Suggested discussion topics for panel discussion on
"The Future of Open Source Mathematical Software"
SAGE Days 6
Sunday 11 November 2007
Chair: John Cremona
Panel members: William Stein, Robert Bradshaw, Ondrej Certik, Bill
Alombert, Michael Abshoff, Dan Bernstein.
(1) What are the strength and weaknesses of open source versus closed
source software?
--Can we trust results of computer algebra systems/ mathematics
software that is closed source? Or of any software at all?
--Should a paper submitted for publication in a journal be rejected if
it fundamentally depends on closed source software? Or on any
software at all?
(2) Is it possible to provide a truly viable open source alternative
to Maple, Matlab, Mathematica, and Magma that will survive the
standard 30 year software lifespan and be well supported?
(3) Is it likely that any of the following mathematical software
systems will be open sourced within the next five years: Matlab,
Maple, Mathematica, Magma, Mupad, Reduce? Or that they will be
replaced by viable OSS alternatives?
(4) Do 'we' have to protect our OSS using a copyright such as
the GPL, or should we just release public domain to avoid the
hassle (see GPLv3)? [Discussion on this point will be strictly
guillotined.]
(5) Discuss ideas for funding the creation of open source mathematical
software, and of improving the *quality* of open mathematical
software (e.g., testing, bug days, trac, etc., language choices,
etc.).
(6) Should software implementations be treated more like journal
submissions, being refereed and hence putting computational work
on the same footing as more theoretical work in the context of
academic credit? (cf JSage)