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Re: User's thoughts about LPPL

> I think you are mistaken. You are assuming that the engine used to process
> those macros will also not be changed; it would be quite possible to change
> LaTeX in such a way that it produced identical output from all valid LaTeX
> input whilst adding other functionality, if you modified it to use
> <some-modified-thing-that's-no-longer-quite-TeX> "under the hood".
> Why should this not be allowed?

it is allowed.
pdftex for example produces different output from the same input.
you could use the command "latex" for that as it doesn't involve any
changes in LPPL'ed code, although tetex calls the command pdflatex
as a user convenience so they can easily get access to both forms.

omega on the other hand (unicode TeX) did make a few changes to latex
(I think in only a couple of lines) to use omega features. The omega
version of latex is called "lambda" rather than latex. Is that really
too much to ask? So the omega developers take latex and just change it
as they see fit, they are not restricted in any way the kind of chages
they make. The end user sees "lambda" which is almost exactly latex but
changed a bit and using a different engine underneath. I can't see how
anyone would benefit if this version was distributed as latex.

> If you are happy for people to take the code and do anything they like with
> it (bar distributing a functionally incompatible version described as
> "LaTeX"), then why not keep things simple and say so -- allow all kinds of
> modification and distribution in the license, but control a "LaTeX" trademark
> in such a way that no-one can distribute incompatible versions.

It is just about conceivable that the latex project could consider
registering "LaTeX" (although certain rubber based products might make
that difficult) but LPPL isn't just used for the core LaTeX: it has
turned out to be remarkably popular (and successful in its stated aims
of keeping LaTeX both Free and stable). 100's  of contributed
packages are now distributed under LPPL.

It is not reasonable that the author of a package such as
for example (which consists of exactly 4 TeX tokens) should be expected
to go to the trouble of trying to legally register that name.
the LPPL as it is currently drafted gives other users some assurance
that if their documents have
then their documents will behave as they expect (indenting the first
paragraph of sections) and not invoke some other completely different
code that someone thought was an "improvement".

> <stirring>
> If setting up a whole new body to perform this task is more than you are
> willing or able to undertake, then you might consider asking one of the
> existing similar bodies, such as the ASF or SPI to take on this role.
> </stirring>

The latex3 project does exist as some kind of entity (has web sites and
bank accounts etc) but as I say that isn't really any help in the
general case. Most GPL'ed code is not from FSF and similarly most
LPPL'ed code is not from the LaTeX3 project.


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