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Re: gnuplot licensing terms

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  • David Denholm
    ... but it sounds like it s easier for you to speak to him ! Please could you ask Thomas to come up with or approve a change to the terms to contain the above
    Message 1 of 15 , Jul 1, 1997
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      >
      > Thomas Williams definitely owns the copyright and he opposes the
      > GPL. However, in the past, we have allowed people to distribute modified
      > binaries if they
      > 1. Provided the patches to us and in their distribution
      > 2. Included information on how to obtain the FAQ, manual and latest
      > official releases
      > 3. Included the GNUPLOT 00README and copyright statement.
      >
      > His old email address is dead but you can still reach Thomas Williams
      > by phone at ILM.

      but it sounds like it's easier for you to speak to him !

      Please could you ask Thomas to come up with or approve a
      change to the terms to contain the above conditions.

      If we put all the information from (2) into the 00README file, then
      we can presumably drop that rule, since it would then be covered
      by (3).



      Richard Stallman thought that requiring the patches be sent to
      the maintainer was too severe : I append his message:


      thanks

      dd
      --
      david.denholm@...
      Tel +44 (0)1494 453376 (work) +44 (0)1494 459742 (home)







      rms@... said:
      > > But there's a second issue. People can release improved
      > versions of Gnuplot in the form of a patch file. If someone makes a
      > good improved version, we free operating system maintainers would
      > like to be able to include it in a free operating system as a
      > convenient executable.

      > It seems very strange to me that you would want to circumvent the
      > acknowledged code maintainer

      > Free software means that a user is free to distribute and support his
      > own version of the program.

      > It is good to have one maintainer that people generally work with,
      > because that maximizes cooperation. That is a kind of
      > acknowledgement of one maintainer; but it must not go so far that
      > other people's modified versions are considered illegitimate. That
      > would mean the program is not free.

      > , and distribute non-supported versions of code... certainly the
      > code maintainer should not be expected to recieve bug reports against
      > someone else's version. Who should bug reports be sent to ?

      > John's version would not be supported by you, but it might be
      > supported. John might support it.

      > People who want bugs fixed in John's version would have to ask John.
      > If I were you, I would not spend time fixing it unless I saw a reason
      > to--for example, if John were working with me to integrate his
      > changes. Otherwise I would just say, "I maintain the standard
      > version which is at ... If you want help with John's version you'll
      > have to ask John."

      > In ideal world, the maintainer would be able to incorporate all
      > changes in sufficient time to keep everyone happy. But unfortuntely,
      > I don't have enough time to fulfill such an obligation.

      > Exactly. That's how it is for every maintainer of a free program,
      > including me. And that's one of the reasons why the freedom to
      > release a modified version is important, in general, for any program.

      > Since we cannot put in all the features people want, not even all the
      > GOOD features people want, we should not hold them back from making
      > progress on their own.

      > Would a simple change along the lines of 'binaries from modified
      > sources may be distributed provided the source patchfile is also
      > distributed and submited to the code maintainers. The version number
      > and contact address displayed on startup must be suitably modified'
      > make gnuplot "really" free ?

      > A simple change more or less like this can do the job. There's no
      > need for a major change like changing to the GPL and no need to
      > change who holds the copyright.

      > I think these particular words are too strong in some ways, while not
      > strong enough in other ways. Requiring people to actively "submit"
      > their changes to some specific person is going too far; at the same
      > time, it doesn't clearly require them to give you permission to USE
      > these changes. Also, "provided...is also distribed" is weak and
      > might open loopholes.

      > How about this: "provided that the source patchfile is distributed
      > along with the binary and grants permission for the maintainers of
      > Gnuplot to incorporate it into a future release to be released under
      > these terms."

      >



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    • David M. O'Donnell
      Not sure if this is in bad taste to ask, but what was the conclusion of this discussion (begun 30 June 1997)? Has the copyright been modified? Are there any
      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 25, 1998
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        Not sure if this is in bad taste to ask, but what was the conclusion of this
        discussion (begun 30 June 1997)? Has the copyright been modified? Are there
        any plans to change the status of the beta to production?
        Dave

        ===========================
        David M. O'Donnell
        Innovative Engineering & Technology
        Syracuse, NY
        daveod@...


