(1) pgplot licence vs other; (2) NR

Michal Frackowiak michalf w ncac.torun.pl
Śro, 24 Mar 2004, 09:29:24 CET

Boud Roukema wrote:

>>what is the purpose of GPL? creating better, community driven software.
>>imho it is more than a license, it is a philosophy. your "software" just
> It is not philosophy. It is politics, because it relates to the power that
> some people have over other people, and the power that people do *not*
> have over other people.
> The intention is to minimise the power that people have over others to
> the minimum necessary - in the context of computer code.

It depends what you mean by "politics" and "philosophy" I believe. in 
fact it is both. but developers seem to prefer the term "philosophy" 
since it is more positive in meaning.

>>  do not fit GPL. it is a set of mathematical operations.
>>how the hell do you want people to use it/trace bugs/improve when you
>>only provide hardly readable code??????
>>we could argue about the quality of the code but I do not think will do
>>any good.
> The point is not to argue about the quality of the code.
> The whole point of the GNU GPL is that concrete discussion of the
> code can happen according to rules which encourage improvement of the code.
> Without distribution under GNU GPL, it is difficult to get the *feedback*
> that someone has the opinion that the code is "hardly readable".

I agree. but without providing high-quality code and docs it is hard to 
get useful feedback.

> On the other hand, if there is a delay of between several days and
> a few weeks for having the right to use the code, and then a further
> delay of unknown length to redistribute modified versions, the cooperation
> between X, Z, W and U is unlikely to happen, especially given that Y
> feels unhappy with the code and may influence the delays.
I can bet that Kriss would be more that happy to accept any help with 
porting his software to other languages. Have you tried to chat with him 
about licence issues?

As I still am quite sure about there is no licence that suits scientific 
software and gpl is not the best. that is why some people refuse 
gpl-ing. I myself would be very happy having a nicer licence for sci soft.

>>what I would use from your code would be:
>>   - methodology,
>>   - algorithm (including the necessary sequence of steps).
>>I would not take:
>>  - arbitrary or stylistic choices (because I would rearrange the code).
>>Would it be fair?
> According to the authors of Numerical Recipes, it would be fair.

So what would be the point of GPL if you can copy the source, change it 
and copyright again?

I believe the truth is somewhere between. Anyhow imho gpl software 
should be as clear as possible without even shadows of copyright 
violation. Perhaps your arguments are ok and can convince others you are 
right - but there is still some darkness in this soft, with its 
"astropolitics" and copyleft.

Michal Frackowiak
mail: michalf w ncac.torun.pl
www: http://www.ncac.torun.pl/~michalf
jabber im: michal_frackowiak w jabber.pl
phone: +48 (56) 6219319 int. 22, fax: +48 (56) 6219381
Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center
Department of Astrophysics in Torun (CAMK Torun)
ul. Rabianska 8, 87-100 Torun, Poland
http://www.ncac.torun.pl, http://www.camk.edu.pl
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