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Date:      Tue, 2 May 2000 16:36:41 -0700
From:      "Sean Kelly" <kelly@ad1440.net>
To:        <doc@FreeBSD.ORG>
Cc:        <jim@FreeBSD.ORG>
Subject:   Credit where it's due
Message-ID:  <000001bfb49e$f2a33d40$24d39580@jpl.nasa.gov>

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Dear -doc'ers:

I've trusted and ran FreeBSD for years now, and although I can't contribute
much back financially, I've written a couple chapters for the handbook to
help clear my karmic debt.

I've looked over Jim Mock's restructuring of my printing chapter, and I
certainly appreciate what he's done.  As an ex-professional writer and
BS-degree holder in Technical Communication, I know the value of outside
editing, and I think he's done a nice job.  However, I maintain that I'm
the *author* of that document.  Yet nowhere is my name mentioned that I
wrote that text.  And most of the text is unchanged!

I realize it sounds petty, but having my name on that chapter was quite
valuable to me.  When applying for new contract writing jobs, I refer
people to that chapter via its URL.  I've received a lot of kudos for it
(before it was restructured and updated), and I think it's an accurate
reflection of my skills as a writer.

So, I want to know: is this the new policy for documentation submitted to
the FreeBSD project?  Whoever last edits it gets complete credit?

If so, why isn't it being applied uniformly?  I refer you to chapter 7,
where Jim Mock has also restructured and edited text, yet gave credit to
Jake Hamby as the author.

If it isn't the new policy, then what is?  Should we say there's an
implicit BSD license applied to material submitted?  For example, do we
want adomonitions such as "This documentation contains text written by Joe
Blow" appearing in our preface?

Clearly, we go out of our way to give credit to the individual software
engineers developing FreeBSD (see handbook Appendix D).  And the source
code lists individual contributors as well, so there is precedent for what
I'm asking.

I'm not trying to inhibit Jim Mock's improvements to our handbook (and I do
mean *our* as I feel a distinct part of the collective ownership of this
text), but I also feel that credit should be given where it's due.

Comments?

Thanks.
--Sean




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