[Rd] Non-free packages in R-Forge

Spencer Graves spencer.graves at prodsyse.com
Fri Nov 18 21:28:27 CET 2011


       Why do you want to reduce demand for Octave by forcing people who 
want to link to a commercial product to abandon Octave?

       Are you familiar with Shapiro and Varian (1998) Information 
Rules:  A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy (Harvard Bus. Sch. 
Pr.)?  Varian is now the Chief Economist at Google, and his ideas seem 
to have contributed substantially to their success.  The book explains 
that if you want to increase the market for your product, you need to 
make it as easy as possible for potential users to use (for as many 
different purposes).

       I've used Matlab, and I want to start using Octave.  If I can 
connect from only one of these products to some third party software 
that I'd like also to use, that's a reason to use the more flexible 


On 11/18/2011 10:32 AM, Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:
> Let me give a little more context of why this is important.
> As you can read in this thread:
>      http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=CAPHS2gwmxJGF9Cy8%3DSEGasQcVRg_Lqu-
> ndCdVhO-r1LJsRQGuA%40mail.gmail.com&forum_name=octave-dev
> 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
> everyone.
> 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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