Sunday, May 5, 2013

Open source software for everyone.

My spare time right now:  3 papers in various stages of preparation, trying to get back into climbing shape, and this current obsession:  Making good open source software actually accessible for everyone.  As some of my readers may have noticed, I've started pulling my reviews on software that is impossible for someone without a computer science degree to install or run.  This is because they are not helping.  Seriously.
If you write a fantastic program that is the first thing that can ever fully elucidate glycopeptide data but you write it in Python and don't write installation instructions for Windows this is not going to get to any real glycopeptide researchers.  This is a fact.  The cool glycopeptides aren't controls from Pierce, they are excreted from HIV or malaria infected cells.  They are being found by biologists who can not install your software.
New rule.  If it can't be installed by a guy with a Ph.D. in Biology, I'm not going to give you press.
That being said, I have to backtrack.  There is too much good stuff out there, so this is what I've been working on -- let's write some GUIs!
I need help.  At most, on my own, I'm going to finish 1 maybe 2 this year (and I can't write in Python, not yet, anyway)  And I know exactly what programs I'm going after.  I'm dreaming of an open sourceware site with easy-to-install high quality Open Source software.  If you want to help with hosting space for this project or by writing one of these (or even suggestions of what programs we should go for first!).  Email me ( or leave a comment!

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