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Re: WG: Tools for mathematical calculations and graphical output

From: Hamish Allan
Subject: Re: WG: Tools for mathematical calculations and graphical output
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 22:03:41 +0100


Please educate me: what is a F(L)OSS for proprietary platforms?

  What is F(L)OSS?  A joke on FOSS (free/open-source software)
or something more meaningful?

FLOSS is a term similar to FOSS, but emphasises libre rather than gratis freedom. See, which also points out that "legally speaking, only public domain software is non-proprietary."

I'm running a FOSS system (Debian GNU/Linux) on a Dell computer.  In
your mind is this FOSS for proprietary platforms?  The Dell certainly
has proprietary components on it. (Though I'm not exactly sure. I know
that the openness of BIOS is an issue these days.)

The platform is not just the hardware, but the software as well. One platform is Debian GNU/Linux running on x86 hardware; a different platform is Debian on PowerPC. You might have a piece of FOSS that compiles and runs on one but not the other. Other platforms include Windows on x86, Mac OS X on PowerPC, etc. Plenty of FOSS works fine on my Mac, but plenty doesn't.

I don't understand what you are talking about.  Assuming I'm running a
system with the tools that make GNU Octave possible, I'm just curious if
there is a FOSS Mathcad/Mathematica replacement; as Octave can be
considered a replacement to MATLAB.  So, I don't know what you are
talking about with this ``F(L)OSS proprietary platform
Mathcad/Mathematica replacement.''

GNU Octave is possible on various platforms; certain FOSS is not (see examples above). Is this any clearer now?

OK, maybe I'm making poor assumptions; any ideas what they could be?

It sounded like you were assuming that anything that could run any FOSS could run all FOSS.

Best wishes,

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

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