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Frank Mittelbach <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 20 Jan 2003 20:56:12 +0100
text/plain (77 lines)
David Kastrup writes:
 > The copyright notice reads something like
 > % \iffalse
 > %%
 > %% (C) Copyright 1999-2000 Frank Mittelbach, David Carlisle, Chris Rowley
 > %% All rights reserved.
 > %%
 > %% Not for general distribution. In its present form it is not allowed
 > %% to put this package onto CD or an archive without consulting the
 > %% the authors.
 > %%
 > I would want to use some of that stuff for basing custom styles off
 > it.
 > So if I want to make a customer solution (something that he can also
 > send authors for his journal), can I work stuff like that in or would
 > I need to start my own project?

something in between. The copyright is precisely there to prevent that.

And here is the reason: these are prototypes which mean we want to be free in
changing the interfaces, if necessary, even drastically. just take the
discussion on template.sty that happened in december on de.comp.text.tex after
which Thomas suggested to rewrite the interface not to use positional
arguments for templates but named ones.

if used in commercial custom systems people would insist to stay backward
compatible because they don't want to force their users to upgrade while stuff
is still under work. and at this stage we think this is not an option.

the situation with free package is slightly different, there most people do
get their upgrades simply through general distributions rather than obtaining
them from a publisher site. it still means that a package author who would
decide to use temple.sty, say, would need to be prepared at this stage to
follow the development of template.sty and upgrade his or her package if
necessary, but chances that users would have the right combination of
template.sty with package X are high as long both are distributed from CTAN
based distributions.

TeX is unfortunately filename based so in short we don't want to fix the
interface for something called template.sty (yet).

so we don't mind the use of the code as such, but the consequences that would
follow for certain type of usage.

one option would be to freeze a certain version and have it distributed
under a certain name, eg templat0.sty. one could then make such a version (or
more exactly its interface live much longer even if the mainstream proto-type
has developed further. of course introducing such versioned interfaces it will
become more difficult to get rid of them again in the end. however, the
problem here is likely to be less severe than the advantage of seeing a
certain version in real action and learn from it.

 > Thanks for any info about that.

so does this answer the question?

and to answer a possible follow-up question the only set of package that i
would consider ripe for a version 0 interface freezing are those in xbase, ie
basically template and xparse (template because i think it really is good and
xparse as it provides an nice conventional interface for commands, not because
i think it should be the final interface for commands necessarily)

opinions more than welcome


 > I also want to help improve on the work, but my mails according
 > to that effect to [log in to unmask] have mostly met
 > /dev/null up to now seemingly.

live is sometimes tough and unfair, but what sometimes looks like the round
basket might have other reasons including misunderstanding