[sylpheed:34102] Re: Sylpheed FAQ revision 2.1 released

Petr Kovar pknbe at volny.cz
Sat Jun 26 05:27:34 JST 2010

Hi Ricardo!

Ricardo Mones <mones at debian.org>, Fri, 25 Jun 2010 13:54:26 +0200:


> > Thanks for bringing this issue up. Obviously, I'm not a lawyer and
> > basically, I intended to decrease the tarball in size and also not to
> > distribute files which are likely to be not of interest to the general
> > public,
>   Well, I understand that some people may not want the sources and just
> the binary and that you want to reduce some KB in the tarball. The usual
> is to distribute the sources in a separate -src package for those which
> may be interested also in them :)

Yes, that's surely another option worth considering.
> > that is as I was under impression it's OK and compatible with the
> > FDL license to link to the source files (available in public CVS
> > repository) from the generated files (i.e. HTML files, which in fact
> > may be viewed per se as source files too, for what it's worth).
>   In the package there's no README or any other file with such pointer
>   to a -src package. And the HTML cointains just a pointer to the project
>   page which also again shows the HTMLs again and links the SF.net home
> page. I'm neither a lawyer, but I don't think that counts as a pointer to
> the sources according the license.

Agreed, I'll adjust the contents of the document to explicitly mention the
link to the CVS repository with sources. It seems like the only place where
appropriate pointer has been mentioned so far is on:


That's bad and it seems to be a serious omission, yes.
> > Thinking about this, look at e.g. binary Linux distributions, generally
> > it's also enough for them to just link to the publicly available
> > sources and they don't need to distribute the sources along with the
> > binary data (and I believe it's also the case for documentation
> > HTML/PDF/etc. files that have been generated from the XML sources).
>   Exactly, but that's not happening in the latest release of the FAQ
> package.

Yes, it's too bad that two tarballs had been released with the omission...
> > Do you have any reliable source that suggest to always distribute
> > sources along with the generated files? Not to belittle your advice or
> > anything, but I'm seriously wondering...
>   Sorry, but I didn't write that. As the sources were distributed with the
>   previous packages putting the sources back seemed the easiest to me, but
>   if you want the the alternative the FDL offers (pointer to sources
> instead the sources themselves) you must be sure you comply with it.
> Obviously removing the sources only is not the way.
>   BTW, the FDL also states you must "Include an unaltered copy of this
> License." and the copy on the HTML is not unaltered.

I'm not sure about this one; the FDL copy included in the Sylpheed FAQ is
taken directly from the gnu.org website, see:


I believe that the license copy in the XML file is just another format
available, just like the plain text or HTML format is. There's no mention
there that the XML format should be considered an "altered copy", for what
it's worth. I tend to assume that the "unaltered copy" statement in the FDL
license means "contentually" or "textually unaltered copy", i.e. not
"altered" as in another format of the same license text.

> Again, the usual is
> to include a LICENSE or COPYING text file in the package with the license.

If it's really needed, I'll naturally include it.

Anyway, thanks again for raising these concerns.

Petr Kovar

More information about the Sylpheed mailing list