23 Mar 2005 titus   » (Journeyer)

Paper: accepted

My paper on FRII: accepted. Hooray!

Open Source Science

Via slashdot, Climatology debate goes open-source. Some climate change challengers made their code available, essentially challenging their opponents to do the same. In this case, the argument is actually about analysis techniques, so it's an especially apt move. I enthusiastically applaud these people.

There were many, many, many, many, many moderately interesting comments.

The distinction between showing your code and not showing your code has nothing to do with your funding source. It's all about publication.

Look, if you want to publish your work, then you need to make your data and your analysis techniques completely transparent. Anything less is Not Science. I think this is especially true of software. (Honestly, if your code is too ugly to show other people, it's probably pretty buggy, too.) And I don't care who funded it: I'm not going to favorably review any paper that does some big-ass computation but doesn't make their analysis system available. Closed source makes a multitude of sins possible.

Of course, just because you need to show your work doesn't mean copyright and license restrictions don't apply. I don't think everybody need release under an OSI-certified OSS license; it's enough if I can see and run your code.

Separately, the Wash Post had an interesting article on the meaning of the word "theory", too. Worth reading if you're interested in this stuff. (Via AMK.)

Croquet and Squeeeeeeak

Alan Kay is da bomb. But what is Croquet actually useful for?? The site is vague and general to the point of drooling idiocy! Is this what happens when you start solving the problems of the world? ;)

I'm serious. I'd like to know! It looks cool. Neat. Nifty. What does it do, other than radically realign the feudal nature of interdependence on the Internet?

Software sucks

Released a couple of updates to FamilyRelationsII, Cartwheel, and the whole mess o' software. Man, I've gotta find a way to automatically test that GUI; people keep on finding fairly obvious bugs right after a new release. Sigh.


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