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www/doc doc.html freemanuals.texi

From: karl
Subject: www/doc doc.html freemanuals.texi
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 17:25:33 +0000

CVSROOT:        /web/www
Module name:    www
Changes by:     karl <karl>     13/09/17 17:25:33

Modified files:
        doc            : doc.html 
Added files:
        doc            : freemanuals.texi 

Log message:
        add freemanuals.texi and link (essentially a Texinfo version of 
philosophy/free-doc.html), suggestion from Roland McGrath


Index: doc.html
RCS file: /web/www/www/doc/doc.html,v
retrieving revision 1.64
retrieving revision 1.65
diff -u -b -r1.64 -r1.65
--- doc.html    10 Mar 2013 06:17:26 -0000      1.64
+++ doc.html    17 Sep 2013 17:25:32 -0000      1.65
@@ -43,7 +43,9 @@
 originally designed for software.  For more information on free
 documentation, please see <a href="http://www.stallman.org/";>Richard
 Stallman's</a> essay, &ldquo;<a href="/philosophy/free-doc.html">Free
-Software and Free Manuals</a>&rdquo;.</p>
+Software and Free Manuals</a>&rdquo;.  A <a
+href="freemanuals.texi">Texinfo version of that essay</a> is available
+for inclusion in manuals.</p>
@@ -95,7 +97,7 @@
 <!-- timestamp start -->
-$Date: 2013/03/10 06:17:26 $
+$Date: 2013/09/17 17:25:32 $
 <!-- timestamp end -->

Index: freemanuals.texi
RCS file: freemanuals.texi
diff -N freemanuals.texi
--- /dev/null   1 Jan 1970 00:00:00 -0000
+++ freemanuals.texi    17 Sep 2013 17:25:32 -0000      1.1
@@ -0,0 +1,93 @@
address@hidden freemanuals.texi - blurb for free documentation.
address@hidden This file is intended to be included within another document,
address@hidden hence no sectioning command or @node.
address@hidden free documentation
+The biggest deficiency in the free software community today is not in
+the software---it is the lack of good free documentation that we can
+include with the free software.  Many of our most important
+programs do not come with free reference manuals and free introductory
+texts.  Documentation is an essential part of any software package;
+when an important free software package does not come with a free
+manual and a free tutorial, that is a major gap.  We have many such
+gaps today.
+Consider Perl, for instance.  The tutorial manuals that people
+normally use are non-free.  How did this come about?  Because the
+authors of those manuals published them with restrictive terms---no
+copying, no modification, source files not available---which exclude
+them from the free software world.
+That wasn't the first time this sort of thing happened, and it was far
+from the last.  Many times we have heard a GNU user eagerly describe a
+manual that he is writing, his intended contribution to the community,
+only to learn that he had ruined everything by signing a publication
+contract to make it non-free.
+Free documentation, like free software, is a matter of freedom, not
+price.  The problem with the non-free manual is not that publishers
+charge a price for printed copies---that in itself is fine.  (The Free
+Software Foundation sells printed copies of manuals, too.)  The
+problem is the restrictions on the use of the manual.  Free manuals
+are available in source code form, and give you permission to copy and
+modify.  Non-free manuals do not allow this.
+The criteria of freedom for a free manual are roughly the same as for
+free software.  Redistribution (including the normal kinds of
+commercial redistribution) must be permitted, so that the manual can
+accompany every copy of the program, both on-line and on paper.
+Permission for modification of the technical content is crucial too.
+When people modify the software, adding or changing features, if they
+are conscientious they will change the manual too---so they can
+provide accurate and clear documentation for the modified program.  A
+manual that leaves you no choice but to write a new manual to document
+a changed version of the program is not really available to our
+Some kinds of limits on the way modification is handled are
+acceptable.  For example, requirements to preserve the original
+author's copyright notice, the distribution terms, or the list of
+authors, are ok.  It is also no problem to require modified versions
+to include notice that they were modified.  Even entire sections that
+may not be deleted or changed are acceptable, as long as they deal
+with nontechnical topics (like this one).  These kinds of restrictions
+are acceptable because they don't obstruct the community's normal use
+of the manual.
+However, it must be possible to modify all the @emph{technical}
+content of the manual, and then distribute the result in all the usual
+media, through all the usual channels.  Otherwise, the restrictions
+obstruct the use of the manual, it is not free, and we need another
+manual to replace it.
+Please spread the word about this issue.  Our community continues to
+lose manuals to proprietary publishing.  If we spread the word that
+free software needs free reference manuals and free tutorials, perhaps
+the next person who wants to contribute by writing documentation will
+realize, before it is too late, that only free manuals contribute to
+the free software community.
+If you are writing documentation, please insist on publishing it under
+the GNU Free Documentation License or another free documentation
+license.  Remember that this decision requires your approval---you
+don't have to let the publisher decide.  Some commercial publishers
+will use a free license if you insist, but they will not propose the
+option; it is up to you to raise the issue and say firmly that this is
+what you want.  If the publisher you are dealing with refuses, please
+try other publishers.  If you're not sure whether a proposed license
+is free, write to @email{licensing@@gnu.org}.
+You can encourage commercial publishers to sell more free, copylefted
+manuals and tutorials by buying them, and particularly by buying
+copies from the publishers that paid for their writing or for major
+improvements.  Meanwhile, try to avoid buying non-free documentation
+at all.  Check the distribution terms of a manual before you buy it,
+and insist that whoever seeks your business must respect your freedom.
+Check the history of the book, and try reward the publishers that have
+paid or pay the authors to work on it.
+The Free Software Foundation maintains a list of free documentation
+published by other publishers, at

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