A scientific basis for Open Source Software
Posted May 20, 2012 18:55 UTC (Sun) by david.a.wheeler
Parent article: A scientific basis for Open Source Software
The failure to release source code holds back research.
"The Evolution from LIMMAT to NANOSAT" by Armin Biere (Technical Report #444, Dept. Computer Science, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland), 15 April 2004 notes that when they examined previous work, "From the publications alone, without access to the source code, various details were still unclear... what we did not realize, and which hardly could be deduced from the literature, was [an optimization] employed in GRASP and CHAFF [was critically important]... Only [when CHAFF's source code became available did] our unfortunate design decision became clear... The lesson learned is, that important details are often omitted in publications and can only be extracted from source code. It can be argued, that making source code of SAT solvers available is as important to the advancement of the field as publications”.
Very simply, if "we the people" paid for it, then I believe "we the people" should normally get it. I.E., any software developed using public funds should be released by default to the people under an OSS license. Sure, there are exceptions, but they should be justified as exceptions. That's phrased in the language of the U.S. Constitution, but any democracy still has the basic notion that the government should be working for the benefit of its citizens.
to post comments)