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Re: gnuplot


From: Javier Fernandez
Subject: Re: gnuplot
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 16:11:10 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/2.0.1-20111224 ("Achenvoir") (UNIX) (NetBSD/6.1.5 (amd64))

Emanuel Berg <address@hidden> wrote:
> Do you mean gnuplot-mode has a missing/conflicting
> license, or gnuplot has? With gnuplot that should be
> OK as there are built-in modes for God knows what
> technologies that most likely have licenses all over
> the place, including none at all.

gnuplot despite its name is not 'free' software in the sense of
freedom.  You can distribute gnuplot's source, but you cannot
distribute modified versions of the source.

http://gnuplot.cvs.sourceforge.net/gnuplot/gnuplot/Copyright?view=markup

The license I think is pretty similar to the old Pine licence, and
that led to problems between the FSF and the Univeristy of Washington
for distributing modified versions of Pine.  Now a 'libre' clone
exists: Alpine (Alternatively Licensed Program for Internet News and
Email)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_(email_client)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpine_(email_client)

The moral of the story is that software that is not 'libre' has
converted to 'libre' or died.  In the case of scientific plotting
pgplot, a once popular library for scientifc plotting in compiled
programs (Fortran, C, C++) died (last release 15 years ago) since
Caltech didn't allow distributing modified sources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PGPLOT

gnuplot seems to be an exception to the rule and is pretty healthy
(5.0 release was 1 month ago).  I know nothing about the authors, but
they do a great work and have to be working very hard to keep gnuplot
active.  I think at some point they will release it under a more
liberal license.  Otherwise gnuplot will stagnate.  There are GPL
programs with similar functionality

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyxplot



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