Scientific Libraries in Python

Horatio Davis horatio at
Sat Dec 1 06:19:13 EST 2001

On 1 Dec 2001, Kragen Sitaker wrote:

> Travis Oliphant <oliphant at> writes:
> >
> > The LGPL does what it seems like you want you want (doesn't allow people
> > to take your particular code, alter it slightly and make it proprietary),
> > but it also allows people to release a larger application which only links
> > to your code under a non-GPL license.
> Right.  Their only obligation would be to let people drop in newer
> versions of MayaVi.  So, for example, Mathematica or IDL could add
> MayaVi as a plotting option if you released it under the LGPL.

These packages already have visualization options which, surprisingly,
they seem happy with. If they wanted to add the VTK as their visualization
library, they could do so now, because VTK is free-as-in-beer. If they
want to move away from their proprietary languages and use Python to work
with the VTK... at the risk of further embarrassing Prabhu, I respectfully
submit that MayaVi would eat them for breakfast.

It would just gain bigger teeth if the rest of us could use it (and
Scigraphica, for that matter) without being GPL'd for our troubles.

> > Enthought is also interested in distributing an "everything included"
> > distribution which contains many of the above packages you mentioned, but
> > to distribute such a beast which all worked together dynamically, my
> > understanding is that none of the included packages could be GPL (LGPL
> > would be O.K.)
> That is only the case if some of the included packages are proprietary
> or under a GPL-incompatible free-software license.  Does Enthought
> want to include proprietary software in their distribution?

I was assuming that they'd be distributing SciPy in their distribution.
What do you mean by "political obstacles"?

nnnggh-must-not-start-licensing-flamewar-MUST-NOT-'ly yours,


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