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Re: What is source?

On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 01:36:39 -0500 Paul Elliott wrote:

> "The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making 
> modifications to it."

That's basically the definition found in the GPL text.
And it's the most commonly accepted definition of source code,

Please see also the recent sub-thread that started with the following

> If the upstream has lost the .doc file that was originally used to produce 
> .html and .pdfs for some fortunately non-most-recent versions of a program,
> can I say that .html that does exist is preferred over .doc that does not 
> exist and that therefore the .html is now the source for those versions?

If the original source has really been lost, then I think that the
new source (= preferred form for modifications) should be searched for
among the currently existing forms.
Consequently, I would answer with "yes, you can"...

> A lot 
> of people still edit .html by hand. I have done it myself and there are tools 
> like emacs and bluefish to do it. htmldoc converts the .html file to .pdf 
> beautifully.

If this is currently happening to the specific document you are talking
about, then the source form for the current version of this document
is definitely HTML code, since it's being preferred over other forms,
when making modifications.

> But honestly I wish the upstream had not lost the .doc file......

I have many desires, as well...   ;-)

> I also wish it was .odt instead of .doc....

I can understand, even though I personally prefer other formats
(LaTeX, reStructuredText, ...)

> Another question, in the case where the upstream has not lost the .doc file, if 
> I convert it to docbook and begin editing it with a view to creating man and 
> info pages, does that make the docbook the new source?

I think that, in this case, you would have a modified version of the
document and the source for that version would definitely be the
DocBook form.

> Should both be included???

I don't think it would be necessary to include both.
Just the source for the version you distribute.

I hope this clarifies.

 New GnuPG key, see the transition document!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82  3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE

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