fealpix vs healpix - it stinks for me

Michal Frackowiak michalf w ncac.torun.pl
Śro, 3 Mar 2004, 13:06:03 CET

hi there!

I have just downloaded the version of fealpix. here are my thoughts 
after a few minutes of browsing the sources and an attempt to compile 

- Boud: you claim the software to be GPL and attach the license. but the 
software itself is not in the spirit of GNU at all!!! the idea of gnu 
software is not: look at me, I can handle dozens of lines of code and 
several equations without a single line of comment! and that is the 
software you have created - extremelly unclearly coded, uderstanding 
hardly possible. with such attitude you simply discourage others to 
use/learn/modify the code. and that is not gnu. you should not release 
the code in that form and imho it is against gnu philosophy.

- the code is not even comparable to HEALpix in both functionality and 

- chosing "fealpix" as a name is not fortunate. it seems as a "negative 

- no docs, no examples, no comments

- could you start using gnu autoconf?

- I find "astropolitics" stuff inlcuded somehow improper. you 
permanently call HEALpix non-free and claim its authors to blindly 
follow rules of feudal reality.

- I am very not sure about NR stuff you use and claim that simple 
rewrite of routines code makes it free. I have compared just one of the 
files with what can be found in NumericalRecipies and it is IDENTICAL 
(apart from changing the variables' names and some minor rearragement). 
you not simply use provided algorithms, you use provided code which is 
distributed under somehow more restricted license. that is not the way 
it should be. if all the gnu community acted like that the gnu software 
would be a patchwork from stolen code. fortunately others are more 
creative and write original software.
you should not distribute those routines in the present form - the code 
is not yours.

I see all this felapix was intended as a battle for "free software". but 
the way you fight turns against gnu in fact - by offending people, being 
extreme radicalist, mixing code and politics, writing unreadable code, 
stealing code and claiming yours.
you should change the way you fight for "free software" because it does 
not do any good. do the Octave people constantly cry about Matlab beeing 
non-free???????? or Kaffe and Java?????????? or gcc and icc???? gjc and 
Java again????????

GNU is about creating BETTER software, not accusing proprietary software 
of being non-free.

that is my oppinion. at this very moment I feel disappointed with what 
you do with GNU and GPL philosophy.

regards - michal

BTW: for NR, this is the license you are obliged to follow:
If you are the individual owner of a copy of this book and you type one 
or more of its routines into your computer, we authorize you to use them 
on that computer for your own personal and noncommercial purposes. You 
are not authorized to transfer or distribute machine-readable copies to 
any other person, or to use the routines on more than one machine, or to 
distribute executable programs containing our routines. This is the only 
free license.

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