[R] S-PLUS 8 beta program [repost]

eugene dalt eugenedalt at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 31 23:50:42 CEST 2006

Point well taken. You should, however, expect R users
to bring up concerns. This isn't a win-win situation
you sound...and you want to keep s-news in the dark

Frankly, you didn't address the real issue. How would 
 Insightful reacts for example if they find R users
repackaging your products named "Infact" or
"Insightful Miner"? or as you said R users (instead of
Splus users) "need access to the cutting-edge, quality
statistical software available>> in Splus (instead of
other way round).

Insightful wants to take any "cutting-edge, quality
statistical software" from R, but they patent any
"cutting-edge, quality statistical software" they
create. Hence my call to people to use any loopholes
to make these available or rewrite them. That would be

ps. This is my last email on this issue.


--- David Smith <dsmith at insightful.com> wrote:

> eugene dalt [eugenedalt at yahoo.com] writes:
> > It seems to me that Insightful is very good at
> > protecting whatever they "create" and the same
> time
> > feels very comfortable taking R stuff to keep they
> > clients happy. In essence they are selling free
> stuff.
> I must defend Insightful on this point. As an
> employee of Insightful, that's
> to be expected, but I've also been an author of free
> software since the
> earliest days when the term "free software" was in
> use ... but more on that,
> later.
> In no sense are we "taking R stuff" with these
> improvements in S-PLUS 8.
> Packages written for R will remain free, as they
> must.  This isn't just
> because the license says so, but because we believe
> that an open-source
> community around packages that will run with both
> S-PLUS and R is a good
> thing.  It's good for S-PLUS users, certainly: we've
> heard loud and clear
> from our users that they need a better way to
> package user-contributed
> libraries for S-PLUS, and they need access to the
> cutting-edge, quality
> statistical software available in the open-source
> world.  But it's also good
> for the statistical computing community generally. 
> In the open source spirit
> of "many eyes", the more people using and improving
> open source software,
> from both the S-PLUS and R communities (or,
> generally, the S community), the
> better.    
> You say, "In essence they are selling free stuff." 
> I say, au contraire.
> First of all, the distinction between
> "free-as-in-speech" and
> "free-as-in-beer" is important here, and it's the
> former context that is
> generally meant in reference to "free software". 
> (For further background on
> this, see
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_as_in_beer and
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libre_software.)
> As it happens, the free-as-in-speech packages we're
> porting to S-PLUS will
> also be available free-as-in-beer from an
> Insightful-hosted site.  In fact,
> as part of the S-PLUS 8 project we've put
> significant investment into making
> free software available to a wider community.  We
> put packages though the
> same test that CRAN does, and as we find and fix
> bugs in the porting process,
> we're contributing those back to the community as
> open-source.  We're also
> planning to provide an new package for both S-PLUS
> and R, as a further
> contribution to the community. 
> Personally, I'm very excited about this new role for
> Insightful as a member
> of the open-source community.  Ultimately, it's only
> through our actions that
> our sincerity will be judged.  All I ask is that
> those actions are be
> characterized faithfully.
> # David
> -- 
> David M Smith <dsmith at insightful.com>
> Senior Product Manager, Insightful Corp, Seattle WA
> Tel: +1 (206) 802 2360
> Fax: +1 (206) 283 6310
> Insightful Corporation (www.insightful.com) provides
> analytical solutions for
> text and data using S-PLUS, Insightful Miner, InFact
> and consulting services.

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