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Re: Encoding the name in the file contents

Jeff Licquia <licquia@debian.org> wrote:
> On Wed, 2002-07-24 at 10:22, Mark Rafn wrote:
> > On 24 Jul 2002, Jeff Licquia wrote:
> > > How is it an API change to register the name of the work you belong to?
> > 
> > Perhaps I misunderstood, but it sounded like it would be required for a
> > modified work to identify itself as modified, so that documents can
> > determine if they're running on "real" latex.  This disallows preserving
> > the API exactly while changing the execution.
> No, no.  The *kernel* would do the recognition, not the documents.  It
> would have a list of "acceptable" values for that macro.
> Thus, "latex" would refuse to use any modules that didn't identify
> themselves as Standard LaTeX, while "debtex" would accept modules that
> identified themselves as "debTeX" or Standard LaTeX.
> A particular API may or may not work at any time due to other factors,
> but there's no reason why debTeX couldn't process any Standard LaTeX
> document, or why LaTeX couldn't process debTeX documents.

So let me get this straight.  Pristine LaTeX would have, within it, a
mechanism for checking whether a particular file is "blessed" by the
LaTeX project.  Ideally, it could check digital signatures.  md5sums
might be a simpler way to do it.  Anyone is allowed to remove or alter
this or any other feature, the only restriction being that you can't
call the "kernel" LaTeX anymore.

If this is what the proposal is, then it sounds perfectly DFSG free to
me.  It sounds like a bit of work for the LaTeX people to get the
verification stuff working, but nothing insurmountable.  md5sum is in
the public domain, so there are no licensing problems there.  It
sounds like a technical solution to a legal problem.

Walter Landry

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