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Re: GFDL/GPL issues

Richard Kenner wrote:

> "bad" isn't very precise.  The claim was made that a reason that it's "bad"
> is that not being able to automatically generate documentation lowers
> the quality of the documentation.   That's what I disagree with.

OK, fine; that's a reasonably debatable point.  But, we currently can't
automatically generate manuals -- which is something we used to be able
to do -- and that's bad.  In general, a policy that prevents us from
being able to use a particular technical method to achieve a goal is silly.

>> But, there is nothing that says that both kinds of documentation might
>> not be located physically in the code, so that when you
>> add/delete/modify a constraint you can also easily update the
>> documentation.
> In that case, wouldn't we have two distinctly different kinds of material
> in the same file: an extract from a manual and code.  So why couldn't
> the file have a license that says "this part is GFDL and this part is GPL"?

Maybe it could.  But, maybe it can't.  It depends on how closely you can
weave the documents together before you end up with something that is
more than mere aggregation.

None of this really answers the key question, which is, in my opinion,
what is the GFDL actually buying us?  And, if all it's buying us is that
people can't remove the FSF's philosophical statements in manuals, is
that worth having to split hairs about exactly what parts of what
documentation can be generated in what exact manner?

Mark Mitchell
(650) 331-3385 x713

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