[Somewhat Offtopic] Transclusion

John Cowan cowan at locke.ccil.org
Mon Jun 8 23:51:01 BST 1998

The very interesting DeRose/Maden paper on transclusion at
http://oreilly.com/people/staff/crism/transclu.html is an excellent
discussion of transclusion for *quotation*, but it does not address
transclusion for *reuse* at all.  (This is not a complaint, just
a comment.)

To explain the distinction, consider transcluding a copyright license
from some other document, such as the GPL.  If you want to *quote*
the GPL as it applies, say, to the gcc compiler, then you are
transcluding it for *quotation*.  If, OTOH, you want to apply the
GPL to your own document, you are transcluding it for *reuse*.
In that case, the GPL is not being quoted in your document, but
rather replicated into the appropriate slot of your document ---
the (virtual) copyright page.  It should appear in the font & style
appropriate to a copyright page, not to that appropriate to a
(block) quotation.  In either case, the stylesheet of the referring
document is the controlling element.

I believe that T.H. Nelson's original concern was with transclusion for
reuse.  Traditionally, authors have been faced with a dilemma:
express a thought in your own words, or quote someone else's wording.
Transclusion for reuse allows a third possibility: use someone else's
wording to express your thought, in such a way that the curious can
determine that someone else chose the wording (and with the
possibility of compensating the original author).  Transclusion for
reuse is a way of making other people your co-authors, with credit
and (possible) compensation, but without their specific consent.
(Publishing one's document in transclusible form would constitute
a general consent.)


John Cowan	http://www.ccil.org/~cowan		cowan at ccil.org
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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