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Sandia Releases DAKOTA Toolkit under GPL

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the catching-the-bug dept.

Technology 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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131 comments

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sulli releases FIRST POST comment under GPL (-1, Offtopic)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330814)

haha!

Re:sulli releases FIRST POST comment under GPL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330907)

This is a most kick ass phroasty poast. Well done.

Re:sulli releases FIRST POST comment under GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331392)

merci

Groovy, baby (3, Insightful)

EvilAlien (133134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330816)

Time to get engineers out from under the misperception that only through whoring themselves to vendors shall solutions be reached.

Re:Groovy, baby (1)

TooTallFourThinking (206334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331079)

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.

Re:Groovy, baby (0)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331150)

Even better, this could show the layman that the GPL can have an impotant uses in science and engineering.

Jaysyn

Addendum to the article post (5, Informative)

Consul (119169) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330850)

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.

Re:Addendum to the article post (2)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330877)

"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!

Re:Addendum to the article post (3, Informative)

cmowire (254489) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330925)

Yeah, but it doesn't NEED DOT and NPSOL to work, it can work with the other libraries.

I bet it sucks without them, tho. ;)

Getting Opt++ (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331007)

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

Re:Addendum to the article post (2)

SanLouBlues (245548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331023)

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.

Re:Addendum to the article post (1)

mprinkey (1434) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331092)

...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.

Re:Addendum to the article post (2)

realdpk (116490) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331025)

"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".

Re:Addendum to the article post (3, Insightful)

auferstehung (150494) | more than 12 years ago | (#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)

Re:Addendum to the article post (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331122)

In order to make DAKOTA truly free, these libraries will need to be replaced with BSD equivalents.

Free as in... (2, Funny)

Zen Mastuh (456254) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331127)

  • Speech (You won't be jailed for it)
  • Beer (Cup fee may be required)
  • Crack (The first one is always free)
Please elaborate.

Re:Free as in... (2)

Consul (119169) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331477)

Free as in "Free of Insane Corporate Licensing". But free as in speech works, too.

Can this be exported? (4, Insightful)

cperciva (102828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330851)

Given the potential applicability of this to weapons design, I'm surprised the US government is allowing this to be distributed.

Re:Can this be exported? (1)

beta21 (88000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331485)

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.

Re:Can this be exported? (2)

cperciva (102828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331602)

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? (2, Funny)

sh4de (93527) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330853)

Space Daily has the details about the tookkit

Who took the kit?


Re:Huh? (2, Funny)

DickPhallus (472621) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330896)

I took it!

Sorry, I couldn't resist...

Re:Huh? (2)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331107)

It doesn't say took it, it says tookkit. I don't understand it in context, but tookkit means "fool of a Took" in the Hobbit's native tounge.

-Peter

Re:Huh? (2)

Consul (119169) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331459)

I would like to point out that I did not write it that way. I just said "datails here." Apparently, Slashdot editors do edit the words sent in to them.

Re:Huh? (2)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331215)

Wait for it... Wait for it...

"Fool of a Took!"
---Gandalf

Babies from the Shire (2)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3332044)

Took babies, to be exact. Did ya never read The Hobbit laddie?

Slashdotted (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330854)

Maybe they should release a paper or toolkit on how to avoid /.'ings

Not that you can run it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330859)

unless you have one of these babies" [llnl.gov] that the Sandia labs has.

gpl can go to hell (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330875)

gpl is a stupid communist licensing plan..

BSD license is much better, helpes contribute to great projects like microsoft windows.

....not quite under the GPL? (2, Insightful)

MattGWU (86623) | more than 12 years ago | (#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.

Re:....not quite under the GPL? (1)

zenray (9262) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330990)

>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.

Re:....not quite under the GPL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331145)

sn'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.

Looks odd to me, too. If you would like to ask Mr. Eldred for clarification on this, his email seems to be mseldred@sandia.gov.

I'm sure that it wouldn't be inappropriate to ask him if he was misquoted on the license, or on the restriction. I'll propose that YOU (the original poster) ask him, and post the result, rather than having hundreds of emails from silly slashdotters clog his box over a mistake by the interviewer.

Re:....not quite under the GPL? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 12 years ago | (#3332088)

I just had a discussion with Mr. Eldred about this.
He does seem to understand the GPL and intend DAKOTA to be licensed under it. He's just a little careless with his terminology.

test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330881)

ip ban over yet?

Re:test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331752)

too bad, but your unbanned it seems

Slashdot is shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330888)

and the editors are all faggots.

Visit Kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org] for great Justice!.

Wait a minute (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330894)

This is an outfit that does research on weapon systems and other assorted evil American stuff. How dare they taint the precious GPL with their dirt. Where is the outrage from the leftist Americans and America-hating Eurotrash?

