Discussion:
Removal of British hyphenation patterns from TeX Live
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Mojca Miklavec
2018-11-01 12:10:49 UTC
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Dear Dominik,

According to Debian we will probably have to delete the British
hyphenation patterns from TeX Live unless the licence changes. See:
https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=912557

In general it is becoming increasingly problematic to use custom
(free-text) licences for each individual file. (It's problematic
enough to keep up distributions of millions of different files with
well-established licences, let alone having each individual lawyer
check whether the licence in file X is compatible with the licence in
file Y for N^2 combinations of those and ever increasing N.)

A while ago we started suggesting the pattern authors to agree with
the MIT licence, but some other licences might be acceptable as well
(note that LPPL in particular is not acceptable for a number of
projects).

Best regards,
Mojca
Dominik Wujastyk
2018-11-03 01:12:34 UTC
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The UK hyphenations patterns must stay within TeXlive, that's a given. So
let's change the license on the pattern files. As co-creator of the file,
I hereby agree with the MIT license. I don't know if Graham Toal, the
person who worked with me on producing these patterns, can be reached.
I'll try. I am certain it was Graham's intention, like mine, that these
patterns should always be freely available to everyone.

Since Phil Taylor is the official custodian of these patterns, perhaps he
should also give his assent.

Do you want me to edit the file appropriately? Or will Phil, or you, Mojca?

Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

Best,
Dominik
Post by Mojca Miklavec
Dear Dominik,
According to Debian we will probably have to delete the British
https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=912557
In general it is becoming increasingly problematic to use custom
(free-text) licences for each individual file. (It's problematic
enough to keep up distributions of millions of different files with
well-established licences, let alone having each individual lawyer
check whether the licence in file X is compatible with the licence in
file Y for N^2 combinations of those and ever increasing N.)
A while ago we started suggesting the pattern authors to agree with
the MIT licence, but some other licences might be acceptable as well
(note that LPPL in particular is not acceptable for a number of
projects).
Best regards,
Mojca
Steve Peter
2018-11-03 01:21:02 UTC
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They can still be accessed with the \brexit command...

Steve
The UK hyphenations patterns must stay within TeXlive, that's a given. So let's change the license on the pattern files. As co-creator of the file, I hereby agree with the MIT license. I don't know if Graham Toal, the person who worked with me on producing these patterns, can be reached. I'll try. I am certain it was Graham's intention, like mine, that these patterns should always be freely available to everyone.
Since Phil Taylor is the official custodian of these patterns, perhaps he should also give his assent.
Do you want me to edit the file appropriately? Or will Phil, or you, Mojca?
Thanks for bringing this to my attention!
Best,
Dominik
Post by Mojca Miklavec
Dear Dominik,
According to Debian we will probably have to delete the British
https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=912557
In general it is becoming increasingly problematic to use custom
(free-text) licences for each individual file. (It's problematic
enough to keep up distributions of millions of different files with
well-established licences, let alone having each individual lawyer
check whether the licence in file X is compatible with the licence in
file Y for N^2 combinations of those and ever increasing N.)
A while ago we started suggesting the pattern authors to agree with
the MIT licence, but some other licences might be acceptable as well
(note that LPPL in particular is not acceptable for a number of
projects).
Best regards,
Mojca
Hans Hagen
2018-11-03 11:02:54 UTC
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Post by Steve Peter
They can still be accessed with the \brexit command...
Which will isolate your computer and tex distribution from the rest of
the world forever.

Hans


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Philip Taylor
2018-11-03 09:55:15 UTC
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Mojca Miklavec
2018-11-03 19:12:08 UTC
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Hi,

I just want to thank Dominik Wujastyk and Graham Toal for giving us
the permission to use the MIT licence for the British patterns.

We will take care of the required modifications, release a new version
of hyph-utf8 and also ask for update in ConTeXt which triggered the
initial bug report.


To try to answer the concerns regarding the stability of old documents
... I believe that what we need in TeX distributions is something
different from "please rename the file if you make any changes". (I
don't know what this could or should be, but I'm open to suggestions.)

While the "TeX licence" made a lot of sense at the time when it was
written by D.E. Knuth, the "please rename" clause on its own provides
absolutely no guarantee that hyphenation of the English documents
won't ever change. Yes, the "TeX licence" is still sending a very
strong message to developers that Knuth wants others to rename their
new engines based on TeX to avoid confusion, but it doesn't legally
prevent anyone from using the same name for completely unrelated
software, or perhaps from creating a symlink like tex -> luatex in
some distribution. What keeps people back from doing that is more of a
"social contract" than the actual licence itself.

As a case in point: anyone could have easily REMOVED the British
patterns from the distribution without violating the existing licence
in any way, yet the documents would change – despite the licence's
best efforts to prevent such changes. Or somebody could create some
nonsense patterns under any given filename, and only modify the
language.dat to load those nonsense patterns *instead of* the existing
British English ones, and again we would get rubbish output without
violating the old licence in any way.

So: thanks again for the permission. And if needed, let's come up with
a better idea about how to keep stability and quality of old documents
within the TeX community.

Thank you very much to everyone involved,
Mojca

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