[SciPy-User] Central File Exchange for SciPy

Vincent Davis vincent@vincentdavis....
Mon Nov 1 19:31:45 CDT 2010

Would be nice if I for example could contribute a snippet and others could
easily extend or make improvements without my involvement. I am not sure how
to link the improvement to the original and track. Maybe something where a
kind of pull/update could be submitted. The issue I am thinking of is
avoiding code that is not being maintained and becomes out of date. (it was
just a hat are not snippet after all) and also trying to avoid
duplicate snippet
with only small differences functionality. I think the solution should
function without the involvement of the original contributor.
Maybe it is possible to adapt something like stackexchange voting of
question answers to voting for the best snippet to perform some function.
For example maybe you are looking for a snippet that imports data from fasta
to an array. A search for fasta to array may return several results and they
could be ranked/sorted by votes. This is different from a simple per snippet
rating as this would allow a ranking/sorting.

I would prefer the discussion stay on the topic of central file exchange and
not on licensing, but maybe this is more important to the planing than I

I hope this post is comprehensible, I am currently experiencing many
distractions and am hitting send without rereading.


On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 5:47 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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Vincent Davis
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