Re: gnuplot license
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Thomas Bushnell, BSG)
> Date: 16 Dec 2002 22:08:07 -0800
> I'm uncertain how gnuplot got its name...anyone know?
1.2 How did it come about and why is it called gnuplot?
The authors of gnuplot are: Thomas Williams, Colin Kelley, Russell
Lang, Dave Kotz, John Campbell, Gershon Elber, Alexander Woo and
The following quote comes from Thomas Williams: I was taking a
differential equation class and Colin was taking Electromagnetics,
we both thought it'd be helpful to visualize the mathematics
behind them. We were both working as sys admin for an EE VLSI lab,
so we had the graphics terminals and the time to do some
coding. The posting was better received than we expected, and
prompted us to add some, albeit lame, support for file data.
Any reference to GNUplot is incorrect. The real name of the
program is "gnuplot". You see people use "gnuplot" quite a bit
because many of us have an aversion to starting a sentence with a
lower case letter, even in the case of proper nouns and
titles. gnuplot is not related to the GNU project or the FSF in
any but the most peripheral sense. Our software was designed
completely independently and the name "gnuplot" was actually a
compromise. I wanted to call it "llamaplot" and Colin wanted to
call it "nplot." We agreed that "newplot" was acceptable but, we
then discovered that there was an absolutely ghastly pascal
program of that name that the Computer Science Dept. occasionally
used. I decided that "gnuplot" would make a nice pun and after a
fashion Colin agreed.
1.3 Does gnuplot have anything to do with the FSF and the GNU
Gnuplot is neither written nor maintained by the FSF. It is not
covered by the General Public License, either. It used to be
distributed by the FSF, however, due to licensing issues it is no
Gnuplot is freeware in the sense that you don't have to pay for
it. However it is not freeware in the sense that you would be
allowed to distribute a modified version of your gnuplot
freely. Please read and accept the Copyright file in your
When I was little, I went into a pet shop and they asked how big I'd get.
-- Rodney Dangerfield