Re: User's thoughts about LPPL
On Mon, 2002-07-22 at 11:05, Boris Veytsman wrote:
> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Thomas Bushnell, BSG)
> > Date: 22 Jul 2002 02:27:04 -0700
> > Perhaps latex is a miserably poor interchange format. Or perhaps
> > the language needed a clear standard and clear documentation. After
> > all, the way the world of C programmers solved this problem was by
> > careful standardization, not by insisting that there should be Only
> > One C Compiler.
> I am afraid you do not know about the recent history of gcc.
> When cygwin people split their branch from RMS, in couple years the
> situation became amusing. At some time I had to have three gcc
> compilers on my Linux box. One could compile the kernel and pretty
> much nothing else. Another compiled most of other programs but some
> fraction that was compiled by the third one. Of course even some code
> allowed compilation by all three, the executable would be different --
> but who cares?
We, as a project, understand this perhaps better than you do. We
currently ship three different C compilers for woody: 2.95 in most
cases, 2.96 for certain architectures, and 3.0 for one architecture
But the gcc people have different goals than the LaTeX Project, and such
a situation is acceptable for the short term.
> This situation was merely annoying. With LaTeX it would be
> disastrous. It would contradict our professed goals.
Would it really contradict your professed goals to have three
LaTeX-alike systems floating around, one named LaTeX, one named FooTeX,
and one named BarTeX?
Again: there is no dispute that you have a valid concern in the name.
> Again, we consider our goals to be compatible with the free software
> goals. If you do not agree with the way we are doing things, this is
> fine. But I think you owe us to understand what we are doing and why
> we are doing this before making a judgement.
If I were to accuse LaTeX of anything, it would be a sloppy attitude
towards legality in general. This isn't new; see the KDE mess of days
past for an even worse example.
We've gone over part of this, in that your license (as recently posted)
doesn't accurately reflect your real intentions, and it's my
understanding that this is being resolved. But this constant
backchannel about filenames and trademarks and so on is another.
It gets thrown around a lot in passing as a disclaimer, but there's
really good reason for the LaTeX Project to consult a lawyer about some
of this stuff. I understand that this costs money; OTOH, it seems to
some of us that you aren't clear on the legal ramifications of some of
the stuff you're doing, and a real legal opinion would do wonders to
clear a lot of that up.
(Not that Debian is trying to welsh out of helping you, of course. I'm
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