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Auto-generated cross-references can be distributed under the GPL

The FSF has approved the inclusion of automatically generated
cross-reference information (such as that generated by Doxygen,
Synopsis, or JavaDoc) in GCC, using GPLv3 for that documentation, rather
than the GFDL.  There was no license issue in this regard; the question
was a policy question.  In particular: is it OK to have "documentation"
that is not under the GFDL in GCC?

Of course, this cross-reference documentation cannot be combined with
GFDL documentation to form a single manual.  But, if we want to
generate/ship internal API documentation, or plugin API documentation,
in this form, we can do so.  (I understand, of course, that the
libstdc++ team has been doing this for some time.)

This explicit permission re. cross-references does not resolve the
question of auto-generating parts of GFDL manuals, such as those
containing documentation about target hooks or about command-line
options.  (For target hooks, we might wish to consider using the
permission given above to generate a separate document, though.)

I will continue to work on the GPL->GFDL issue as best I can, but my
expectation is that getting general permission regarding use of GPL'd
code to generate GFDL'd documentation, including the right for
downstream recipients to regenerate the documentation, will take a long
time.  I'm disappointed to see these "islands" (GPLv2 vs. GPLv3 vs.
GFDL) of code and documentation that cannot be combined, but that seems
to be the state of the world.

Mark Mitchell
(650) 331-3385 x713

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