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Re: Loading of Matlab 5 Files
From: 
John W. Eaton 
Subject: 
Re: Loading of Matlab 5 Files 
Date: 
Sun, 19 Oct 1997 23:56:44 0500 
On 18Oct1997, Doug Warner <address@hidden> wrote:
 >>>>> "jwe" == John W Eaton <address@hidden> writes:

 [discussion of using the Mathworks MATfile library routines to
 read/save v5 matfiles deleted]

 jwe> You have to be precise about exactly what you mean by `included along
 jwe> with'. If you mean, ``can proprietary libraries be linked with code
 jwe> that is distributed under the terms of the GPL?'' then the answer is
 jwe> no, because linking them together creates a derivative work, and to do
 jwe> that, the GPL says that you must be able to distribute the result
 jwe> under the terms of the GPL. You can only do that if the distribution
 jwe> terms for all the code is compatible with the GPL.

 This is a bit bothersome, I think. Does this not then imply that any
 octfunctions I write *must* be freely distributable?
If you choose to distribute them, yes. The GPL does not say that you
must distribute your changes, but it does say *how* you can distribute
your changes, if you want to distribute them. Distributing .oct files
amounts to distributing a modified version of Octave, because the two
must be linked together for the .oct files to work.
 What does the LGPL say about this?
It doesn't really matter, since Octave is not distributed under the
terms of the LGPL, nor is a switch likely to happen. However, if
Octave were distributed under the terms of the LGPL, I believe
distributing .oct files as binaries only or in some other nonfree
form would be allowed, provided that you distributed the source
(including any changes you have made) for the code covered by the
LGPL.
jwe