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Sandia Releases DAKOTA Toolkit under GPL 131

Consul writes " DAKOTA, a powerful toolkit for doing engineering analysis, has now been released under the GPL. Space Daily has the details about the tookkit."
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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.
  • 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.
  • by MattGWU ( 86623 ) on Friday April 12, 2002 @02:47PM (#3330876)
    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.
  • by Lord Omlette ( 124579 ) on Friday April 12, 2002 @02:51PM (#3330913) Homepage
    Well, for everyone complaining about public risk, private profit... DAYUM!
  • 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.
  • by auferstehung ( 150494 ) <tod.und.auferste ... m ['hun' in gap]> on Friday April 12, 2002 @03:27PM (#3331104)

    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 mikosullivan ( 320993 ) < minus physicist> 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 ) on Friday April 12, 2002 @04:19PM (#3331419)
    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.
  • by jerryasher ( 151512 ) on Friday April 12, 2002 @05:33PM (#3331953)
    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.
  • by jerryasher ( 151512 ) on Friday April 12, 2002 @06:03PM (#3332134)
    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.
  • Re:Groovy, baby (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Requiem ( 12551 ) on Friday April 12, 2002 @09:45PM (#3332977) Journal
    Yeah, because a lot of the laymen I know do engineering analysis.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger