[Rd] Non-free packages in R-Forge

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso jordigh at octave.org
Fri Nov 18 19:32:18 CET 2011

Let me give a little more context of why this is important.

As you can read in this thread:


The author of MOSEK basically created a non-free library and wants to
link it to both Octave and R. Normally this would be a GPL violation;
however the author of MOSEK has worked around the GPL by making a
wrapper and making the user do the linking, effectively neutering the
copyleft of the GPL (and yes, the GPL is not nice, and this
non-niceness of the GPL is a feature).

I am trying to reject this in Octave. We do not want to condone the
proliferation of non-free software. Instead, I invite the makers of
MOSEK to make the library free. However, the author has pointed out
that R has accepted his plugin, why can't Octave?

And this is why I appeal to the GNUness of R, if it still has it. If
Octave and R are part of the same organisation, we have to stand
together on this, and together pressure the maker of MOSEK to release
MOSEK as free software and stop trying to work around the GPL with
wrappers and avoiding binary distribution.

I am inviting R to work together with Octave on this. If we are both
using the GPL and both part of GNU, what good is it if the GPL can be
worked around and if we don't both stand for the same principles?

This isn't about prohibiting R from running on Windows or Mac (Octave
also runs on both because it's the only way to reach those users), nor
about meaningless ideology, but about bringing about a very practical
result: more free software for the community, more source for

So, please, users and developers and overseers of R, work with us. If
we are on the same team, can we work towards the same goals?

- Jordi G. H.

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