Re: TeX Licenses & teTeX (Was: Re: forwarded message from Jeff Licquia)
Thomas Bushnell, BSG writes:
> Frank Mittelbach <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> > I'm talking of requiring that the work identifies itself by name via
> > interface to other works (something that could be checked by a
> > computer)
> What I want to highlight is how radically different this is from what
> TeX actually requires.
not at all, but I'm if i'm trying to explain that once more to you, you are
probably telling me again that you have far more experience than I concerning
TeX and LaTeX.
> You can't change tex.web, but you can do *anything* you like to it, as
> long as you do so via patch files. And in Knuth's wacked out language
> (WEB), he even has a decent automatic patch file mechanism *built in*
> to facilitate this.
absolutely not, you can not *anything* you like if you want to call it TeX
afterwards. you can only patch it in those areas that Don forsaw as needing
patches to be usable under different OS's. You are in particular not allowed
to add features to the program or change the behaviour of the language it
implements otherwise. Even in that article he talks about behaving 100%
> I know of *NO* TeX installation which does not require some patching.
> Every single one requires some. Some do very radical transforations
> of tex.web (web2c, for example). The file is radically changed,
> massaged, warped, and the result is then called "TeX".
but not its implemented language, that is exactly the same
> That's because
> the trademark on the word "TeX" comes with a license that says "you
> can call this TeX if you really--honestly--are happy with it as TeX,
> and if it passes the trip test."
you forgot to add that Don explicitly also said and not adds additional
> There is certainly no rule that only unmodified TeX can be called TeX,
> since, in fact, *NOBODY* uses an unmodified TeX. Everyone, in fact,
> uses the deliberately-built-in WEB patch mechanism, or an equivalent.
> It was just this situation with TeX that was a factor in the wording
> of DFSG-4.
> Now the situation with the LPPL is *very* different. Unlike TeX, you
> can modify the files as much as you want, but also unlike TeX, you
> must rename the filenames--something TeX never requires.
TeX as a system requires that at the same level as LaTeX requires it, eg for
plain.tex or for the fonts. By the way LaTeX also has a patch mechanism for
its system dependent parts where you can and have to patch it without the need
to call it something else if you want to use LaTeX on a Mac compared to LaTeX
on a PC or on MVS ... same thing exactly only smaller in scale because most of
the system dependent parts are already taken care of by patching TeX. And just
like with TeX the allowed patches that go into that part are limited.
The patches done by web2c aren't at all "radical" as you claim, those by John
Plaice are than that is why he calls the result not TeX but Omega, or those by
Peter Breitenlohner are and this is why his work is called eTeX even though it
actually is a fully upward compatible to TeX (ie only adds features)