View Full Version : The Honourable Gentleman from ...

Herman J. Woltring
11-06-1990, 09:55 PM
Dear Colleagues,

With delight I have read Giovanni Legnani's posting yesterday in which the
availability of SPACE_LIB was announced; I trust that many among us will
be interested in accessing this source of information (if you're used to C,
that is -- my own experience is strictly FORTRAN).

A minor, linguistic remark seems appropriate, though: my Webster's New 20th
Century Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Collins 1978, U.S.A., defines a Gentleman's
(or Gentlemen's) agreement as,

an informal, unwritten agreement secured only by the parties pledge
of honor and not legally binding

and a similar definition occurs in my Oxford Concise Dictionary. In fact,
two bakers (if I recall their professional orientation correctly) in The
Netherlands went into litigation some years ago about a disagreement con-
cerning their interpretation of a previous Gentlemen's Agreement; they
were thrown out by the court...

Interestingly, Americans refer to their political representative as "The
Gentleman from (Arkansas, Wisconsin, etc)"; these gentlemen are certainly
concerned with legal matters!

As regards the interpretation of "non-profit": I think that one should make
a distinction between providing a software package by way of a service (e.g.,
in contract research) and as a product. In my mind, the latter would sooner
qualify as "for profit" than the former. But then, if you provide something
as a product, (re)liability considerations start to play a role, considering,
for example, the European Community's Directive for Product Liability. For
example, contract research in an academic environment is secured by a pledge
to work to the best of one's abilities, to generate honest effort, but not by
a written agreement to provide complete merchandise by the end of the agreed