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Sandia Releases DAKOTA Toolkit under GPL

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  • Groovy, baby (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EvilAlien (133134) on Friday April 12, 2002 @02:37PM (#3330816) Journal
    Time to get engineers out from under the misperception that only through whoring themselves to vendors shall solutions be reached.
    • Being an engineer I have to say not all engineerings think that way. I wish more tools like this could be released. It opens up the doorway for more innovation, as people do not have to fork out money on software. Of course, you've got to walk through the door. I would be interested to see what, if any, are the results from this being released. How will people react and what will it be used for. That's a good test.
    • And just to cover all our slashdot bases, this would almost certainly run on your Beowulf cluster quite nicely.

      BTW, this is a heck of a package for engineers that do this kind of work. Having written vaguely similar software (parallel finite element solving code also using the MPI library for communications in my case), I have some appreciation of this accomplishment.
  • by Consul (119169) on Friday April 12, 2002 @02:42PM (#3330850) Journal
    As the submitter of this article, I'm afraid I missed a couple of important things.

    First, here's a link to the site for the software itself: DAKOTA [sandia.gov]

    And second, as seen on this page [sandia.gov], there are two libraries (DOT and NPSOL) required by DAKOTA that are expensive commercial software products. So, in order to make DAKOTA truly free, these libraries will need to be replaced with GPL/LGPL equivilants. I just wish I had the programming skill to help with something of this scale.

    There is a third library needed, called OPT++, that is not GPL or an Artistic license. I'm unable to determine what this library is or its terms of use, as the page that the DAKOTA web site links to is no good.

    All of the other libraries needed by DAKOTA are GPL/LGPL, with one using an Artistic license.

    • "has now been released under the GPL."....

      "there are two libraries (DOT and NPSOL) required by DAKOTA that are expensive commercial software products"

      I knew it had the look of something too good to be true!
    • Getting Opt++ (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Opt++ is a package of nonlinear optimization algorithms that has also been produced by SANDIA

      Opt++ has been realeased under the Lesser GPL and can be obtained at

      http://csmr.ca.sandia.gov/projects/opt++/opt++.h tm l
    • If you can afford the hardware to run this stuff on the scale the website suggests, then licensing shouldn't be that much of a percentage-wise increase.
      • ...then licensing shouldn't be that much of a percentage-wise increase.

        That assumes that the software is not licensed per-cpu. In fact, most engineering software is licensed per-cpu, so it costs a lot more to run a fifty processor job compared to a single processor job.

        If you are using commodity parts in your computing resources, annual software licenses could easily exceed your initial hardware costs, sometimes even by a large factor.
    • "So, in order to make DAKOTA truly free, these libraries will need to be replaced with GPL/LGPL equivilants"

      Only for some definitions of "free".
    • Note the use of the terms "utilizes" and "optional" in the snippage from the DAKOTA website below. I interpret this to mean that they offer optional features (the non-linear kind) that DAKOTA will use if available, but is not a requirement.

      ****snippage below********

      DAKOTA utilizes the following external optimization libraries:

      * DOT (nonlinear programming algorithms from Vanderplaats Research and Development; optional extension requiring a separate commercial license)

      * NPSOL (nonlinear programming algorithms from Stanford Business Software; optional extension requiring a separate commercial license)

      * CONMIN (public domain nonlinear programming algorithms; no license required for inclusion in DAKOTA distribution)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      In order to make DAKOTA truly free, these libraries will need to be replaced with BSD equivalents.
      • Speech (You won't be jailed for it)
      • Beer (Cup fee may be required)
      • Crack (The first one is always free)
      Please elaborate.
    • OK, 3 non-GPL libs needed. Set projects up with GNU/GPL basis.

      As a long time (10+ years IRIX) UNIX, and short time (5+ years) Linux user. Give us the OPTION of hiring/contracting/investing in Open Source!

      Every single time have the option of laying out $100 to $2,000 US for software, I _always_ look for a contractor how has _almost_ done it GPL and am ready to write them a check to finish the job. Mo other option is PAYING FOR SOFTWARE, and I know the more GPL I pay to get done, and more people like me, the less software OVERALL I will have to buy.

      So, my comment is simply, put up or shut up!

      Sadly, this project doesn't affect me, so I can't offer money for it. But I have offered GPL coders SOO MUCH in the past that hasn't been taken up on, I am SICK TO DEATH of hearing the "closed commercial is better now" arguement.

