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Thread: open-source and scientific software

  1. #1
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    open-source and scientific software

    I'm an undergrad astronomer-engineer, pretending to make a study on a topic related to open-source and scientific software. The problem is, I don't know where to start!

    So, I would like to ask:

    1) What could be an interesting, more specific subject related to this?

    2) Where can I get information (i.e. papers, books or anything alike treating this subject)

    Any help??
    ...

  2. #2
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    Re: open-source and scientific software

    What are you looking to do?

    Showcase some scientific open-source software?
    Show how open-source follows the scientific method of development and sharing findings?

    As an astronomer you must have used some of the OSS available like celestia, kstars, etc...

    So what do you hope to accomplish with the project?

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    Re: open-source and scientific software

    As tentative Ideas I thought of these for example:

    a) The influence of rigorous software architecture on the success and permanence over time of projects.

    b) Case study, comparision of open-source apps with propietary software...

    c) Testing of these kind of projects

    The work is mainly intended to perform an investigation on the topic and get to relevant conclusions....So, any interesting topic you can suggest, or relevant info would be pleased....
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    Re: open-source and scientific software

    so the software you are comparing is open source scientific software vs closed source scientific software? or can it just be any OSS vs Closed source software?
    Jabber: markgrandi[at]gmail.com

  5. #5
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    Re: open-source and scientific software

    The idea is to study open-source on science specifically...
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    Re: open-source and scientific software

    Quote Originally Posted by orlox View Post
    As tentative Ideas I thought of these for example:

    a) The influence of rigorous software architecture on the success and permanence over time of projects.

    b) Case study, comparision of open-source apps with propietary software...

    c) Testing of these kind of projects

    The work is mainly intended to perform an investigation on the topic and get to relevant conclusions....So, any interesting topic you can suggest, or relevant info would be pleased....
    I see,
    So it doesn't actually have to be about astronomy at all? However, science must be a theme in the study?

    a) sounds pretty good, though it might be a difficult field to study. You'd have to find major projects that utilized open-source in their procedure's, and find a counterpart doing the same project with closed-source software. I believe PIXAR used open-source when they started getting big, if they don't still. This may be a good place to start.

    b) sounds ok, but maybe a little dry. If your readership isn't convinced that OSS is a good thing, they'll think you're just boring them with details so that they'll give in. Or worse, that you may have selected comparisons in which overall OSS appears superior, and they may question the objectivity of the study.

    Personally, I like the approach of discussing why OSS would be good for science, and furthermore, how OSS is actually an extension of the scientific method applied to public works (researchers sharing their work, and collectively building a sum of knowledge to empower and enlighten mankind). And FURTHERMORE how that energy is applied back into science in the form of usable tools.

    It's your study though

    c) naturally

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    Re: open-source and scientific software

    Thanx for your comments. I had also thought on that OSS is an extension of the scientific method. After all, it would be absurd to see a mathematician presenting a propietary method to solve an integral that requires a licence to utilize it, and making closed-source propietary algorithms is very near from that.....
    ...

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    Re: open-source and scientific software


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