[Pkg-octave-devel] Bug#435214: Bug#435214: Clarification of licensing terms of semidef-oct

Lieven Vandenberghe vandenbe at ee.ucla.edu
Mon Aug 6 16:13:30 UTC 2007


I can see why our license is  ambiguous.   When we wrote it in 1994, we 
intended it to mean that the program is entirely free, for any purpose 
(including commercial) and without any restriction.  

If it is easier if we switch to a standard free license, I would choose 
the LGPL.

Best regards,


Stephen Boyd wrote:
> rafael,
> i am happy to switch the license to GNU, but of course we have to 
> check with lieven.  as a coincidence i will see lieven tomorrow, when 
> we can send the final confirmation.
> however, it should be noted that semideg_prog is really quite old, and 
> there are now far more recent solvers available for semidefinite 
> programming.  i have not used semidef_prog for many years now.  i 
> don't know which solver is best for linking to octave.
> i (and many others too) do most of my day to day convex optimization 
> work using cvx, which has a GNU license, but unfortunately, runs on 
> top of matlab.  our plan (hope? goal?) however is to develop a full 
> GNU system for modeling and solving convex optimization problems.  
> lieven's CVXOPT is a good start along these lines, but i am not sure 
> how easy or hard it is to tie python/C into octave.  if you are 
> interested in optimization software for octave, i'd be happy to chat; 
> maybe we can help (beyond changing the license on ancient, but 
> working, software to GNU).
> stephen
> Rafael Laboissiere wrote:
>> I am one of the members of the Debian Octave Group [1], which 
>> maintains the
>> Octave-related packages for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution.  Your
>> semidef_prog software, which was ported to Octave by A. S. Hodel, has 
>> been
>> packaged for Debian [2] since 1998.
>> Only recently, it has been brought to our attention [3] the fact that 
>> the
>> license terms in the semidef_prog's README file are incompatible with 
>> the Debian Free Software Guidelines [4].  At least, the phrase 
>> "distribute this
>> software for any purpose without fee" is ambiguous.
>> Unless the license terms are clarified or they are switched to some 
>> standard
>> license language (like MIT/X11 or GPL), we will be forced to removed the
>> package from Debian, which would be a pity for our users.
>> Just FYI, the semidef_prog software seem sto work correctly with the 
>> latest
>> version of Octave (2.9.13).
>> [1] http://pkg-octave.alioth.debian.org/
>> [2] http://packages.debian.org/unstable/math/octave-sp
>> [3] http://bugs.debian.org/435214
>> [4] http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
>> (Please, respect the Reply-To header, in order to keep the discussion
>> recorded in our Bug Tracking System.  Thanks.)
>> Best regards,

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