[AstroPy] message from SOFA chair

Scott Ransom sransom@nrao....
Fri Jun 14 11:59:40 CDT 2013


Yeah.  They won't budge on the license issue -- and I tried.

They are absolutely convinced that they need an IAU "reference" 
implementation of many of these algorithms that noone can change.  But 
they are fine taking the same code, stripping "SOFA" and/or "IAU" off 
the routine names, and re-licensing it in a free fashion even if that 
means that noone uses their (original) code.  I have to admit that I 
don't understand the logic....

Scott

On 06/14/2013 12:12 PM, Perry Greenfield wrote:
> Yes, as a matter of fact, today we got explicit permission from the Board to relicense SOFA. That will require us to release it under a different name, and using a different prefix for the routine names. You should be hearing about it soon. But they will not be changing their license.
>
> Perry
>
> On Jun 14, 2013, at 12:06 PM, Sergio Pascual wrote:
>
>> Hello,
>>
>> is there any progress in this topic? I have checked today and the license text in the SOFA webpage remains the same.
>>
>> Sergio
>>
>>
>> 2013/5/7 Thomas Robitaille <thomas.robitaille@gmail.com>
>> Just for information, we are currently working towards a solution
>> off-list with the SOFA board, and will inform the list once things
>> have been settled. So no need to propose a license text at this stage.
>>
>> Tom
>>
>> On 7 May 2013 17:15, Wolfgang Kerzendorf <wkerzendorf@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I think what Mario and Tim are proposing is very good as it would alleviate
>>> the problems mentioned by Catherine. To speed up the process, we should
>>> propose a license text and they could then see if that meets their criteria
>>> (make it as hard as possible for them to delay or refuse).
>>>
>>> Cheers
>>>      Wolfgang
>>> On 2013-05-07, at 10:45 AM, Tim Jenness <tim.jenness@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> Thanks.
>>>
>>>
>>> On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 3:34 AM, Scott Ransom <sransom@nrao.edu> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On the subject of the SOFA license conditions, our Board member Patrick
>>>> Wallace is continuing discussions he had on this topic last year, which
>>>> resulted in changes to the license that enabled the Debian release to
>>>> proceed.  Recent emails, which unfortunately were delayed by the spam
>>>> filter problems, show that further discussion is needed, and Patrick is
>>>> now in touch with Perry Greenfield, STScI Science Software Branch lead.
>>>> The nub of the problem is that SOFA software has to address two
>>>> conflicting requirements: (i) the insistence by free software groups
>>>> that users should not be constrained in any way and (ii) the need to
>>>> prevent "counterfeit" versions coming into circulation.  The second
>>>> point is vital because SOFA software represents IAU standards and indeed
>>>> is cited in other standards such as IERS Conventions.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> Regarding the counterfeit argument, isn't this very similar to encryption
>>> libraries where you want to make sure that you are using the official
>>> library and not one you found on the internet that happens to have a back
>>> door? OpenSSL and other libraries deal with this. People are far more
>>> concerned about using the proper OpenSSL than using SOFA but the underlying
>>> principal is the same. OpenSSL has a very straightforward licence
>>> (http://www.openssl.org/source/license.html) which has clearly been approved
>>> for distribution.
>>>
>>> --
>>> Tim Jenness
>>> CCAT Software Manager
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>>>
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-- 
Scott M. Ransom            Address:  NRAO
Phone:  (434) 296-0320               520 Edgemont Rd.
email:  sransom@nrao.edu             Charlottesville, VA 22903 USA
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