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From Al Chou <>
Subject Re: [math] Matrix subMatrix and mean methods
Date Sat, 09 Oct 2004 03:26:13 GMT
--- "Mark R. Diggory" <> wrote:
> Al Chou wrote:
> > 
> > I agree we should not be releasing Apache versions of the whole Colt
> library
> > (which technically wouldn't even be possible, as the hep.aida.* packages
> are
> > LGPL'd, not under the the new CERN license).  In any case, the question of
> the
> > scope of Commons-Math continually comes up, and the merging in of Colt is
> yet
> > another impetus for discussing it.  If we were to include large portions or
> all
> > of the CERN-licensed code of Colt, we would be in a position to claim a
> much
> > larger scope/charter for the project.  But would we want to?  Some project
> > members seem very interested in doing so (and I am certainly guilty of such
> > thoughts), but I don't think it necessarily makes sense.  Commons-Math's
> > charter is a sound one, and I would not want to alienate/inconvenience
> users
> > whose needs are well met by its current scope and charter (assuming there
> are
> > any such) by increasing it unnecessarily.  A separate project would
> probably be
> > more appropriate if we wanted a larger scope.
> > 
> > 
> > Al
> Al,
> I really agree that "merging" or adding much of the code from Colt can 
> result in a project outside the scope of Commons Math. (Not that this 
> can't stop us from using portions of it within Commons Math initially, 
> which I promote). I really perceive the need for a parent project that 
> manages numerical and mathematical codebases that are considered to be 
> outside the scope of Commons Math.
> I agree that there are concerns with the hep LGPL packages and suspect 
> they would not be allowed into Apache due to these concerns.

Yes, I agree that Colt has much that would be useful to us in Commons Math,
e.g., templated multi-dimensional matrices, both dense and sparse.  But we
should draw a boundary somewhere that Commons Math should not cross as we
incorporate Colt code.  For instance, I suspect most Java server-side
programmers will need special functions beyond what we already provide (largely
just to support our statistics functionality).  However, the function objects
in that same package are intriguing and possibly quite useful to us and our
users.  I think a minority of classes from cern.jet.random would be valuable,
the rest being too advanced for our scope.  The templated lists and maps look
neat, but I don't know whether we really need them, nor whether Commons Math is
really the place for them anyway (somewhere else in Commons may make sense, say
Lang?).  And the concurrent programming stuff is really for high performance
computing, which I'd say is out of scope for Commons Math.

Surprisingly, I think I've just drawn the boundary, at a high level.  Or at
least a straw man proposal of one.  Thoughts?


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