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      • Hans-Bernhard Broeker
        ... Yes. Not as much as most of the beta team would have liked them to be (-- no GPL, sorry), but the new statements are clearer and they do allow
        Message 3 of 15 , Jun 25, 1998
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          On Thu, 25 Jun 1998, David M. O'Donnell wrote:

          > Not sure if this is in bad taste to ask, but what was the conclusion of this
          > discussion (begun 30 June 1997)? Has the copyright been modified?

          Yes. Not as much as most of the beta team would have liked them to be (-->
          no GPL, sorry), but the new statements are clearer and they do allow
          distributing modified sources and binaries compiled from them.

          > Are there any plans to change the status of the beta to production?

          Those plans are imminent. Apart from some minor glitches introduced by
          heavy patchsets introduced lately (--> beta 347), all the major
          contributors seem to agree that we do have a release candidate.

          Hans-Bernhard Broeker (broeker@...-aachen.de)
          Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.


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        • Alexander Mai
          On Thu, 25 Jun 1998 19:30:28 +0200 (MET DST), Hans-Bernhard Broeker wrote: [...] ... Hmm, in other similar projects a release candidat is usually a version
          Message 4 of 15 , Jun 26, 1998
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            On Thu, 25 Jun 1998 19:30:28 +0200 (MET DST), Hans-Bernhard Broeker wrote:

            [...]
            >> Are there any plans to change the status of the beta to production?
            >
            >Those plans are imminent. Apart from some minor glitches introduced by
            >heavy patchsets introduced lately (--> beta 347), all the major
            >contributors seem to agree that we do have a release candidate.
            >
            >Hans-Bernhard Broeker (broeker@...-aachen.de)
            >Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.
            >

            Hmm, in other similar projects a "release candidat" is usually a
            version which is "ready to ship". I have noticed here a few bug
            reports with available patches ?! Some supplied text files are still
            from 1993, some OS/2 patches are still not integrated (no new features),
            old gnuplot files can't be read in ...

            Should exactly this be released as a product of years of work ???

            If not, please avoid this term ...


            ------------------------------------------------------------------
            Alexander Mai
            st002279@...-darmstadt.de
            Alexander.Mai@...-darmstadt.de
            am@...
            ------------------------------------------------------------------





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          • Lars Hecking
            ... You are cordially invited to join the efforts and *do* something about it. ... As far as I can see, there are two issues which must be resolved before a
            Message 5 of 15 , Jun 26, 1998
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              > Hmm, in other similar projects a "release candidat" is usually a
              > version which is "ready to ship". I have noticed here a few bug
              > reports with available patches ?! Some supplied text files are still
              > from 1993, some OS/2 patches are still not integrated (no new features),
              > old gnuplot files can't be read in ...

              You are cordially invited to join the efforts and *do* something about it.

              > Should exactly this be released as a product of years of work ???
              >
              > If not, please avoid this term ...

              As far as I can see, there are two issues which must be resolved before
              a release, and I am confident this will happen in the next few weeks.

              About the other bugs, frankly, I don't really care right now. If it dumps
              core on Linux/alpha, and no one gives us the information we need to fix it,
              we can't put in a fix or workaround, that's how it is.
              I'm expecting a bugfix release shortly (within 1-3 months) after the
              "official" release anyway, as there will be a wider audience for testing.

              Of course, we could always wait another five years to get a real,
              polished quality release ...


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            • Hans-Bernhard Broeker
              ... Actually, the margin calculation problem (i.e. the disappearing ylabel bug) is serious enough to stop the presses, IMHO. ... Can t say a file dated 1993
              Message 6 of 15 , Jun 29, 1998
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                On Fri, 26 Jun 1998, Alexander Mai wrote:

                > >Those plans are imminent. Apart from some minor glitches introduced by
                > >heavy patchsets introduced lately (--> beta 347), all the major
                > >contributors seem to agree that we do have a release candidate.

