Re: Sharing Models, was: Intestinal Fortitude

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Fri Mar 16 2001 - 22:30:32 MST

> > But all this would be a waste of effort if those who want to
> > play this game dont have matlab. For all its disadvantages,
> > Microsloth excel is a package that is already owned by
> > pretty much everyone who cares about that sorta thing. spike
> [Eugene Leitl thinks] the disadvantage (that Redmond owns the source) pretty
> much
> nukes all the advantages. You need NumPy? Just download it.
> It's not just propaganda. OpenSource software is better, at least for most
> values of users on the long run.

'Gene is absolutely right. I was going off in the wrong direction by
pi radians. If we want to put up software that anyone can use for
calculating orbit mechanics, it should be in open source. Matlab
has some truly wicked toolboxes, but for what we want to do here,
we dont need those. What Im thinking about here is for extropians
to be able to make first order calcs on any wacky space idea that
they think of, such as: what is the required mass fraction of a rocket
in LEO to get to Gaspra? How long does it take? How much
penalty for shaving 15% off the travel time? etc.

I wrote up a spreadsheet today that calculates delta vees required
to do Hohmann transfer orbits out of LEO and out to some arbitrary
number of AU. Robert has been after me for this for months, and
Ive just gotten off my lazy ass and did it today. Anyone wants that,
post me offlist and Ill send it on. Then some opensource guru can
extract the equations and put it in NumPy, etc.

Now that Im thinking about this, lets plan a side session after Extro5,
elect a leader such as Robert, a software guru who understands how
to organize a modular package, and have that person assign and collect
the modules that we will need to plan engineering projects that are
specifically extropian oriented. For instance, we could write a
package that deals with the various aspects of an M-Brain, how
much material is needed, how the station keeping would be
accomplished, etc. We could have a list of known asteroids
that can be taken apart. {Im still one of those heretics that
believes there is enough material in the asteroid belt to construct
a reasonable first generation M-brain. The second generation
M-brain would use up the planets.} We would make a list
of modules needed, then assign them to those that are cluey
in each area.

Better yet, we dont need to wait until E5, and furthermore
many valuable contributors may not be able to attend that
meeting. So lets start it now, by answering these questions:

1) What open source language do we use?
2) How is this software package to be accessed?
3) What architecture?
4) Are there existing open source components that
we could incorporate?
5) Are we looking a simulation of some sort?
6) What kind of user interface? Graphic? etc.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:41 MDT