Model Code for the OSD

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at
Sun Jan 19 08:09:04 UTC 2003

> > 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.
> IMHO that was meant to exclude people from publishing their 
> source code after it had been fed through an obfuscator, 
> which not only strips comments, but changes identifiers from 
> meaningful names to barely distinguishable strings of gibberish.

Precisely!  You are not required to create high-quality documentation,
but if you do you should make it available along with the source code in
"the preferred form ... for making modifications."  (OSL §3.)  I heard a
story about one company (Tivo was the company identified, but I can't
vouch for the accuracy of the report) that is deliberately keeping its
published documentation to a minimum in their Linux contributions
because they want to retain a proprietary competitive advantage.  I
think that's not playing fair.  It seems to me that's honoring the
letter, but not the spirit, of the GPL.

/Larry Rosen

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