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LATEX-L  July 2002

LATEX-L July 2002

Subject:

Re: Suggested changes to LPPL

From:

Frank Mittelbach <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 3 Jul 2002 19:24:24 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (107 lines)

Claire,

there seems to be some unfortunate misunderstanding, so let me clarify (as
best as I can

 > "FM" == Frank Mittelbach <[log in to unmask]>
 >
 >
 >     FM> I'm happy if somebody takes up the torch and gets (a
 >     FM> variant of) LPPL approved by any such body. We tried in
 >     FM> 2000 and the results where so frustrating and (in my
 >     FM> personal opinion) unprofessional that I'm not willing to
 >     FM> get personally involved into it again, at least not
 >     FM> initially.
 >
 > I'm not sure which effort Frank is referring to.  I'm aware of
 > two, one of which involved a discussion with someone at
 > ``freesoftware.org'', which is a company that sells packaged free
 > software and has nothing to do with the free-software or
 > open-source movements.  That discussion apparently degenerated
 > into a flamewar between RMS and the people running
 > ``freesoftware.org'' and thus led nowhere for the LPPL.
 >
 > There was another attempt made by Russell Nelson from crynwr.com,
 > on the Open Source Initiative's [1] license-discuss list.
 > (Archived at [2].)

those two are the same, Robin must have a slip of mind when he referred to
freesoftware.org (or else there was somebody involved through OSI who is
associated with that freesoftware.org and he and RMS got into that fight, I
don#t know), the above discussion including that less than funny flame
war was between happening when we submitted the license to OSI. The fact that
the objections (you noted) where never properly discussed or communicated (as
i said the link you gave which i cited in my last mail was not known to me
until recently) and the fact that they spend so little effort in even forming
an opinion, is what I referred to as not very professional, or perhaps simply biased?

 > That discussion included objections to the distribution
 > restrictions (as I have noted), and some quibbles about wording
 > and punctuation, but little more.  There was no participation in
 > the discussion by anyone from the LaTeX Project, and the
 > discussion died out after concluding that the LPPL had problems.

there was, as some of it was past back to us. but the discussion that happen
back then was in email and it in fact died out in that flame war, because
though formally submitted, nobody seemed to be prepared to argue the case, or
as Robin did put it in that email to you:

   which was, that they ignored the application for about 4 months, and
   then in response to my final prod said within 12 hours that they
   couldn't possibly accept the lppl.  there was a long subsequent
   argument, which frank brought rms into at some stage, but i have to
   say that i gained nothing from it.  (and once it had converted itself
   to rms vs. freesoftware.org over virus licensing, i posted to the
   argument saying it was all very nice but they weren't addressing the
   original question, and they said "oops, didn't realise you lot were
   still here" and stopped cc-ing us.)

and that's it in a nutshell. and after that our conclusion was "forget it".

 > If you want to get the license approved, or at least ensure that
 > it says what you want it to say and that you can justify
 > everything in it,

woah. indeed good advice :-) I would have thought that was exactly what we
were and what we tried to do

 > then someone (or several someones) from the
 > Project are going to need to champion it against critics.  I

again that was what we did or tried to

 > recommend debian-legal, as I believe that if the folks there are
 > happy, the license would sail through the OSI approval process.
 > You might prefer dealing with OSI directly.

No I'm not prefer dealing with OSI again (which concludes the circle and
hopefully explains "what I was referring to above) I may get persuaded though
(at least if helped along) to retry once more.

 > But someone is going to need to take the time to have the
 > discussion in public, with people who don't completely understand
 > the intent of the license and will poke and prod at it to expose
 > its weaknesses.  No matter what the outcome, hearing what other
 > people think the license means based on its text should help you
 > come up with a stronger, more coherent statement.

sure, which is why I was trying to discuss the "improvements" openly here
(while it is in an unsettled shape)

 > I strongly recommend reading
 >
 >    1. The Open Source Definition (based on the Debian Free
 >       Software Guidelines)
 >       <http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php>
 >
 >    2. The Debian Free Software Guidelines
 >       <http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines>
 >
 > To get an idea of what people are likely to criticize and why.

well, i have read them and I have read them in the past. if there is anybody
around who can point out any part of LPPL (1.2 or better 1.3-draft) that
conflicts with either set of guidelines, please give me a hint. I don't see
any.

frank

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