Thursday, June 18, 2009

Open source commonality with science

Here is a great essay about What Open Source shares with Science from ZDNet UK. The essay writer basically explains that science and open source software share essentially the same underpinnings of the scientific method. That idea that hypothesis, theories, experiments, thoughts and ideas should be documented and shared with the rest of the (scientific) community. From the essay...

The speed of progress is greatly enhanced by virtue of the fact the practitioners of Science publish not only results, but methodology, and techniques. In programmatic terms, this is equivalent to both the binary and the source code. This not only helps 'bootstrap' others into the field, to learn from the examples set, but makes it possible for others to verify or refute the results (or techniques) under investigation.

I've postulated before that proprietary software might be a hindrance to Operations Research. This essay does a great job explaining my point. In order to advance Operations Research concepts in software the best thing for the field is to allow peer review. This will only allow the field to grow and prosper. Otherwise are we not just competing against our own peers?

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