《Richard Stallman选集 --free software,free society》

2010年8月18日 | 由 helight | 2900字 | 阅读大约需要6分钟 | 归档于 programming | 标签 #vim #开源

Free Software and Free Manuals

自由软件和自由手册

<ul>
  • The GNU Free Documentation License
  • GNU自由文档许可证
  • The biggest deficiency in free operating systems is not in the software—it is the lack of good free manuals that we can include in these systems. Many of our most important programs do not come with full manuals. Documentation is an essential part of any software package; when an important free software package does not come with a free manual, that is a major gap. We have many such gaps today.

    自由操作系统最大的不足不在于软件--而是缺乏可以收录到这些系统中的优秀自由手册。我们大多数重要的程序没有完善的手册。文档是任何软件包的重要组成部分;当一个重要的自由软件包发布了,但是没有自由手册,这是一个严重的缺陷。现在存在很多这样的缺陷。

    Once upon a time, many years ago, I thought I would learn Perl. I got a copy of a free manual, but I found it hard to read. When I asked Perl users about alternatives, they told me that there were better introductory manuals—but those were not free.

    曾几何时,多年以前,我想我能学习Perl。我拷贝到一份自由手册,但我发现很难读懂。当我寻问Perl用户有没有更好的入门方法时,他们告诉我,有更好的入门手册,但这些不是自由的。

    Why was this? The authors of the good manuals had written them for O’Reilly Associates, which published them with restrictive terms—no copying, no modification, source files not available—which exclude them from the free software community.

    到底是为什么呢?优秀手册的作者为O’Reilly协会编写了手册,而他们又附加限制条款地出版这些手册——不能拷贝、不能修改、不能获得源文件--这将它们阻挡在自由软件社区之外。

    That wasn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened, and (to our community’s great loss) it was far from the last. Proprietary manual publishers have enticed a great many authors to restrict their manuals since then. Many times I have heard a GNU user eagerly tell me about a manual that he is writing, with which he expects to help the GNU project—and then had my hopes dashed, as he proceeded to explain that he had signed a contract with a publisher that would restrict it so that we cannot use it.

    这类事情绝不是第一次发生,而且(对我们社区是巨大的损失)远非最后一次。专有手册出版商诱使许多作者限制他们的手册。很多次我听到GNU用户急切的告诉我一本他正在写的手册,他希望以此来帮助GNU项目,但是随后我的希望破灭了,因为他接着解释说,他已经与出版商签署了一项限制它的合同,所以我们不能使用它。

    Given that writing good English is a rare skill among programmers, we can ill afford to lose manuals this way.

    假定大多数的程序员们都不太精通英文的写作,我们不能忽视手册的作用。

    Free documentation, like free software, is a matter of freedom, not price. The problem with these manuals was not that O’Reilly Associates charged a price for printed copies—that in itself is fine. (The Free Software Foundation sells printed copies of free GNU manuals, too.) But GNU manuals are available in source code form, while these manuals are available only on paper. GNU manuals come with permission to copy and modify; the Perl manuals do not. These restrictions are the problems.

    和自由软件一样,自由文档是一个自由问题,而并非价格。这些手册相关的问题不是O’Reilly对印本收取了费用,而是它本身就是一种限制。(自由软件基金会也销售自由的GUN手册印本)但当这些手册只能以纸张的形式获得时,GNU手册可以以源代码的形式获得。GUN手册允许拷贝和修改;Perl手册则不可以,这些限制就是问题所在。

    The criterion for a free manual is pretty much the same as for free software: it is a matter of giving all users certain freedoms. Redistribution (including commercial redistribution) must be permitted, so that the manual can accompany every copy of the program, on-line or on paper. Permission for modification is crucial too.

    自由手册的规范和自由软件的规范大致一样:它给所有的用户一定的自由。必须允许重新发布(包括重新商业发布),因此手册可以随着每一份程序,在网络上或纸张一起发布。允许手册的修改也是十分关键的。

    As a general rule, I don’t believe that it is essential for people to have permission to modify all sorts of articles and books. The issues for writings are not necessarily the same as those for software. For example, I don’t think you or I are obliged to give permission to modify articles like this one, which describe our actions and our views.

