A long-standing objective related to the
StatsFuns packages is to provide native Julia versions of various pdf (probability density or mass) and cdf (cumulative distribution) functions. The
Rmath package is used to evaluate many of these but it has a couple of disadvantages: its license (GPLv2) and its lack of flexibility with respect to types.
Where is a good place to discuss replacing these functions? I would have suggested creating an issue in
StatsFuns but recently there were additions to very old issue in
Distributions related to this?
A general question is to what extent can a native Julia implementation be based on the Rmath code without being in violation of the GPL? I realize that a Julia developer reading the Rmath code then implementing a similar function in Julia would be a violation of the license. Can a third-party read the code and provide a textual description of the method?
If there are references to papers they can sometimes be used but some journals have rather bizarre conditions. I believe ACM Trans. Math. Software was the one of the worst for imposing conditions on algorithms that it published.
I would like to see native Julia implementations because of the flexibility and maintainability but I don’t want to taint such an effort by participating if there would be a problem with my being involved in some of the original code in R.