I saw that in passing. The rules currently in maintain.texi came
directly from rms + lawyers, after Jim Meyering pushed the issue a
couple years ago. They are not the same as what Donald told Joel in RT
#719834 (although what Donald said is also logical).
I guess I will start by asking Donald. I'll keep you posted.
that ruling applied to all GNU packages
Whatever the rule is certainly applies to all GNU packages.
Donald wasn't describing a special case for GDB.