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

Scripsit Frank Mittelbach <frank.mittelbach@latex-project.org>
> Henning,

> My intention is and was to point out that while it was several times
> expressed that the user is on your mind as well as the developer my
> impression is that it is heavily weighted towards the latter and in
> this particular case (in my opinion) partly sacrifying the former.

The fact is that we're most emphatically not out to sacrifice the
user. As the discussion clearly shows, we don't agree that the
advantage $A_{ou}$ that the ordinary user gets from certain of the
ways you attempt to protect him is significant enough to justify the
corresponding disadvantage $D_{\overline{ou}}$ so the non-ordinary
user [1]. But the core of the disagreement is about the size of
$A_{ou}$, not about how to weight the comparison between $A_{ou}$ and 

I don't think we'll manage to agree on the size of $A_{ou}$ by
beating that matter any further, and in any case it ought to be
possible to reach a workable compromise about the actual licensing
without agreeing on that size. So couldn't we just agree to disagree
about that matter and not make false inferences about  the other
party's morals based on the flawed assumption that we do agree about

[1] yes, a political choice of words: What you call a developer is to
    us just a user with very unusual needs. The developers who
    develops for development's sake (i.e. with the intention of
    producing something that other people find useful) are undoubtedly
    mostly happy with the renaming requirement.

>  > We don't think that using courts to force the
>  > second group to put the first group's needs before their own will
>  > actually improve the situation of the first group enough to justify
>  > the disadvantage that the second group will suffer.

> i don't really think it is the courts.

I think this has been in the thread before, but: From debian-legal's
point of view, licence texts are all about courts. When you write in a
licence that so-and-so is forbidden, the message is that you intend to
sue anybody who does it (to the extent that you learn of it at all).
If you just want to call them names, or alert the entire community to
the fact that These People Are Bad Guys, a legal document like a
copyright license is not the right place to do it.

> but be honnest. how many people do you think within Debian or some
> commercial TeX provider or ... would happly replace article.cls by
> something better (as it has its "bugs") and stick it into the texmf
> tree as a replacement if we only had some guideline document 
> saying please don't do that. On the other hand how many people would do it if
> the license says you are not allowed to?

This is the discussion I've just claimed I won't, go into, but just
for the record:

I think the number would be extremely small in both cases - assuming
that in the first case your license does legally prevent people who
"fix bugs" from claiming that what they're distributing is LaTeX. You
guys are doing quite an effective job of propagandizing for the
intrinsic value of stability - so even users who never read licenses
will generally be wary of downloading and using something that is
advertized as "not quite LaTeX". If somebody had little enough of a
clue to nevertheless put together such a not-quite-LaTeX distribution,
then (even if we stipulate the improbable fact that they succeeded
in putting together something that anyone would want to use rather
than a distribution built by people with clues) they would get such
large amounts of bad press that only the most determined of their
users could remain ignorant of the problems for long.

> or alternatively providing article.fcl  ---- remember i offered to have LaTeX
> come already with a second format that contains the remapping feature.

Personally I have already declared myself happy with that.

I would be more happy if the remapping could be part of the source for
the standard format (but not enabled there, of course), such that we
wouldn't have to distribute a 'latex-free' for the diehards who want
absolute freedom of everything they use, and a 'tetex' in non-free
that contains the pristine LaTeX that sane people wants to use.

[This is somewhat academic, however - it assumes that the eventual
consensus on the list is that exactly a kernel-level remapping feature
is the minimal requirement for DFSG-freedom. While that is certainly
a possible outcome - e.g. it is the reasoning that matches the FSF's
stance on the matter - I do not think it is very likely. Either we
will eventually find that the ability to put a softlink or a trivial
redirection file is enough, or the faction that will not tolerate any
kind of name changes will win].

> but people strongly trying to push that onto the level of Debian packaging
> (basically). I can understand that from the developers point of view but it
> doesn't haelp users from group 1  at all

Strangely enough, my impression was that it is the other way around. I
see the "ULL as a whole" viewpoint as one that concerns mostly the end
user (who has no reason to concern himself with the division of labor
among the people who wrote the software), whereas "lots of little
individual works" would be the natural viewpoint of a developer such
as you.

I think it is important that LaTeX be free from *either* of those two
viewpoints. The reason why we haven't talked much about the "little
individual works" viewpoint is that that it is adequately covered by
the license - renaming is not a problem when one adopts that
viewpoint, so we have nothing to disagree about there. Makes for dull

> I have however tried to find other ways to overcome the problems
> that some see in the filename restriction, eg

>  - the idea of full separate trees (unresolved yet)

Hm, do I understand you correctly here? I don't think we (i.e. Debian)
would have any problem with mandating fully separate directory trees
in the case of changes. However I had gotten the impression that *you*
didn't consider that a solution because of the (perceived or actual)
risk of contamination between the separate trees.

> ps i presume you are also on debian legal so that i don't need to cc you?


Henning Makholm                    "What the hedgehog sang is not evidence."

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