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Preferred source: a fundamental question was Re: - #859130 ITP: lina

Gianfranco Costamagna schreef op 2017-06-29 20:32:

we want everything built from the "preferred source of modification".
So, if you develop your tool by changing assembly code this is completely

I do, but there is hitch.

Imagine a Russian scientist with an important FORTRAN package
meticulously documented in Russian because he really doesn't know
English. (If you think that unlikely make it a Chinese).
The preferred source of modification *for him* is this file.
He has made a tool to use "Google Translate" to make an English
version because without understanding the comment the value
is severely degraded.
This is of course in the spirit of open source, and it is the
"preferred source of modification" for the *target* audience.

This is  a far cry from a company that obfuscates its source by
replacing all identifiers by random names, a situation where this
rules is intended for.

Will Debian reject the English package?
Would Debian remove  it if only aftwerwards
it became clear that this is not the *prefered source*
for the *author*? After all he could have kept it a secret and
nobody would have known, and applauded his attempts at crappy english.

I ommited a small detail of my workflow.
I really program in assembler in the sense that a modification is a modification to an assembler instruction. Now, all assembler representations of a program are equivalent, but they differ greatly as a text, depending on the assembler tool used. E.g. a .s and an .nasm file are differing in virtually all lines, on account of the comment symbol alone. It is a pain in the ass to use an assembler you're not familiar with. What I do is I have an internal representation, that can be rendered as .s and as .nasm. 1] If I publish the program as open source in the context of Debian, I give out the .s file because I honestly believe that the "preferred source of modication" for a Debianist is the native gnu assembler format. I myself change the master file in order to be able to deliver a service to those who prefer nasm.

For those not versant with assembler. The binary that is generated is supposed to be byte for byte the same with both assemblers. If not it is a bug. The sources are equivalent, the binaries are the same, it really is the same program.

Note, that I could not have told that I use an internal representation and nobody could have guessed (nor benefited.)

So is the .s accepted as source conform Debian policies?


groetjes Albert

1] And more. But that doesn't make it fundamentally different.
Suffering is the prerogative of the strong, the weak -- perish.
Albert van der Horst

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