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Re: Folding@Home Package

Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org> wrote:

> Le vendredi 22 juin 2007 à 14:20 -0400, Zachary Palmer a écrit :
>> This software package has pretty much the best reason for 
>> being closed source that I've encountered; they want to prevent 
>> falsified results from damaging the research.
> This is probably one of the worst excuses I could find. The software
> being closed source doesn't prevent *AT ALL* any kind falsification.
> Relying on such a blatantly wrong security scheme is the best way to
> discover falsification too late.

As I understood it, the idea was more to keep information *comparable*,
which wouldn't be the case if someone "improved" the script by using a
faster minimizer, linking against an improved libfoo or whatever.  You
simply cannot publish a work based on "input which clients sent to us
that are somehow more or less the same as what we describe in the
methods section", it needs to match exactly what's in the methods
section.  It's not a means against evil attackers, but against
goodwilling "helpers".

By the way, I seem to recall that I once interacted, as a potential
sponsor, with someone who wanted to upload a package similar to that
proposed by Zachary, and it was called "fah".  I would even tend to
think that there was a version in the archive, but I'm not sure I ever
uploaded something (I remember arguments with the sponsee about the
maintainer scripts).  I'm currently offline and therefore cannot verify
it, it should be (partly) in the -mentors archive.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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