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Re: low level I/O (GPIB, USBTMC, VXI11)

From: Juan Pablo Carbajal
Subject: Re: low level I/O (GPIB, USBTMC, VXI11)
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 13:20:14 +0100

>     Richard, can you comment on this? A number of Octave users create oct
>     files to talk to non-free libraries for external hardware. An oct file
>     is basically a C++ program that uses Octave's headers and links to
>     Octave. It is my understanding that these oct files are also linking
>     to non-free libraries. I am uncomfortable that people do this and
>     distribute the results. What do you think?
> That could be a GPL violation.  We need to look at the specific
> details.
> --
> Dr Richard Stallman
> President, Free Software Foundation
> 51 Franklin St
> Boston MA 02110
> Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
>   Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call
> _______________________________________________
> Help-octave mailing list
> address@hidden


This is an example of the code in the package in question.
(Julien correct me if I am wrong)

It includes octave/oct.h and ni488.h.
It uses a macro defined in octave/oct.h, some functions and several
datatypes. finally it uses a function from the ni488.h

to me it looks like a wrapper to a library function. Is this a GPL violation?

What about if one would add compiler directives in the header

#ifndef FREE_BEER
#include <free_gpib.h>
#include <ni488.h>

and in the body of the function

#ifndef FREE_BEER
ud = free_ibdev(BdIndx,pad,sad,tmp,eot,eos);
ud = ibdev(BdIndx,pad,sad,tmp,eot,eos);

Would this be a violation? clearly the user is not being forced to
link to the non-free library, just he "can".


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