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Software developer and science fiction fan.


Oct
26
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@Steve314 True. For the purposes of this topic, I consider a sufficiently detailed specification almost equivalent to the actual code (but remember that code itself is a kind of spec!). However, an independent review is less feasible the fewer details are available. A complex enough result will never be reproduced without a little help from the original authors -- which is why I suspect many times the code isn't available it's because the actual research is on shaky ground. Which I guess is what SK-logic above me was hinting at.
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@Paul But code is important. Even if the research is not code-related, if code was used in any meaningful capacity to compute or validate the research, then it is a fundamental part of said research. Otherwise it's like publishing a new mathematical result and omitting the proof. Code IS the proof. If, on the contrary, code played no important role, then why mention it at all? Best to omit it altogether, or at least relegate it to a minor footnote.
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@JimboJonny Of course, privately funded, in-house research still qualifies as research whatever they do. And indeed, plenty of research is privately funded. However, it's not conducive to scientific research if the means to fully reproduce/review it are kept unavailable. Closed source and secretiveness is just another symptom of a bigger problem with current scientific research. Therefore, my opinion is that it is indeed "a bad thing".
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
+1 Great presentation. I'm glad there are people pushing for change :)
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@JoeTyman It's fair to say we aren't talking about the case where you aren't the target audience, but about the case where you are, and still the paper is impenetrable and there is not enough info to validate and reproduce the results.
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@JohnL I'd say a paper can critically depend on the software without being about the software. Like an interesting property of the world that is demonstrated/found using a software tool. If we cannot review the tool, how can we know the conclusion is correct? (Or rather: it is way easier to validate it if we can see the tool!)
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
I think source code being available for review doesn't require that its full text be included in the actual paper :) Not only because of the potential for fraud, but I think it's actually useful for reviewers to be able to doublecheck you didn't commit a genuine mistake. Especially if the coders were scientists and not programmers!
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
+1 for the link! It fully embodies my belief in what science and research should be.
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@Fuhrmanator The source code needen't be printed in the paper itself. It just needs to be made available for review.
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
If your code is a footnote in the paper, I agree. If it is some sort of verification and has its own section, however small, then it IS part of the proof or at least validation. If you won't publish the code, then it's clearly not relevant and you might as well remove every mention from your paper!
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
But software is, in a way, the proof. That's what computer science is all about: programs are proofs. I think this is either a case of not enough confidence in the results, or a cultural misunderstanding about the importance of actually producing a working proof of your research.
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
Supporting evidence #2: an acquaintance of mine worked in a research laboratory where his boss repeatedly republished her "star" paper even though it was repeatedly pointed by researchers in the team that the empirical data didn't support the conclusions. She didn't care; the paper was confusing enough that not enough people outside the team noticed. Again: publish or perish.
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
I support codingFriend1's answer. This has been a common criticism aimed at the scientific community where I live, and specifically at my University (which is nonetheless the best one in the country): that scientists are pushed to publish papers, the more exotic the better. "Publish or perish". Scientists from areas I'm less familiar with also report this. Sorry, but in many places it's the sad and widespread truth.
Oct
25
comment Does immutability entirely eliminate the need for locks in multi-processor programming?
@GlenPeteron Yup. That paper is highly recommended. Keep in mind Simon Peyton Jones is one of the main contributors of the Glasgow Haskell Compiler, and one of the designers of Haskell itself.
Oct
25
comment Can higher-order functions in FP be interpreted as some kind of dependency injection?
+1 Excellent answer with good examples!
Oct
24
comment What can go wrong if the Liskov substitution principle is violated?
@Thomas I disagree. It's a good analogy. He talks about not breaking expectations, which is what the LSP is about. (though the part about case/switch is a bit weak, I agree)
Oct
24
comment What can go wrong if the Liskov substitution principle is violated?
@Paul So yo never had a problem with your programs due to convoluted OO hierarchies (which you didn't design yourself, but maybe had to extend) where contracts were broken left and right by people who were uncertain about the purpose of the base class to begin with? I envy you! :)
Oct
24
comment How do operating systems… run… without having an OS to run in?
An OS is convenient, but you do not need one in order to run programs on a computer.
Oct
23
comment Can data classes contain methods for validation?
@CoffeeCode I disagree. The domain must be valid and consistent regardless of the client, therefore it must also perform its own validation.
Oct
23
comment Why was dependency injection pattern not included in the Gang of four?
This doesn't answer the question. Please read the original question instead of replying to other answers :)