[Numpy-discussion] performance matrix multiplication vs. matlab

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Sun Jan 17 13:43:15 EST 2010

On Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 12:11, Benoit Jacob <jacob.benoit.1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2010/1/17 Robert Kern <robert.kern at gmail.com>:
>> On Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 08:52, Benoit Jacob <jacob.benoit.1 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 2010/1/17 David Cournapeau <cournape at gmail.com>:
>>>> There are several issues with eigen2 for NumPy usage:
>>>>  - using it as a default implementation does not make much sense IMHO,
>>>> as it would make distributed binaries non 100 % BSD.
>>> But the LGPL doesn't impose restrictions on the usage of binaries, so
>>> how does it matter? The LGPL and the BSD licenses are similar as far
>>> as the binaries are concerned (unless perhaps one starts disassembling
>>> them).
>>> The big difference between LGPL and BSD is at the level of source
>>> code, not binary code: one modifies LGPL-based source code and
>>> distributes a binary form of it, then one has to release the modified
>>> source code as well.
>> This is not true. Binaries that contain LGPLed code must be able to be
>> relinked with a modified version of the LGPLed component.
> This doesn't apply to Eigen which is a header-only pure template
> library, hence can't be 'linked' to.
> Actually you seem to be referring to Section 4 of the LGPL3, we have
> already asked the FSF about this and their reply was that it just
> doesn't apply in the case of Eigen:
> http://listengine.tuxfamily.org/lists.tuxfamily.org/eigen/2009/01/msg00083.html
> In your case, what matters is Section 5.

You mean Section 3. Good. I admit to being less up on the details of
LGPLv3 than I was of LGPLv2 which had a problem with C++ header

That said, we will not be using the C++ templates directly in numpy
for technical reasons (not least that we do not want to require a C++
compiler for the default build). At best, we would be using a BLAS
interface which requires linking of objects, not just header
templates. That *would* impose the Section 4 requirements.

Furthermore, we would still prefer not to have any LGPL code in the
official numpy sources or binaries, regardless of how minimal the real
requirements are. Licensing is confusing enough that being able to say
"numpy is BSD licensed" without qualification is quite important.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless
enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as
though it had an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

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