Kevin McCarty’s “physics software rant”

I have always liked Kevin McCarty’s Physics Software Rant.  I think he’s on the money in pretty much all his points.

He starts out with “First and most importantly — Choose a license!”, then goes on to show many specific examples of Physics software which could do their releasing much better, then concludes with:

Although I have been harsh, it was not my intent to insult anyone. I am certainly grateful for the wide variety of free physics software available on the Internet. I just wish that, after spending man-years developing their software, people would take a few extra days putting finishing touches on it to avoid problems like those discussed above. This would go a long way towards making physicists and sysadmins everywhere happy, and wasting a lot less of their time.

I recommend reading through it if you are writing software which you intend to release to others.  You can find it here:


About markgalassi

Mark Galassi is a research scientist in Los Alamos National Laboratory, working on astrophysics and nuclear non-proliferation. This is his "Programming for Research" blog.
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1 Response to Kevin McCarty’s “physics software rant”

  1. Free spotify says:

    Normally I do not read article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do so!
    Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.

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