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Re: [Help-gsl] GPLv3 or LGPL?

From: Francesco Abbate
Subject: Re: [Help-gsl] GPLv3 or LGPL?
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2010 11:11:48 +0100

2010/12/7  <address@hidden>:
> I understand the argument that the FSF gives in that there are not ready
> replacements for it, hence it's a prime target to further its free
> software cause.  However the act of forcing users to use GPLv3 is in a
> sense an act of not making the libraries "free".  It is attaching a
> price to it.  Unfortunately, working in industry, forcing my employer to
> relinquish copyrights on entire software packages (that they are paying
> to develop) is not an option. Idealism or not, they are not going to go
> for that business model.

Hi Andy,

talking about your issue with GPLv3, I understand your point of view
but I not completely agree with you. I work also in the industry and I
know a little bit how it works about software and I know that
corporate institution have a lot of resistencies to adhere to free
software practices and license.

For the other side I believe that the industry is persisting in bad
software practices because of their non-free copyright license. I've
seen a lot of problems because of proprietary software used in
industry. Such problems includes:
- buggy software that you cannot fix because the source is not
available and the supplier does not commit to fix it or it does not
support it anymore because it is obsolete
- limitations of technical possibilities because the software is
avalible only in binary format
- waste of work because some components needs to be rewritten because
the existing libraries are not available in source form and a license
in too much expensive or it is no more supported or sold by the

In general the free software is much better because there are no
articial restrictions on it and you can focus on building new
application using existing free libraries. This is not an idealistic
point of view but it is also a very practical one. If you look at
software development either from the engineering or scientific point
of view the free software is much better because permit to the
scientist or the engineer to examine, use and modify the source code
without articial constraints imposed by commercial practices.

I believe free software should be adopted without restriction in the
scientific environment but also in the industry. This would lead to
better, more powerful and bug free applications and a more easy
development because of the availability of free libraries. I am
therefore happy that the GSL libray is published under the GPL v3

This is my point of view, I hope you can share it at least in part :-)

Best regards,

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