George M. Sheldrick
gsheldr at shelx.uni-ac.gwdg.de
Fri Jul 9 17:05:42 UTC 2010
I prefer to continue to support and distribute SHELX as for the last 35
years. It is kind of you to offer to offer to set up Debian installation
packages, but it is really not necessary. In fact the code I wrote in
the 1970's (in FORTRAN of course) still compiles and runs correctly on
modern systems without any changes, though of course I have added a lot
since then as science has progressed. The installation is trivial because,
in addition to the sources, I provide statically linked binaries (for
Linux) and have an absolute 'no dependency' rule; no extra libraries,
datafiles or even environment variables are required to run the programs.
They are designed to be run from a command line but are often called
from GUIs. And I should add that you need to be a competent
crystallographer (and have suitable X-ray data) to be able to use the
programs, they would be little use in a general distribution.
Best wishes, George
Prof. George M. Sheldrick FRS
Dept. Structural Chemistry,
University of Goettingen,
D37077 Goettingen, Germany
Tel. +49-551-39-3021 or -3068
On Fri, 9 Jul 2010, Michael Banck wrote:
> Dear Prof. Sheldrick,
> On Fri, Jul 09, 2010 at 04:17:26PM +0200, George M. Sheldrick wrote:
> > I have been distributing SHELX in source form since the early 1970's, long
> > before Open Source took off.
> I understand; however, the term "Open Source" has been coined in the
> 1990's and has been given a rather precise meaning.
> > Although I fully support the idea of Open Source, I prefer to
> > distribute SHELX myself so that I get more feedback and retain a
> > little control. My university also expects 'for-profit' users to pay a
> > license fee so that I cover my costs (we do not make a profit).
> This unfortunately means that we will not be able to distribute your
> code as part of the Debian system (which is preferred by you anyway as I
> understand it).
> Still, I would like to make two proposals to you which you might want to
> consider (but feel free to ignore):
> 1. We could distribute SHELX-97 in the so-called "non-free" component of
> our FTP servers; this would imply that we modify the build process of
> your code in such a way that a Debian package (which are similar to
> RPMs) can be produced (modifying the actual program code is usually not
> needed). It would be made clear (exactly how is to be determined) that
> (i) only academic use is allowed, (ii) registration at your site as well
> as (iii) proper citations are required; however, downloading the package
> itself could not be technically restricted.
> 2. Alternatively, we could work on producing the necessary files and
> scripts which enable your users to build Debian packages if they have
> the required knowledge; this would mean your users receive the code from
> you and the above mentioned Debian-specific modifications from us and
> can then build a Debian package themselves.
> > Since my procedure is a little different from what is now generally
> > understood as 'Open Source', I always describe the program 'open
> > source'.
> As there are some restrictions on usage and distribution (and thereby
> also on modification), using the term "Shared Source" would maybe be
> more appropriate. "Shared Source" denotes program code which has source
> code available, but is distributed under a non open-source (as defined
> by the Open Source Initiative, or the Free Software Foundation) license.
> Best regards,
> Michael Banck
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