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Re: GPLed software with no true source. Was: Bug#402650: ITP:mozilla-foxyproxy

Ben Finney wrote:

> "Kevin B. McCarty" <kmccarty@Princeton.EDU> writes:

>> personally (IANAL) I'd consider whitespace stripping to be a
>> non-issue.  After a change that is trivial for any downstream
>> recipient of the code to make (running the afore-mentioned
>> "indent"), the whitespace-stripped code is transformed into a
>> Javascript file that is functionally identical to the original even
>> if not bit-for-bit identical.
> Careful with this. "functionally identical" is not what is needed; we
> need the work *in the form that's preferred for modification*,
> including all comments and other human-to-human communication. The
> entire point of getting the source code is that it's what the *human*
> needs as a programmer, not that it's "functionally identical" to the
> original program.

Yes, I should have been clearer.  By functionally identical, I meant
from the point of view of a person as well as of a machine.  I
completely agree with you that stripping comments is evil.  Likewise for
obfuscating variable names, removing whitespace that can't trivially be
put back, etc.

best regards,

Kevin B. McCarty <kmccarty@princeton.edu>   Physics Department
WWW: http://www.princeton.edu/~kmccarty/    Princeton University
GPG: public key ID 4F83C751                 Princeton, NJ 08544

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