Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Apr 2012 02:08 UTC
In the News "Modern science relies upon researchers sharing their work so that their peers can check and verify success or failure. But most scientists still don't share one crucial piece of information - the source codes of the computer programs driving much of today's scientific progress." Pretty crazy this isn't the norm yet.
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Depends on the output
by Yamin on Mon 16th Apr 2012 20:45 UTC
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Academia tends to have formal specifications for formula. They express things in mathematical formulas or specialized scientific notation.

To most scientists, software is just a tool. They're really not interested in the program. Chances are it is messy, sporadic... they might even be embarrassed to release it.

So the output is the formula... that is what they release.

Others have mentioned, but I personally think it increases scientific accuracy if they don't release their test software. It would be far too easy to copy that code or just run their program to validate the formula.

Let's remember the output is the scientific formula... not the program itself.

It is actually better if someone else codes their own test system and validates it.

It's kind of life making you buy your measuring equipment from a different source than your vendor. Would you buy a Cisco router tester from Cisco? Nope, you'd want something independent from a company like Ixia or something.

As a side note, I happen to think this line should blur. That is to say, it should be possible to have the scientist write their formula in whatever academic language they want and tools should be able to output that into a library for a common language or even their own compilers.

Software / formal academic specifications do the same thing. They express algorithms....

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