[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: LPPL, take 2

Branden Robinson writes:
 > On Mon, Apr 14, 2003 at 11:14:55PM +0200, Frank Mittelbach wrote:
 > > 5.  If you are not the Current Maintainer of The Work, you may modify
 > > your copy of The Work, thus creating a Derived Work based on The Work,
 > > as long as the following conditions are met:
 > Please make restrictions attach to distributions of modification, not
 > the act of modifying in and of itself.

we think it is neither of users nor of people actively supporting (read: user
support) and maintaining a large software system, that modification is done
without minimal preparation for a potential distribution (because accidental
distributions happen often enough and that puts the burden on the maintainers)
but we think it is okay to make this a recommendation rather than a license
requirement (as it is in the LPPL 1.2 version, e.g., there we had the

   A Recommendation on Modification Without Distribution

   It is wise never to modify a file of The Program, even for your own
   personal use, without also meeting the above eight conditions for
   distributing the modified file.  While you might intend that such
   modified files will never be distributed, often this will happen by
   accident -- you may forget that you have modified the file; or it may
   not occur to you when allowing others to access the modified file
   that you are thus distributing it and violating the conditions of
   this license.  It is usually in your best interest to keep your copy
   of The Program identical with the public one.  Many programs provide
   ways to control the behavior of that program without altering its
   licensed files.

 > (Yes, I bitch at the FSF regarding exactly the same point, so I'm not
 > singling you out. :) )

how comforting :-)

 > E.g.
 > 5.  If you are not the Current Maintainer of The Work, you may modify
 > your copy of The Work, thus creating a Derived Work based on The Work.
 > You may distribute your Derived Work to whomever you choose as long as
 > the following conditions are met:

as i said, ok though I would probably shorten the last sentense to simply

   You may distribute your Derived Work as long as the following conditions
   are met:


 > >   a. You must ensure that each modified file of the Derived Work is
 > >      clearly distinguished from the original file. This must be
 > >      achieved by causing each such modified file to carry prominent
 > >      notices detailing the nature of the changes,
 > Are you gravely opposed to external changelogs, as might be generated
 > by, say, cvs2cl -- even if those changelogs have to be distributed along
 > with the modified files of the Derived Work?

yes, we are. This is not how the LaTeX world works. The license is to support
the users, the authors, and the maintainers of the Work and Changelogs are
totally alien to LPPL type of software; there is no requirement to produce,
let alone distribute, them.  Very few users (authors or system maintainers)
would know how to look for one. Furthermore distributions are usually
splitting things up into runnable versions, often source and extra
documentation are quite difficult to find, other than documentation directly
in the files being used.

 > >   c. In every file of the Derived Work you must ensure that any
 > >      addresses for the reporting of errors do not refer to the Current
 > >      Maintainer's addresses in any way.
 > This is somewhat new ground for a DFSG-free license.  Is it *really*
 > that important?  

yes, we think it is. It is protecting the original author and/or maintainer
from receiving unnecessary misdirected (and that's the point) call for help
support on a product for which he made no offer to support. again this may be
a community difference, but in the TeX community people understand the
bug/support address as an offer for to give support for a particular file
(Work) in which it is found.

 > If so, I'd like to hear advocates of it explain why
 > it's more free than, say, a prohibition against the creator of a Derived
 > Work calling the Current Maintainer on the phone to ask for technical
 > support.

I don't see that one relates to the other.

 > Note that I'm not passionately opposed to 5c); 

I hope so; that becoming a stumbling block would be a shame.

 > I realize I'm a nitpicky guy, but overall I think the LaTeX and Debian
 > communities have worked together fantastically well on this issue and I'd
 > like to express my thanks to everyone who has participated.  I had some
 > pessimism about this subject a few months ago but that has almost
 > completely evaporated.  I especially appreciate the patience of Frank
 > Mittelbach and others from the LaTeX Project team.  I know this stuff is
 > tedious and not very fun.

perhaps I should frame that :-)

 > Debian doesn't sweat these details to be
 > sadistic.  We're just paranoid[1].  :)
 > [1] Well, I am, anyway.  I guess I can't necessarily speak for anyone
 > else.  :)

I can second that :-)

A big thanks should go to Jeff who was marvelous in bridging the gaps between
the different philosophies in the different communities.  I guess without him
and Henning I would have given up discussing it to the point where we are now.


Reply to: