Copyright zzzz

Lars Hellström
Tue, 2 Feb 1999 17:30:01 +0100 (MET)

Alan wrote:
>At the moment the fontinst software is distributed under a copyright
>notice, but no real distribution agreement.  (With the prodding of
>Sebastian) I'd like to move over to the LaTeX license, i.e. open source,
>but with the proviso that any changes in the source must be matched by a
>change in the name of the software.  So people can distribute a
>`myfontinst' all they like, just not under the name `fontinst'.
>Any thoughts on this?  In particular from the people who've contributed
>code/documentation over the years?

I have no objections (although I haven't formally contributed anything yet,
so I suppose any objections of mine wouldn't have been worth much anyway).

Ulrik wrote:
>Lars Hellström seems to have been working on quite a few patches and/or
>improvements, but was reluctant to take over maintenance and put out
>a new release himself.  So, what shall we do about it?

To clarify things: My reluctance is towards a complete maintenance
responsibility (since that would mean I have to figure out what the
!@%&#!@# the !@%*&#!@# \latinfamily !@%&#!@# command #!@#!@%& does and also
fix the !@%&#!@#  thing from time to time). I would rather prefer to share
it with a few other people.

I have been working on a new version during the last month but I have a few
other things to take care of first, so it will probably take another month
at least before I am finished. Furthermore, what I have been making changes
in is fontinst.dtx itself, so someone should try to do something about some
of the other files as well (perhaps mainly the manual).

What would, to me, seem like a reasonable idea is to do the following:
Create a new directory in the CTAN/.../fontinst; call it "new", "beta",
"prerelease", or something like that. In this directory we (the fontinst
manitainers community) construct the new hierarchy of files that will
constitute the next fontinst release, uploading the individual files as
they are completed.  Then when we decide the new release is completed, we
let it replace the current one (and then probably start all over again, as
soon as someone gets an idea for an additional improvement).

I do not know whether the organisatorial structure of the CTAN archive
would allow such a construction, but it would have a number of advantages.
Firstly, new features (such as using AFMs with real dimensions, which will
be included in the version I am working on) can quickly become available to
the more advanced fontinst users that can figure out how to use it without
an explicit manual (perhaps this one doesn't require any manual, but other
new features do). Secondly, this means that there will be some beta-testing
of fontinst going on, with all the usual advantages of that. Finally, all
this is achieved without making the previous well-documented (at least as
of v1.8, and hopefully in the future too) and well-tested version
unavailable to new users that would really need an easy start.

Any opinions on that?

There is, by the way, another thing I've meant to write and ask about. Is
there any convention regarding the exact meanings of the words "version"
and "release"? What made me worder is that the v1.8 fontinst.dtx contains
the two sections

       About this version of \texttt{fontinst}
       About this \texttt{fontinst} release

which to me seem to have exactly the same meaning! I've been considering
the possibility that a version change constitues a minor update (say, in
units of 0.001) while a new release constitutes a major ditto (say, in
units of 0.1), but as the respective contents of the two sections didn't
seem to provide much support to that hypothesis, I though I'd better ask
(which I have now done).

Lars Hellström