Time Expired Software!

Chris Fields cfields at gab.unt.edu
Wed Jan 15 00:06:39 EST 1997


> My personal opinion is that in an ideal world our software should be
> free to other research organisations (especially to UK ones as, after
> all, it is the UK tax payer who ultimately pays our salaries). In the
> real world, partly due to our decision to charge minimal fees, we are
> finding it _extremely_ hard to continue our own funding. The facts
> have to be faced - the production of software has to be paid for. We
> suffer exactly the same problems in finding money to write software as
> other people do to find money to buy it, except for us the costs are
> greater.
> 
> Food for thought...
> 
>         James

Very true, sir.  My problem stems from a lack of interest by our
university in our research (they think such programs are, as Susan
Hogarth so erroneously put it, 'luxury items').  

I understand that production of software needs to be paid for.  So far,
I haven't found too much justification in the pricing scheme for
software as well as anything related to molecular biology, as Tim Cutts
stated.  

I wish that other software developers would feel the same way.  I never
meant to imply that I want this for *free*.  I just think that charging
the price of a used car for a software package is ludicrous; I could get
a very good computer loaded with software for the price of some of these
programs.  Many packages further limit use by requiring keys for the
software, limiting to two keys per $2500 package.  GCG at least allows 

I have heard good things about Staden, but don't know much as of now. I
currently am considering GCG and GeneWorks in recommending programs to
my professor.  I'll check out your Web site and talk to some others,
plus see the NG to get more info, and then I'll probably add Staden to
the list.  We have a UNIX server here, so GCG or Staden are both well
worth a look (although I don't quite know if our UNIX can hold either
package; I believe it's rather old).

-- 
C. J. Fields
Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences
The University of North Texas
Denton, TX 

email : cfields at students.cas.unt.edu
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