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Re: [Help-gsl] Source code for HiCalc / breach of GPL for GSL

From: Dr. David Kirkby
Subject: Re: [Help-gsl] Source code for HiCalc / breach of GPL for GSL
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 21:48:40 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; SunOS sun4u; en-US; rv:1.7) Gecko/20060120

Li, Timothy - BLS wrote:
Dr. Kirkby:

Just supply some thoughts after your reply.

I sincerely think HiCalc can live without GSL -- not to discredit GSL.
In fact HiCalc can run even faster without it.

You may well be right that there are more appropriate algorithms for small matrices on a small calculator.

But if it takes 50 ms rather than 1us it is of little practical difference. So speed alone is not reason to change algorithms.

But this does not change the fact the *current* release of HiCalc uses the GSL and so the *current* release of HiCalc should be under the GPL and so the *current* HiCalc source code should freely available.

Whether the HiCalc developers change a later release to another algorithm (either for computational and/or license reasons) does not make any difference to the current situation.

The HiCalc developers have clearly made money in the past by the use of GSL algorithms.

By releasing the source code the community will gain from the benefits of GPL'ed software. But if the source is kept closed people are going to be paying to buy new software where they might be quite happy to use an older one for free.

That does not seem right to me and whilst I'm not a GSL developer I feel the release of HiCalc under the GPL is something that should be pressed for.

I'd like Mathematica on a Pocket PC. but until (if) that happens a free open-source scientific calculator would be nice. I would object to buying a key for a closed source bit of software which should rightly be open-source.

Of course, the developers might accept this and do the right thing anyway.

Anyone who wants Mathematica on a Pocket PC might like to take a look at a web based interface I developed. The interface is open-source (written in PHP).

Dr. David Kirkby

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