[tex-live] Bug#477060: [Barbara Beeton] texlive license

Barbara Beeton bnb at ams.org
Thu Apr 24 23:07:26 CEST 2008


    long ago...


     Barbara Beeton <bnb at ams.org> wrote:
    > On Sat, 18 Aug 2007, Karl Berry wrote:
    >     [...]
    >     I asked Barbara Beeton at the AMS about taking care of the pcatcode
    >     madness, in hopes we can get a free version shortly.  I'm sure they
    >     did not intend the current situation.
    > the rest of amsrefs will be modified similarly,
    > as will all ams-latex files, effective with
    > the next regular update, expected (probably)
    > sometime in 2008.

we are actively working on an update.
it has gotten as far as a complete list of
the open bug reports, and a good start on
verifying that appropriate test files exist
for all of them.  but that's far from the
end result, which i'm sure won't be finished
before this year's tex live is frozen.

    There is also the other issue of the unclear license state of
    amslatex[1].  Can you already tell us whether this will be sorted out in
    time for the 2008 update?  

unfortunately, not.  however, changing the
license to be explicitly lppl is on the list
of things that must be done.  (since this
isn't "technical", it can be done relatively
simply, since it won't require testing.  whew!)

    Im asking in particular because the policy of our Debian release team
    makes me a bit nervous: They happily accept packages with yet-to-clarify
    licenses if the upstream maintainer has agreed to clear things up, and
    they already did this when we released "Debian etch 4.0" in
    2006. However, they except that things should be sorted out in the time
    it takes Debian to prepare a new release. These two years are now nearly
    over, and well, I fear they might not allow us to include amslatex in
    our TeXLive Debian packages - which would be extremely regretful.

that would make us rather unhappy as well, but
if it happens, it can't be helped.  our staff is
just too small and too overwhelmed with production
deadlines to be able to devote the time solely to
getting the new release of ams-latex ready.

    I would be glad if you could give us some information what your plans

our hope is that, barring disasters, the update
of ams-latex -- all of it -- will be ready by
the end of the calendar year.  (but unfortunately,
we must allow for disasters; this past year has
been spent migrating book and journal production
from vms to unix, involving retraining of the
entire editorial and production staff.  we still
have the most troublesome publications -- those
still in plain tex, with such delights as data
files shared between multiple publications with
different formatting requirements -- under vms,
and setting up the very different infrastructure
for unix processing hasn't yet begun.)

    [1] as we discussed earlier, the main license text has ambiguous wording
    regarding modifications, and there are a couple of files under unclear

yes.  we intend that all of this will be cleared
up in the next release.  the original intent of
the current wording was to emulate knuth's
intentions regarding tex itself; the request for
files to be renamed if changes are made is to
ensure that our own production is not skewered
by well-intentioned but unannounced modifications
that prevent an allegedly "compliant" file from
processing properly when it is received here for
production and publication.  (we have enough
problems with authors using antiquated versions
that were once valid, but have long since been
superseded by improved code.)

i will try to keep the tex live group informed of
our progress; i'm in pretty regular communication
with karl about this and other matters.  please
wish us smooth sailing.

Barbara Beeton
Technical Support
American Mathematical Society
Phone: 800-321-4AMS (321-4267) or 401-455-4080
Internet: tech-support at ams.org

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