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Re: Encoding the name in the file contents (was Re: Towards a new LPPL draft)

> Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 16:42:34 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Mark Rafn <dagon@dagon.net>

> No, it's true of C as well.  We wouldn't accept a Perl, for instance, that 
> forbade incompatible changes to the API, even if it allowed addition of 
> keywords.  It really is the case that we want to preserve the right to 
> make machine-indistinguishable subtly-incompatible changes.  We recommend 
> against it, but if someone can't do it, it's not free.

I think here is the difference between our goals.

Our community has the following model of evolution. Any change in the
language or API are allowed as long as the full backward compatibility
is preserved. By the full backward compatibility I mean the following:

    Any legacy document will always either produce 
    exactly same output on all systems or trigger an
    error message requesting installation                      (P)
    of additional components (and will compile after
    these components are installed) OR the system is not
    called LaTeX.

In our language this requirement is NOT as big burden as in other
languages because of the properties of the language.

You say that the property (P) makes the system non-free.  If this is
the opinion of debian-legal, I really do not see any benefit in the
discussion: LaTeX people will invent more and more subtle ways to
achieve (P) while Debian people will prove them to be non-free.  I
personally cannot spend my time in such amusing activity and hope
David and Frank would not waste theirs. As a LaTeX user I prefer them
to work on LaTeX3 to doing something patently fruitless.

We cannot let go of (P); this is our obligation to the community. If
you cannot accept it, we cannot do anything.

Jeff, is there any way to establish whether debian-legal *can* accept
a system with the property (P) before we invest any more effort into
this discussion?

Good luck


The secret of success is sincerity.  Once you can fake that, you've got
it made.
		-- Jean Giraudoux

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