Python is slow?

George Sakkis george.sakkis at
Tue Sep 30 17:04:35 CEST 2008

On Sep 30, 9:43 am, Steven D'Aprano <st... at REMOVE-THIS-> wrote:

> On Tue, 30 Sep 2008 22:19:57 +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> > Steven D'Aprano <ste... at> writes:
> >> On Tue, 30 Sep 2008 19:04:41 +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> >> > You're not free to modify gnuplot and redistribute the result.
> >> > That you're free to distribute patches is nice, but it's not enough
> >> > to make the work free. The freedom to help people by giving them an
> >> > *already-modified* gnuplot is restricted by the copyright holder.
> >> > It's an artificial restriction on redistribution of derived works,
> >> > making them second-class for the prupose of getting them into
> >> > people's hands.
> >> Yes it is. It seems a strange, unnecessary restriction. But is it
> >> sufficient to make it non-free? I don't think so.
> > I do, because a natural, beneficial act (modify the work and
> > redistribute it) that has no technical reason to restrict, is
> > artifically restricted.
> We agree that the restriction is artificial, and I think irrational
> (although I'd be interested in hearing the gnuplot developers' reasoning
> before making a final judgment).
> But I just don't see the requirement that modified software be
> distributed in form X (original source + diffs) versus form Y (modified
> source in a tar ball) or form Z (an rpm) to be that big a deal. Not
> enough to make it "non-free software".
> I simply don't think that having to run some variation on
> patch -i patchfile.patch
> is a requirement so onerous that it makes the gnuplot licence non-free.
> Perhaps I'm just more tolerant of eccentricities than you :)

What you're missing is that for Free Software (TM) zealots it's a
matter of philosophical principle, totally unrelated to how easy is to
overcome the restriction. There is not a "practicality beats purity"
clause in the FSF Bible.


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