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Re: Overinterpretation of DFSG? QR code for receiving donation is non-free???

Didier 'OdyX' Raboud <odyx@debian.org> writes:

> Yet one is a string, and the other one an image. If you edit the string
> before turning it into a QR code, you get a valid QR code (maybe
> encoding a broken, or misleading URL, but still valid QR code). If you
> edit the QR code directly, you _can_ get a valid QR code, but chances
> are that you are not getting what you want. We have a direct "string
> representation" → "binary artifact", quite like in compilation.

Putting aside the issue of the embedded graphic, which is a separate
matter, this doesn't sound right to me.  Surely the QR code is an
encoding of a string?  If one can do a round-trip conversion into your
preferred format without loss, I'm having a hard time seeing how this is
not a preferred form of modification.

In other words, to me this feels like claiming that ISO 8859-1 text files
are not in the preferred form of modification because they're not Unicode.
You can convert them to Unicode trivially and without information loss, so
this doesn't feel like a distinction we should be drawing.

> That said. We don't _have_ to ship these in source or binary packages,
> and therefore getaway without re-building these. But if we are to ship
> them, building them at build-time from their source strings is a really
> modest price to pay; for the sake of "actually building binary artifacts
> from source".

If you apply this same rule to character sets or encodings (test files in
base64, for instance), I think it looks obviously silly, and I'm not sure
why this case would be any different.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)              <https://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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