  • by cperciva (102828) on Friday April 12, 2002 @02:42PM (#3330851) Homepage
    Given the potential applicability of this to weapons design, I'm surprised the US government is allowing this to be distributed.
    • DAKOTA can be applied to a whole host of things besides weapons development. In the application part of the page they show some examples (dye coating, vibration testing).

      You could also say the same for numerical recipes. I think the ppl at Sandia are a bit more clued in than the washington politicos.
      • DAKOTA can be applied to a whole host of things besides weapons development.

        Yes, and cryptography can be applied to a whole host of things besides planning terrorism. You, I, and the people at Sandia know this; but unfortunately it's the Washington politicos who make the laws.
  • Huh? (Score:2, Funny)

    by sh4de (93527)
    Space Daily has the details about the tookkit

    Who took the kit?


  • From the article: "The only restriction is that people cannot take the DAKOTA software, change it, and then sell it," Eldred says. "They can, however, design products with DAKOTA and sell their products."

    Isn't that contrary to the terms of the GPL? As long as the source is provided, and the resultant code is released under the GPL, isn't modification and resale legal? Just something that caught my eye in the article.
    • >Isn't that contrary to the terms of the GPL? As >long as the source is provided, and the >resultant code is released under the GPL, isn't >modification and resale legal? Just something >that caught my eye in the article.

      Would one be obtuse? They are talking about useing the DAKOTA software to aid in the design of VCWs (very complex widgets) and selling the VCWs. At least this is how I see it.

    • From the article: ... They can, however, design products with DAKOTA and sell their products.

      Isn't that contrary to the terms of the GPL?


      Ahhh, yes, they speak of a world outside of the digital realm. A material world. But of course it is a fantasy. The amount of information required to describe these so called "corporeal" objects, with their "atoms" and "quarks" and so forth defies the imagination. Don't worry. It would take more 1's and 0's than can be addressed by even Super User to describe the simplest of the fantastical objects said to inhabit this dream world. So relax, and get some sleep. There's nothing to worry about.
  • '"The only restriction is that people cannot take the DAKOTA software, change it, and then sell it," Eldred says.'

    If it is under the GPL they most certainly can. They are merely required to license their version to their customers under the GPL.
  • Well, for everyone complaining about public risk, private profit... DAYUM!
  • We use DAKOTA (actually just the physics portion known as SOUTH DAKOTA) at our lab. That thing is a badlands of bug-addled crap, let me tell you.

    For instance, last week one of the guys set up a simulation of particle density for the molecular cohesion group. He needed to calculate the kinetic flux and found that those government bozos had used E = mc^3 for calculating relativistic energy. No way to fix it without code so we had to do it all with the wrong equation and then multiply the result by 2/3.

    Now we can change those errors, though it'll probably take a baker's dozen of us just to list them, let alone fix 'em.

  • Great news! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12, 2002 @02:57PM (#3330946)
    Our department (structural integrity testing of BR23/07 machines) has been publishing reviews [stateofbr23.com] that were competitive with major journals. The thing is, we're academic [mcgregor.edu], so the licensing terms on software such as this has always been prohibitive. Instead, we've been forced to use things like SciVis CFS/SVW [hpc.mil], which really doesn't cut the mustard as far as hyperbolic tonicity, to name one painful, painful shortcoming. I actually had to spend quite a bit of time (two and half aweeks) handwriting a template to get back some of the functionality we would have had from the get-go with DAKOTA.
    That's time spent away from actually running analyses. So, this is a Good Thing.
  • by Weasel Boy (13855) on Friday April 12, 2002 @03:03PM (#3330984) Journal
    In the past, software written in government labs (e.g., LINPACK) was released into the Public Domain. Isn't using GPL actually granting taxpayers less access to the fruits of their labors than releasing the code into the Public Domain?
    • by Arandir (19206) on Friday April 12, 2002 @03:10PM (#3331014) Homepage Journal
      I fully agree. Taxpayer funded software should be placed into the public domain. It doens't matter if this tax money is for defense spending or corporate welfare. If the public paid for it then it belongs to the entire public, and not just a politically correct subgroup.
      • With software and code that goes into the public domain, there is no sort of protection on it. Meaning, a company can come by, invest a couple of man-years in a short time improving and upgrading this software, and then sell it for a profit.

        To me, I would prefer for the software to stay public rather than having the chance for it to be changed and sold. But, it depends on if and how you want the code to be protected.

        The GPL guarantees the software stays public, but the public domain doesn't. Whereas the public domain gives you complete freedom on the software, whether it gets used and passed along or taken and abused.

