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Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia

* Boris Veytsman <borisv@lk.net> [020719 12:48]:
> > 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.
> 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.

Sorry. I think some context was lost. I talked about most people
in Debian. And as said before, if it is only clearly labeling that
should be no problem for most people. It think the problem is more

> So, you are defending abstract principles against a very unlikely
> danger. 

It's not an abstract danger, it is the state of the world with almost
anything. And most people in and around Debian see freedom of software 
as a very important thing due to their experiences, where it is lacking.

Giving up this principle here would be like demanding the right to
travel out the country but allowing a restriction to forbid travels
to Australia as one would not intend to go there personally.

> 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.

It think it is quite an big problem in this discusion, that many
people shouting loud, that had never to do with the other side.

And I can assure you, that I and any LaTeX-user I can think of in 
and around Debian sees a standard for LaTeX and interoparable 
installations everywhere as a very worthy goal.
But we can not tolerate means to reach this goal, that are
against our principles, against our ethics.
And as some means (at least) *sound* like extremly bad stuff, 
some people are shouting very loud. (And even some people without
experience in LaTeX, which makes the discusion tending to complete
confusion everywhere).

I think the whole problem would disappear immidiatly, if the licence
would allow and state this clear even to people not used to any form
of TeX, that - *within* restrictions to have a changed version be clearly
recognizeable for the user - anyone can change it in an arbitrary way
without crude hacks (Preload, modifing the loaded image in memory,...),
without having to change the files to be processed( i.e. without having
to change the .tex-Files to work with).

One way might be an restriction on the name of the called entry-point
binary (though this is a very strange thing, it is already accepted for
apache) or an duty to print pages of notifications to the output.

  Bernhard R. Link

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