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

Boud Roukema boud w astro.uni.torun.pl
Wto, 16 Mar 2004, 13:55:44 CET

witam Michał,
  Hopefully we can discuss the general points of view about
programming on the open list and noone will complain. It's clear there
are misunderstandings and confusions between you and i, but i'm sure
we can sort this out constructively. :)

Does it seem reasonable that anyone who chooses to respond publicly on
this list accepts that we are trying to understand each other
regarding coding issues and we accept criticisms with the assumption
that they are intended to be constructive, even they are strongly worded,
without being upset?


=== The differences between the pgplot licence and some other licence ===

(1) distribution: pgplot can be downloaded immediately without delay,
without requiring any subjective decisions by the owners on whether or not
to accept the request for registration.

(2) pgplot does not require the use of further non-free packages

Regarding (1), could you imagine someone installing a whole lot of
packages, maybe with gentoo or debian, and having to wait three days
for the successive installation of each of 15 different packages?

That would make 45 days if the person installing does not know in
advance what the dependencies of the packages are.

IMHO, taking 45 days (or anything of a similar order of magnitude)
to fully install a package is clearly something utterly impractical.

Since pgplot has (1) + (2), it only takes half an hour for someone
fairly new to it to install.

Of course, if someone wants to replace pgplot by a completely free
plotting routine, i would certainly not object (and under the GNU GPL,
would not have the right to object).

Regarding Numerical Recipes, i suggest that everyone on this list read
the License Information on page xxii of the f77 version, because there
seems to have been some confusion raised by your earlier message:


> Copyright does not protect ideas, but only the expression of those
> ideas in a particular form. In the case of a computer program, the ideas
> consist of the program's methodology and algorithm, including the
> necessary sequence of steps adopted by the programmer. The expression of
> those ideas is the program source code (particularly any arbitrary or
> stylistic choices embodied in it), its derived object code, and any
> other derivative works.
> If you analyze the ideas contained in a program, and then express those
> ideas in your own completely different implementation, then that new
> program implementation belongs to you. That is what we have done for those
> programs in this book that are not entirely of our own devising.

What NR claim can be copied:
- the methodology
- the algorithm
  - including the necessary sequence of steps

What NR claim cannot be copied:
- arbitrary or stylistic choices

Do you disagree with Numerical Recipes' point of view on copyright?

Regarding software strategy, it might be strategically wise to ignore
NR's recommendation and use a different algorithm - i would agree with


On Tue, 16 Mar 2004, Michal Frackowiak wrote:

> the last straw: what about pgplot? it is not "free". moreover, it is
> almost exactly as free as HEALPix:
> pgplot:
> "PGPLOT is /not/ public-domain software. However, it is freely available
> for non-commercial use. The source code and documentation are
> copyrighted by California Institute of Technology, and may not be
> redistributed or placed on public Web servers without permission. The
> software is provided ``as is'' with no warranty."
> healpix:
> "The permission to use, without authorization to distribute, the HEALPix
> software and its documentation without fee or royalty is hereby granted
> to individual registered users
> (see the HEALPix site http://www.eso.org/science/healpix)
> PROVIDED that the preceding copyright notices
> and the following statements are complied with:
> - Applications are limited to non-commercial and not-for-profit purposes.
> - An appropriate acknowledgment is included in all publications
> based on work conducted with usage of the HEALPix package"
> there are only 2 differences: registration required with healpix (not a
> big problem, it is nice to watch as package spreads and I suppose I
> would do the same) and acknowledgment in publications (which is obvious
> for me).
> so why do you not object using pgplot (you use it for every plot in
> "fealpix") but started this campaign with healpix??????
> ---------
> I realize the case is somehow over but your vision of free software
> really astonishes me. I also realize there will be no public response
> (in the sense of this mailing list) simply because there is not much to
> discuss and we have discussed some things at the last Cafe. I really
> hope all this is coming to the end.
> best regards
> michal
> Michal Frackowiak wrote:
> > at least www.gnu.org works. To bring you more arguments WHY fealpix
> > does not come in the spirit of gnu, please see:
> > http://www.gnupress.org/potentialauthors.html - Information for
> > Potential Authors
> > and
> > http://www.gnu.org/prep/standards.html#SEC31 - GNU Coding Standards
> >
> > more or less these are the things I have already pointed out.
> > including trolling about proprietary software.
> >
> > as you can see fealpix does not follow any of the gnu software
> > directions so all this rumor about making scientific software free
> > does not make any sense in the context of gnu. moreover it gives
> > people false opinion about gnu system and the gnu idea of free software.
> >
> > regards - michal
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >LISTNAME: cosmo-torun
> >HELP: send an email to sympa w astro.uni.torun.pl with "help"
> >WEB ARCHIVE: http://www.astro.uni.torun.pl/sympa/cosmo-torun/
> >UNSUBSCRIBE: email to sympa w astro.uni.torun.pl with "unsubscribe cosmo-torun"
> >
> >
> >
> >
> --
> --------------------------------------------------------
> 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
> --------------------------------------------------------

Więcej informacji o liście Cosmo-torun