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Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: AMS Notices: Open Source Mathematical Software

From: C Y
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: AMS Notices: Open Source Mathematical Software
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 17:14:19 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20070803)

>> Third, even if the NSF funded SAGE, how would those funds benefit the
>> various subprojects like Axiom? Open source is mostly volunteer work
>> done in "spare time". While it is amusing to daydream of being paid to
>> develop open source computational mathematics on a full time basis, it
>> seems unlikely that this could lead to more than just small
>> grants. The expertise and continuity needed to do research work
>> requires longer term funding.
> Great questions and comments.  There aren't easy answers.
> One possibility is selling "support"... which could bring in
> money to support people who are out of country.

One possibility I've wondered about for a while would be getting a
number of colleges to simultaneously agree to pool small amounts of
money into an effort to support a couple of developers working on these
programs - i.e. spreading the cost over many institutions rather than
just having one or two carry all of the cost.  Start up a small
nonprofit or some such to serve as the organization in question.  Surely
if grant money can sometimes pay for commercial software it could go to
pay for such an arrangement, particularly if the software was all
guaranteed to be open.

Is this something someone could set up with any hope of success?


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