[SciPy-user] python+maxima+latex for symbolic stuff

Ryan Krauss ryanlists at gmail.com
Thu Nov 17 19:14:08 CST 2005

I found this under the FAQ at gnu.org and it would appear that Stephan
is right (but the gnu folks don't want to say that for sure):

What is the difference between "mere aggregation" and "combining two
modules into one program"?
    Mere aggregation of two programs means putting them side by side
on the same CD-ROM or hard disk. We use this term in the case where
they are separate programs, not parts of a single program. In this
case, if one of the programs is covered by the GPL, it has no effect
on the other program.

    Combining two modules means connecting them together so that they
form a single larger program. If either part is covered by the GPL,
the whole combination must also be released under the GPL--if you
can't, or won't, do that, you may not combine them.

    What constitutes combining two parts into one program? This is a
legal question, which ultimately judges will decide. We believe that a
proper criterion depends both on the mechanism of communication (exec,
pipes, rpc, function calls within a shared address space, etc.) and
the semantics of the communication (what kinds of information are

    If the modules are included in the same executable file, they are
definitely combined in one program. If modules are designed to run
linked together in a shared address space, that almost surely means
combining them into one program.

    By contrast, pipes, sockets and command-line arguments are
communication mechanisms normally used between two separate programs.
So when they are used for communication, the modules normally are
separate programs. But if the semantics of the communication are
intimate enough, exchanging complex internal data structures, that too
could be a basis to consider the two parts as combined into a larger

I think what I have done is a "mere aggregation" so that it could be
distributed on the same CD rom as Maxima and not need to be GPL - i.e.
that Maxima's GPL license would not affect anything else being
distributed with it.  My input/output sharing is less sophisticated
that pipes.


On 11/17/05, Stefan van der Walt <stefan at sun.ac.za> wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 17, 2005 at 04:13:28PM -0500, Ryan Krauss wrote:
> > Sorry, yes I meant to use a BSD license.  I don't know completely how
> > this will work though because Maxima is GPL.  I don't link to Maxima
> > in anyway, I just call it from the command line.  Does that pose a
> > problem for comercial use?  Can you bundle GPL software with your own
> > proprietary stuff if you don't link to it?
> If you don't link to GPL'd code, that license doesn't pose a problem.
> You are allowed to bundle GPL software with commercial packages, as
> long as you distribute the source as well.
> In fact, you are allowed to sell GPL software -- but finding buyers
> might prove difficult :)
> Stéfan
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