[tex-live] Removal of British hyphenation patterns from TeX Live

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Thu Nov 29 02:39:55 CET 2018

Thank you, Mojca for this interesting and clear explanation.  I tend to
roll my eyes and eat chocolate when people start talking about licenses,
but you make it seem clear and sensible.


On Sat, 3 Nov 2018 at 13:12, Mojca Miklavec <mojca.miklavec.lists at gmail.com>

> 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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