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[AUCTeX-devel] Re: New auctex version coming, and the freeze

From: Frank Küster
Subject: [AUCTeX-devel] Re: New auctex version coming, and the freeze
Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2006 12:17:20 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)


I suggest to stop this, or take it off-list, since it doesn't seem to be
relevant for auctex development any more (and for a while already, I

David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:

>> This is completely unnecessary.  The FSF has known these concerns
>> for years.
> As I said: the FSF does not move fast, and they don't have the
> personnel for doing so.  The GPLv3 process has taken a lot of focus
> and energy lately.

And was regarded to be more important than fixing an existing license
with serious flaws.

>> Representatives have told repeatedly that they are going to fix it,
>> but nothing has happened except that once or twice RMS has said they
>> won't fix anything.  And more skilled people like me will for sure
>> bring this up again.  Debian even has formal delegates for that.
> You don't want to have something like "this clause was opposed just by
> three developers, so we decided the concerns did not justify further
> work".  Without your input, you don't have a reason to complain.

If the FSF thinks that input by the official delegates of the Debian
project, formally speaking for around 1000 developers, people who are
well-informed and know how to talk about legal problems, does "not
justify further work", for sure my voice won't help anything.

>> From the published e-mails, it's not even sure what RMS intent is.
>> More so from that fact that the FSF forces their projects to use
>> that license while they know about its perceived flaws, and before
>> they finish their review process.
> That is because the licensing is "under this or any later versions".
> Even if the license is not in its final state now, licensing under the
> current version does not preclude moving to a version _similar_ _in_
> _spirit_ that expresses the intent better.

Well, the problem is exactly that, from RMS e-mails, people doubt what
the spirit is.  

> That means that according to the decision of the Debian vote, AUCTeX
> documentation will be considered DFSG-compliant and will not need to
> be split even in Debian, without the Debian maintainer having to take
> responsibility for any compromises on Debian policies.

Which, as I said, is completely irrelevant for my decision not to

> The GNU maintainer guidelines are not a secret and can be seen at
> <URL:>.  I already pointed that out.
> The rules for licensing have not changed in the last few years
> according to what I am aware of: certainly the use of GFDL was already
> prescribed by the time AUCTeX applied as a GNU project.

The rules actually seem to have changed: Earlier it was possible to use
a different license for documentation, but that option has been dropped
from some web form, people told me.  It might well be that this wasn't
about GNU projects at all, but instead about any project hosted on a FSF
server.  Which makes things worse IMO.

> All development on AUCTeX happens on a voluntary basis.  I have to
> accept _any_ decision not to contribute to any part of AUCTeX, for
> whatever reason.  And I certainly am not glad to see you go, and in
> that manner.  

By the way, I didn't say that I go.  If I find time to contribute style
support, I'd be very glad and I'll happily contribute that.  I'm just
not going to work on the documentation, as long as it is licensed under
the current GFDL.

> But I should still not wish you success demotivating
> other AUCTeX developers from working on our project, for the sake of
> pushing your personal agenda not even supported by the Debian voting
> outcome.

I never wanted to push my personal agenda.  All I did was express my
personal opinion, and ask whether others felt similar and were willing
to act accordingly.  I have long noticed that hardly anybody among the
AUCTeX developers is interested in this licensing stuff, and I have
no intent any more to persuade anyone.  

The only reason why I continued this discussion is that there have been
questions, and there have been statements that are IMHO wrong, and I
wanted to address these points.  

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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