Nasa clears the runway for open source software

Jan 19, 2012

The NASA Open Government Initiative has launched a new website to expand the agency’s open source software development.

Open source development, which invites the public access to view and improve software source code, is transforming the way software is created, improved and used. NASA uses code to address project and mission needs, accelerate software development and maximize public awareness and impact of research.

In 2009, the White House issued the Directive, which requires federal agencies to take specific steps to achieve milestones that are transparent. NASA's Open Government Plan has been recognized as one of the best. NASA was among several federal agencies recognized with two leading practices awards from the White House for achievement above and beyond the requirements in the "Participation and Collaboration" and "Flagship Initiatives" categories of the Open Government Directive.

"The site represents a natural extension of NASA's efforts to inform, educate and include the public in our mission to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research," said Deborah Diaz, NASA's Deputy Chief Information Officer. "Citizen involvement in our work is a critical component of our success."

NASA Open Government launched the new site as part of its Open Source Software Flagship Initiative with the goal showcasing existing projects, providing a forum for discussion, and guiding internal and external groups in open development, release and contribution.

"We released the site on Jan. 4 and since have received an overwhelming response from people interested in using our code," said Nick Skytland, Program Manager of NASA's Open Government Initiative. "Our goal is to provide the public direct and ongoing access to NASA technology."

"We believe tomorrow's space and science systems will be built in the open, and that code.nasa.gov will play a big part in getting us there," said William Eshagh, Open Government co-lead on the project at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Explore further: Italy's first female astronaut heads to ISS in Russian craft

More information: To view the site, visit: code.nasa.gov

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User comments : 33

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finitesolutions
1 / 5 (5) Jan 19, 2012
Open source code is way more slow and buggy than closed source. There is nothing wrong in selling and maintaining software.
Windows 7 is way more better than Ubuntu ( Ubuntu crashes regularly while Windows 7 never fails).
ScottyB
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2012
Open source code is way more slow and buggy than closed source. There is nothing wrong in selling and maintaining software.
Windows 7 is way more better than Ubuntu ( Ubuntu crashes regularly while Windows 7 never fails).

WHATTTTTTT, are you actually saying that Windows is more stable than Linux?! HAHAH
jamesrm
not rated yet Jan 19, 2012
Just to confirm f'sol, your checks in the mail unlees you are a bot (hard to tell these days) in which case please ignore this missive.
finitesolutions
1 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2012

WHATTTTTTT, are you actually saying that Windows is more stable than Linux?! HAHAH

For desktop Windows 7 is the best. I used both extensively and Ubuntu is crap. Windows 7 never crashed.
Linux desktop is still a joke.
Deathclock
2 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2012
To be fair I don't use linux after trying it many years ago and coming to the conclusion that "you get what you pay for"...

Windows 7 is rock solid stable, my home PC has an uptime of more than three months right now and I use it every single day for high end gaming (Skyrim, etc) and media streaming. I have no desire to try any other OS because I can't think of a way to improve on what I have.
Deathclock
2.5 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2012
Actually it's just over 2 months right now, here is a screenshot: I think I messed with the hardware 2 months ago, that or my son hit the power button on me... he does that sometimes. Point being, I've used windows 7 for several years and can't think of a single problem I have had with it.

http://img10.imag...imeh.jpg
gwrede
3 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2012
I think there's no use in fighting over Windows vs Linux. Those who like Windows and are happy with it, simply deserve it.

While Linux is a bit clunkier and doesn't run e.g. Skyrim, it still serves many IT professionals and computer savvy people excellently. And where Windows is for PCs (and Microsoft delivers other operating systems for cell phones and tablets under the same name Windows), you can find a Linux in a web server smaller than a box of matches (google around for them), you also find that Linux is the operating system of choice for world's biggest supercomputers.

But I agree, for people who use IE and play games, Windows is the best.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2012
Well, not IE... but the games part I agree with. Just because I prefer windows over the alternatives does not mean I like Microsoft and does not mean I use their pre-installed software over other alternatives (Chrome, VLC, Picasa, ImgBurn, etc.).

