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Re: ATLAS and octave

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: ATLAS and octave
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 03:56:08 -0600 (CST)

On  4-Feb-2000, Timothy H. Keitt <address@hidden> wrote:

| "John W. Eaton" wrote:
| > On  4-Feb-2000, Timothy H. Keitt <address@hidden> wrote:
| >
| > There are at least a few reasons that make sense to me.
| >
| > First, there are licensing issues.  If the tuned blas libraries are
| > distributed under terms that are not compatible with the GPL, then
| > we can't distribute a version of Octave that is linked with them.
| Does this include run-time linking?

Yes.  The GPL doesn't make a distinction between static and dynamic
or any other method of linking.  I believe the claim is that combining
the peices by linking them together creates a derivative work, and
that if you create a derivative work based on GPL code, then you have
to follow the GPL if you distribute it.

| If you compile a GPL program that
| requires, can you be excluded from distributing it because someone
| might dynamically link it to a proprietary

I think the answer to your specific question is no, because a free
library exists that can provide the functionality that the program

However, if there is no way to make the program work using software
that may be distributed under terms compatible with the GPL, there is
trouble.  As I understand it, the FSF claims that you can't sidestep
the conditions of the GPL by asking users to do the link.

My preference is free software that happens to be a good technical
solution too, so I'm glad to see ATLAS available so we don't have to
rely on vendor-supplied versions of the BLAS for performance.


Octave is freely available under the terms of the GNU GPL.

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