                > Hmm, in other similar projects a "release candidat" is usually a
                > version which is "ready to ship". I have noticed here a few bug
                > reports with available patches ?!

                Actually, the margin calculation problem (i.e. the 'disappearing ylabel'
                bug) is serious enough to stop the presses, IMHO.

                > Some supplied text files are still
                > from 1993, some OS/2 patches are still not integrated (no new features),
                > old gnuplot files can't be read in ...

                Can't say a file dated 1993 is a problem in and of itself, and of
                OS/2 patches I know next to nothing.

                A fix regarding reading saved scripts from older betas (before 344 or
                so) is ready. I'll upload it to cmpc1 today.

                Hans-Bernhard Broeker (broeker@...-aachen.de)
                Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.


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              • Alexander Mai
                ... Yes, I mean release candidate of a project with _years_ of beta testing should be package differing only in - let s say 10 Bytes ... :-) ... Well, if you
                Message 7 of 15 , Jun 29, 1998
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                  On Mon, 29 Jun 1998 11:23:01 +0200 (MET DST), Hans-Bernhard Broeker wrote:

                  >On Fri, 26 Jun 1998, Alexander Mai wrote:
                  >
                  >> Hmm, in other similar projects a "release candidat" is usually a
                  >> version which is "ready to ship". I have noticed here a few bug
                  >> reports with available patches ?!
                  >
                  >Actually, the margin calculation problem (i.e. the 'disappearing ylabel'
                  >bug) is serious enough to stop the presses, IMHO.

                  Yes, I mean "release candidate" of a project with _years_ of beta testing should
                  be package differing only in - let's say 10 Bytes ... :-)

                  >
                  >> Some supplied text files are still
                  >> from 1993, some OS/2 patches are still not integrated (no new features),
                  >> old gnuplot files can't be read in ...
                  >
                  >Can't say a file dated 1993 is a problem in and of itself, and of
                  >OS/2 patches I know next to nothing.

                  Well, if you don't care about it's of course not a problem.
                  The latter sounds at least important to me ...

                  >
                  >A fix regarding reading saved scripts from older betas (before 344 or
                  >so) is ready. I'll upload it to cmpc1 today.
                  >
                  >Hans-Bernhard Broeker (broeker@...-aachen.de)
                  >Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.
                  >

                  I can't imagine a similar project which would change a datafile format without
                  offering a conversion tool. I haven't got it by now, is it a patch to the
                  gnuplot sources or an external tool ?

                  Bye,


                  ------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Alexander Mai
                  st002279@...-darmstadt.de
                  Alexander.Mai@...-darmstadt.de
                  am@...
                  ------------------------------------------------------------------



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                • David Denholm
                  ... I also cannot imagine a *released* tool not supporting files from a previous release. But gnuplot 3.6 has never been released. Surely this sort of
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jun 30, 1998
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                    > On Mon, 29 Jun 1998 11:23:01 +0200 (MET DST), Hans-Bernhard Broeker wrote:
                    >
                    > >On Fri, 26 Jun 1998, Alexander Mai wrote:
                    > >

                    > >
                    > >A fix regarding reading saved scripts from older betas (before 344 or
                    > >so) is ready. I'll upload it to cmpc1 today.
                    > >
                    > >Hans-Bernhard Broeker (broeker@...-aachen.de)
                    > >Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.
                    > >
                    >
                    > I can't imagine a similar project which would change a datafile format without
                    > offering a conversion tool. I haven't got it by now, is it a patch to the
                    > gnuplot sources or an external tool ?
                    >


                    I also cannot imagine a *released* tool not supporting files from
                    a previous release. But gnuplot 3.6 has never been released. Surely
                    this sort of inconvenience is one of the risks of using non-released
                    software..?

