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Programming

+ - 'The Code Has Already Been Written'

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "John D. Cook points out there's a major divide between the way scientists and programmers view the software they write. Scientists see their software as a kind of exoskeleton, an extension of themselves. Programmers, on the other hand, see their software as something they will hand over to someone else, more like building a robot. To a scientist, the software soup's done when they get what they want out of it, while professional programmers give more thought to reproducibility, maintainability, and correctness. So what happens when the twain meet? 'The real tension,' says Cook, 'comes when a piece of research software is suddenly expected to be ready for production. The scientist will say 'the code has already been written' and can't imagine it would take much work, if any, to prepare the software for its new responsibilities. They don't understand how hard it is for an engineer to turn an exoskeleton into a self-sufficient robot.'"

Comment: Re:There is a much bigger problem than "0" and "O" (Score 1) 100

by hritcu (#32391614) Attached to: STIX Project Releases v1.0 of Its Scientific Fonts Set
Thank you, I now understand where the problem is. Still, I'm not so sure this would be so easy to fix.

They could have given permission to distribute a document without restriction when the fonts are embedded in it, and everything would have been OK.

What if I want to distribute a document containing the embedded fonts while imposing some restrictions on the document itself? Would I be able to do that if you only give me permissions to distribute the document without restriction? But maybe I'm mixing up without restriction and without restrictions :)

In the end, you are right, this is indeed a perfect example why it should be the lawyers who do the wording of licenses.

Comment: Re:There is a much bigger problem than "0" and "O" (Score 1) 100

by hritcu (#32391242) Attached to: STIX Project Releases v1.0 of Its Scientific Fonts Set

The license only says that the license "does not apply to any document created using the Font Software", not that the license does not apply *at all* once the font is embedded.

A little clarification, it's not the license that does not apply to documents created with the font, but the requirement that the font can only be distributed under the same license. Here is the precise text about this exception:

5) The Font Software, modified or unmodified, in part or in whole, must be distributed entirely under this license, and must not be distributed under any other license. The requirement for fonts to remain under this license does not apply to any document created using the Font Software.

Comment: Re:There is a much bigger problem than "0" and "O" (Score 1) 100

by hritcu (#32391122) Attached to: STIX Project Releases v1.0 of Its Scientific Fonts Set

The problem in this case is that the license allows conversion of the font to any other license or public domain once it is embedded in a document. The license explicitly says that it no longer applies once the font's embedded. And the authors didn't realize that if you extract the font from the document, the license doesn't come back!

I find your interpretation of the license quite strange (but, well, I am not a lawyer). The license only says that the license "does not apply to any document created using the Font Software", not that the license does not apply *at all* once the font is embedded. If you extract a font out of the document, I suppose you obtain a copy of the original font, or at least a modified version of the original font, and the license does explicitly cover copies and modified versions. I would expect this holds for any copy or modified version, no matter by which process they were obtained.

I think that for free font licenses allowing the fonts to be embedded without posing restrictions on the license of the document is of paramount importance. Do you know any other font license that allows this form of embedding and is for sure lawyer-proof?

Comment: Re:Slow news day... (Score 1) 100

by hritcu (#32388136) Attached to: STIX Project Releases v1.0 of Its Scientific Fonts Set
I'm very happy they pulled it through in the end! I also agree that this is a very significant contribution to open source, and we must be grateful to the people who designed these fonts. I'm also very happy that in the end they chose an OSI-approved license, which will allow this font to be part of all Linux distributions. At the same time, it's hard not to notice not only the "schedule slippage" of 10 years or so, but also the fact that although they clearly had no clue how long this was going to take, they were always giving people false hope, by making very precise (but completely, completely off) "estimations" about when the project was going to be finished. By doing so, they just made idiots out of themselves, and gave the impression that the whole project is just vaporware. Should they have refrained from making such stupid predictions, and just informed the public about the progress they are making, there would be a lot less people feeling (rightfully!) deceived. And do you think whoever manages this project has learned anything out of this? I don't think so! They are already giving "estimations" about when versions 1.1 and 1.2 will be out. Why on earth do they insist in trying to deceive everyone with their "estimations"? They already showed how terrible they are at estimating how long their work takes.
Google

StarOffice Dropped From Google Pack 135

Posted by timothy
from the stardom-is-temporary dept.
Barence writes "Sun's StarOffice suite has been mysteriously dropped from the Google Pack of free software. The office suite has been axed without any warning or explanation on the Google site. Is Google trying to drive more people towards its own online suite of office applications? Or has it been stung into action by Steve Ballmer's recent comment that Microsoft Office faces stronger competition from StarOffice than it does Google Docs and Spreadsheet?"
Software

OpenOffice.org V3.0 Sets Download Record, 80% Windows 451

Posted by timothy
from the constant-companion dept.
thefickler writes "The newest version of OpenOffice, version 3.0, has set a download record in its first week of availability. Most surprising is the fact that over 80% of downloads were from Windows users. As one commentator noted, when it comes to a choice between almost identical software (e.g. Microsoft Office and OpenOffice), price is the determining factor."
The Internet

Multiple Experts Try Defining "Cloud Computing" 117

Posted by timothy
from the chance-of-haze-leading-to-fuzziness dept.
jg21 writes "Even though IBM's Irving Wladawsky Berger reports a leading analyst as having said recently that 'There is a clear consensus that there is no real consensus on what cloud computing is,' here are no fewer than twenty attempts at a definition of the infrastructural paradigm shift that is sweeping across the Enterprise IT world — some of them really quite good. From the article: 'Cloud computing is...the user-friendly version of grid computing.' (Trevor Doerksen) and 'Cloud computing really is accessing resources and services needed to perform functions with dynamically changing needs. An application or service developer requests access from the cloud rather than a specific endpoint or named resource.' (Kevin Hartig)"

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.

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