[Rd] Closed-source non-free ParallelR ?

Gábor Csárdi csardi at rmki.kfki.hu
Fri Apr 24 17:41:29 CEST 2009

On Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 5:11 PM, Andrew Piskorski <atp at piskorski.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 03:21:45PM -0700, Ian Fellows wrote:
> IMO, that's nuts, there is no such thing as "linking" to a library "in
> an interpreted environment".  Linking is a well understood operation
> in computer programming, and is always done after compilation,
> typically by a special program called "the linker", which is usually
> ld, the GNU linker.  If you are solely running code that you wrote in
> an interpretor provided by another party, you didn't do any linking,
> period.

Khmmm, that might not be true, at least not entirely. If you develop
an R package that has C/C++/Fortran code, then the library from your
package and R link dynamically at running time. According to the FSF
interpretation, the C/C++/etc. part of your package must be under GPL
in this case.

> And more to the point, this:
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "David M Smith" <david at revolution-computing.com>
>> Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 4:36 PM
>> Subject: Re: [Rd] Closed-source non-free ParallelR ?
>> Patrick made all the points that I was going to make (thanks,
>> Patrick), but I wanted to reinforce one point that may be the source
>> of the confusion: ParallelR is not a modified version of R: ParallelR
>> is a suite of ordinary R packages that run on top of the R engine like
>> any other package. The R code and Python code in these packages were
>> written entirely by REvolution Computing staff (including Patrick),
>> and do not contain any code (derived or otherwise) from the R project.
> So, as described by David Smith above, the guys at REvolution
> Computing ("http://www.revolution-computing.com/") have written some
> code of their own code from scratch, code which is not derived from
> any of the code in the R distribution.

Still, if they have code that is compiled and linked to R at running
time, then that code must be under the GPL. Again, this is the FSF
interpretation and certainly not R-core's, not even mine.

Gabor Csardi <Gabor.Csardi at unil.ch>     UNIL DGM

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