Unix vs Linux - the movie.

John S. J. Anderson jacobs+usenet at genehack.org
Fri Jul 28 06:29:16 EST 2000


>>>>> "Richard" == Richard P Grant <rgrant at netscape.net> writes:
Richard> In article <87lmymkim9.fsf at genehack.org>, "John
Richard> S. J. Anderson" <jacobs+usenet at genehack.org> wrote:

>> For a bioinformatics paper (when no source code is available), I
>> can't easily repeat the experiment, because I lack details of the
>> way the algorithms in the paper were implemented. All I can do is
>> look at the results the authors provide, and hope or trust that the
>> programmer(s) were competent.
>>
>> This is like reading a yeast genetics paper without having the
>> genotypes of the strains given, or a biochemistry paper without
>> details of the experimental conditions.

Richard> Good point.  This statement deserves wide dissemination.

Richard> Write a letter to Nature.  Seriously.

Well, _someone_ should probably write such a letter. I'm not sure if
I'm that person. 

If anyone's going to the BOSC after ISMB (I'm won't be at either,
unfortunately), I suggest that people attending try to get together
and draft a 'position letter' about this issue; something that could
be signed by a large group of people. Is anyone here going, and would
they like to try to get this accomplished?

In the meantime, I'm going to have to devote some thought to the
issues raised by alrichards at my-deja.com in a separate branch of this
thread; my gut says he's wrong, but I need to get it to explain why to
my brain. 

john.

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