        Either way, both are better than have the taxpayer funded software stay closed up.
        • "The GPL guarantees the software stays public, but the public domain doesn't."

          How so? Sure, a company can invest their own effort to modify and release it as a proprietary product. But the part that was originally released as Public Domain is still public, and itself is in no way diminished by what happens to the private fork of the code.

          Someone can make a private fork, but they can never remove the public part from the Public Domain.
          • Ah, I understand the problem. It's common for me, I understand exactly what I am thinking and assume others do as well.

            When I said "The GPL guarantees the software stays public, but the public domain doesn't", I didn't mean there would ever by a case the original piece of software that entered into the Public Domain would or could somehow be taken out. But rather, I was thinking into the future, where forks of the code and people modifyied and playing around have changed the software.

            Putting the original piece in the Public Domain does not guarantee that the adaptations and mutuations to the software stay public. That is how I should have stated it.

            But, this has to be weighed against the GPL in which all derivative works stays open and cannot be forked into proprietary software.

            Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, just as long as we look at which one fits best for a particular situation all is good and balance is maintained. Or something like that...

            • Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, just as long as we look at which one fits best for a particular situation all is good and balance is maintained. Or something like that...

              I agree. In the particular situation that is taxpayer funded software, there should be zero restrictions on its use by the taxpayer. That means public domain.

              Derivative works will not be public domain, but those derivative bits were not funded by the taxpayer, only the original bits.
              • Or, the code and intellictual property that went into this project should be protected as they did spend about eight years on the project using taxpayer money. And by GPL'ing the code, all derivative works have the same protection and people aren't merely riding the coat tails of a publicly funded endeavor.

                But all derivative works will be based off the time, money, and effort spent by those programmers, and they felt they wanted to protect their works from people stealing from it. I think it is a good choice in this case.

                Time will tell, however. In a couple of years, I would be interested to see how the project has progressed.
      • If the public paid for it then it belongs to the entire public, and not just a politically correct subgroup.
        Yeah, I'm getting kinda tired of my Mitsubishi Galant, where do I go to sign up for my M1-A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank? ;-)
    • I would think releasing it as a closed source product would be a step backwards. This is more like a step in the right direction, than anything else. Granted the taxpayer can't take this product, change the code around and sell it without releasing the source code, but the taxpayer still has access to the code. Which compared to other closed software packages of this type, isn't too shabby.

      It seems this license is better in the university setting: giving professors and students the ability to do complex anaylsis, then contribute to the software package and give it to others, if they so choose.
    • by mikosullivan (320993) <<moc.scodi> <ta> <okim>> on Friday April 12, 2002 @03:42PM (#3331173)
      GPL is an excellent choice for releasing taxpayer funded software. By releasing the software as GPL you ensure the maximum value for the taxpayer. The software will continue to improve and benefit everybody, including the people who paid for its original development. If it were released under some other license the taxpayer would be less likely to get back improved versions of the software. Don't get me wrong, I'm OK with the BSD license, but GPL is so much better.
      • by Gat1024 (199252)
        Not really. If a company wants to include the software in their own custom tool, then they have to release their custom tool under the GPL. Now their taxes paid for that research code just like your taxes did. Probably more so since corporations pay much more tax on average. I hear that corporations and the rich are responsible for most of the tax collected by the IRS but I don't have ratios. I'll see if I can find the link.

        Why can't they use that research code in proprietary work? The original is still there. And the original can still be improved if need be. Any duplication of work would just be

        The public work may actually reduce the cost of the proprietary product since the company can only charge for the value that they add. Any educated consumer can way the pros and cons of using the public version or the proprietary version.

        Maybe even, the product has nothing to do with engineering but the algorithms and/or code works in a completely different domain -- with some tinkering. So now the company must either grow their own solution or give away their jewels. Even though their tax dollars have paid for a solution that is there today.
        • If a company wants to include the software in their own custom tool, then they have to release their custom tool under the GPL.

          Wrong! A thousand times wrong! Where do people get this ridiculous idea? GPL simply means that if you make changes to the software itself you don't own those changes. It's simply an implementation of copyright of derivative works. You can't go out and publish a sequel to "Gone With the Wind" without permission because the copyright owners have the rights to derivative works. In the same way authors of, say, Linux, also own the rights to derivative works. The only difference is that they voluntarily license out those rights with the one reasonable caveat that if you can create derivative works, and can publish the derivatives, you just don't own them. In short, GPL operates under the same intellectual property laws as a a closed source system, but volunteers to exercise those rights in a more open manner. Saying that GPL "infects" your property would be like saying that if your bookstore sells "Gone With the Wind" then your bookstore is automatically owned by the people who own GWTW.

