[SciPy-dev] ANN: Enthought Python Distribution - Beta

Robert Kern robert.kern@gmail....
Thu Feb 28 13:24:48 CST 2008


On Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 12:21 PM, John Ollinger <ollinger@wisc.edu> wrote:
>
> I apologize for the tone of my email  - it was the result of late-hours, a
> migraine, and memories of past bad experiences.  I spent 3 years in the 80's
> writing software for a scanner that was ostensibly developed for use at a
> university.  Then the hardware guys formed a company and eventually made
> tons of money while the two of us developing software got a one-time shot at
> some consulting, $2000 in royalties, (which was exactly equal to the
> university's share,) and lost our jobs.   A few years later I inadvertently
> bought software that I had written during those three years.  Hence the
> paranoia.
>
> The combination of open-source software and for-profit companies do raise
> some legitimate questions, so I don't think that it is entirely unreasonable
> for people to wonder about this.

Fair enough. However, I think that our history of support for a free
and open scipy since (quite literally) the beginning should speak for
itself. Nothing has changed in that regard. scipy would be much less
useful to us were we to attempt to close it up, not that we could
succeed. A big difference between your situation (as far as I can
tell) and scipy's is that scipy's code is authentically open source
and freely available on the Internet. Even if we were to shut down
scipy.org and "take our ball and go home," there are any number of
people with the source already who can simply start up again on
code.google.com. We would inconvenience the community, but we couldn't
stop it from developing scipy in any way.

But all of that would be incredibly stupid of us. Our support of scipy
has been one of the most substantial advertisements for our consulting
services. For a long time, it was our *only* advertisement.

-- 
Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless
enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as
though it had an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco


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