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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 21 Jul 2002 09:54:34 +0200
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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Frank Mittelbach <[log in to unmask]>
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Thomas Bushnell, BSG writes:
 > >From tripman.tex:
 >   If somebody claims to have a correct implementation of \TeX, I will not
 >   believe it until I see that \.{TRIP.TEX} is translated properly.
 >   I propose, in fact, that a program must meet two criteria before it
 >   can justifiably be called \TeX: (1)~The person who wrote it must be
 >   happy with the way it works at his or her installation; and (2)~the
 >   program must produce the correct results from \.{TRIP.TEX}.
 >   \TeX\ is in the public domain, and its algorithms are published;
 >   I've done this since I do not want to discourage its use by placing
 >   proprietary restrictions on the software. However, I don't want
 >   faulty imitations to masquerade as \TeX\ processors, since users
 >   want \TeX\ to produce identical results on different machines.
 >   Hence I am planning to do whatever I can to suppress any systems that
 >   call themselves \TeX\ without meeting conditions (1) and~(2).
 >   I have copyrighted the programs so that I have some chance to forbid
 >   unauthorized copies; I explicitly authorize copying of correct
 >   \TeX\ implementations, and not of incorrect ones!
 > Sure sounds to me that if numbers (1) and (2) have been met, it can be
 > called TeX.

it does so.  i once made the remark that the way tripman alone is phrased I
can write a program that

 - reads in files (and ignores their content)
 - writes out two or three files by dumping the results expected by TRIP.TEX

then i only have to feel happy about it to be able to call it TeX. :-) in
other words you can always trip wordings (as several try to prove to me too)

Don has clarified the definition of what is TeX and what not on several
occasions. You may be right that it is not codified in a license (though the
text in the tripman isn't a license either)

 > The issue is not about bug fixes or extensions, but about whether
 > something is "faulty", and the test--as here carefully specified by
 > Knuth--is whether you are happy with how it works for you, and it must
 > produce the canonical output from the trip test.
 > Is there something that contradicts that?

i think so yes, for example, Don's home page
other may be able to refer you to more explicit quotes.