[SciPy-user] [OT] advice about publishing a scientific software

Robert Kern robert.kern@gmail....
Mon Jul 16 10:51:30 CDT 2007

massimo sandal wrote:

> - Minor one: Where to publish it? I am used to think about SourceForge
> as THE place for publishing open source software, however a number of
> people told me about Google Code. Basically what I want, if possible, is
> no-nonsense SVN access and some integrated mailing list/forum. Google
> Code seems good at that -it also gives automatically Wiki space, which
> is a major plus for me. What do you think about? Drawbacks? Licence
> issues (i.e. something like "since you publish it on Google Code the
> code is also owned by Google" tiny-letters clause?) Is there some other
> alternative?

If you want "no-nonsense," use Google Code. Sourceforge is a lot of nonsense. I
get incredibly frustrated trying to use the Sourceforge website or any of its
spawn on either side (downloader or developer). I don't believe there are any IP
issues; you own your code, not Google.

> Moreover, I'd like to know your opinions about the degree of
> "polishness" and other requirements for initial publication of a
> scientific software.

Meh. Release early and often. Having the code public is a good way to motivate
polish. Your code may crash or miss features, but it's code that wasn't
available before. You are making a positive contribution regardless.

> As for documentation, I am working on actual, user
> manual and hacking (mainly but not only focused on plugin writing)
> manual with tutorials etc.. The sw still lacks an installer but
> "installation" is braindead (provided that you have all the correct
> dependencies): put all the files in the same directory and run "python
> software.py" from where: do you think an installer is absolutely
> necessary or it is OK to let it go this way, and add the installer later?

For a Python project, you really should be using distutils, even if it is just
the simplest possible setup.py.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
 that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
 an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

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