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Re: generated source files, GPL and DFSG

On Thu, Jul 21, 2005 at 11:24:15AM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> > Sometimes source just isn't enough to figure out how a program (or hardware)
> > works, lacking eg. hardware documentation; that's annoying, but it's still
> > source.  If I create a program with a hex editor, it's source, even if it
> > doesn't serve Free Software's goals so well.
> This appears to be argument by assertion. Let's try this again:

I'm asserting what source is, and pointing out that your definition is
wrong because it disagrees.  That's valid, like pointing to a black cat,
asserting "this is a cat", to show that a definition of "cat (n): four
legs and white fur" is wrong.  The definition follows from the meaning
of the word, not vice versa.

That assumes that we basically agree on what something's source is (just
as we probably agree on what a cat is), and are just trying to find criteria
describing what we already agree on.  We apparently don't.

The fact that you're saying things that amount to "that's not source, because
it doesn't help Free Software", however, makes me feel that that you're not
looking to find a definition for what we all know as "source", but rather to
redefine "source" for political reasons.

> If you define source as "the preferred form for modification", then
> http://cvs.freedesktop.org/xorg/xc/programs/Xserver/hw/xfree86/drivers/nv/nv_hw.c?rev=1.7&view=markup
> is not source. I, on the other hand, believe that it is an acceptable
> (though borderline) form of source. Do you believe that this file should
> be part of Debian?

Could you back up a bit, first, and explain to me why that is not the
preferred form for modification?  It certainly looks like it to me.

(Of course, I'd probably need register documentation to understand what
most of it does, but that doesn't make this any less the preferred form
for modification.)

Glenn Maynard

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