Re: Towards a new LPPL draft
Jeff Licquia writes:
> If each piece of the work had to be downloaded separately, then this
> would be a valid way of thinking. When the LaTeX Project collects a
> bunch of these separate works and combines them into "LaTeX", though,
> they create a derived work, with its own licensing requirements.
well, but that is how the situation is, isn't it?
The LaTeX Project is not collecting a bunch of seperate works and combines
them into LaTeX. It only provides 3 or 4 core parts of what is known to be
LaTeX as well as providing a license (LPPL) which helps to keep that thing
"LaTeX" uniform between different installations.
I mean I know that tetex (as a debian package) has done the downloading of
individual LaTeX-macro works of many individual authors combined it with the
scripts by Thomas Esser and with a web2c implementation of TeX and a few other
As a whole (the packaging etc) tetex may have its own copyright and license,
but that doesn't mean that the indivdual works it combines lose their license
just because somebody puts them together. This is why we thought it to be a
bad joke on this list when people claimed they not use TeX but tetex which is
"free and under GPL". its organisation might be under GPL, the scripts may be
under GPL, etc., but TeX the program within tetex and the 72 Computer Modern
fonts within tetex are under Knuth's license and the 500 latex packages inside
tetex are under LPPL or some other license (which is why there is the vague
reference that individual parts may have different copyrights and licenses
inside, which most people here like to ignore or overlook).
> The license already allows sub-works within LaTeX to have additional
> modification requirements beyond the LPPL. If you thought that some of
> the sub-authors would disagree with relaxing the file naming requirement
> when changing the name of the work from "LaTeX", you could allow them to
> add that restriction to their file(s).
What i was pointing out in my second reply to Brian is this: suppose you would
only want to modify the work overcite.sty which consists of single file, or
the work geometry which consists of geometry.sty + .dtx + a number of test
files and manual then to be able to modify that without renaming you would
need to build a "nonLaTeX" format with its own tree and place it in that
tree. Now that "nonLaTeX" format wouldn't work at all unless you also copy a
good proportion of the standard latex tree (couple of 1000 files if you
include the fonts etc) into the new tree as well. That is certainly possible
but i think it is far more painful than
providing a nonLaTeX format with filename remapping and put
overcite.fst and geometry.fst into the main tree
thereby having LaTeX use the main tree (ignoring those two new files)
and nonLaTeX using the main tree and loading overcite.fst when overcite.sty
would by loaded by LaTeX and the same for geometry.
> > If you think of LPPL applying to the whole of a LaTeX sty/cls tree of files
> > at once, we could, i think
> > live with the idea (it is even described so in modguide or cfgguide as a
> > possible though not encouraged
> > solution (thereby actually violating the license as it is right now)), that
> > you produce sniffenlatex
> > which has its own complete tree and in there has identical file names to the
> > pristine LaTeX tree so
> > that both trees live side by side.
> >From the objections I have seen in trying to wrap up this thread, this
> is likely to be an important point. I would strongly advise making this
> concession if you can.
as I exlained above I don't think it is a practical solution for what you want
and far more painful than anything else (for you) unless as a result of this
you start to only distribute nonLaTeX --- and if that is the intention behind
it then all the arguments "we really don't want do this, we only want the
right to be able to do something if necessary" are simply off because then you
are essentially starting to produce a new nearly-latex distribution so that
the exchangability of documents would after a short period be in real danger
> Would it work for you to require the following?
> - if the whole is named "LaTeX", every changed file must be renamed
> - if the whole is named something else, files may be changed without
> (We would need to come up with a suitable definition for "naming", of
if there is provision that a pristine LaTeX is distributed as well so that the
user has the choice, probably, otherwise I think not.
i'm also very interested to hear any comments on
because that may be a different way to come together.
but i really think that the best way in practical terms of the pain envolved
for people who want to do changes etc is the weak form of filerename, so I
hope that gets a bit further discussed between you.
by the way, there was a concern that the global filename remapping feature
could be lost or taken out of LaTeX: the simple answer is "it can't because
that is something provided by the underlying virtual machine and if the
license is redrafted suitably (as intended by Jeff who offered to help us here)
it would be a prerequisite to have LPPL apply in the first place.
Personally I think also we could go one step further (though others my call me
back): already provide two formats
- pristine latex
- nonportable-latex (for the lack of a better name, for them moment)
where nonportable-latex is a latex-variant format that contains the
fileremapping feature builtin. Then then for each file type in pristine LaTeX
there would be a "shadow" file type that could be used to modify things to
your hearts wishes as long as you use the nonpartable-latex. if properly
it could be assured by LPPL that shadow files can't be restricted from
modifying in place. would that help?
I didn't intend to bring that up last time, but really, if you think that the
proposed conclusion by Jeff is violating DSFG then you have to be honnest
enough to through out the software by Knuth as well, eg top of cmr10.mf says
% THIS IS THE OFFICIAL COMPUTER MODERN SOURCE FILE cmr10.mf BY D E KNUTH.
% IT MUST NOT BE MODIFIED IN ANY WAY UNLESS THE FILE NAME IS CHANGED!
in some other thread I pointed out the copyright statements and the licensing
stuff (which turned out to be in the books by Don that contain the printed
version of TeX Metafont and the Computer Modern fonts)
Contrary to Walter's and some others believe it is not just a single binary
that is not allowed to have the name TeX when modified: it is a bunch of
essential files that form a tex system, without them you don't have something
that is able to process any documents.
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