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Document copyright, & docstrings

From: Joseph M. Reagle Jr. (W3C) <reagle@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 18:30:56 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19981006182616.0098d360@localhost>
To: www-dom@w3.org
Cc: "Andrew M. Kuchling" <amk@starship.skyport.net (none)>
Andrew, I'm forwarding your question on to a more appropriate list.

Forwarded Text ----
 Subject: Document copyright, & docstrings
 To: site-policy@w3.org
 Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 14:35:00 -0400 (EDT)
 From: "Andrew M. Kuchling" <amk@starship.skyport.net (none)>
 Status:   
 
 Good day!
 
 I'm working on a DOM implementation written in the Python programming
 language.  Python provides docstrings which are incorporated in the
 code; users can print docstrings to get some help about a function or
 class, class-browsing tools can display them, other tools can convert
 docstrings to HTML, and so forth.  For example:
 
 	def appendChild(self, newChild):
 	    """Add newChild to the Node object's list of children.
 	    If newChild is already in the document tree, it will be deleted."""
 
             ... code for the method would go here ... 
 
 	What would the rules be about using text from the DOM
 Recommendation to make up the docstrings?  The text would be mostly
 simply copied, though some modifications might be necessary; for
 example, NamedNodeMap might simply be a built-in dictionary type in
 Python, so the docstring should say "Returns a dictionary" instead of
 "Returns a NamedNodeMap."
 
 	Would this usage fall under the fair use provisions, or would
 it constitute a derivative work, which is forbidden by
 http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/copyright-documents.html ?
 (Maintaining a link to the definitive copy of a document at
 www.w3.org, in both the comments and in the accompanying
 documentation, would not be a problem, and I'd happily do that.)
  
 	By the way, other languages provide docstrings, and people
 might wish to embed text from a W3C recommendation in comments in
 their code, so this question might be worth adding to the IPR FAQ.
 
 	Thanks!
 
 	
 	A.M. Kuchling
 	akuchling@acm.org
 
End Forwarded Text ----

___________________________________________________________

Joseph Reagle Jr.  W3C:     http://www.w3.org/People/Reagle/
Policy Analyst     Personal:  http://web.mit.edu/reagle/www/
                   mailto:reagle@w3.org
Received on Wednesday, 7 October 1998 04:34:38 GMT

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