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twoday.net AGB

Scientific open source software

The market for most specialized science software is rather small, consequently the software is usually expensive. Many scientists even expect scientific software to be transparent (or downright free the younger they are) but how would one sustain a company in a niche market?
Dan Gezelter from the OpenScience project is facing the dilemma and summarizes the points that may have been made before but have never been solved.
Giving the software away for free and try to live off consulting is an approach that has been tried by the people involved in MySQL or WordPress with Automattic.com. However, the small market size will make it a very risky business - after all, grad students are always cheaper than any outside consultant, even if they would work for food and lodging.

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