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Sender: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
From: Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 16:50:12 +0200
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At 12:15 +0200 2002/07/19, Frank Mittelbach wrote:

>Concern 1: requiring a change of filename in case of modification
>           in case of distribution
>Concern 2: the ability to make modification without filename changes
>           in case of private or "closed" use

To begin with, if the use is entirely private or "closed", copyright laws
probably do not apply, as no potential business concerns have been violated.

I think that, as a matter of normal programming practise, if a file is
merely fixed in minor ways which does not alter its intended function, then
one might want to keep its name, but if it is altered in major ways, then
it is prudent to change its name.

Now, if one alters a LaTeX file in minor ways, one may still want programs
to use this new file in lieu of the old one, but it would be prudent to
inform the users that a replacement has taken place.

Therefore I suggested that LaTeX switches to the use of "creator names"
that must be changed instead of the file name. Then one can use LaTeX
commands like \ExpectCreator, \RequireCreator, that could issue a warning
alternatively stop the execution (asking for continuation) if one gets a
file with the wrong creator.

>From: Mark Rafn <[log in to unmask]>
> In order to be free, it must allow exactly what LPPL seems designed to
> prevent.  A Debian user can take LaTeX, make it behave differently than
> the original, (including producing different output), and distribute the
> result.

I get the impression that the computing community is divided into factions
over what should be meant by the word "free": Some mean that the user
should be able to anything, others mean that also derivations should be
free (like GNU), and yet others that it one should tell if it's not the
original (like LaTeX).

And each faction wants to impose its concept onto others. It is probably
quite difficult to agree on a universal definition of what free means, as
most tend to agree that freedoms also have its limitations when others may
become hurt of a practise:

LaTeX wants to avoid people becoming hurt by compiling what seems to be a
normal output, but in reality is not.

  Hans Aberg