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Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia

> Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 20:16:43 +0200
> From: "Bernhard R. Link" <blink@informatik.uni-freiburg.de>

> I think noone wants to change the (La)TeX-Kernel, noone want do make
> .tex-file iterchange impossible. We all want the LaTeX to be the
> usefull crossplattform tool that it is.
> But though we do not want to do it, we want to have the right to
> choose this ourselves. We do not want to depend on anyone to be
> able to bring our computers in workable state.
> It's about principles. We all judge it very unlikely that the LaTeX-
> developers will go nuts or a has-to-be-fixed-fast security update
> has to be done. (As I think it is very unlikely that police would
> suspect me for anything, but am against allowing them to tortue
> suspects)
> And it is this principle to demand software to be free is one
> of the foundations of Debian and it is an important point for
> many of the people I know. (Though I doubt any would stop using
> LaTeX)

The problem is, the first paragraph quoted above is not true. There
are precedents when people changed important parts of TeX and LaTeX
and distributed these changed files without clearly labeling them as
such. AFAIK, there were only good intentions on the part of the
perpetrators, but the damage was real. LPPL was crafted to prevent
these things to happen again.

So, you are defending abstract principles against a very unlikely
danger. LaTeX people see a real danger in changing their way. What is
a pure abstraction for you (most of the people on debian-legal
probably never used LaTeX in their everyday work) is an important
issue for them -- and for us, end users.

Good luck


Punning is the worst vice, and there's no vice versa.

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