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Re: Python Integration Plugin

From: John Darrington
Subject: Re: Python Integration Plugin
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 08:43:35 +0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

On Fri, Nov 17, 2006 at 09:18:42AM -0800, Ben Pfaff wrote:
     John Darrington <address@hidden> writes:
     > SPSS Inc's "Python Integration Plugin" is distributed under, what so
     > far as I can tell is, a Free Software licence, albeit not GPL
     > compatible.

     I've been following the SPSS newsgroup lately.  It looks like the
     Python support is getting a lot of play.  There are lots of
     suggestions of the form, "You can do what you want to do easily
     using the Python plug-in..."  At some point we should find out
     what it would take to support this.

I don't think there would be any fundamental problems to overcome.
We'd have to make a shared library of the libpspp and data
directories, write a python wrapper  using the same API as SPSS uses.
Also we'd have to make a support BEGIN/END PROGRAM commands, which
pass control off to a python interpreter.  Recent Python versions have
a license which is GPL compatible so that's not a problem.

I was wrong about SPSS's license being free.  On closer inspection,
SPSS's "Freeware License Agreement" is probably not Free, since
section 7 allows them to terminate without cause. 

However, doesn't mean that we can't reimplement their python wrapper
with the same API.  It just means that we'd have to be careful not to
refer to any of SPSS's code when writing our own.

The main issue of course is finding the time to do it (and in my case,
learning to program in Python).  Perhaps we should put a call out on
the Help Wanted pages?  There might be an eager pythonite
out there, just waiting for a project to tacke.


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