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My thoughts on the Manifesto revision





Here are my thoughts on the process of revising the manifesto.  I
think that there is no urgency and that there must be sufficient time
for nearly everyone to be able to think things over and participate.
I don't think there should be any time limits.  We hopefully may reach
a reasoned consensus where no vote will be required.  Everyone (who is
part of LDP and participating) will hopefully support the final
results or at least have no strong objections.

The last revision of the manifesto was not done by a group, but by one
person.  I guess most of us (me included) never bothered to carefully
read it over.  This time, I hope things will be different.  I suggest
that the revision be done in stages, with the last stage being the
most controversial one about what licenses the LDP will accept.  I've
submitted my proposed changes re the first "overview" section.  Terry
posted a suggestion which I've (sort of) accepted (by deleting the
last sentence).  Did everyone get a copy of the "overview" section
that I emailed to this list?  For some reason I didn't get it in my
email like I should have.

The fact that our old license (LDP License) disappeared from our site
really bothers me.  I started following the mailing list about the
time v2.0 came out and I don't ever recall any notice that it was
dropped.  It's nice to have a license that one can just incorporate by
reference.  But if the license page that people have referenced
disappear, then such documents either have no license or the wrong
license.  In our case, the "wrong license" was a license used for
"Linux Installation and Getting Started".  Some sections of that wrong
license specifically applied only to the ... Getting Started doc.
It's actually nothing more than a slightly modified version of the
"boilerplate" license that is in the Manifesto.  Thanks to Terry
Dawson and David Wheeler for first pointing out that this "wrong
license" at /LDP/COPYRIGHT.html was flawed.

The present manifesto contains a "boilerplate" license which is in my
opinion not one we should be suggesting since it prohibits
modifications.  I propose that as a first step we should modify it (or
possibly just delete it) and for the time being keep the simple
criteria as to whether or not we will accept a doc as LDP:

   LDP documents must be freely redistributable without fees paid to the
   authors. It is not required that the text be modifiable, but it is
   encouraged.

Note that the manifesto is presently inconsistent since in one breath
it encourages that modifications be allowed and then in the next
presents a recommended license that prohibits modifications.

After we complete the first stage of revision of the manifesto, I
think we should publish that manifesto (post it our site) and then
start on the difficult 2nd phase of deciding what licenses will be
accepted for LDP docs.  I've got some proposals on this but I haven't
put them into writing yet.  I would rather suggest that we now work on
the immediate problem of making the manifesto consistent and getting
the old LDP License (LDPL) back at its url (LDP/COPYRIGHT.html).  Is
it possible to restore this from backups?  The backup might just turn
out to be the v2.0 that I posted.  Once this is done we can do more
work re the license issues.

What do you think?
                        David Lawyer


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