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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 18-Oct-1997, Doug Warner <address@hidden> wrote:

| >>>>> "jwe" == John W Eaton <address@hidden> writes:
| [discussion of using the Mathworks MAT-file library routines to
|  read/save v5 mat-files 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
| oct-functions 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 non-free
form would be allowed, provided that you distributed the source
(including any changes you have made) for the code covered by the


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