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Re: Let's stop feeding the NVidia cuckoo

On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 17:43:23 -0800 Josh Triplett wrote:

> "acceptable form for modification" will get you in even worse trouble
> than "(author's) preferred form for modification".  The former is a
> subjective criteria, and could raise issues with any code that someone
> claims is difficult to maintain (due to lack of documentation, poor
> programming practices, obscure language, any arbitrary criteria you
> might think of for unmaintainability).

Without taking into account that a binary executable could be claimed to
be an "acceptable form for modification" (while of course, it's
not the preferred one, in the vast majority of cases): warez doods
modify proprietary programs by disassembling and reassembling them or
even by using hexadecimal editors (in order to remove anti-copy or
use-limitation mechanisms)!

> The latter is an objective
> criteria, which will only ever trigger in cases of obfuscation and/or
> compilation.


> We do need some ability to determine if we have real source code
> available; "preferred form for modification" seems like a
> well-established definition, and far better than the alternatives.


> I don't think we'd be having this conversation if the code was truly
> obfuscated, in the sense of deleting all whitespace, using #defines to
> obscure code structure, changing all control structures to gotos, etc.
> The only reason we're hesitating is that we aren't 100% sure that the
> author hasn't just written the code this way because they have the
> documentation in front of them and it all makes perfect sense to them.
> I don't think intentionally obfuscated code passes the source code
> requirement of the DFSG any more than a compiled binary does; if it
> does, we have a problem.  Undocumented code, on the other hand, while
> rather annoying, is not an issue of freedom.

I entirely agree!

          Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
 Key fingerprint = C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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