        • "...corporations pay much more tax on average."

          According to the report I found [taxfoundation.org] at taxfoundation.org [taxfoundation.org], corporations pay about 10% of the total Federal tax receipts. Guess who pays the other 90%. According to the same report, the effective tax rate on corporate profits is about 30%. That compares quite reasonably to the tax rate I pay on my income.

          • Do realize that something like 30% of businesses are corporations, another 10% of partnerships, and 60% or so are sole proprietorships that pay taxes at their owners rate. The lower 50% of the population pays 4% of the INCOME tax.

            Those corporations pay 10% of the taxes at 30%, pretty reasonable. Remember those same corporations are paying out salaries to the executives and programmers that pay taxes. They are also paying payroll taxes, etc.

            Corporations pay a lot, especially when you factor in their management.

            Regardless, you should have EQUAL rights to the government's work, not more.

            Alex
      • I think the BSD license provides maxamized value for tax payer software. If you release something under GPL that was funded by tax-payers. You limit the amount of people who can use it. Companies that want to link (Apple's Aqua interface) closed libraries can't. This limits the usefullness of the software to taxpayers. Remember taxpayers are individuals AND corporations.
        • Remember taxpayers are individuals AND corporations.

          Well, taxpayers are individuals and corporations who pay out money and expect that money to be used efficiently. Giving the software away BSD-style means that the government is giving it away to a few people/corps without a guaruntee of getting anything back. The rest of us (who don't give a hoot about engineering software) don't get back anything of value. OTOH, by releasing it GPL the government improves the odds of getting back better software with which to continue doing whatever they were doing with it to begin with, and also getting a cost-saving by having the world do free software improvement.

          Put simply, GPL provides value to the vast majority of taxpayers who don't want the software itself, while still giving a great deal to the minority who do want the software.

        • From observation I would say that GPL are good for infrastructure type software which needs to have a level of consistency/interoperability in the decade range. Given the systems that these are playing with (Tflop beasts) the operational goal is to develop/port robust scientific software fast enough that it is useful before you have the usual transitional delays in migrating to a new platform. Keep in mind that just support costs (electricity, staff, etc) are probably enough to run a 3rd world country (just look at the DoE budget). The software libraries are basically computational engines, they are only useful if someone else defines the problem in the right form. As such the set of people who are interested in modifying it or even have the right skillsets (parallel programming, numerical maths, application insight) are small enough that they know each other and they can exert peer pressure to prevent any idiot from doing silly things. Peer review is critical as when you're designing complex systems, numerical accuracy/stability is more important than speed/feature bloat. Hence there is no point is trying to run ahead of Moore's Law or the MS upgrade cycle.

          Again, my observation is that BSD is more suited to consortiums who need a public reference implementation but want to split up and compete privately afterwards. This is particularly good for embeded stuff as you are selling optimised widgets which you can say are protocol/functional/operational equivalent to a "public" standard.

          I think a good analogy is that "public domain" (ie no legal rights) is equivalent to terra incognita. There's something there but nobody knows what the alligators are. GPL is for those who have explored the Brave GNU World and come back with a map indicating the swamps and natural right of way around them. BSD is fencing off a domain but accepting the traditional public right of passage to allow access to the "interesting" spots.

          Of course there are always issues with idiots coming in (embrace), bulldozing the landscape (extend) and erecting toll gates (extinguish). Which of the licenses is more robust against this? GPL consider it another swamp to work around whereas BSD loses the really scenic spots. In theory there is nothing wrong with this but just as some people climb mountains for the interest/challenge (how many serious people would climb Mt Everest if they know you can pay someone to lug you up?), working on your private patch of paradise becomes less appealing when the tourists start gawking en-mass and asking for directions.

          The government history of management of public lands does not exactly encourage one to believe they have a better clue as to what license to apply. He who write the code gets to choose the license is just as applicable for tax-payer software as anything else and you can always make a counter offer (cf Aladin ghostview software where public viewers are reassurance that it will appear correctly on printers which is what they're really selling). Time to move on ...

          LL
      • I like the GPL, but it's a godawful license for taxpayer funded software. At the most, the software should be LGPL, and probably BSD or public domain would be best.