It also does not mean I am not "tech savvy". I am a firmware and software engineer and I have intimate knowledge of both computer software and hardware architecture.
Callippo
not rated yet Jan 20, 2012
But I agree, for people who use IE and play games, Windows is the best.
This is just another Windows Me stereotype - I'm not playing the games very much and not using IE exclusively - but the Windows are still way better than Linux for me. BTW I'm programming and using both of them.
kochevnik
4 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2012
For desktop Windows 7 is the best. I used both extensively and Ubuntu is crap. Windows 7 never crashed.
Linux desktop is still a joke.
Funny you say that given Microsoft plundered much of the networking code and kernel from FreeBSD UNIX to make XP stable. And the Macintosh is simply FreeBSD UNIX with a GUI bolted onto the front.
But I agree, for people who use IE and play games, Windows is the best.
That's a function of the hardware drivers, not the operating system. Games like Doom and Quake became successful by working AROUND the OS, not working with it.
kaasinees
0.3 / 5 (24) Jan 20, 2012
and doesn't run e.g. Skyrim

Runs fine here.

I am a firmware and software engineer and I have intimate knowledge of both computer software and hardware architecture.

Yet here you are claiming that linux sucks. Sir you are no software engineer.
CHollman82
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
and doesn't run e.g. Skyrim

Runs fine here.


Post a video on youtube...

I am a firmware and software engineer and I have intimate knowledge of both computer software and hardware architecture.

Yet here you are claiming that linux sucks. Sir you are no software engineer.

False dichotomy. I know many programmers who prefer to use and develop for windows over linux.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
Oh, you're talking about using WINE to emulate windows... well done. So no, it does not run on linux, it runs on a windows emulator that happens to be running on linux, and from everything I have read it runs poorly through emulation, as does everything.

You certainly won't get visuals like this, I have over 10gb of high res texture mods plus the ENBseries custom D3D drivers and custom pixel shaders.

http://img14.imag...5131.png
http://img41.imag...5551.png
http://img19.imag...5155.png
http://img209.ima...3572.png
http://img52.imag...5714.png
http://img811.ima...5621.png
http://img194.ima...5714.png
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (35) Jan 20, 2012
Post a video on youtube...

Search for yourself theres plenty.

False dichotomy. I know many programmers who prefer to use and develop for windows over linux.

Sure some programmers might prefer windows. Note that programmers does not equate software engineers. Any software engineer will have high respect for linux even if they prefer windows. FYI, i am very familiar with .NET and win32 APIs. I have both knowledge about the windows kernel and linux kernel(i update it almost daily). I HATE windows i can not express it enough. Performance is really bad compared to a custom linux kernel, this is where my frustration comes from no customizability.
Also a large part of the problem of ubuntu not working properly on some systems is the hardware manifacturers not wanting to comply with linux, most of hte linux drivers are reversed engineered(yes this is legal). Take ofr example the drivers made by ATI have had many problems through history.
CHollman82
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
I have a masters in computer science from CMU, I design real time custom operating systems for embedded processors. You tell me am I a programmer or a software engineer?

I never said I don't respect linux, I understand that linux is ubiquitous in the embedded and server markets, if not the desktop market. You are putting words in my mouth.
kaasinees
1.9 / 5 (36) Jan 20, 2012
Oh, you're talking about using WINE to emulate windows... well done. So no, it does not run on linux, it runs on a windows emulator that happens to be running on linux, and from everything I have read it runs poorly through emulation, as does everything.

WINE stands for WINE IS NOT an EMULATOR.

http://wiki.wineh...ne_Myths

If you can not even understand this simple thing i can not call you a software engineer, sorry.

You certainly won't get visuals like this, I have over 10gb of high res texture mods plus the ENBseries custom D3D drivers and custom pixel shaders.

True but this not a linux problem its a game developer problem, stop calling linux shit as its design is far superior to windows. Just that corporations dont want to comply with linux for numerous reasons.
CHollman82
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
Oh, you're talking about using WINE to emulate windows... well done. So no, it does not run on linux, it runs on a windows emulator that happens to be running on linux, and from everything I have read it runs poorly through emulation, as does everything.

WINE stands for WINE IS NOT an EMULATOR.

http://wiki.wineh...ne_Myths

If you can not even understand this simple thing i can not call you a software engineer, sorry.


ROFL, it is still an emulator. I never said it emulated the processors instruction set.
kaasinees
1.9 / 5 (37) Jan 20, 2012
ROFL, it is still an emulator. I never said it emulated the processors instruction set.

It doesnt emulate anything. It interpretates/implementates API calls to the linux system. There is no windows involved.
And you are supposed to have a masters degree in computer science? geuss the bar is not that high in the USA.
CHollman82
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
In any case, your outrage is missplaced. I simply said I prefer using windows over linux, I never said I hated linux, or that I don't respect what it does in it's niche...

