[SciPy-dev] PRIMME: PReconditioned Iterative MultiMethod Eigensolver

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Fri Oct 27 11:32:45 CDT 2006

Matthew Brett wrote:
> Hi,
>> It is the same situation as with the umfpack solver (GPL) - I have
>> written the wrappers which are included in scipy (they do not use any
>> umfpack code, they just use information about its API) and added a check
>> into distutils and a section into site.cfg file to see if umfpack is
>> installed in the system.
> Well - the question was about the LGPL.  My reading of the license:
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html
> is that (under section 6) you are allowed to distribute an LGPL
> library with non-derived code that links to it, as long as your own
> license terms 'permit modification of [your] work for the customer's
> own use and reverse engineering for debugging such modifications', and
> that you provide (section 6a) the source code to the code linking to
> the library and the library itself.
> If I read that correctly, it seems to me that an LGPL library can be
> included with SciPy without SciPy needing to change its own license.

The only reason that wrappers for FFTW and UMFPACK are allowed are because they 
are optional. We need people to be able to "install scipy" without needing to 
install *any* GPL or LGPL code even if the only code in our SVN repository is 
just the BSD-licensed wrappers.

If you want more wrappers for GPL or LGPL software, it's time to start the 
scikits package. I'd really like to avoid more optional wrappers. It makes 
writing code that depends on scipy much harder.

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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