Commercialised programs

Shaw Mr. G shaw at ccu1.auckland.ac.nz
Wed Feb 9 16:44:59 EST 1994


alexandr at ncifcrf.gov (Jerry N. Alexandratos) writes:

>Mike:  Take a look at the original post again.  He wasn't moaning about 
>*everything* not being free!!  The complaint was against the people who 
>use tax-financed research funds to develop a program, then turn around and
>start selling that same program in a glitzy new package for lots of money.
>I have nothing against a bare bones shareware version and a commercially sold 
>version with manuals and upgrades.  I dislike paying twice for the same thing!

Point taken.

The trouble with bare bones shareware for routine work is that it that
it tends to inhibit the spread of crystallographic skills in the
scientific community.
For example the undergraduate students here do a 6 week crystallography
course followed by an actual structure solving exercise using Shelxs/l.
In practice the students find it impossible to do the project within the
time allowed unless one of the staff is there writing the input file for
them ( as they watch in bewilderment ).At the end of the project they get
a structure but I doubt if they learn much about the actual solving process.

Second example; Less than 8% of the chemists in this dept are capable
of solving small molecule structures using our current software. Many of
the others consider crystallography to be a black art surrounded in
mystery. The result is that it is difficult to obtain funding for
something that people don't understand.   

Just another 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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