Walt Scacchi of the University of California, Irvine, and his colleagues are conducting formal studies of the informal world of open-source software development, in which a distributed community of developers produces software source code that is freely available to share, study, modify and redistribute. Theyre finding that, in many ways, open-source development can be faster, better and cheaper than the "textbook" software engineering often used in corporate settings.
In a series of reports posted online (see http://www.isr.uci.edu), Scacchi is documenting how open-source development breaks many of the software engineering rules formulated during 30 years of academic research. Far from finding that open-source development is just software engineering poorly done, Scacchi and colleagues show that it represents a new approach based on community building and other socio-technical mechanisms that might benefit traditional software engineering.
"Free and open-source software development is faster, better and cheaper in building a community and at reinforcing and institutionalizing a culture for how to develop software," said Scacchi, a senior research scientist at UC Irvines Institute for Software Research who has taught software engineering for two decades. "Were not ready to assert that open-source development is the be-all end-all for software engineering practice, but theres something going on in open-source development that is different from what we see in the textbooks."
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DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
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Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
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