[SciPy-dev] Numerical Recipes (was tagging 0.7rc1 this weekend?)

Robert Kern robert.kern@gmail....
Wed Dec 3 14:48:40 CST 2008

On Wed, Dec 3, 2008 at 14:35, Jarrod Millman <millman@berkeley.edu> wrote:
> Given the discussion about Numerical Recipes derived-code, I did a
> little grepping and found 7 instances where code is referencing
> Numerical Recipes.  Before branching for 0.7, I would like to see this
> resolved.  I am not sure what we should do, but the license for using
> Numerical Recipes derived code clearly does not permit us to include
> it in scipy:
>  http://www.nr.com/licenses/redistribute.html
> Below I include all the instances I could easily find.  Thoughts?

There's a difference between referencing NR's descriptions of
algorithms and translating its code. I suspect that the functions in
stats.py, originally written by Gary Perlman, probably fall into the
latter category, but the others probably don't. Before pulling out
functions, it would be worthwhile to compare our implementations with
NR's to see if they in fact do look translated.

But do keep in mind that the algorithms are not copyrightable, and the
fact that there are only so many ways to implement said algorithms
correctly is fairly substantial protection for us.


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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