Commercialised programs

Shaw Mr. G shaw at ccu1
Tue Feb 8 17:44:29 EST 1994


GOLDMAN at ALA.BTK.UTU.FI (Adrian Goldman, BTK x8029) writes:

>In <CKvBq5.BwF at wst.edvz.sbg.ac.at> ortnerm at wst.edvz.sbg.ac.at writes:

>What do others think? - or am I being too old-fashioned?  When I started
>as a macromolecular crystallographer some 13 years ago, all code basically
>came free....

In an ideal world everything would be free. 

Perhaps a good side effect of having to pay for software will be that
people will expect better quality programs written by professional
programmers.
Better programs = less man hours to solve structures = more research gets
done = better value for the tax payer.

For example I use the programs Shelxs (1986) and Shelxl (1993) for
solving small molecule crystal structures.
The user interface gets its inspiration from the days of punched card data
input and the documentation for Shelxl came as a bare ASCII file without an
index or a table of contents ! User friendly ? No.

We use these programs simply because they are free.
If I held the purse strings for the crystallography section here, the
first thing I would do is buy some better software. 

Now where was I, ah yes, LATT -1 ummm thats errr primitive
non-centrosymmetric I think, better check the manual.....and
SYMM -X,0.5+Y,0.5+Z or is it 0.5-Z ? why won't it just accept
the space group name....and SFAC C H O CL P SN why is Chlorine element
type number 4 instead of just being a Chlorine......and FMAP arghhhh... :-(    

Just my 0.02 c 
Mike

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Mike Buckler                  mbuckler at chenov1.auckland.ac.nz
                              shaw at ccu1.auckland.ac.nz
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