[Beowulf] Open source @NASA - WAS: OT

"C. Bergström" cbergstrom at pathscale.com
Thu Aug 11 20:22:34 PDT 2011

  On 08/12/11 01:19 AM, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:
> Closer to home for me, the NASA Open Source License (which was conjured up a decade or so ago) is apparently incompatible with just about everyone else's licenses.  They had a "How do we encourage Open Source use at NASA" symposium a few months back hosted at Ames with lots of remote participants and licensing issues and complexities is, in my opinion, probably one of the bigger problems.  It's been a royal pain for me trying to release stuff to the general public in a useful form.  It sure would be nice to be able to give someone an .iso and say, here, load this, run make clean; make all, and you'll have your stuff ready to run.  But no, that .iso will be a derived work comprised of a multitude of components with all sorts of different license agreements.  What we have to do is the (to me) accursed approach of: here's a list of eleventy-seven URLs and FTP sites, go get these files, check their MD5 to make sure they're the same one we used, and have at it.
Hi Jim,

For this exact problem you've described an ebuild could be a very good 
solution.  (I've personally abandoned gentoo a long time ago)

By solution I mean bash script that explicitly checks the hashes, 
resolves the deps and pulls the source to build everything from the 
eleventy-seven URLs and FTP sites.

The people working with gentoo-science would likely appreciate it a 
lot.  (The learning curve is fairly low if you know bash already)
With regards to open source license proliferation and 
incompatibilities.  I think most people in the community are working 
towards streamlining, but changes after-the-fact can be 
difficult/impossible.  I'm empathetic to your situation and I'd say work 
towards getting your projects merged with something like gentoo to start 
and then maybe something like OpenSuSE build service.  This would cover 
a very large % of the packaging/distribution problem and get it in the 
hands of users easily.

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