CCL:G: Filters

 Sent to CCL by: "M. L. Dodson" [bdodson . scms.utmb.EDU]
 On Thu, Oct 27, 2005 at 09:13:21AM -0500, Aaron Deskins ndeskins(~)
 > Sent to CCL by: Aaron Deskins [ndeskins[]]
 > Jim Kress wrote:
 > >Sent to CCL by: "Jim Kress" []
 > >They're not working for free.  Their using the government as an agent
 > >take money from their neighbors to pay for their work (i.e. government
 > >grants).  Then they sell the results of that work to the people who
 > >for
 > >it originally (i.e. taxpayers).
 > >
 > >That's called double dipping and it's immoral.
 > >
 > >Remember, all government money comes from us taxpayers.  No matter what
 > >government employee tells you, there is no money tree in Washington.
 > >
 > >Jim
 > >
 > >
 > >
 > This topic seems mostly to come down to a discussion of the merits of
 > free-market capitalism versus socialism. Who does work better:
 > profit-minded citizens or government paid workers? Of course it depends,
 > but I think if Gaussian was never commercialized, then we all very well
 > could have been stuck using Gaussian 86.
 Why don't we all cool down a little bit and avoid words like
 immoral and socialism.  The discussion might gain some civility in
 the process.
 I'll only say that if you think open source is socialism, you have
 missed the point about open source.  Think of peer review as a
 better analogy or descriptor.  The advantage of open source
 consumer s/w is the increase in the number of "eyeballs" looking
 at the code, and the substantially better debugging (and maybe,
 just maybe, an increase in the efficiency of the algorithms) that
 follows from that "peer review".  As I see it this advantage would
 not carry over into computational chemistry s/w IN A SIMPLE WAY
 for two conflicting reasons: (1) most computational chemistry s/w
 is in fact open source (whether or not you pay for it), so
 theoretically that benefit should hold, HOWEVER (2) due to the
 small "market" the people looking at the code are not, by and
 large, computer scientists, so debugging is not as good as, e.g.,
 apache, BSD unix, Linux, etc.  And, in any case, if the
 "purveyers" of CC s/w are not willing to take patches from the
 community, that benefit will not be realized.  And that is the
 only way you get YOUR ideas implemented in most projects:
 describing a better algorithm on an email list is not enough; you
 must submit patches.
 Most open source projects have multiple email lists, some devoted
 to support (in the sense of the "Gaussian questions"), others to
 discussion of the algorithms ("theory"), and still others to the
 development process itself.  So the "Gaussian question" problem
 does not occur.  Only people wanting to ask or answer "Gaussian
 questions" subscribe to that particular list.
 I'm just trying to inject a little reality about open source into
 this discussion which has been filled with a lot of misinformation
 and almost complete lack of appreciation of the real user benefits
 of the open source s/w movement (far beyond the cost of the s/w).
 M. L. Dodson
 Personal:       mldodson-at-houston-dot-rr-dot-com
 Work:           bdodson-at-scms-dot-utmb-dot-edu
 Work: four_zero_nine-772-2178             FAX: four_zero_nine-772-1790