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Re: User's thoughts about LPPL

Glenn Maynard said:

> If the core can be changed in any way without changing it directly,
> then you can break output exactly as well by this mechanism as you
> could by editing it directly.

So what...?
> If so, then there's no point in forcing people to use it; they can break
> stuff anyway.

Yes of course. If someone uses \usepackage{nonsense} in the
document where nonsense is a package breaking latex, the document
won't work (never). I don't see your point.

> If not, then there are apparently things you can't do with this mechanism.

Thanks for saying "apparently" :-). We are repeating and repeating
again than you can rewrite latex in full, if you want.

>> Definitely right, and as you can see LaTeX already provides
>> a mechanism for that (which could explain why LaTeX is still
>> alive after 20 years). The lppl ensures that this mechanism is
> I can modify gcc, remove short-circuit evaluation, and distribute it,
> breaking almost every C program in use.

And you can write a package doing that. Except for the fact
that you cannot change the behaviour of "your" C compiler
from within a C "document" (ie, a C program), while you may
fix the wrong behavior of LaTeX with your own package or
even from within the latex document.

> Yet, C has been around for 30 years, without any of these restrictions,
> without falling apart.

So what...? Did I say a single word saying that LPPL is
good for C and, say, GPL is wrong? What I'm saying is that LaTeX
is not C and therefore the licence could have some differences.
If C and LaTeX are so long-lived depends on lots of factors,
but the right license (or standardization) might be one of them.
(BTW, except for TeX itself, the tetex code is distributed under
GPL and i think that's fine.)

> You're saying that if I edit the core directly instead of using the
> mechanisms you mention, free distribution of documents is no longer
> possible, and Latex will suddenly have severe restrictions?

Nope. The _distribution_ of LaTeX documents and the LaTeX
documents, _not_ LaTeX itself.

> Of course, if I distribute my broken copy of Latex and call it Latex, it
> might cause some grief, since people who think they're getting Latex are
> getting something else.

I repeat what I said a few messages ago -- the problem is not
redistributing LaTeX but distributing documents created using a
modified latex. I'm going to remember it:

>> 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?

Packages and lppl provide freedom for both modifying latex and
distributing documents that work from the USA to India or
Iran or Australia or Russia or... Otherwise, documents will be
condemned to personal use only.


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