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Re: transformations of 'source code'

On Fri, Mar 07, 2003 at 05:36:57PM -0500, Joe Moore wrote:
> Nick Phillips said:
> > I don't think that losslessness is the right criterion, rather something
> > connected to the meaning of the source and the achievability of the
> > source's object.
> Can have useful source recovered from it, in a form that is <something>
> for modification?
> I can't think of the <something> to put there.  It's not preferable, it's
> not easy, it's not acceptable... Any thoughts?

Are you thinking of "suitable"?

But the GNU GPL's definition of source code is more than that; it's not
just a "suitable" form for modification, it's the "preferred" form for
modification.  I think we should preserve that.

> This requirement, while totally inadequate from a legal perspective, also
> explains the foreign language:  Speakers of the foreign language get
> useful source from the transformations, and a second translation can get
> useful source back into the original language.

I don't agree with this analysis at all.  Translations from one natural
language to another are very lossy things.  Ever read Shakespeare
without using the footnotes?  How about Chaucer?  Magnify that problem
by ten.

G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |       kernel panic -- causal failure
branden@debian.org                 |       universe will now reboot
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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