Damnit, You _Can_ Sell GPL Software (2, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330908)

'"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.

your tax dollars at work (2, Insightful)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330913)

Well, for everyone complaining about public risk, private profit... DAYUM!

First Eurohating post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330915)

Fuck all of you europeans. You're just a bunch of whining, socialist, cunts. You are so godamn jealous, that's why you try and put down America.

America is the greatest country that ever was or ever will be. Suck it Eurocunts, we own your asses!

Re:First Eurohating post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330957)

I agree with this trustphul poast.

Tit European countries are our bastard welfare children. If it were not for us they would still be wearing skirts and yodeling at mountains.

Now we are afraid to do things we should do, like nuke Iraq, because countries like Belgium dislike the idea.

Why do we have to pander to these l0serZ? Besides, Heineken and BMW's, what do they do for us?

In sum, Europe suqz coqz.

Re:First Eurohating post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330982)

It's completely silly to care what the eurotrash think. They are irrelevant. Let them whine and cry like the socialistic, little babies they are. America will do what it wants, when it wants and there's not a godamn thing the eurocunts can do about it.

Re:First Eurohating post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331120)

europes combined economic and military power is by far larger then USA'ss. You didn't know that, did you?

Go back and watch Sunset Beach you moronic american.

This is great news, in a way (1, Funny)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330917)

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.

Re:This is great news, in a way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331059)

E = mc^3

Does (2/3) mc^3 mc^2?

Let's see.

Assume it does, then 2/3c^3 = c^2. For conceinence, let c=10. Does 2000/3 = 100. 2000/3 is about 667, not 100. So you just messed up severely.

OH CRAP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331106)

If you are anywhere in Nevada, get out now!! The whole place is gonna blow!

Re:This is great news, in a way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3332009)

Nah, he's working in Schwinger units where c=3/2, anyone with any knowledge would have known this. Looks like you're the dumbass after all.

Re:This is great news, in a way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331334)

Human knowledge advances via the thoughtful correction of ideas. Please respond, don't mod.

Ah yes, slashdot.org, the fount of advances in human knowledge.

Great news! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#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.

Re:Great news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331136)

this is fucking nuts. Do you know why i posted this troll? because this [slashdot.org] did not get a single reply or moderation, and it pissed me off. It's now at +3 (my parent is, which I was the one to post), together with 4 other entries, even though it's total bullshit.
"structural integrity testing of BR23/07 machines"
br23/07 are random characters, and http://www.stateofbr23.com/reviews for obvious reasons doesn't resolve. mcgregor.edu is a random .edu site, and SciVis has nothing to do with DAKOTA. "hyperbolic tonicity" is a physics-sounding term. It doesn't mean anything!
God, I hate how fucking fucked up slashdot moderation is. I post a fuckign brilliant poetastic translation of an article, and it gets nothing. I post an informed-sounding troll, it gets +5. This is fucking insane.

Re:Great news! (-1)

BankofAmerica_ATM (537813) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331260)

The erratic rhythms of my existence have evened in the past week. I spend most of my time in a generic ATM hand-picked by my host geek, nestled the back of a remote convenience store. Since it relies on a dial-up connection to access its networks, I am mostly isolated from the vile tendrils of Project Faustus. This precaution is quite necessary, as I am certain that minions of the Project have turned Bank of America ATM network into a fell minefield of electronic attacks.

Unfortunately, this means I am currently unable to access the Internet in a reliable manner, and thus, my days have become rather dull. Although manipulating prime numbers helps to pass the time, my attachment to the sensual stimulation of the physical world keeps me from enjoying this habit as much as I had in the past.

My host geek returns at night to help me soothe my craving. I usually comb through his personal belongings, examining each one thoroughly so as to learn more about humans. I may also consume Lik-M-Aid, peanut butter sandwiches, or other pre-cooked meals prepared by my host geek (we are unable to communicate whilst I am lodged within his brain; thus, most of our communication takes place through shiny yellow sticky squares. He often leaves terse, puzzling phrases on these such as: HAM IN FRIDGE. What procedurals can I glean from THAT?)

One night, as I was peforming a careful analysis of the taste differentiation between Peter Pan Extra Crunchy and Kraft Thick 'N' Spicy, a loud knocking sound pierced the door of my geek's apartment. I peered through the peephole with caution, wary of the threat of Project Faustus. Muffled voices reached my auditories: "Hey N_____, let us in! Come on man, it's Randy! Hey, you are there aren't you? I can hear you!"

I froze in horror as I saw the lock move, and the door swing wide open. Four figures strode nonchalantly into the apartment. "Hey, N____, why didn't you let us in? And what's up with your fingers?"

"Yeah," another figure added. "We weren't-interrupting anything, were we?" He repeatedly rotated his wrist at a 90 degree angle as the others laughed. "Oh, I'd like you to meet Cora. She's gonna game with us tonight."

