Thursday, 1 July 2010

Silicos to donate code to Open Babel

Earlier today, Dr Hans De Winter, CSO Silicos, sent an email to the Open Babel development list announcing their intention to Open Source their Spectrophore, pharmacophore alignment, and de novo design code: is our pleasure to announce that Silicos NV, a Belgian-based company providing services in the field of computational drug discovery and virtual screening, has made a strategic decision to port its own developed software under the open source domain of Open Babel following the GNU GPL.

...The reason why we have made this strategic decision to port all our software to the open source domain is that we, as management of Silicos, strongly believe in an open innovation model, and open source is just one of these factors that make open innovation possible. For Silicos as a company, we believe that by actively participating and supporting the OB community, we could create more business in the form of services than we could otherwise...

I'm quite excited about this, both about the actual code being contributed and about what this decision signifies for Open Babel. I've always believed in the idea that contributing novel algorithms to a common resource is the best way of maximising usage; you still get full credit for your work, you still get your paper, but you are going to have basically bajillions of users. The fact that a commercial company also groks the advantages is significant.

Porting the code to Open Babel is currently under way, and a formal announcement will be made with the release of Open Babel 2.3.0 in a couple of months.

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