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Re: A radical approach to rewriting the DFSG

On Mon, 31 May 2004 01:04:36 -0400 Glenn Maynard wrote:

> 2. Source code
>   "The source for a work is a machine-readable form that is
>   appropriate for modifying the work or inspecting its structure and
>   inner workings."
> Is there a benefit to using a different definition than the GPL?

Personally, I don't think there is... I would prefer the definition of
source code adopted by the GPL: it's less vague.

> One case where this seems different is images.  For example, I have
> several PNGs, generated by Photoshop.  The PNG itself is appropriate
> for modifying the work, but it's not the preferred form for
> modification. Going by feel, it's not the source of the work at all.

I agree. The PNG format is not source, if it's generated from some other
format. It can be source, though, when editing is being performed
directly on it.
In other words, the most suitable definition of source code seems the
"preferred form for making modifications".

> This also reveals a case that hasn't been resolved: do we expect
> source for PNGs, when such a form exists?

I think we should.

> In practice, we don't,

Strange!  :-|

> and I tend to classify it as "that would be nice, but it's not a
> worthwhile battle".

Why? What if someone wants to modify those images?

> Another major case of this (and one which is less
> ambiguous) is fonts. It would be nice to find a consensus on these,
> rather than having a new set of guidelines that still doesn't address
> the issue.

I thought that DFSG#2 was already addressing the issue ("The program
must include source code").

> (I'll admit that "I don't want Debian to have to drop most of its
> high- quality fonts" is probably a major factor in my opinion on this,
> which sounds somewhat like "I don't want Debian to have to drop
> Netscape".)

Are there so many high-quality fonts with no actual source code in
More important: are there so few high-quality fonts with source
available in Debian?

             |  GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4 | You're compiling a program
  Francesco  |        Key fingerprint = | and, all of a sudden, boom!
     Poli    | C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12 |         -- from APT HOWTO,
             | 31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4 |             version 1.8.0

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