[Scribus] Restricted documentation license (was: a different kind of Scribus reference)

Christoph Schäfer christoph-schaefer
Fri Apr 21 18:51:19 CEST 2006

Am Freitag, 21. April 2006 17:29 schrieb gregor FELLENZ:
> On Fr, 2006-04-21 at 14:35 +0200, Christoph Sch?fer wrote:
> > Am Freitag, 21. April 2006 13:15 schrieb Craig Bradney:
> > > On Friday 21 April 2006 11:23, PLinnell wrote:
> > > > On Friday 21 April 2006 10:39, Brian Burger wrote:> On 4/21/06,
> > > > Helmut Wollmersdorfer <helmut.wollmersdorfer at gmx.at> wrote:> >
> > > > Christoph Sch?fer wrote:> > > The licence allows free distribution,
> > > > including translation,>
> > > >
> > > > > but has> >> > some> >> > > restrictions regarding reformed German
> > > >
> > > > spelling, notifications> > > to the> >> > author> >> > > (i. e. me)
> > > > if any major changes are applied, and another> > > restriction> >> >
> > > > with>
> > > >
> > > > >> > > respect to commercial printing.> >> > Be aware, that such
> > > >
> > > > restricted licenses are the reason, why> > scribus-doc is deleted
> > > > from the package in the official Debian> > distribution.> >> > See:>
> > > > >> > $ apt-cache show scribus-doc> > Package: scribus-doc> >
> > > > Priority: optional>
> > > >
> > > > > Section: non-free/doc> >           ^^^^^^^^> >> > This means, that
> > > >
> > > > scribus-doc is not installable without changing> > the default
> > > > repositories, and also is not delivered on official> > Debian-CDs.>>
> > > > Interesting - there is no "scribus-doc" package at all in Ubuntu>
> > > > 5.10, and when I start Scribus and go Help->Scribus Manual,>
> > > > all I get is a blank help window with "Sorry, no manual available!>
> > > > Please see: http://docs.scribus.net for updated docs and>
> > > > www.scribus.net for downloads." in it.>> Is this because of the
> > > > license, or something else? (I'm running> Ubuntu w/ Gnome, not
> > > > Kubuntu w/ KDE, for example...)>> Brian. Hi,
> > > > I do not know, you would need to ask the Ubuntu folks, but one of the
> > > > first things we do for almost any visitor to IRC using Ubuntu to add
> > > > our repo, so that users can replace with, which is
> > > > more feature complete and more stable than even Also, for
> > > > Ubuntu users, I have added an FAQ section here:
> > > > http://www.scribus.net/admin.php?module=FAQ&op=FaqCatGo&id_cat=13
> > > > Cheers, Peter
> > >
> > > The point is that Christoph who is writing that document doesn't like
> > > the new German spelling rules so he doesn't want anyone to change it.
> >
> > If I only didn't like them, I probably wouldn't have added that clause.
> > The point is, the spelling reform was intended as a test case for the
> > state: How far can we go in imposing our will to the people? If we can
> > force them to write in a new way and in a way they don't want to write,
> > we can enforce almost everything else. I didn't invent that, they said it
> > in public. The politicians even acknowledged that the reform was a grave
> > mistake, but they don't retract it, because "reason of state" doesn't
> > permit! So this is not only about the damage brought to an established
> > culture, it's also about democracy and law. If you look at it this way, I
> > want to keep the docs "free" from rules imposed by authoritarian
> > politicians, since freedom also means to say "no".
> you've all the right to say no or whatever you want, but just for
> clarification the reformed spelling was implemented from a more or less
> democratic empowered group, namely the kultusministerkonferenz.

The KMK is in no way democratically "empowered". From a constitutional point 
of view, it doesn't even exist.

> before that 
> the rules were set by the comercial (!) publishing house duden verlag.

The rules weren't set by the publishing house. The "Duden" described spelling 
as it was practiced, and tried to extract rules from the reality, as it is 
done in all other languages. Had the publisher tried to implement something 
that didn't exist in reality or to wipe out hundreds of words, as the 
reformers have done, he would have lost his privilege immediately [An example 
for the English speaking readers: the word "Handvoll" has been eliminated and 
been replaced by "Hand voll", which is something completely different. It is 
the same as the English "handful". Imagine an English "spelling reform" that 
would delete "handful", "fistful" etc. and _order_ that "hand full" and "fist 
full" is enough]. Also, the Duden "rules" were recommendations or guidelines, 
and the purpose of the dictionary was to find a correct spelling in case of 
doubt. There were other correct spelling variancies that weren't listed in 
the dictionary, but that doesn't mean they were wrong.

> to believe that there was any bit of freedom in how you write in old
> spelling is just not true.

There was more freedom since there are less "rules" and people were able to 
follow their intuition. Read a "Duden" that was published before 1996, and 
you will find the notion that many aspects of German spelling can't be put 
into rules and that writers can decide themselves! To write "correct" 
reformed German spelling, you need to learn about 1000 rules, 2000 list 
entries, and a huge amount of exceptions. Or you have to use a dictionary all 
the time. The only problem is, that a reliable dictionary is no loger 
available since all the publishers struggle with the "new" spelling rules. 
Moreover, you have to forget everything you learned about grammar in many 
cases, because a lot of the new rules are grammatically false ("Recht haben", 
"Furcht erregend" -- that's grammatically impossible!).

> but anyway there is a lovely side effect: in fact spelling in germany is
> going to be really anarchic as everybody, despite the state and
> comercials, is just writing how they want.

Do you think the state agencies understand their own rules? No, in fact, 
everything is "permitted", as long as it doesn't look like "old" spelling 
("Gr?sse", "beissen", "Aufw?ndung" ..., but don't dare writing "da?"), even 
in schools. I know a lot of teachers, but none of them understands the 
reformed spelling, and the publisher of school books don't understand them 
either. AFAICT, there exist no school books that realise the "reform" 
correctly. The reason is that none of the politicians cared about the "new" 
rules (in fact, it is the German-Austrian spelling of the middle of the 19th 
century). "Enforcement" was and is the only important point of this reform. 
For that reason, school books are no longer controlled for correctness. It's 
enough for the publisher to declare that he follows the "new" rules. IOW, 
it's no longer quality that matters, but obedience.

I did some research on this, and it's simply breathtaking how something like 
that could happen in a democracy. It was planned and executed as a coup.

> intended or not, i really appreciate  the current state of spelling.

Then you don't understand why spelling rules exist at all. Those rules were -- 
in all languages -- developed to establish a standard for written 
communication. No matter which dialect someone speaks, he should be able to 
read a text in his language without issues. Note that spelling rules were 
first applied by typesetters and printers, because they knew best what makes 
reading easier. The spelling reformers didn't care about readers, they wanted 
to make writing easier (an attempt that failed completely), and they threw 
all the well-established tricks overboard. The reader will somehow figure out 
what it means, they wrote almost literally. They really didn't understand the 
meaning of writing and spelling.

Scribus is a layout application, and one of the main purposes of such a 
program is to produce documents that please the eye of the reader. That's why 
layout software has such sophisticated typography tools. But the tools are 
useless, if the reader constantly stumbles across sentences that are 
ambiguous, because commas are missing, adverbs/adjectives/pronouns are 
written capitalised, words are torn apart, or three "s"-letters are written 
behind each other ("Nussschokolade", "Missstand").

"Bombay setzt im Kampf gegen Menschen jagende Leoparden auf Schweine" (dpa, 29 
June 2003)

How long did it take until you understood the meaning, and how long until you 
were rolling on the floor, laughing? Happy anarchy!

> cheers,
> gregor



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