                    [But I do accept some of the blame for this]


                    Do we really want to be committed forever to supporting a
                    never-released datafile format ? (since once this feature
                    ships, we cannot easily remove it)


                    I've not yet looked at the changes for this : is it a code
                    change or just a perl script to do a static transform ?

                    dd
                    --
                    David Denholm daved@...
                    Citrix Systems UK Ltd. http://www.citrix.com/



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                  • Alexander Mai
                    ... Well, everybody I know who is using gnuplot uses a beta for 3.6 ... In fact this beta has been widely distributed: not only software distributions like
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jun 30, 1998
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                      On Tue, Jun 30, 1998 at 10:20:38AM +0100, David Denholm wrote:
                      > > On Mon, 29 Jun 1998 11:23:01 +0200 (MET DST), Hans-Bernhard Broeker wrote:
                      > >
                      > > >On Fri, 26 Jun 1998, Alexander Mai wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > I can't imagine a similar project which would change a datafile format without
                      > > offering a conversion tool. I haven't got it by now, is it a patch to the
                      > > gnuplot sources or an external tool ?
                      >
                      > I also cannot imagine a *released* tool not supporting files from
                      > a previous release. But gnuplot 3.6 has never been released. Surely
                      > this sort of inconvenience is one of the risks of using non-released
                      > software..?
                      >
                      > [But I do accept some of the blame for this]
                      >

                      Well, everybody I know who is using gnuplot uses a beta for 3.6 ...
                      In fact this beta has been widely distributed: not only software
                      distributions like linux cd-sets etc. carry this beta but
                      also lots of people asking for missing in 3.5 got the advice
                      from the net community to install a beta.
                      => Many people are using gnuplot 3.6 pl3xx nowadays.

                      >
                      > Do we really want to be committed forever to supporting a
                      > never-released datafile format ? (since once this feature
                      > ships, we cannot easily remove it)
                      > I've not yet looked at the changes for this : is it a code
                      > change or just a perl script to do a static transform ?
                      >

                      Had a quick look. It seems to be change to the source code
                      parsing the input data.

                      If so, keeping compatibility is no real problem, even in future.
                      But we can also drop this for 4.0 cause using 3.7 people have
                      a chance to convert their datafiles without too much effort
                      (just load & save).

                      I would also have accepted a script/utility in a 'portable' language.

                      --
                      Alexander Mai
                      st002279@...-darmstadt.de
                      am@...

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                    • BJ Freeman
                      An opinion... Leave utility tools outside the main design. Let some interested party make then tool and provide it for others to use. ... From: David Denholm
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jul 1, 1998
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                        An opinion...
                        Leave utility tools outside the main design.
                        Let some interested party make then tool and provide it for others to use.


                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: David Denholm [mailto:daved@...]
                        Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 1998 2:21 AM
                        To: Alexander Mai
                        Cc: info-gnuplot-beta@...
                        Subject: Re: gnuplot licensing terms


                        > On Mon, 29 Jun 1998 11:23:01 +0200 (MET DST), Hans-Bernhard Broeker wrote:
                        >
                        > >On Fri, 26 Jun 1998, Alexander Mai wrote:
                        > >

                        > >
                        > >A fix regarding reading saved scripts from older betas (before 344 or
                        > >so) is ready. I'll upload it to cmpc1 today.
                        > >
                        > >Hans-Bernhard Broeker (broeker@...-aachen.de)
                        > >Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.
                        > >
                        >
                        > I can't imagine a similar project which would change a datafile format
                        without
                        > offering a conversion tool. I haven't got it by now, is it a patch to the
                        > gnuplot sources or an external tool ?
                        >


                        I also cannot imagine a *released* tool not supporting files from
                        a previous release. But gnuplot 3.6 has never been released. Surely
                        this sort of inconvenience is one of the risks of using non-released
                        software..?

                        [But I do accept some of the blame for this]


                        Do we really want to be committed forever to supporting a
                        never-released datafile format ? (since once this feature
                        ships, we cannot easily remove it)


                        I've not yet looked at the changes for this : is it a code
                        change or just a perl script to do a static transform ?

                        dd
                        --
                        David Denholm daved@...
                        Citrix Systems UK Ltd. http://www.citrix.com/



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