ROFL, it is still an emulator. I never said it emulated the processors instruction set.

It doesnt emulate anything. It interpretates/implementates API calls to the linux system. There is no windows involved.
And you are supposed to have a masters degree in computer science? geuss the bar is not that high in the USA.


The wiki page for WINE that you linked to states that it is an emulator (it says it is not "that kind of emulator" which implies that it is an emulator, just not a processor emulator)

Furthermore, an emulator is merely a system that mimics the capability of another system. This perfectly describes WINE.

You don't seem to understand the difference between emulating software and emulating hardware.
CHollman82
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
interpretates/implementates


...and you're questioning my education?
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (36) Jan 20, 2012
interpretates/implementates


...and you're questioning my education?

OBviously the definition of the declaration is not the same, tell me where i am failing.
CHollman82
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 20, 2012
interpretates/implementates


...and you're questioning my education?

OBviously the definition of the declaration is not the same, tell me where i am failing.


http://www.beedic...nterpret

implementates is not a word either...
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (35) Jan 20, 2012
implementates is not a word either...

And you think english is my native language because?
CHollman82
1 / 5 (12) Jan 20, 2012
implementates is not a word either...

And you think english is my native language because?


Because you typically write well, of course.
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (36) Jan 20, 2012
Furthermore, an emulator is merely a system that mimics the capability of another system.

It doesnt merely mimic the capabilities, it pretends to be.
WINE does not pretend to be windows.

Many people have gone through this discussion before the creators do not classify it as an emulator and correctly so.
Deathclock
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2012
Most PC games use the DirectX libraries which are proprietary to microsoft operating systems. Some PC games also support OpenGL which is an open source graphics library. Does WINE only support games that support OpenGL or does WINE mimic the DirectX libraries?

If it is the former, then you can't play all PC games on linux since not all PC games support OpenGL, if it is the latter then WINE is indeed an emulator, as it emulates the DirectX libraries.
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (36) Jan 20, 2012
Most PC games use the DirectX libraries which are proprietary to microsoft operating systems. Some PC games also support OpenGL which is an open source graphics library. Does WINE only support games that support OpenGL or does WINE mimic the DirectX libraries?

If it is the former, then you can't play all PC games on linux since not all PC games support OpenGL, if it is the latter then WINE is indeed an emulator, as it emulates the DirectX libraries.

Nope, Wine IMPLEMENTS directx libraries. And you can also install the DirectX libraries from microsoft. The only thing that is the same is the function descriptors from the export table of the PE headers. The underlying code is implemented. Therefore not an emulator. DirectX games run fine under linux.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2012
I'm sorry, I have a hard time believing that someone (or some people) actually went through and implemented every function in every DirectX library from scratch. I can almost guarantee that they somehow reverse engineered the source and copied it, the effort that would be required to implement it from scratch is ridiculous.

It is not simple code... it is extremely complex stuff. Especially D3D, which was combined with DirectDraw and is now called DirectGraphics. (I have experience developing for the DirectX libraries)

Also, is it up to date? Is it equivalent to DX11? Somehow I doubt it, that would require monumental effort if implementing from scratch.
Deathclock
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2012
And you can also install the DirectX libraries from microsoft.


Somehow I missed this part... so you are saying that WINE lets you USE Microsofts proprietary multimedia engines... and you don't like Microsoft... yet you go to great lengths to run their proprietary software on a cheap operating system. That seems kind of nutty unless you can't afford windows.
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (35) Jan 20, 2012
I'm sorry, I have a hard time believing that someone (or some people) actually went through and implemented every function


They havent implemented every function yet and there are bugs, they look at which functions are required to make a program work and do their best.

Also, is it up to date? Is it equivalent to DX11? Somehow I doubt it, that would require monumental effort if implementing from scratch.

Out of date article but some info: http://wiki.jswin...X_status
installing directx from microsoft:
http://www.dedoim...ctx.html
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (35) Jan 20, 2012
here is a nice video but its not WINE.

http://www.youtub...=related
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (35) Jan 20, 2012
Here is a nice video for linux also :)

http://www.youtub...v11Cff5Y

NASA might want to use this one, i will go tell em now.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2012
here is a nice video but its not WINE.

http://www.youtub...=related


While that is technically impressive now that I know that they reproduced the necessary DirectX code from scratch, it is still a significantly inferior experience to playing the game natively on a good windows gaming computer.

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