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Re: Who uses Octave?

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: Who uses Octave?
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2012 09:34:44 -0500

On  7-Feb-2012, Juan Pablo Carbajal wrote:

| On Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 9:54 AM, Michael Goffioul
| <address@hidden> wrote:
| > On Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 8:16 AM, Julien Salort <address@hidden> wrote:
| >> Michael Goffioul <address@hidden> writes:
| >>
| >>>> - Hardware I/O: I'm not sure how easy it it to talk to simple analog and
| >>>> digital I/O cards but
| >>>> haven't heard a lot of success stories yet. The main OS of my students is
| >>>> Windows, other OS are <
| >>>> 10% I would guess.
| >>>
| >>> This has been mentioned a couple of times before. The main problem
| >>> there seems to be the cross-platform issue.
| >>
| >> I use  Octave in my  daily work to  communitate with several  NI devices
| >> (GPIB card, DAQmx card) using  NI-VISA and NI-DAQmx libraries. I've been
| >> running  my  code   on  Mac  OS  X,  Windows  and   now  Linux.   It  is
| >> cross-platform, as  long as National Instruments  provides libraries for
| >> your preferred  platform: no  problem on Windows,  almost no  problem on
| >> Macintosh,  tricky  on Linux,  except  if  you  stick to  the  supported
| >> distributions (I  had it  work with Scientific  Linux 6.1 but  failed on
| >> Debian Squeeze).
| >>
| >> I'd be willing to publish my code. I'm just not sure if there is a legal
| >> issue: as  I understand it, a  GPL program is distributed  in binary and
| >> source forms.  However,  if you link against a  proprietary library, the
| >> resulting binary cannot be distributed with a GPL license.  Am I right ?
| >>
| >> Then my problem is the following:
| >> - I have no problem to publish the source code of my oct files
| >> - Once compiled,  they link against Octave libraries  (GPL) and National
| >>  Instruments libraries (proprietary).
| >>
| >> What license should I choose ?
| >
| > Your source code must use a GPLv3-compatible license. Because it is
| > intended to be linked against NI library, which is not
| > GPLv3-compatible, you can't distribute resulting binaries. OTOH
| > nothing prevents you from distributing sources only.
| >
| > But as a GPL project, we obviously prefer a fully GPL-compatible
| > solution, if there's any. Also you code could not be hosted on
| > octave-forge, as we recently decided to host only GPL-compatible
| > packages, so you'd have to host your code somewhere else.
| >
| > Michael.
| > _______________________________________________
| > Help-octave mailing list
| > address@hidden
| >
| I think you can distribute your code under GPLv3, by removing all
| content that is not GPL compatible and provide a nice help file
| explaining how to use it and compile it (you can even distribute make
| files).

I think we all understand that the GPL clearly forbids distributing the
resulting binaries.

If your intent is to attempt to avoid the terms of the GPL simply by
releasing a thin wrapper between Octave and a proprietary library,
then it is possible that this is still a GPL violation, regardless of
how the thin wrapper and the proprietary library are distributed.  See
section 5(c) of GPLv3.

You may think you are helping people by releasing this code, but I
would urge to you not do it and instead work to provide free software
drivers for the hardware.


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