[SciPy-dev] [Fwd: Re: license status of your code on netlib]

Nathaniel Smith njs@pobox....
Fri Sep 11 14:46:09 CDT 2009


On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 7:02 AM, Pauli Virtanen <pav+sp@iki.fi> wrote:
> In a sense, also the drawbacks of the advertisement clause start to apply
> -- suppose many basic numerical codes had citation clauses. Most of the
> papers in all fields would have a citation to LAPACK. In a sense a good
> thing, in a sense a bit silly. Maybe a less of an annoyance than the
> advertisement clause, though, as you'd need to do this only once per
> paper.

It can also backfire hard -- if something as basic as LAPACK were GPL
incompatible (which a citation clause would make it), then we'd
probably all be using a rewrite under a more permissive license by
now, and LAPACK wouldn't get cited at all. (There's also the fun that
happens when every component of LAPACK has its own citation clause --
hope you weren't planning to publish in a journal with a # of
citations limit, like, oh, Science or Nature!)

My personal rule is that I don't touch code with GPL-incompatible
licenses. Life is too short, and too many of my basic tools are
GPL'ed. Your code is never more special and useful than all of the
GPL'ed code in the world put together. I mean, really.

No-one puts citation-requiring EULAs on their papers and yet life goes
on; I'd rather see software follow paper norms than papers start
following software norms.

-- Nathaniel


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