Model Code for the OSD

David Johnson david at
Sun Jan 19 03:08:29 UTC 2003

On Saturday 18 January 2003 09:39 am, Lawrence E. Rosen wrote:
> I would prefer requiring "all available documentation describing how to
> modify the original work."  That means that a developer cannot hide
> documentation that IS available simply to make others' work more
> difficult.  /Larry

I'm not even sure that "deliberately obfuscated source code" even extends to 
the documentation. Removing documentation may be necessary to obfuscate 
source code, but removing it is rarely sufficient.

The only type of documentation that is included in source code is comments. 
Since the quality of comments in OSS projects ranges from the superb to the 
dismal, defining obfuscation in terms of code comments is problematic. To 
take one  example, why should my modification of apache keep comments in 
place, when libsrvg has virtually none to begin with?

Every section in the OSD specifically refers to the "license" or the "rights 
attached to the program", except for section two. It needs to be read 

My opinion is that "deliberately obfuscated source code" should be decoupled 
from documentation. The quality and state of documentation is very 
subjective, and should not be a part of the OSD.

David Johnson
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