open-source software for bioinformatics

Sean Eddy eddy at wol.wustl.edu
Thu Aug 10 09:58:45 EST 2000


In article <Pine.OSF.4.21.0008092042530.23512-100000 at ermine.ox.ac.uk> Korbinian Strimmer <strimmer at ermine.ox.ac.uk> writes:
  >What I find *much* more problematic is to first develop tools, databases,
  >software etc. under academic conditions (public funding, low salaries,
  >people willing to work hard for getting a PhD etc.), and to sell exactly
  >these things, maybe slightly modified, later as commercial products of a
  >company *privately* held  by members of the research group.

Actually I think that's a Good Thing. Supporting and documenting
software properly is clearly a commercial activity. I think there's a
reasonable niche market for software companies that repackage and
support open source bioinformatics packages in robust, user-friendly
ways.

Making money isn't a bad thing, even to most open source zealots.
People are expensive, good people especially so. If you ask people to
spend time working primarily in your interest (answering your
questions, helping you install software, writing clear documentation,
making a program easy for you to use), you oughta pay them for their
time. Econ 101. :)

-- 
- Sean Eddy
- HHMI/Dept. of Genetics, Washington University in St. Louis
- http://www.genetics.wustl.edu/eddy/







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