IUBio GIL .. BIOSCI/Bionet News .. Biosequences .. Software .. FTP

Public domain source code for fast fourier transforms and/or spectral analysis...

Athel athel at IR2CBM.CNRS-MRS.FR
Fri Jun 13 03:11:52 EST 1997

Sean Eddy wrote: 

>Except that Numerical Recipes source code is emphatically *not* in the public domain.

True enough, if the original questioner meant public domain in the
strict legal sense. But if he just meant stuff he could use for his own
purposes (without passing it on to others) then the Preface to Numerical
Recipes explicitly allows this (p. xiii in the 1986 Fortran/Pascal
edition): "Although this book and its programs are copyrighted, we
specifically authorize you, a reader of the book, to make one
machine-readable copy of each program for your own use...".

Personally I find the discussion of numerical methods in the book
excellent, but the programs themselves virtually incomprehensible
because of the meaningless names given to most of the variables. So what
I do is to read the text carefully and then write programs that I can
understand on that basis rather than try to use the programs as
supplied. (Legalists may like to note that that procedure is likewise
authorized and even recommended by the authors: "If you analyze the
ideas contained in a program, and then express those ideas in your own
distinct implementation, then that new program implementation belongs to


More information about the Bio-soft mailing list

Send comments to us at archive@iubioarchive.bio.net