Software Institute BOF
NSF and (some) other funding agencies usually think of three different levels of software
1. System software elements: project software, libraries, code base
2. Scientific Software Project Integration: reuse and portability of all of the above
3. Software Institutes: Aggregate the first two for more sustainable SW in science setting.
- Last year, NSF solicited concept proposals for institutes... three were made in the earth science areas (notably, ISEES: https://projects.nceas.ucsb.edu/isees/)
- Reports from community input meetings hosted by propsed institutes were submitted to NSF last month. Many are very skeptical that Institutes will actually be funded - but it catalyzed this community. So, how does ESIP carry on?
Purpose of Software cluster at ESIP:
1. Informational - Share, gather current practices, potentially conduct surveys etc.
2. Input - from community on future directions of institutes, and move ES forward
Below are notes from the discussion that followed:
- One of the major barriers to this group is understanding what the sustainable in sustainable software means, and why this is a different context then data, or other ES products.
- Fox's mantra is use first, reuse eventually. Use depons on question like is the code trustworthy, can we understand the code, how did the code base develop (rather than monolithic)- these are what cluster should do with a use case in future.
- Part of problem with sustainability of code is that its much different than preservation of data - so funding bodies have a difficult time understanding an iterative approach that is n-1, where NSF wants to just fund 1.
Engagement for the future:
- Create modules like openhatch.org that are specific to ES
- Bring in a cluster of people to talk about topics related to sustainability of science- CSCW, Publishers (increasingly engaged with software)
- SWEBOK - software engineering body of knowledge
- Open community information project - an approach to governance used by the hydrology software sustainability institute
- WSSI at RENSI...
- Bruce Caron : Most of the people engaged in ESIP that are SE, are managers. This cluster should be able to engage those managers, to be able to bring in the people who are doing the software engineering,
- Spend time in next few clusters finding out how to be able to provide a learning opportunity
- Some things we might produce - a software management / best practices module. ( Point: Start with the SW carpentry)