Model Code for the OSD

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at
Sun Jan 19 18:18:23 UTC 2003

Bjorn Reese wrote:
> I have to agree with David. The documentation quality of the 
> source code is orthogonal to the availability of source code, 
> and thus has nothing to do with the OSD.

I also agree with you and David as far as that goes, but that's not
quite the point I was making.  I don't want the OSD to legislate quality
of documentation or quality of software.  What I DO want is, if you
will, a cause of action for someone who provides lower quality
documentation than he actually has in his possession.  Nobody should be
required to write documentation, but if he does he should share it along
with the source code.  Why not?  That addresses the *deliberate*
obfuscation issue.

I wrote the Source Code provision (Section 3) of the OSL with that
specific point in mind:

   "The term "Source Code" means the preferred form of
   the Original Work for making modifications to it and
   all available documentation describing how to modify
   the Original Work. Licensor hereby agrees to provide
   a machine-readable copy of the Source Code of the 
   Original Work along with each copy of the Original
   Work that Licensor distributes...."

Note the use of the phrase "all available documentation" in the first
sentence.  Similarly, the phrase "preferred form" in that sentence means
that whatever the form that the author prefers for his source code is
the form he should provide it in.  

We should require no more and expect no less.

/Larry Rosen

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