AGAIN: sharing the data

Sebastian Rahtz
Mon Sep 25 12:47:48 CEST 2006

Dorothy Graves wrote:
> ourse. It would be far better for archaeology as a discipline to have more archaeologists skilled in quantitative methods and computer science, capable of using a variety of different programmes as the data/problem warrants, and capable of using OSS. 
This seems a bit of a red herring. Archaeologists need training in 
quantitative methods, obviously (well, to most people....).
But do they need to be computer scientists? and I would argue strongly 
that OSS has no special
characteristics which make people treat it differently. OSS is a 
business model, and a software development
model - it does not produce different types of software. OK, so GRASS is 
not as easy to use as Idrisi;
but similarly the IBM backup software we use here has an interface from 
the dark ages.
> I'd say the best argument of OSS is that it's free,
being British, do you mean it costs nothing? if so, that implies that 
are by definition poor, which is simply not true! If you mean "libre", 
than yes
>  and can be tailored to specifically address the problems in archaeological research. 
which is good.
>  It is not easy to pick up though, and this is what causes some to avoid it in the end, like me.    
you are lumping all OSS software together as clunky and hard to use. That
is NOT a prerequisite of being OSS!

Sebastian Rahtz      

Information Manager, Oxford University Computing Services
13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN. Phone +44 1865 283431

OSS Watch: JISC Open Source Advisory Service

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