,
maybe relicensing it under the GPL makes the most sense, since it is
mostly a API reference listing. For other manuals, that contain
little auto-generated text, like the GCC manual, or the GCC Internals
manual, the GFDL makes more sense.
Painting all documentation under a single brush is a huge mistake,
sometimes the GFDL makes sense, sometimes it doesn't. And one should
look at each specific case separately and make a decision based on