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Open Source Modeling Tools

Opensource software is a revolution on the web. Opensource software is free and fit's therefor anyone's budget. But there are more reasons to use opensource software. The most important one is consumer lock-in. How dependent have you become on your propertory software provider? What if in a number of years the software company drops the support for your software or the filetypes you are using. Word processing is a good example. Who can still read the wp5 document of 15 years ago?

Science has always had an open character in which knowledge is freely shared. Opensource software fits that character.

There is a wealth of tools available, and one of the main problems for researchers may be deciding what to use. So I decided to publish my list of tools. Those interested really should visit this website: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuScience

Integrated development environment

I use eclipse. But since I'm not a java fan I'm considering switching to anjuta. The newest versions seems really nice. I like gedit as an editor.

Compilers

gcc suit of compilers

Platform/os

ubuntu

Desktop

gnome

Statistics

R

Graphing

grace (try version 6) makes very nice publication ready graphs, but it's gui is not very friendly and the development seems to have largely halted. Currently I like open office more and more for graphing. Unlike excel, you can type coordinates, scale the graph without scaling the text and line width. But it really gets good when you copy the graph to open offices build in draw program. Once you graph is neadly done you can break it so it becomes a native vector drawing and than you can edit it accordingly.

3d visualisation

freewrl, openscenegraph were my tools, but paraview beats it all for me now.

office suit

open office - I find writer much easier and straight forward than microsoft word. Especially the styles are much easier to use and it has less unpredictable 'where did that come from' behaviour. The spreadsheet works great with better control over graphs.

The great thing with openoffice is that it supports the inclusion of eps files. So vector drawings do not loose quality for printing and I can use lyx for making nice tables quickly.

photo editing and image analysis

the gimp, imageJ

poster

I just had to do a poster and ended up using inkscape. It worked out really nice. I made the graphs in open office, and converted them to svg and than imported them into inkscape. The result: a really nice vector based pooster that prints really sharp. A little tip: break the graph in open office draw into a vector drawing, that way itisĀ  easier to edit in inkscape, and you will not be effected by the svg export bug which renders text invisible in graphs because the fill is set to none.