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Re: Sparse matrices?

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: Sparse matrices?
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 14:21:56 -0500

On 18-Jun-1997, Ian Searle <address@hidden> wrote:

| The biggest difference is RLab uses the SuperLU package
| for factorization, and Algae uses Boeing Computing Services (BCS) sparse
| factorization routines.  The BCS routines are _very_ good performers. I
| wish I could use them, but they are not allowed outside Boeing (unless
| you have a lot of money, I think Cray and MSC license them).

As I understand it, the FSF would consider this to be a violation of
the GPL because the resulting work (Algae + BCS sparse matrix code)
cannot be redistributed under the terms of the GPL.  According to the
FSF, it doesn't matter that the BCS sparse matrix code is not
distributed with Algae and that the user is the one linking them
together.  This is the reason I recently had to remove some functions
from Octave that provided interfaces to proprietary code.

Please, I have no desire to start a flamewar about the GPL,
particularly on this mailing list.  If you want to do that, start a
discussion in the gnu.misc.discuss newsgroup instead.  I don't think
there has been a GPL flame fest there for several months now, so I
suppose we are overdue.  :-/


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