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Re: free vs. non-free debate

On Wed, 3 Nov 1999, Tim wrote:

> My take is that *we* should not put out a blanket "We'll not accept
> documentation that discusses non-free hardware or software".  Don't
> pick this a part....you know what I mean.

I agree thoroughly!  After all "Debian", "Redhat", "SuSe" and other
distributions of Linux are not everywhere free of charge.  They are
sold in stores just as are other commercial products.  To reject
documentation for non-free software would exempt all documentation.

The only criteria should be that the LDP should be licensed for
electronic distribution in the original human (capable of being spoken)
language and all translations to other human languages.  Printed
versions may or may not be covered by a blanket license.  It will
left to the author and publisher to iron out details.  Print
publication is not a responsibility of the LDP.

References to commercial printed material may be included.  After all
there have been a number of references to the ORA SGML book recently

> *We* provide documentation and support for the Linux Community as a whole.
> We have nothing to gain other than to fill a void and make enjoying Linux
> a little easier.  Most of us wanted to give back to the Linux Community
> that so willingly accepted us with open arms (even if around our neck at
> times making it a little more difficult to breathe.)

I agree completely.  Unfortunately the "Manifesto" and other
politically inspired conditions present too many hoops for
contributors to jump through.  These hoops such as prescribed
copyrights can be discouraging to submiters.

I have a specific disdain for the hoop that documents must be
submitted in SGML.  This is a dead end.  There is no working SGML
package for Linux.  At least for use on i486 PC's.  This also imposes
the need for the submiter to learn the nuances of formatting while his 
personal expertise is in other endeavors.  These other endeavors are
what he is writing about and can be very valuable for other users.

> I've seen more "political issues" on this/these lists that I ever
> cared to.  We are so far from political its heart-warming :) So I
> hope that things move on and the documentation continues coming in.

I hope that the 'smiley' inferred sarcasm.

BTW Tim, where are the "free" postings to comp.os.linux.answers?  My
last record is from Mar 25 1998.


Vernon C. Hoxie                                     vern@zebra.alphacdc.com
3975 W. 29th Ave.                                        uucp: 303-455-2670
Denver, Colo., 80212                                    voice: 303-477-1780
         If you ain't makin' waves, you ain't kickin' hard enough!

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