* Bas Wijnen <firstname.lastname@example.org> [150902 17:36]:
> > On Wed, 2 Sep 2015 13:33:57 -0400 Marvin Renich <email@example.com> wrote:
> > > No, "A preferred form" is what upstream uses. The DFSG does not use
> > > the term "THE preferred form", and I believe that was wise.
> The DFSG doesn't define source at all. There seems to be consensus (you're the
> only one who doesn't seem to agree) that the definition from the GPL is a good
> one, and that does say "the".
Quoting from :
The process involves human judgement. The DFSG is an attempt to
articulate our criteria. But the DFSG is not a contract.
People keep trying to use "the preferred form for modification" as a
rule. This is wrong. The rest of the paragraph quoted above should
also be read.
I do strongly believe that "preferred form for modification" is a good
test to apply, but it is not an absolute. I also believe that sometimes
there is more than one form of source that can satisfy the DFSG. A
simple example is the .xcf/.png/.ico example I gave in a previous
message. This is why I disagree with using "THE" (implying only one)
instead of "A" (implying one of many).
> > > There can be multiple "preferred forms" for some software, and all are, in
> > > my opinion, acceptable by the DFSG. The real question is whether it is
> > > reasonable to expect someone who wishes to modify the software to consider
> > > the form "source".
> I disagree partly. It is possible to copy a generated file and use that as
> source. IMO that isn't the case until there have actually been made
> modifications to that file, though. If an upstream (which doesn't need to be
> the original upstream) actually uses a file to make modifications, an argument
> can be made that this format is source.
> At the same time, we should try to convince upstreams that do such a thing to
> stop it; it causes code duplication and a (security) support nightmare.
I'm not sure how that is relevant to what I said.
> "Someone might think they can make modifications to this file" is much too
> broad; for some modifications a hex editor is good enough. And in some cases
> that is totally reasonable, such as an executable for which you don't have
> source. That doesn't make binary exectutables source.
That is not at all what I said. To paraphrase, using a circular
definition, if I can _reasonably_ _expect_ most other people to agree
that it is source, then that is a very good indication that it is