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mexcdf/netcdf license

From: Paul Kienzle
Subject: mexcdf/netcdf license
Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2001 09:18:53 -0500


I used matlab to decode the files.

The mex interface in the octave-forge CVS compiles the mexcdf53
interface.  (It doesn't install properly in the most recent tarball, but I
will have a new one out Real Soon Now).  I did not test it.  The m-files
use varargin and varargout which will need to be converted by hand.

License for mexcdf53.c:

 *      Fair Use:
 *              This software, named "mexcdf53", may be used freely on
 *              condition that this NOTICE be displayed prominantly and
 *              in its entirety on all copies of the software, as well
 *              as on all copies of software that has been derived from
 *              this software.  Furthermore, this software requires the
 *              UCAR/Unidata NetCDF library, whose conditions on proper
 *              credit, distribution, and use must be acknowledged and
 *              honored fully.

The m-files are copyright the same author (at least the ones that I checked),
but do not name a license.  Write the author for clarification.  Also write the
author for a tarball of the files since without a license granting explicit 
for redistribution, I am not free to forward my copy to you.

The netcdf files have the following license:

* Access and use of this software shall impose the following obligations
* and understandings on the user. The user is granted the right, without
* any fee or cost, to use, copy, modify, alter, enhance and distribute
* this software, and any derivative works thereof, and its supporting
* documentation for any purpose whatsoever, provided that this entire
* notice appears in all copies of the software, derivative works and
* supporting documentation.  Further, UCAR requests that the user credit
* UCAR/Unidata in any publications that result from the use of this
* software or in any product that includes this software. The names UCAR
* and/or Unidata, however, may not be used in any advertising or publicity
* to endorse or promote any products or commercial entity unless specific
* written permission is obtained from UCAR/Unidata. The user also
* understands that UCAR/Unidata is not obligated to provide the user with
* any support, consulting, training or assistance of any kind with regard
* to the use, operation and performance of this software nor to provide
* the user with any updates, revisions, new versions or "bug fixes."

Unfortunately, this includes the dreaded "advertising clause" plus an
additional publishing clause which RMS's legal team in their wisdom
deem it to be incompatible with the GPL.  I've heard various opinions
on whether or not you can link and use such software for your own
use.  The fact that the GPL'd code is calling code with an incompatible
license rather than the other way around will in some opinions even
make it legitimate to redistribute linked binaries.  However, until this is 
court we are all walking blind.

Paul Kienzle

Douglas Eck wrote:

> Mark Esplin wrote:
> >       Doesn't the mex interface compile from  "c/c++" source to an octave 
> > "oct"
> > file?  I have been unable to find the source for mexcdf53 on the web.  The
> > closest that I could find was the file mexcdf53_install.p that was supposed
> > to contain the source, but it is in MathCad p-code format.  Is the mexcdf
> > interface proprietary?
> >
> >                         Thanks,
> >
> >                               Mark Esplin
> >
> >
> Mex files do not compile directly into .oct files. But the syntax for
> the mex interface is similar to the syntax for liboctave (the .oct interface).
> There has been disucssion about writing a converter but it's an open issue.
> If you can get the mex source code, myself and others could take a look
> at it and provide pointers (sorry, "references"... this is c++ ;-)
> >>>Pardon me if this has already been mentioned (I seem to be entering the
> >>>discussion late), but have you tried getting the Matlab NetCDF tools to
> >>>work with octave?  You can get them at
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>I remember installing them for matlab, but I never tried using them with
> >>>octave.
> >>>
> >>>We have one professor here in my department who is a big believer in both
> >>>Octave and NetCDF.  I forwarded this issue to him to see if he might have
> >>>any suggestions.
> >>>
> >>>Good luck.
> >>>
> >>>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>- Stephen W. Juranich
> >>>address@hidden Electrical Engineering
> >>> University of Washington
> >>>
> >>>
> >>I was able to compile the mexcdf53 routine with my mex interface.  In the
> >>process I had to fix a couple of install bugs so grab the new version of
> >>octave-forge I'm putting out later today.  I haven't tested anything.
> >>
> >>I'm attaching my modified Makefile.  I did not have to touch the C code.
> >>I installed netcdf to /home/pkienzle/netcdf.
> >>
> >>You will need to replace vararg handling with Octave's variable argument
> >>handling in the m-files.
> >>
> >>Paul Kienzle
> >>address@hidden
> >>
> >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________
> > Do You Yahoo!?
> > Get your free address at
> >
> >
> >
> > -------------------------------------------------------------
> > Octave is freely available under the terms of the GNU GPL.
> >
> > Octave's home on the web:
> > How to fund new projects:
> > Subscription information:
> > -------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >
> --
> Dr. Douglas Eck,
> Istituto Dalle Molle di Studi sull'Intelligenza Artificiale (IDSIA)
> Neural Networks, Rhythm Perception and Production, Dynamical Systems

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