Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia
On Wed, Jul 17, 2002 at 02:24:16AM +0100, Timothy Murphy wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 16, 2002 at 01:51:05PM -0700, Walter Landry wrote:
> > > Could I distribute a modified version of Linux without Torvald's
> > > permission? I hope not.
> > Absolutely. Debian distributes modified kernels, and I know that we
> > didn't ask for permission from Linus or the thousands of other
> > copyright holders. In fact, some of the modifications were made
> > against the express wish of some of the copyright holders.
> That seems to me a very good reason for not using Debian kernels. In
> any case, does it matter what "modified kernels" Debian distributes?
> Surely anyone with a serious interest in Linux will get the latest
> kernel from www.kernel.org and compile that.
It seems to me that being able to distribute modified kernels is
an amazing reason for using Debian kernels. If you track the
linux-kernel mailing list; you will see an apalling disregard for
non-i386 architectures; which causes Linus's kernel to FAIL TO WORK.
Which is one of the reasons the non-i386 kernel maintainers have their
own trees; and why the Debian Project has its own modifications.
Now, I do not say that the LaTeX project has such a blatant
disregard for your users. In fact, it seems to me that the LaTeX
project's desire for conformity across all LaTeX installations is solely
based on consideration for users' needs. However, the Debian community
recognises that not all people are perfect, and that modifications may
have to be made. Since the Debian Project also treats its users as one
of our highest priorities, the Project would consider it a grave
decision (not to be done lightly) to break output compatibility and
interfaces with most other LaTeX installations in the world.
You must understand, though, for the benefit of our users, that
Debian must be able to reserve the right to change base files. If there
were a security exploit in LaTeX, we would consider it more important to
fix that problem; then to remain compatible with all other LaTeX
installations. Of course, a malicious document that could take over a
system through LaTeX when typeset would not work identically with the
Debian version, even though it would work for "official" installations;
but most users would see this as a feature, and not a bug.
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