[SciPy-User] Central File Exchange for SciPy

william ratcliff william.ratcliff@gmail....
Mon Nov 1 19:29:25 CDT 2010

I think for now, let's try going with BSD or CC0 and allowing people to link
to other code if they so desire (but not put it on the site).   Another

For usability, I really like how the stack overflow answers with the most
votes appear at the top of the page.  However, over time, the previous top
answer may become less relevant.  Should we have "aging" for scores?   Also,
a friend suggested requiring doctests for the code (with the eventual long
term goal of being able to run the doctests on a vm somewhere like EC2, but
that would be a much longer term goal with the latest versions of scipy,
numpy, and matplotlib).    Does it sound reasonable to require doctests or
is that too high of a burden?


On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 7:47 PM, Robert Kern <robert.kern@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 18:20, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> >> Even if the snippet is licensed BSD you cannot simply copy and paste a
> >> code snippet. You have to include the license and copyright notice of
> >> the original author. So if people simply copy and paste code snippets
> >> without paying attention to the licensing it will end up being a mess
> >> anyway, because they are possibly violating licenses.
> >
> > My point is, that the more accessible the interface, the more likely
> > it is that people will indeed copy and paste without taking note of
> > the license.  You can easily imagine the situation, you're working on
> > some problem, you come across the code, it's short, you paste it as a
> > function into your code to get something going.  A while later, you
> > find you've done some adaptations, you've written some supporting
> > functions, and, using the flexible and intuitive new interface, you
> > upload your snippet for other people to use.  By that time, you've
> > forgotten that the original was GPL.    Someone else sees your
> > function, perhaps notes that it is now (incorrectly) BSD, picks it up,
> > puts it into a larger code-base, and so on and so on.
> >
> > Now, if the original code is BSD (and so is all the other code), you
> > are breaking the terms of the original license by not including the
> > original copyright notice, but you can easily fix that by - including
> > the copyright notices.  If the original code is GPL, you'll have a
> > hell of a time trying to work out what code that you and other people
> > wrote was in fact based on the original code, and you'd likely give up
> > and change your license to GPL.
> I think that restricting the license options on the site would only
> give you a false sense of security. The number of screwups is likely
> to be small in any case. And I would suggest that many of those
> screwups would come from moving over GPLed code from other sources
> rather than from other files on the site. I suspect people are more
> interested in adding new stuff to the site rather than tweaking other
> bits already there. I also think that when it does happen, the
> consequences are not nearly as bad as you are making them out to be.
> It's just not that hard to disentangle code of the size we are talking
> about.
> --
> 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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