[ANSOL-geral] Comissão Europeia joinup: LNEC apoia software livre em conferência europeia
André Isidoro Fernandes Esteves
Segunda-Feira, 26 de Janeiro de 2015 - 12:25:51 WET
"Open source should win. This type of software is more reliable, more
stable and provides more flexibility than proprietary software, says
João Marcelino, an engineer working for Laboratório Nacional de
Engenharia Civil (National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, LNEC), a
state-owned research and development institution. On top of that, the
software lets organisations inspect and audit the code without restriction.
“Add to that the absence of licence fees and the growing availability of
professional ICT support, and it is clear that open source should be the
favourite”, Marcelino says. Engineers and researchers are especially
attracted by the freedoms that come with open source software. That
said, the institute still uses predominantly proprietary software, the
engineer admits. “It is due to a combination of prejudices and
institutional inertia to change”, he says.
Engineer Marcelino was one of the speakers at a conference on open
source and open standards, taking place in Lisbon on 23 January. The
conference was jointly organised by Portugal’s Agency for Administrative
Modernisation (AMA) and ESOP, the country’s open source trade organisation.
Open source allows the LNEC engineers to continue to use legacy
hardware, including very early computers. The institute also uses
low-cost computers running Linux and other open source tools to perform
“simple yet critical tasks”, including data acquisition from tests and
monitoring of civil engineering structures.
One of the open source favourites at LNEC is programming language
Python. “It is both powerful and easy”, says Marcelino, ”it can be used
for simple as well as complex tasks.” Python is combined with
mathematical software such as Code_Aster and Salome for analysis of some
of the more complex structures.
LNEC uses Linux workstations and Python computing tools mpi4py and
PyOpenCl to run forecasts of coastal hydrology, predicting for example
water quality, the consequences of an oil spill in a coastal waters, or
the effect of waves on a seaside resort.
The institute uses Dspacefor access and management of its reports and
Some of the other open source tools that are available to LNEC
researchers and staffers include graphics editor GIMP, office
productivity suite LibreOffice and mind mapping application Freemind.
They also use the email client Mozilla Thunderbird and web browser
Mozilla Firefox. Some of the researchers use GNU Octave, a high level
programming language for numerical computations. “And there is
everything else that is available in the Ubuntu and other Linux
distributions that we use”, Marcelino adds."
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