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Date:         Mon, 7 Dec 1998 12:11:43 -0800
Reply-To:     Duane Wilson <duanewilson@YAHOO.COM>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:         Duane Wilson <duanewilson@YAHOO.COM>
Subject:      Package for Linux
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

May be we should convince Conceptual Software (sellers of DBMS/COPY) to port their PRODAS package to Linux. I used that many years ago and it had enough of the SAS capabilities to make me happy.

Duane

Bigpond <tchur@BIGPOND.COM> Wrote ----

There has been much discussion on SAS-L of a port of SAS to the Linux platform in months past. Seems that SI aren't interested, at least at this stage.

I have just come across a reference to PSPP, a clone of a popular commercial statistical package (a major competitor of SAS). PSPP runs under Linux (and many other platforms), has a GNU Copyleft license and is available as source code. Still in the earlier stages, it seems, but it looks promising. Has anyone used it? The Web page is http://www.fsf.org/software/fiasco/index.html (the project was formerly called Fiasco)

Now, if only someone would start work on GNU-licensed project called ASA... Couldn't someone dust off the source code for the now defunct BASS System as a starting point?

$ mount /soapbox

Such free software initiatives eventually benefit everyone. At first, the free software, albeit with limited functionality, enables groups and individuals which cannot afford commercial software to benefit (usually non-governmental non-profit or community-based organisations in rich countries, and increasingly just about everyone including government and even large local private companies in developing countries, with the exception perhaps of large multinationals). Eventually, as the capablities of free software projects mature, they exert market pressure on commercial vendors which force prices down for everyone. It looks like Linux is probably just beginning to have this effect on many Unix vendors and on Microsoft Windows NT.

On a related theme, there has been some discussion recently in the media of billionaires such as George Soros and Bill Gates suddenly developing a social conscience and re-inventing themselves as big-time philanthropists.

If Dr Goodnight wants to follow suit, then the best thing he could possibly do would be to port SAS V6.11 or 6.12 to Linux and make it available (not the source code) for free or very, very cheaply. I mentioned V6.11 because I suspect that SAS V6.11 for Intel ABI+ (Intel-based Unix) would be the best place to start such a port to Linux at the least cost. What a boon this would be to so many projects, enterprises and governments in devoloping countries! Not to mention that SAS for Linux could then be promoted heavily in universities in developing countries, which are increasingly supplying more and more of the developed world's requirement for IT personnel. Having large numbers of SAS literate graduates in developing countries can only be a good thing for SI, I would have thought.

$ umount /soapbox

Tim Churches

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