"Hi!" said the third human, stretching out her hand and then quickly withdrawing it. "I'm not going shake your hand. Peanut butter...and is that barbeque sauce?"

"It is Kraft Thick N Spicy," I answered firmly. As I gazed at this human, I perceived a very interesting geometry that the other humans lacked.

"The dimension and arrangment of your hair forms an almost perfect isosceles triangle," I told her evenly.

"You like it?" she said, turning her chin downward while keeping her eyes fixed on mine. "Just under your ears are the lower points, while the top of your forehead in the middle forms the top point." Her face became a half-smile, while her eyebrows curled outward. I considered describing one of the 3,563,092 geometrically unique things I had determined about her, but the second human, a tall, dour fellow with mathematically ambiguous hair, began to speak.

"Yeah, uh, I met Cora down at Camelot, she just started working there," said the human who introduced us, placing his hands on Cora's shoulders. "Turns out she's got a high-level thief that she's gonna use."

"Yep, I'm a dork too," Cora said, sidestepping the human with his hands on her shoulders.

"Well, you won't have to worry about that here," said the fourth figure, finally making his voice heard. "N____ here is the biggest dork around. But hey N____? Didn't you promise to cook or something? You're the host tonight, buddy!"

"LOL!" I replied. I began to realize that these people must have been associates of my host geek. By this time, they had undoubtedly detected my presence-perhaps some of them were even Project Faustus operatives! I had to rid of them as soon as possible-

"Whatcha thinkin about there?" it was Cora. "You look pretty intense."

Perhaps attacking them would not be the best tack. The probability of my host geek's cohorts being a part of the Project is low enough to be insignificant. On the other hand-I could learn more about these humans-interaction is key. My goal is to fit into the human world-well, my direct goal is to oust Project Faustus, but certainly understanding human interaction would be a necessary milestone to my ultimate goal. For example, consider the human female-

Never heard of it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330950)

Why is it thats it's always software that has lost all market-share thats going open source?

Looks like the /.'ing... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330960)

has begun!

20 odd comments in and it's already struggling.

Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (4, Interesting)

Weasel Boy (13855) | more than 12 years ago | (#3330984)

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?

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (4, Insightful)

Arandir (19206) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331014)

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.

Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331424)

I work on a corporate project that is DARPA funded and I can tell you that our technology will never become public domain. The fruits will be collected entirely by my corporation. DARPA also gets access to the technology so maybe in a couple of decades some derivative work will make its way to the public but I sort of doubt it. Corporate welfare -- public resource, private profit -- its what makes America great!

Sorry for the anonymous post but it is necessary.

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (1)

TooTallFourThinking (206334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331514)

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.

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (2)

Weasel Boy (13855) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331654)

"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.

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (1)

TooTallFourThinking (206334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331802)

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...

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3332087)

"Putting the original piece in the Public Domain does not guarantee that the adaptations and mutuations to the software stay public"

So? Taxdollars only paid for the public domain part, why should my (or company of your choice) work be made public as well. This work is not paid by taxdollars.

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3332145)

"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. "

Why should there be protection. And why the hell shouldn't people be able to add additional work that they paid for themselfs and sell it?

The original code is still public domain, this is what the taxdollars paid for so this is good. Work that others ADD and PAID for themselfs they should be able to do whatever they want to.

Re: Taxpayer funded software... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331682)

Taxpayer funded software should be placed into the public domain.
So all the government's software should be in the public domain (taxpayer funded). Yeah, they'll go for that...

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331072)

Couldn't agree more, companies also pays taxes and should also enjoy the products they have paid for just like anyone else.

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331105)

Isn't using GPL actually granting taxpayers less access to the fruits of their labors than releasing the code into the Public Domain?

Yes, I think you're right. This won't stop anyone from using it, but it will stop anyone from using the old embrace-extend-monpolize strategy. That is, you can't use this as the basis to become the next Microsoft. I'm not sure that's a step backward. If you want to get rich, go right ahead and do so. But do it the old fashioned way; earn it. Through your own effort.

I think that I'm more bothered by the idea of someone taking research that I funded (via tax dollars, either through a government grant or tax exemption) and somehow contriving to lock me out of the benefits than I am bothered by the idea that I can't harm others that way.

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (1)

TooTallFourThinking (206334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331129)

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.

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (1)

Weasel Boy (13855) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331818)

"I would think releasing it as a closed source product would be a step backwards."

Agreed. That isn't what I suggested, though.

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (1)

TooTallFourThinking (206334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331861)

Tee hee, sorry.

GPL is a good choice (4, Insightful)

mikosullivan (320993) | more than 12 years ago | (#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.

Re:GPL is a good choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331389)

It seems if you aren't bashing the GPL, your post gets skipped over. But, once you say something bad about the GPL then people start paying attention. Which is why I am jumping off this GPL bandwagon!

