[tex-live] Re: ConTeXt documentation in "commercial" products

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Tue Jan 24 14:34:39 CET 2006

Hans Hagen <pragma at wxs.nl> wrote:

> I will add the following sentence to the readme:
> If you distribute \CONTEXT\ and related software on electronic media
> as part of \TEX\ distributions, you may also distribute the manuals
> in electronic form, preferable as provided by the maintainers of

I'm not sure whether this will change anything, without specifically
talking about commercial distribution.

> Btw, context documentation is part of the tex collection but not of
> tex live; the reason is that tex live only ships documentation for
> which a source is avaliable (and since there is never the guarantee
> that a source is complete, will run, has all graphic and font
> resources with it, it means that this criterium is hard to meet,
> i.e. what is a source: if i generate an html page from an xml file, it
> has no source either). 

I don't think this is true, as Karl has already pointed out.

> Technically this means that a pdf file like
> mreadme.pdf will not be distributed. Afaik substantial context
> documentation and samples (over 100 meg in pdf form) are no part of
> linux distributions either. But i have absoutely no problems if the
> manuals are distributed (as long as it does not cost me time).

Doesn't it cost you more time if people don't have the (up-to-date)
documentation installed along with their TeX distribution, find some old
version somewhere on the net and start asking stupid questions?

> Currently, context manuals are put (stepwise) under svn, and for
> practical purposes it's done on one of our internal machines with a
> copy on taco's website. However, there is no guarantee that each
> document runs as intended (i.e. there are fall backs when i use for
> instance non public fonts, or non public graphics, and i don't provide
> support for that).

Oh, font replacements wouldn't be a big problem; graphics without
"sources" (the preferred form of modification) probably would be.  But
if you start putting this in the public, maybe we'll end up with a
distributable source of the ConTeXt documentation sooner or later, even
if it's impossible now.

> At some time I may put a zip archive with the manuals alongside the
> other context zips, but i wonder is there is any interest in those
> tens of megabytes.

The point is that as a general rule, we want to be able to modify the
documentation.  Imagine me writing FKonTeXt, with some of the internal
defaults changed to suit my and other's special needs - I think it'd be
much better if I could provide the users with a correct manual for
FKonTeXt, instead of just a "these are the differences to ConTeXt,
besides that read the ConTeXt docs".  

> BTW, concerning GPL and manuals ... manuals are no programs and i like
> the simple and understandable CC ones

I'm not sure, and I'm not a legal guy, too; but it seems to me that the
CC licenses without any commercial restriction would be okay provided
that the source is available.

Regards, Frank

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

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