    作为一般准则,我不认为允许人们修改各种文章和书籍是必要的。写作问题不一定和软件问题相同。例如,我不认为你或我有权利去允许他人修改像这样一篇表明我们的行为和看法的文章。

    But there is a particular reason why the freedom to modify is crucial for documentation for free software. When people exercise their right to modify the software, and add or change its features, if they are conscientious they will change the manual too—so they can provide accurate and usable documentation with the modified program. A manual which forbids programmers to be conscientious and finish the job, or more precisely requires them to write a new manual from scratch if they change the program, does not fill our community’s needs.

    但这里有一个关于为何自由软件文档修改的自由很重要的特殊原因。当人们行使他们修改软件的权力,添加或是修改软件功能时,如果他们是有责任心的,他们也会同时修改软件手册--以便为修改后的软件提供准确可用的文档。一个不允许编程人员有责任心的完成他的工作,或更确切地要求程序员修改程序之后重新写一个手册,是满足不了我们社区的需求的。

    While a blanket prohibition on modification is unacceptable, some kinds of limits on the method of modification pose no problem. 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 to have entire sections that may not be deleted or changed, as long as these sections deal with nontechnical topics. (Some GNU manuals have them.)

    尽管全面禁止修改是不可接受的,但一些受限的修改方法还是没问题的。例如,要求保留原作者的版权声明,发布条款或是作者名单,上述这些都是可以的。要求修改版本告知版本已经被修改,甚至不许删除或修改整个章节,只要对这些章节做一些非技术性话题处理,像这些要求都没问题。(一些GNU手册就是这样的。)

    These kinds of restrictions are not a problem because, as a practical matter, they don’t stop the conscientious programmer from adapting the manual to fit the modified program. In other words, they don’t block the free software community from making full use of the manual.

    这些限制不是问题所在,因为作为一个实际问题,他们没有阻挡有责任心的程序员去修改手册以适应修改过的程序。换句话说,他们没有阻止自由软件社区充分利用该手册。

    However, it must be possible to modify all the technical content of the manual, and then distribute the result in all the usual media, through all the usual channels; otherwise, the restrictions do block the community, the manual is not free, and so we need another manual.

    然而,它必须能修改手册所有的技术内容,且随后通过所有常规渠道,在所有常规媒体中发布结果。否则,这些限制一定会阻碍社区,因为手册不是自由的,所以我们需要另一个手册。

    Unfortunately, it is often hard to find someone to write another manual when a proprietary manual exists. The obstacle is that many users think that a proprietary manual is good enough—so they don’t see the need to write a free manual. They do not see that the free operating system has a gap that needs filling.

    很不幸的是,在专有手册存在的情况下往往很难发现有人重写手册。问题在于很多用户认为专有手册是足够好的,因此他们没有意识到写自由手册的必要性。他们没有意识到自由操作系统还有缺陷需要完善。

    Why do users think that proprietary manuals are good enough? Some have not considered the issue. I hope this article will do something to change that.

    为什么用户认为专有手册足够好了呢?有些人不考虑这个问题。我希望本文将为改变这种状况做点贡献。

    Other users consider proprietary manuals acceptable for the same reason so many people consider proprietary software acceptable: they judge in purely practical terms, not using freedom as a criterion. These people are entitled to their opinions, but since those opinions spring from values which do not include freedom, they are no guide for those of us who do value freedom.

    其他用户认为,专有手册可以被接受和许多人认为专有软件可以被接受有着同样的原因:它们纯粹是以实际状况来评判的,而不将自由作为一项依据。这些人都有权力去发表自己的观点,但由于这些观点滋生于不包括自由的价值观,所以它没有指导我们这些有自由价值观的人。

    Please spread the word about this issue. We continue to lose manuals to proprietary publishing. If we spread the word that proprietary manuals are not sufficient, perhaps the next person who wants to help GNU by writing documentation will realize, before it is too late, that he must above all make it free.

    请宣扬关于这个问题的言论吧。我们仍然认为需要减少专有手册的出版量。如果我们宣扬专有手册是不够好的,也许下一个愿意帮助GNU写文档的人将在为时太晚之前认识到,它必须首先使它自由。

    We can also encourage commercial publishers to sell free, copylefted manuals instead of proprietary ones. One way you can help this is to check the distribution terms of a manual before you buy it, and prefer copylefted manuals to non-copylefted ones.

    我们也可以鼓励商业出版商出售自由、开放版权的手册,从而代替专有手册。有助于这件事的其中一个方法就是在购买之前你可以检查发布手册,购买开放版权的手册,而不是版权所有的手册。

    [Note: We now maintain a web page that lists free books available from other publishers].

    [注:我们现在维护一个网页,这里列出了可从其它出版商那获得的自由书籍]。