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brooksmoses December 5, 2005 22:50

(I know this is going to come
(I know this is going to come off as a bit pedantic and picky, and I apologize for that, but I do think this sort of thing is important -- particularly when I consider basic long-term projects on OpenFOAM.)

Is the LaTeX source (and the source for the figures) for the OpenFOAM Users Guide and Programmers Guide available for download? I couldn't find it on the web page. If it's not available, can it be made available?

There's a particular reason why I think it's vitally important to provide this source code, and why I think a link to something like a LaTeX-source tarball (with all the figures and such needed to recreate the document) should be prominently placed next to the download for the PDF version: the documentation is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). And, in clause 3 of the GFDL, the restriction is made that "If you publish or distribute Opaque copies of the Document numbering more than 100, you must either include a machine-readable Transparent copy along with each Opaque copy, or state in or with each Opaque copy a computer-network location from which the general network-using public has access to download using public-standard network protocols a complete Transparent copy of the Document, free of added material." (In this phrasing, an Opaque copy is a copy that cannot be edited, such as the .pdf file, and a Transparent copy would be something such as the tarball of source and images that I mentioned.

Thus, unless I myself have a Transparent copy of the documentation, I am not practically allowed by the license to distribute it in any quantity, and it is thus not as nearly open in a practical sense as the license would imply. (The lack of a Transparent copy of the documentation also makes it rather difficult to modify and reuse portions of it, despite the permission to do so granted by the license.) This bothers me, because it seems like an accidental oversight that doesn't reflect OpenCFD's intentions to make the code and documentation free.

Alternately, if OpenCFD does not wish to distribute the source to the documentation, would it be possible to also license it under something such as one of the Creative Commons licenses that do not require redistribution to include Transparent copies?

Thanks very much! And if there is anything that I can do to help make it possible to publish the source code (testing tarballs on a clean system, etc.), please feel free to ask.

alberto December 6, 2005 19:46

The PDF's included in OpenFOAM
The PDF's included in OpenFOAM is not protected, so you should be able to edit it using, for example, Adobe products.
It's not like having LaTeX sources, but it's better than nothing :-)

brooksmoses December 12, 2005 21:19

Thanks for the comment! Unf
Thanks for the comment!

Unfortunately, while that would enable a few typo corrections, it doesn't address the licensing issues at all. Without my having a so-called "Transparent" copy (which in this case means the LaTeX source), the GFDL license doesn't allow me to do something like redistribute the manual on my website. And that's the real problem I'm concerned about.

luiscardona January 9, 2014 16:43

A little bit late but...

here there are, sources for OpenFOAM Users Guide and Programmers Guide in latex provided by OpenCAE (sorry, only in Japanese! Just better than nothing)

wyldckat January 10, 2014 14:44

Greetings to all!

@Luis: Good catch on a really old thread ;)

Might as well make a status update of the current situation:
  1. The present generation of the official OpenFOAM documentation is licensed under the following license, and I quote:

    Originally Posted by
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

  2. At, you can find two addendum pages done by the community:
  3. At this time, at least that I'm aware of, there is no public access to the LaTeX source code for the official documentation.
  4. There is a community effort in place to bring forth a community written high quality book about OpenFOAM, namely The CoCoons Project:
Best regards,

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