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Fernando Pérez of IPython fame wins the Free Software Foundation Award (wise.io)
119 points by jsbloom1 1257 days ago | hide | past | web | 13 comments | favorite

I heard him speak at Stanford a few weeks ago. He made some great points about academia having a lot to learn from the open-source community. In summary, he said that academics should strive to make their research more open and reproducible, and that version control tools like git and presentation tools like IPython can help make that happen.

The talk was broadly similar to the slides I found here: http://www.stanford.edu/~vcs/AAAS2011/1102_aaas_reproducibil...

If Fernando is able to convince academics to foster the same sort of culture that the open-source community has, his influence would be very great indeed.

This sounds extremely interesting. As an open source enthusiast I am impressed by the open source development methodologies. As a scientist (about to finish my PhD), I am surprised to see a chronic lack of openness, reproducibility, and transparency in my field (aerospace / wind energy engineering). I feel the new generation of scientists is becoming more aware of the shortcomings of the current closed access, closed source scientific research approach, and I would really like to raise awareness in my institute. Seeing how others are doing this is a great help! So Fenrando, apart for the obvious thumbs up for IPython, also thank you for sharing the slides on "Reproducible software vs. reproducible research"

That's interesting - I've also noticed a big difference between 'release early, release often' in the open source world, and the long slow process of getting work reviewed and published in academia.

I've been wondering: could we run acadaemia without the stamp-of-approval that is publishing in a peer reviewed journal? I.e. like releasing open source software, when you've got something you're ready to share, you just publish it yourself, without having to get anyone's permission. Of course, there are other problems that would have to be overcome with that, but it could make things a lot more efficient. There are some moves in that direction - look up 'arXiv overlay journals' if you're interested.

It's pretty common in many areas of science to release intermediate stuff frequently. In CS, for example, the typical practice is to publish papers a few times a year in conference proceedings, documenting current progress. You can also publish on arXiv, or in technical reports, if you have additional stuff that doesn't fit nicely in a conference. Journals don't really hold anything up, since they've been relegated to more of an archival role. They're rarely the first place anything is published, just the place where it's tied into a bow and deposited for posterity.

That's good to hear - my discipline, biology, isn't quite so forward thinking.

@takluyver, maybe you should come to Berkeley for a while, so we can think about some of these issues... :-)

Nice, congratulations. IPython notebook really is a fantastic tool.

I'd just like to add my voice to the others to say I love IPython. It's absolutely essential for my daily work, and it freed me from the shackles of Matlab. Python is a lovely language on its own, but it really shines when you add a good interactive prompt.

This is great news. Fernando, thanks for creating IPython. I use it a lot in my work.

Glad to hear this, I use ipython on a daily basis, and chatted with him at euroscipy a while back, he is a very nice guy! I think he comments on here every now and then, too, so in case you read this: Thanks and congratulations!

I think I've only commented a handful of times, I'm not really a regular. But many thanks for the kind words, and to @profjsb for the generous writeup.

As I tried to say at the meeting, this really goes to the whole team. I may have started IPython, but it's the combined talent, energy and dedication of a big team that makes it what it is today. This award is a recognition of all that work, I'm just here to pick it up :)

Turns out I had seen your only comment before this thread, and unduly extrapolated from that!

nice! congrats to fernando & brian & min for an awesome concept & execution.

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