[SciPy-dev] FFTPACK and RandomArray

eric eric at scipy.org
Wed Feb 20 10:25:47 CST 2002

> On Wed, 20 Feb 2002, eric wrote:
> > > But why do you want to throw the fftw wrappers out of scipy CVS? Does it
> > > violets any licence item if distributing wrappers (to GPL'ed
> > > codes) without distributing the corresponding libriaries?
> >
> > No, just the binary disrtibutions.  The headache about keeping them in CVS
> > is the maintanance issue.  Trying to keep one library tested and working is
> > enough, having functional duplicates doubles the problem.
> I see your point. Though with fft we now have opposite situation what one
> would like. The fastest implementation goes out from scipy and it is
> replaced by some intermediate one :(

It is a shame, but there are always compromises.

> I don't like lawyers. :-(

That is a rather blanket statement...

This isn't a lawyer issue anyway.  It's an MIT intelectual property issue.  From
reading the FAQ, the fftw authors would rather open the source under a different
style license, but this would affect MIT's ability to earn revenue off of it.  I
wish it were different, but also completely understand MIT's point of view
here -- they have the right to license it however they wish and also to make
money with it.  Unfortunately, the chosen license is different than SciPy's.  As
a result, if someone wanted to use SciPy in a commercial product, they would
have to pay MIT a license fee for the use of fftw.  With a functionally
equivalent (though slightly slower) alternative, this is an unnecessary

> > Still, I'm not opposed to keeping them in the CVS in something like a
> > directory.  This is sorta how Python handles things.  That would keep the
> > wrappers around and let
> > them evolve with SciPy, but out of the way of the main development tree in
> > "unsupported" section.
> >
> > > And that with an addition check if the GPL library is present. If yes,
> > > then triggering the wrappers extension build and making scipy to use
> > > the fastest routiones available, though they may be GPL'ed?
> >
> > Sure, this is fine with me.
> >
> > So how does that plan sound -- move fftw into a nondist directory?
> Ok, not too bad. It is not completely clear to me how get them out from
> nondist for building and how to use them inside scipy in case they are
> available but I think it can be done.

I'm sure this can be figured out.
> May be it is better to get FFTPACK working first before moving fftw into
> nondist.

Nobody has started actively working on this (at least as far as I know), so it
is still a ways out.  We'll definitely try to make the transition smooth.


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