Open Source/Science – drilling down to unknown depths in unexpected places

August 12, 2007

(This article was first published on Mario's Entangled Bank » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Yet another point John Chambers addressed in his key note speech (see previous post Programing as a higher craft) was the virtue of Open Source software.

According to John there are two principles for programing (with R)

  • Enable effective and rapid exploration of data, in particular when dealing with large scale dynamic data sets.
  • Provide trustworthy software (aka packages) or, in other words, respect the First – Tell no Lies principle

For trustworthy software, Open Source is better (all other things being equal) for the simple reason that it (in John’s own words)

…allows drilling down to unknown depths in unexpected places.

Of course the very same reasoning (with the same benefits) could be applied to the concept of Open Science.

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