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Re: Bug#383481: Must source code be easy to understand to fall under DFSG?



On Wed, 1 Nov 2006 18:38:34 +0100 Arnoud Engelfriet wrote:

> md wrote:
> > On Oct 31, Francesco Poli <frx@firenze.linux.it> wrote:
> > > IMHO, DFSG#2 refers to source code, as is usually defined, that is
> > > to say, as in the GNU GPL v2.
> > No, it does not. As usual, you are just inventing new requirements
> > which are not specified by the DFSG.
> 
> Perhaps. But how can software be considered 'free' if no
> useful source code is available?
> 
> Obviously there's no single definition for all cases.

Well, I think the definition of source code found in the GNU GPL is
flexible enough to cover virtually all cases...

> I know people
> who enjoy programming in Postscript. They would consider the .ps
> file source.

By the "preferred form for modification" definition of source,
PostScript would indeed be the source form in such cases.

> But if I release a .ps file, it would be output from
> LaTeX and so it seems reasonable to insist that the software isn't
> free until the .tex file is available.

In cases where the PostScript file is generated from LaTeX code, the
latter is probably the source form (again by the "preferred form"
definition).
I say /probably/, because LaTeX code could be in its turn generated from
some other format (ReStructured Text comes to mind, for instance).  Or
sometimes someone could generate an initial PostScript version from
LaTeX code and then go on modifying PostScript code directly (with a
text editor): in that case, the PostScript file would be source.

> 
> Would you be happy if Debian main was filled with assembly listings?

I would certainly feel betrayed (except for those works that are
actually modified in assembly language, of course...).

-- 
But it is also tradition that times *must* and always
do change, my friend.   -- from _Coming to America_
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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