On Wed, 2015-09-02 at 08:59 -0400, Marvin Renich wrote: > * Thorsten Glaser <firstname.lastname@example.org> [150902 07:50]: > > There is (I just had an epiphany) another possible criterium to apply > > for to determine what the preferred form of modification is: > ^ for > [Okay, so I'm being pedantic, but this is a common mistake.] > > > Does upstream accept patches for that form? > > I thoroughly and whole-heartedly disagree with this criterion. As I > stated in an earlier message, the purpose of the source requirement in > the DFSG (and GPL, etc.) is not to protect the rights of the persons > distributing software, but those receiving the software. There is no > requirement that changes to the software be returned to upstream; such a > requirement would violate the dissident and desert island tests¹. > > The source requirement is so that the recipient can make changes if > desired, and if the changes are redistributed (not passed back to > upstream), the second-level recipient may also make changes. > > Any test of preferred form for modification must be in terms of how the > recipient is able to use it, not how the distributor would like it. My preferred form is a git repository of code written in C, Python, or some other language I know. That doesn't mean that a tarball of Haskell code is non-free! The preferred form for modification is generally whatever form an upstream developer will load into a text editor or other interactive editing tool. Still, I think there are some exceptions to this. I used to maintain the sfc driver in Linux, which has some C header files generated by script from Verilog or YAML files that aren't published. In case I received patches for these headers (usually spelling fixes) I would make the corresponding change to the unpublished file as well. I think that, given the choice, outside developers would still have preferred editing the C header files, so I was fairly comfortable with this. Ben. >  https://people.debian.org/~bap/dfsg-faq.html#testing > -- Ben Hutchings Horngren's Observation: Among economists, the real world is often a special case.
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