This is a useful initiative, despite its narrow focus on engineering and science. It would be great to see the companion film which profiles creative arts and design professionals who regularly use programming as part of their practice/work.
"Thomson [Thomson Reuters] makes the proprietary bibliography software EndNote, and claims that Zotero is causing its commercial business 'irreparable harm' and is wilfully and intentionally destroying Thomson's customer base. In particular, Thomson is demanding that GMU stop distributing the newer beta-version of Zotero that allegedly allows EndNote's proprietary data format for storing journal citation styles to be converted into an open-standard format readable by Zotero and other software. Thomson claims that Zotero 'reverse engineered or decompiled' not only the format, but also the EndNote software itself. ...
Litigation, which may go to a jury trial, is pending, so judging this case on its legal merits would be premature. But on a more general level, the virtues of interoperability and easy data-sharing among researchers are worth restating. Imagine if Microsoft Word or Excel files could be opened and saved only in these proprietary formats, for example. It would be impossible for OpenOffice and other such software to read and save these files using open standards - as they can legally do.
Competition between open-source and proprietary software is long-running, as personified by the struggle between Windows and Linux for desktop and server operating systems, but also in many branches of software used by scientists. Researchers tend to lean towards open sharing, but they will also pay for added-value features, and it's important that the playing field is level. Ultimately, the customer is king."
Nature Volume 455, p.708 (9 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/455708a; Published online 8 October 2008, Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited.
"Wardrip-Fruin builds upon the foundation laid by Lev Manovich, who, in his 2002 book The Language of New Media, suggested that the natural development of media studies in an age of 'programmable media' should be 'software studies' (a set of approaches which includes 'expressive processing' but also code studies which, in Wardrip-Fruin's words, looks at 'the specific text of code' written by developers).
Expressive Processing fulfills and extends the promise of Manovich's ideas, putting the theory into practice through a set of case studies of the artificial intelligence engines of a dozen or so software programs that might be loosely called 'games.' That the first real example of a software studies approach comes out of game studies is both to be expected and (somewhat) regretted. On one hand, games of the sort Wardrip-Fruin examines are a medium for storytelling and character creation, and as such are natural extensions of the work of previous literary and media studies scholars and thereby set up a convenient space for humanities scholars and teachers to consider the important cultural and technical issues raised by Wardrip-Fruin in an environment more familiar than, for instance, an analysis of the software that drives Walmart (one of Wardrip-Fruin's suggestions for another work of software studies scholarship). Unfortunately, like graphic novels and musical theater, the genre is still too easily dismissed as popular entertainment by too many of those who most need to hear Wardrip-Fruin's arguments."
(Doug Reside, 2010)
Reside, D. (Fall 2010). "A review of Noah Wardrip-Fruinís Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies." Digital Humanities Quarterly 4(2).
"this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.
it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.
the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today."
(Nina Wenhart, 26/06/2008)
"Scribus is an Open Source program that brings professional page layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation and Windows desktops with a combination of press-ready output and new approaches to page design."