Colin Venters C.Venters at hud.ac.uk
Wed Feb 17 05:53:46 PST 2016

Greetings from the McGill Bellairs Research Institute in Barbados where I am attending the 1st Modelling For Sustainability Workshop http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~joerg/SEL/Sustainability_Bellairs_2016.html .

I think there is still value in a WSSSPE meeting. Despite the slide outlining our planned activities for the week, so far we have written 2/3 of a paper for CACM and the scientific case for a Horizon 2020 proposal or other suitable research funding call.

I think the emphasis of WSSSPE4 should be on more focused work with the emphasis on producing tangible output(s) by the end. The current workshop I am at runs for 5 days with a start time of 08:30 and a finish time of 22:00. Granted there is a 3 hour break in the afternoon for lunch and fun, and a 1 hour break for dinner.

I definitely need a holiday when I get back but feel a lot of satisfaction in all the hard work in producing tangible outputs.

Personally, I think WSSSPE4 should be held in Barbados. :-)

Best wishes
From: WSSSPE [wssspe-bounces at lists.researchcomputing.org.uk] on behalf of Neil Chue Hong (SSI) [N.ChueHong at software.ac.uk]
Sent: 17 February 2016 12:25
To: Manish Parashar
Cc: Working on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experience
Subject: Re: [WSSSPE] WSSSPE4

I agree that there's still a purpose in holding WSSSPE meetings.

I like Sou-Cheng's ideas (my personal preference would be for demos to be introduced with short 5 minute plenary slots, followed by a longer parallel session where people can ask questions/interact if they want to).

I really like Michael's idea. I agree that a big issue with sustainability is the funding, and perhaps by working together more, we can become better at getting funding for the things we think collectively need it the most rather than a more scatter-gun approach.

For those of us not in the US, can I make a plea for this to be located somewhere which is no more than one hop from a major US entry-hub, so that it's a two hop journey for international attendees?

I also think that there should be a little more focus on the "doing" part of the meeting, where there's a selection of what the community thinks is most important ahead of time - the "what's going to kill us first" style of prioritisation - to enable participants to hit the ground running at the meeting. This might reduce the number of participants, as not everyone might be interested in the topic, but would ensure that we didn't spread ourselves too thin. Perhaps we could use the prioritisations from WSSSPE3 as a starting point?

As for things we could do differently / in addition, two things come to mind (triggered by Lorraine's comments):
- More case studies, including negative or even neutral ones. We should be able to provide pointers to practices in use and how they turned out
- Create a list of evidence that will convince sceptics, and work together to tick off that list one by one

For example:

- Employing a trained software engineer on a scientific software project leads to long-term savings and increased related scientific output over hiring more untrained postdocs / students

- If you have $10m this year to fund software in a specific area, when is it better to:
a) Provide $10m to one project and ask all the others to merge with it or die
b) Provide $2m to five projects to increase competition and innovation
c) Provide short-fat funding to enable significant new functionality or refactoring
d) Provide long-thin funding to enable retention of skills and ensure maintenance
e) etc. etc.

- Addressing fears over open-sourcing scientific software (we created a list of fears [1]  as part of work on software development practice in the ELIXIR European Life Sciences consortium, along with initial attempts to address them, but it would be good to point to specific examples)

Best regards,

[1] This is a draft for information only, and shouldn't be seen as finished: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1C8sWr-r9RJBO-RZaDtgjmlHLHCyTHxsBrD6I12vknQs/edit#heading=h.bg6it3rwav23<redir.aspx?REF=-mufyATBE8AlYe4hqGM4jBflbYHUh0ncVxQpScYzS5g3ewRhnjfTCAFodHRwczovL2RvY3MuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS9kb2N1bWVudC9kLzFDOHNXci1yOVJKQk8tUlphRHRnam1sSExIQ3lUSHhzQnJENkkxMnZrblFzL2VkaXQjaGVhZGluZz1oLmJnNml0M3J3YXYyMw..>

On 17 February 2016 at 10:27, Manish Parashar <parashar at rutgers.edu<redir.aspx?REF=j6dqhKS2K5KSR9qt733bTzeOFH-kldFuM1mwyMPHpak3ewRhnjfTCAFtYWlsdG86cGFyYXNoYXJAcnV0Z2Vycy5lZHU.>> wrote:
Hi Dan,

Agree with most of the comments — I think a focused event on Fall is a good idea and co-locating it with another event makes sense. Something on the east coast (DC) would be great.

Two aspects I would like to see in the workshop is the role of sustainable software in reproducibility, and approaches/best practices in credit/attribution for software.



Manish Parashar Office: CoRE Bldg, Rm 628
RDI2/OARC/Dept. of Computer Science Phone: (848) 445-5388<tel:%28848%29%20445-5388>
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On Feb 16, 2016, at 11:19 AM, Daniel S. Katz <d.katz at ieee.org<redir.aspx?REF=Gtw2gWwwDRDFaOA1vcfYlhus9PRasnnRqK7JZzQ2J683ewRhnjfTCAFtYWlsdG86ZC5rYXR6QGllZWUub3Jn>> wrote:


Please let me know your thoughts about a WSSSPE4 meeting, probably in the fall/autumn.

What would you want such a meeting to accomplish, thinking of what we’ve done previously and what new topics might have come up.

Where should such a meeting take place?

Should we do this along with any other event?


Daniel S. Katz
University of Chicago
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Neil Chue Hong
Director, Software Sustainability Institute
EPCC, University of Edinburgh, JCMB, Edinburgh, EH9 3FD, UK
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