[ANSOL-geral] Comissão Europeia joinup: LNEC apoia software livre em conferência europeia

André Isidoro Fernandes Esteves aife netvisao.pt
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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