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Open Source CFD?
Posted Wed April 25, 2001 @08:42PM
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Open Source Given the fact that there are a number of free (although limited) CFD solvers available and a number of people who use them, is the time right for an open source CFD movement (a la linux)? Online development collaboration sites, such as SourceForge, provide distributed, voluntary developers with source code revision control systems, project management, and (a limited amount of) promotion.

The opponents of open source software often cite lack of support as the primary reason not to use open source software. However, as companies such as Red Hat, Suse, et. al. have proven, if there is a need someone will step in to fill it.

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Also to be considered is the loss of valuable work done every year by graduate students around the world. If there were a way in which they could fulfill their academic requirements and give the technology to an open source project then the resulting code could be impressive. I believe that this would provide "real world" software engineering experience to these students as well.

In order for something like this to happen and succeed, someone needs to donate an existing code (as a starting point) and set it up as a project in SourceForge (for example). Once the word gets out that an open source CFD project is going, the project may have a steady stream of developers.

What do you think? Sound off below.

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