[SciPy-dev] Scikits and stuff

Travis E. Oliphant oliphant@enthought....
Fri Dec 28 03:56:17 CST 2007

Nathan Bell wrote:
> On Dec 28, 2007 1:56 AM, Robert Kern <robert.kern@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> gscikits --- For GPL encumbered packages regardless of origin or destiny.
>> I think this is a misnomer. There are also LGPL-, MPL-, CPL-, CeCILL-, OPL-,
>> etc-encumbered packages, too. I don't see a good reason to not let these
>> packages use the scikits namespace. Every package has its own license; scikits
>> is not a package. It's just not that confusing.
Think of it as GPL-inspired scikits, then.   I did not mean for gscikits 
to only include the GPL itself.    Sure, scikits is not a package, but 
it is a "namespace" and that has meaning.  The point is what "meaning" 
do you want it to have.    I see great value in a clear separation 
between GPL-inspired licenses and other licenses.

If these are all awash in the scikits namespace, then it is going to be 
more difficult for people who would like to be able to use scikits 
packages but cannot use the GPL to know what they can and can't use.  

> Personally, I don't see why different licenses would necessitate
> different namespaces either.  IMO separating BSD scikits from
> everything else would needlessly confuse new users and diminish the
> overall 'scikit' mind share.
It is the 'mind share' I'm interested in as well.  Right now it is 
pretty clear that scipy is BSD (or similarly) licensed.   It would be 
productive if that same kind of advertising were available for scikits.
> Is it not fair to say that the distinctions among the various licenses
> are completely unimportant to the vast majority of the audience
> scikits is supposed to address?  
All I'm saying that the distinction between the licenses that impose 
restrictions on what you do with your own code that depends on them and 
licenses that don't do that is important enough to warrant a name-space 
> Furthermore, does anyone want to
> police this sort of policy should 100s of scikits be developed?
It is much easier to "police" if all you have to do is change the name 
of the package it gets installed in. 
> Travis E. Oliphant wrote:
>> The point is that it is very useful for users to be able to know that
>> scikits and scipy and scipydev have a BSD or similar license, but
>> "scifree" is GPL-like and creates possible encumbrances for people who
>> use it in their code bases.
> I doubt that anyone who's legitimately concerned about such matters is
> going to trust that scikit.foo is actually BSD code without verifying
> it personally.

Sure, but that same person is more likely not going to touch *any* of 
scikits if there is GPL code released in it's name-space (even if they 
are "separate" packages and especially if they are actually hosted on 
the same svn tree).  It gets too murky for people who need to care to 
spend the time figuring it out --- they'll just go buy the off-the-shelf 
solution even if it isn't as good in some technical sense.


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