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Re: JPL Planetary Ephemeris DE405

On Thu, 01 Mar 2018 11:29:03 +0100 Ole Streicher wrote:

> Ben Finney <bignose@debian.org> writes:
> >> for example, there is no "source code" for DE405. There is just no
> >> "preferred way to edit" for such a database -- these database are
> >> created from observation and not thought to be edited by hand.
> >
> > The freedoms that the recipients are to be granted, to satisfy the DFSG,
> > are not limited by what the original distributors imagine.
> For (scientific) data, they can't:

I respectfully disagree.

> DFSG requires "source code".

This is true, but...

> To take
> its definition in the Linux Information Project (just my laziness; taken
> from Wikipedia):
> | Source code (...) is the version of software as it is originally
> | written (i.e., typed into a computer) by a human in plain text (i.e.,
> | human readable alphanumeric characters).

This is not a good definition of source code.
I wrote an
on this topic.

> Is it the preferred form of the work for making modifications (GPL def)?
> Clearly not. The preferred form would be to repeat the observations.

I don't agree: repeating the observations is the preferred *method*
(not *form of the work*) for *re-creating* the work from scratch.
On the other hand, *making modifications* to the work requires some
form of the work itself.
You have to imagine the desire to alter the data (even in ways that
make the data no longer be an accurate scientific representation of a
phenomenon) and ask yourself: which is the best form I would start
from, in order to make modifications?

I think this is much like digital photographs.
A digital photograph represents a scene with objects and/or living
But you can modify it to create an image that no longer represents a
real scene (think about special effects in movies).
See the last FAQ in my above-mentioned essay...

 There's not a second to spare! To the laboratory!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82  3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE

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