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Re: generated source files, GPL and DFSG

(CC's trimmed.)

On Sat, Jul 23, 2005 at 09:21:04AM +0200, Andreas Barth wrote:
> > It's clear from the context (and previous discussion) that this has to
> > be interpreted as "software".
> I disagree with that. As there were "editorial changes" that had as
> declared goal to replace any such places with the "real meaning", and
> this was not touched, it has to be obviously interpreted as program.

If you really want to deal in unconvincing semantic arguments, consider
that the clause says "the program", which indicates that it's assuming
the whole of the DFSG is only being applied to "programs".  Since
GR2004-003 established that the DFSG applies to everything in Debian,
"program" can only consistently be interpreted here as "everything in

But since semantic arguments are boring and unconvincing, let's stick to
real ones, like "we should require source for fonts because source for
fonts is useful in the same way that source for applications is useful"
vs. "it may be useful, but Debian has its hands full requiring source for
applications, and source for fonts isn't worth the fight".  Only real
arguments can actually advance the discussion in any meaningful way.

(Note that I've yet to form an opinion either way on the "source for
images and fonts" debate beyond "it's nice to have"; I'm just offering
an argument on each side that I've heard and thought about on the topic
in the past.)

> And even if it has to be interpreted that way, the social contract
> speaks of works, which is more than only software (i.e. there are
> non-software works in Debian).

Many of the flamewars leading up to GR2004-003 were around the argument
that software is everything in a computer that isn't hardware, there are
no non-software works in Debian and so everything in Debian is subject
to the DFSG.  This is also a boring semantic argument, of course--there
are certainly better ones--but you seem to be unaware of it.

Glenn Maynard

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