[debian-mysql] [Fwd: Fwd: MySQL bug on Debian]

Stefan Hinz stefan at mysql.com
Fri Jul 6 17:02:28 UTC 2007


thanks for your suggestions, and have a good weekend!



> On 2007-07-05 Stefan Hinz wrote:
>> Hi Christian,
>>> On 2007-07-04 Stefan Hinz wrote:
>>>> I've highlighted the portion that I think should make it possible (and
>>>> fully legal) for Debian to distribute the MySQL documentation.
>>>> Let me know if there's anything missing in our legal notice that still
>>>> makes it impossible for Debian to distribute our docs! Otherwise, I'd
>>>> appreciate if you could replace that nasty message in Debian with our
>>>> (always up to date) man pages! :-)
>>> It would probably permit Debian to distribute the man pagages *legally*
>>> but if you read the Debian Free Software Guidelines¹ then you understand
>>> that it cannot be considered as "free software" - or free documentation
>>> in this case - so our FTP masters, who guard the archives license-wise,
>>> would reject it even if I would package it.
>> I'm sorry to hear that. From reading the guidelines I get the impression
>> that they cover only software and regard documentation as an implicit
>> part of software, which is probably why the problem with MySQL's "dual"
>> licenses (GPL for software, regular copyright for the docs) arises.
> Like the GPL it was coined for software originally but its regulary
> applied to documentation, too. E.g. there was a very long discussions on
> how to work with the GNU Free Documentaion License and it's several 
> possible restrictions.
>>> But as soon as 5.1 loses its -beta tag it will move from experimental
>>> into the main Debian branch. Maybe it's time enough to change the MySQL
>>> license until then... 
>> The reason we're not making the docs "free" is that many people try to
>> adorn themselves with borrowed plumes by putting the MySQL Manual on
>> their web sites. That alone wouldn't be bad, but guess what: they never
>> update it. Since we're updating the Manual multiple times *per day* this
>> leads to many outdated copies out there.
>> So the people who (ab)use the MySQL Manual this way get all the credits
>> (in the form of page views and Google ad revenues), and we get all the
>> discredits (in the form of bad marketing, or even users complaining that
>> "our" docs are outdated). With our current license, we can at least try
>> to stop them.
>> I'm not sure how a compromise would look that would work for both Debian
>> and us. If you have an idea, please let me know!
> Ask yourself why a user would go anywhere else for the MySQL docs than to
> mysql, especially if the other sites use Google Ads as you say.
> * Link the BTS with the docs. If I look up from_unixtime() it would be nice
>   to see that e.g. some versions had a bug there and I should simply upgrade.
> * Advertise: "100 lines added in the last 7 days, come here for the only
>   true manual"
> * If Google does not find mysql docs, improve the keywords and let other
>   pages link to your docs
> * Offer a really good and fast search engine. Maybe let the user limit
>   his search to e.g. functions, APIs, mailing lists...
> * I'm automatically "logged in" on your page. It could show me my most often
>   visited pages or something like that. I'm mostly looking up functions,
>   other people maybe mostly C API calls. So offer that as quick links
> * Let me set Bookmarks for my favourite pages! 
> * Add "see our recent presentation/whitepaper <here>" links on e.g. the
>   InnoDB or Falcon chapter pages.
> * Be hones, print "Browse our docs to support free MySQL with Google Ads"
>   (but don't annoy users with ads!). 
> bye,
> -christian-


Stefan Hinz <stefan at mysql.com>
MySQL AB Documentation Manager. Berlin, Germany (UTC +2:00)
Skype:stefanhinz Cell:+491777841069 Desk:+493082702940 Fax:+493082702941

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