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Re: User's thoughts about LPPL

> I think Frank et al's concerns could be addressed fairly easily by
> requiring distributors of modified versions of the entire LaTeX suite
> to document the changes and include the location of that documentation
> in the diagnostic output of latex, and requiring distributors of
> modified versions of separately-distributed style/class files to do
> the same, with a waiver of the documentation requirement if the
> file/suite is renamed (thereby not misrepresenting the modified
> version as any longer being a substitute for the original).  This
> certainly would pass the DFSG and would clearly inform users of what
> sort of LaTeX they're getting.
> Then again, maybe I'm missing the point :-)

David Carlisle said:

> Yes I think so.

I think so, too. The problem is not the distribution itself
but the documents created using that distribution. If I get a
document by "John Smith" (somehow), how can I see if _his_
system had a modified latex?

> LaTeX has the extra constraint that unlike a compiled program
> the full source of latex is visible to every latex document.

And modifiable from every latex document. I would like to
note that the behaviour of latex can be changed **freely**
from within a document without even touching the latex
files, by means of an extension mechanism named "packages"
(amongst others). All macros defined in latex (ie, the
whole latex program) are public and can be redefined
without any restrictions by these packages. To put it
in other words, with lppl you can rewrite latex in full
(even for a single document and from within the document!).

Walter Landry said:

> Here is a hypothetical.  Let's say that someone wants to add support for
> Klingon into Latex.  So they hack something together which, by necessity,
> changes a few standard files, and it works for them without breaking anything
> else.  You reject the patch because it isn't really a good i18n solution, it
> only works for Klingon.  You also think that Klingon is a silly thing to add
> support for, so you'll probably never add it in.  However, for the people
> interested in writing Klingon (e.g. Hollywood screen writers and trek fan
> fiction writers), this is a good solution.  In this case, you are preventing
> people from having seamless support for Klingon.

This is a really good argument *in favour* of LPPL! If someone
adds support for Klingon by modifying the LaTeX kernel, the
resulting documents will have a restricted distribution
because they won't compile correctly in other systems. This
is an _actual_ restriction. But if instead a package -- extending
and modifying latex as desired -- is created and called from
the document, it will complain about a required but missing
package and you will be able to locate and get the package,
and then typeset the document. Otherwise, you will be frustrated
because you could have a 'correct' document displaying nothing
without any explanation.

[A latex user who don't like some things of latex and who
changes it *freely* by means of packages.]

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