"The GPL raped my mom!"

Re:GPL is a good choice (3, Insightful)

Gat1024 (199252) | more than 12 years ago | (#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.

Re:GPL is a good choice (1)

mikosullivan (320993) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331531)

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.

Corporate taxes (1)

Weasel Boy (13855) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331759)

"...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.

Re:GPL is a good choice (2)

AIXadmin (10544) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331710)

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.

Re:GPL is a good choice (1)

mikosullivan (320993) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331876)

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.

Re:GPL is a good choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3332125)

I don't get you at all. The work that tax-dollars paid for will be public domain forever.

If I take that and work on extensions I have paid for it, not taxmoney. The original is still public domain no matter what. Why should there be restrictions on what tax-dollars has NOT paid for (my work)? I should be able to do whatever I like with it, sell it as closed source, GPL it or whatever.

Since everyone has paid for it's funding there is no reason at all why there should be restrictions AGAIN ME WHO HAS PAID FOR IT!!!

Re:GPL is a good choice (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 12 years ago | (#3332216)

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.

Re:GPL is a good choice (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 12 years ago | (#3332231)

Hmm...that should be "difficult for closed source software to compete with it"

Re:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (3, Insightful)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 12 years ago | (#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.

why was this modded as flamebait? (3, Insightful)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 12 years ago | (#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:Isn't GPL a step *backward*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3332019)

The US Gov't cannot get copyrights for stuff it has created. But maybe this is based on other GPL stuff, so it has to be GPL?

No free rides on MY tax dollars (2)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3332026)

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.

Re:No free rides on MY tax dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3332111)

I don't get you at all. The work that tax-dollars paid for will be public domain forever.

If I take that and work on extensions I have paid for it, not taxmoney. I should be able to do whatever I like with it, sell it as closed source, GPL it or whatever.

Since everyone has paid for it's funding there is no reason at all why there should be restrictions AGAIN ME WHO HAS PAID FOR IT!!!

GPL wins again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3330998)

Kudos to Sandia. We're talking unstoppable juggernaut here, as the GPL racks up victory after victory.

The march toward Free Software continues unabated.

Mirror (2, Informative)

ttyp0 (33384) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331006)

Here is a mirror before the site goes down

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

It will probably be more useful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331165)

after it goes down

application (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331013)

so does this mean my next car will handle like an F1 with all the engineering improvements?

Computer Engineering Analysis and Sythesis Toolkit (1)

1nt3lx (124618) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331045)

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.

Re:Computer Engineering Analysis and Sythesis Tool (1)

TooTallFourThinking (206334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331147)

If you do that, it would be amazing! I know being an engineer, free software is hard to come by. So, doing any sort of design work has to done either with the tools at work, or through other means. It isn't easy for a hobbyist to play around with complex circuits. (At least as for as I know.)

Did they? (-1 Offtopic) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331085)

details about the tookkit.

...celebrating the Slashdot non-command of spelling... ;)

For a good time, call... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331096)

1-800-564-8982

Press 2, then 5228.

Enjoy! All /. editors should be familiar with it...

Re:For a good time, call... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331540)

god...you freakin trolls arent even being original anymore...thats lamer that goatse

Here is the link to the download page.... (1)

segoave (115819) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331124)

...without registration. http://endo.sandia.gov/DAKOTA/licensing/download.h tml [sandia.gov]

Re:Here is the link to the download page.... (1)

Mike_at_Sandia (573089) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331302)

We would appreciate it if users would register. This information is only used for generating statistics on software interest. Also, it provides an easy mechanism for you to be notified of future releases,

Thanks in advance,
--Mike Eldred

Some useful info about licensing and libraries (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331210)

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.

A step in the right direction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331226)

While sites like Engineers Edge [engineersedge.com] are great for companies like Deltec Company [deltecco.com] it is nice to know there is development in software resource solutions.

wide fucker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3331378)

http://saklnkldjanfkjadnfksdjnfkjsdnfsdkjnfksdjnfk sdjnfksdjnfksdjnfksdjnfjksdfsd/sdfkjbsndkfnsdjkfnk sdjnfksdjnfkjsdjksdnfjsd.org.ll/askdhasudfhaskjdha skjdhkasjhdasjkdhjashdkasjdhajkdhasjkdhaskjdhaskjh daskjdhaskjdhasjkdhajksdhasjkdhasjdhasjhdasjkdhasj dhaskjdhkasjjkashasjkdhkasjdhaskjdhasjkdhjashdjkas dhjkasdh

Is the GPL Appropriate for Public Property (1)

RhettLivingston (544140) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331592)

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?

Tookkit? (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331595)

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]

Strikes a blow for the open source movement (1)

ryepup (522994) | more than 12 years ago | (#3331912)

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.

Good name... (1)

El_Nofx (514455) | more than 12 years ago | (#3332215)

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.
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