The advent of rapid means of exchange of software, has helped
the spread of so-called ``Free'' software (free for freedom, not price),
also called ``Open Source'' software,
often distributed under the GNU licensing scheme.
While extremely effective in the computer science community,
this scheme is less developped in the field of Atomic-Scale Simulations.
Starting a Free Software project is by no means a simple endeavour.
However, it appears as an important step, not only because of the
inherent advantages of the licensing scheme, but also because
it changes the relationship between different
groups of developers, towards a more cooperative spirit.
The purpose of the FSAtom project
The Free Software project for Atomic-scale Simulation
has the aim to spread the use of the ``Free Software''
concept in the community of Atomic-scale Simulation
software developers, to improve the awareness of
modern software engineering concepts, and
to constitute the natural place for interactions
between different groups of developers in this field.
Means of action
The FSAtom project should reach this aim by taking
the following actions :
- maintain a Web site (hosted by CECAM) with mailing
lists and with links to the relevant software projects
(also to proprietary software, for information) ;
- through workgroups, organize the collaboration between
developers : file exchange, code testing,
definition of objects, exchange of development tools,
exchange of expertise ... ;
- organize workshops and tutorials on related subjects,
and on modern software engineering concepts ;
- maintain a contact with the Free Software foundation,
and spread relevant information from it or about it;
- maintain a contact with relevant funding agencies
or institutions, and ease (or foster)
the writing of relevant proposals.
During the CECAM
workshop "Open Source Software for Microscopic Calculation",
Lyon, 19-21 June 2002, a managing committee has been set up.
For the time being, it is made of nine members:
The committee has elected
X. Gonze as president, and has asked CECAM
to host the Web page of the association. M. Mareschal,
the director of CECAM has accepted the demand, and
has encouraged this project.
- D. Ceperley (U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois USA;
ceperley at uiuc.edu)
- X. Gonze (U. Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium;
gonze at pcpm.ucl.ac.be)
- K. Hinsen (Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire CNRS, Orléans, France,
hinsen at cnrs-orleans.fr)
- K. Jakobsen (Danish Technical U., Lyngby, Denmark;
kwj at fysik.dtu.dk)
- L. Kale (U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois USA;
kale at cs.uiuc.edu)
- M. Marques (Universidad del Pais Vasco, San Sebastián, Spain;
marques at nautilus.fis.uc.pt)
- G. Martyna (IBM, USA;
gmartyna at indiana.edu)
- D. Van Der Spoel (Uppsala U., Uppsala, Sweden;
spoel at xray.bmc.uu.se)
- G. Zerah (Commissariat Energie Atomique, Bruyeres, France;
gilles.zerah at bruyeres.cea.fr)