Is this the appropiate list?

NSK nsk2 at
Mon Oct 18 11:18:12 UTC 2004

On Monday 18 October 2004 13:47, Xavier Amatriain wrote:
> If someone sends me a piece of Matlab code I cannot run it!
> What am I supposed to do? 

In my opinion, we will never have truly Free software if we don't try to build 
Free hardware. I mean, the design of the CPUs we use is 
copyrighted/patented/tradesecret/whatever. If we want to run Free software, 
we are forced to get a non-Free CPU. But now some people started designing 
Free chip designs, so I hope we will soon have Free hardware in the future. 

The problem you describe is real and I think it's similar to the "Java trap". 
The java trap is that you write a GPL program for java, but java is not Free, 
so in the end you end up being controlled by whoever provides the java 
implementation. But some programmers understood the problem so they build 
Free java alternatives.

About MatLab, I think that the best solution is to organise a group for 
programmes in order to improve Octave or write a new MatLab-compatible Free 

If you think about it, you will see that Free software was always developed 
this way. We didn't have any Free operating system at first but then 
GNU/Linux came out of the effort of thousands of programmers around the 
world, because people want to be Free. In the same way, if many programmers 
and engineers agree to work together, we can create anything Free, including 
mathematics software and computer hardware.

Oh, and a clarification: When I talk about Free hardware I mean the 
copyrightable/patentable electrical-logical design, not the actual hardware. 
The real hardware needs, of course, a factory in order to be build, but the 
design can be just drawn on a piece paper (or a CAD file) :)

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