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I also know some people involved in climate modeling software development.
SO I PRETTY DAMN WELL KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.
But even if I did not knew anything I could make the following assertion:
Any political decision in an open society which is supported in a technical and scientific process should make that process open to the general public.
In this case it is possible. At least for some of the models that are used, I am pretty sure it is.
And, I personally could not care less that you are a "senior scientist". Please present rational arguments and not arguments of authority. I know what I am talking about from proven first hand experience, and you, why should we trust you?
Like yourself, I have considerable experience in working with, and writing, fairly sizable pieces of computer simulation software in a variety of languages. None of what I have worked on is remotely comparable in complexity to a major climate model, of which I have merely used the outputs...which was plenty enough work on it own.
The very thought of making my data and model available in any usable form makes me quiver. I have tried to do this once or twice, and it takes a huge amount of effort. I just can't see making such availability a requirement for all scientific working groups. Their actual research productivity would grind to a halt.
At least, that is my opinion, based on my experience, which may well be less than yours.
I am in the last steps of preparing a paper and I am, for the first time, undecided if I am going to make the software available (the data I won't, as it can be generated from the software with not much computing power). Just bundling the software is a major pain and I am pretty sure no one will care to repeat my stuff, so I probably will skip it this time. If I submit to PLOS Comp Biol, they will probably force me, but other journals, I very much doubt.
They should force me.
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