Older blog entries for adulau (starting at number 96)

24 Dec 2008 (updated 25 Dec 2008 at 10:04 UTC) »

2008-12-24 Oddmuse Wiki Using Git

If you are a frequent reader of my delicious feeds, you can see my addiction regarding wiki and git. But I never found a wiki similar to Oddmuse in terms of functionalities and dynamism relying on git. Before Christmas, I wanted to have something working… to post this blog entry in git. The process is very simple : oddmuse2git import the raw pages from Oddmuse into a the master branch of a local git repository. I'm using another branch local (that I merge/rebase regularly with master (while I'm doing edit via the HTTP)) to make local edit and pushing the update (a simple git-rev-list --reverse against the master) to the Oddmuse wiki. The two scripts (oddmuse2git git2oddmuse) are available. Ok it's quick-and-dirty(tm) but it works. There is space for improvements especially while getting the Oddmuse update using RSS to avoid fetching all the pages.

http://www.foo.be/blog/img/git-and-oddmuse.png

Tags: wiki oddmuse git

Syndicated 2008-12-24 21:17:19 (Updated 2008-12-25 10:04:36) from AdulauWikiDiary: RecentChanges

21 Dec 2008 (updated 29 Dec 2008 at 17:08 UTC) »

2008-12-21 Scientific Publications and Proving Empirical Results

Reading scientific/academic publications in computer science can be frustrating due to various reasons. But the most frequent reason is the inability to reproduce the results described in a paper due to the lack of the software and tools to reproduce the empirical analysis described. You can regularly read reference in papers to internal software used for the analysis or survey but the paper lacks a link to download the software. Very often, I shared this frustration with my (work and academic) colleague but I was always expecting a more formal paper describing this major issue in scientific publication especially in computer science.

By sheer luck, I hit a paper called "Empiricism is Not a Matter of Faith" written by Ted Pedersen published in Computational Linguistics Volume 34, Issue 3 of September 2008. I want to share with you the conclusion of the article :

However, the other path is to accept (and in fact insist) that highly detailed empirical 
studies must be reproducible to be credible, and that it is unreasonable to expect that 
reproducibility to be possible based on the description provided in a publication. Thus, 
releasing software that makes it easy to reproduce and modify experiments should be 
an essential part of the publication process, to the point where we might one day only 
accept for publication articles that are accompanied by working software that allows for 
immediate and reliable reproduction of results. 

The paper from Ted Pedersen is clear and concise, I couldn't explain better that. I hope it will become a requirement in any open access publication to add the free software (along with the process) used to make the experiments. Science at large could only gain from such disclosure. Open access should better integrate such requirements (e.g. reproducibility of the experiments) to attract more academic people from computer science. Just Imagine the excellent arxiv.org also including a requirements in paper submission to include a link to the free software and process used to make the experiments, that would be great.

Tags: openaccess research education freesoftware

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