        To do otherwise would screw over the legions of US closed source software companies. Open source should win fairly, through code quality, not because the gov't supports it with tons of money and makes it difficult to compete with closed source.
    • I won't disagree with you entirely, but granting a GPL license may actually help promote commerce in certain circumstances.

      In 1989 I worked for Inference. Inference sold a well regarded LISP based expert system shell (ART). It cost a lot of money and ran on very expensive workstations. NASA came along and cloned it with a C application (CLIPS) that was released into the public domain (if I recall correctly.). In many ways, CLIPS was the death of ART, and various competitors came along that incorporated CLIPS and competed in sales against ART. So in similar ways, NASA and taxpayer dollars killed off the main product of the privately held company that developed the initial technology.

      Was it "fair" for NASA to clone ART in that manner? I dunno. It wasn't kind to our paychecks, but that may be irrelevant.

      If CLIPS has been released with a GPL, I think both taxpayer and Inference's private investors would have been served. Inference would not have to worry about competitors being given taxpayer software that allowed them to so quickly catch up with our efforts, and the taxpayers would have been able to benefit by having the code released in a way that brought the high tech ART into schools, research institutes, and to anyone willing to comply with the GPL.
      • So why was the parent of this comment modded as flamebait? It is a completely verifiable anecdote involving an occasion when the govt, industry, IP as in intellectual property, and taxpayer funds collided.

        So tell me how that was flamebait so I can better post in the future.
    • How about "public" land? The equivalent of public domain is first come first server, squatters welcome, take what you want, no accounatbility.

      The equivalent of GPL is take only pictures, leave only footprints.

      The mining corps certainly like the public domain attitude.

      Seems to me, my tax dollars paid for it, I see no reason why anyone should get it with no accountability. If some company wants to use something my tax dollars paid for, they can damn well pay back in kind.
  • Mirror (Score:2, Informative)

    by ttyp0 (33384)
    Here is a mirror before the site goes down

    http://www.spacedaily.com/news/materials-02h.html [gtlogistics.com]

  • It would be nice to have one of those available under the GPL. I'm CPE student and the only software available which can be used to simulate and path PCB (printed circuit boards) is really really expensive. Way beyond the scope of my knowledge.

    I wonder how many people are actually going to benefit from this though? I, as an engineering student, programmer, and open source enthusiast, appreciate this kind of GPL release. Not as much as I'd appreciate a CPE toolkit! :)

    Well, all that aside I guess I should just write my own toolkit for CPE and design. Then I could release it and others could benefit from my hard work, the way Open Source Software works.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    For the folks who would rather read the comments than the original news, here are some details about the licensing, straight from this [sandia.gov] page. This should help answer questions raised by this quote from the article:
    The only restriction is that people cannot take the DAKOTA software, change it, and then sell it," Eldred says. "They can, however, design products with DAKOTA and sell their products."
    Obviously he was misquoted.

    Notice that there are several GPLed optimization libraries there. That's GOOD news, since writing that sort of routine for high dimensions is not trivial. So, here's the info:



    Open Source Release
    DAKOTA Version 3.0 is available for download under a GNU General Public License (GPL).

    To initiate the download, first fill out the short Registration Form.

    Source code tar files and binaries for selected platforms are available, as well as subscriptions to the user notification email list. Please notify us at dakota@sandia.gov if you experience any difficulties. We have started a FAQ for logging any difficulties encountered in downloading, building, and executing DAKOTA. Release notes are also available.

    Supported Platforms and Software Dependencies
    DAKOTA runs on most Unix platforms including Sun Solaris, HP UX, IBM AIX, SGI IRIX, DEC OSF, and Linux (PC and DEC). It also runs on the Intel Teraflop machine (ASCI Red) and Sandia's Computational Plant (CPlant). A Windows port is not planned at this time (Windows users might consider VMware for Linux dual-boot or a planned capability for XML-based resource distribution).

    A transition from non-ANSI C++ to ANSI C++ has been completed for DAKOTA version 3.0. The ANSI C++ version of DAKOTA uses vector and list templates from the Standard Template Library (STL) available as part of the ANSI C++ standard. This allows the latest DAKOTA source distributions to be built independent of any commercial software (DOT and NPSOL are optional extensions). However, for builds on non-ANSI C++ compilers lacking STL, vector and list templates from the commercial product Tools.h++ from Rogue Wave software can be used in place of STL. This will require either a high-end development environment which includes Tools.h++ (e.g., Sun Solaris Workshop) or a separate commercial license from Rogue Wave.

