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Re: [OT - or may be not] The case for open computer programs


Yaroslav Halchenko wrote (May 29, 2012):
> If you have 15$ left have you read the Nature paper, then you could also
> read less particular about details "version" of the same thing from
> Science:
> http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6078/159.full
> [snip]
> Meanwhile we can just keep going forward making it all possible ;)

Actually, this brings to mind an interesting point. The articles mentioned in 
this thread, from what I can see, do not address open operating systems, but 
rather they specifically focus on open access to the specialized code that is 
used to back scientific conclusions. So it seems there is a distinction between 
what we are making possible with Debian, and what is being called for here. In 
this context, open _code_ and open _platforms_ are two different (albeit 
related) beasts.

The articles really don't go far enough. Given the prevalence of closed 
proprietary platforms (e.g. Windows, Matlab, Mathematica, LabVIEW), the fact 
that the foundations of science that relies on computation in various forms 
(which, I assert, is probably most of science these days) are not necessarily 
open seems to me to be a rather significant elephant in the room. How can one 
be certain their results are valid and true if the platform on which those 
results are acquired cannot similarly be scrutinized?

Ideally the whole system should be open, not just the chunk of code unique to 
each experiment.


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