    DAKOTA utilizes the following external optimization libraries:

    * DOT (nonlinear programming algorithms from Vanderplaats Research and Development; optional extension requiring a separate commercial license)
    * NPSOL (nonlinear programming algorithms from Stanford Business Software; optional extension requiring a separate commercial license)
    * CONMIN (public domain nonlinear programming algorithms; no license required for inclusion in DAKOTA distribution)

    the following Sandia optimization, design of experiments, and uncertainty quantification libraries:

    * SGOPT (stochastic global optimization algorithms; available under GNU LGPL)
    * PICO (branch and bound for mixed integer nonlinear programs; available under GNU LGPL)
    * OPT++ (nonlinear and direct search optimization algorithms; available under GNU LGPL); OPT++ additionally uses NEWMAT09 (serial vector/matrix utilities; conditions of use)
    * DDACE (design and analysis of computer experiments; GNU LGPL in process)
    * APPS (asynchronous parallel pattern search; available under GNU LGPL).
    * DAKOTA/UQ (sampling, analytic reliability, and polynomial chaos expansion methods for uncertainty quantification; part of the DAKOTA GNU GPL license)
    * rSQP++ (large-scale optimization algorithms for simultaneous analysis and design; available under an Artistic license)

    the following Sandia utility libraries:

    * UTILIB (utility library; available under GNU LGPL)
    * PETRA (serial/parallel vector/matrix utilities; available under GNU LGPL)

    and the following external utility libraries:

    * MPI (parallel distributed-memory communication via message-passing; either the public domain MPICH or hardware-specific MPI versions; no license required)
    * PLplot (graphics; available under GNU LGPL)

    To the extent possible, all noncommercial libraries will be included in the DAKOTA tar files available for download. DAKOTA uses a flexible configuration management system to configure with any desired subset of these available packages. If any of the commercial packages are desired, then these must be licensed separately for source code (preferable) or target platform object libraries (less desirable, but workable with minor configuration modifications). These distributions are then installed in the appropriate DAKOTA subdirectories prior to building DAKOTA.

  • If this source was created by Sandia Labs, isn't it the public property of the citizens of the United States of America?

    And is the GPL really compatible with that?

    As a citizen, I own that software or an interest in it and barring security risks can get it through the Freedom of Information Act. But non-citizens don't have that right... right?

    Does the GPL limit it to usage by citizens of the USA or did they just give away public property?

    • "If this source was created by Sandia Labs, isn't it the public property of the citizens of the United States of America?"

      No. The copyright belongs to the US Government if the work was created by government employees on government time, or whoever the contract says it does if it was created by a contractor.

      "Does the GPL limit it to usage by citizens of the USA or did they just give away public property?"

      As opposed to, for example, selling it to Autodesk so that they can suppress it to prevent it from interfering with their "business model"?

      Or do you figure that Linus should have released Linux under a "free only to Finns" license?
    • So you want to restrict the access to knowledge based on citizenship. It's sad to see people wanting to limit the access of others to technological advances, as someone has already told you, it is good that there is still people (like Linus) who think that this kind of stuff should be universally available, free for everyone.

      If you really think that what's developed by a country's government should not be available for outsiders, please act accordingly to your words and stop using any technology that has been fully or partly developed outside your country.

      It's not only right to allow everyone, everywhere, to have access to scientific advances and new technologies, it is also better since it speeds up the development of new technology.
  • Is that a kind of thing used by Gandalf for dealing with foolish little hobbits from Great Smials?

    (OK, I've been reading LOTR again...)

    Cheers,

    Ethelred [grantham.de]

  • The article reads like a abstract on the benefits of open source software. The more government agencies do this, the better. I would think the first one wouldn't be such a rich engineering (and potentially weapon-designing) package, but I won't look a gift horse in the mouth. Or something.
  • Kind of fitting, since alot of the people from North and South Dakota (i'm one of them) that go to college become Engineers. I have heard we have one of the highest per capita Engineering gradutate levels in the country. I'm and EE major and alot of my friends are EE ME or CE majors. I bet the name has absoultely nothing to do with the Dakotas though.
    • ...in the Dakotas. Farming doesn't make money anymore, blizzards aren't too fun, and Hostfest & ND State Fair are the same thing year after year. Even Microsoft is slowly closing down their Fargo business unit (which used to be Great Plains Software before the MSFT extend/embrace/extinguish phases).

      Fifty years from now the Dakotas will be known as "that Canadian grain distribution point". "Lots of wind generators there, too".

      Sigh.

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