[pymvpa] Supporting NeuroDebian to support YOUR computing environment

Yaroslav Halchenko debian at onerussian.com
Fri Sep 3 16:54:27 UTC 2010

uff -- and here is the abstract attached ;-)

On Fri, 03 Sep 2010, Yaroslav Halchenko wrote:

> Dear PyMVPA Developers and Users,

> The NeuroDebian [1] Team (compare to PyMVPA Team [1a]) is asking
> for your support.  We are hoping to obtain funding for continued
> maintenance, development and expansion of the NeuroDebian project.  If
=------------------------------   /v\  ----------------------------=
Keep in touch                    // \\     (yoh@|www.)onerussian.com
Yaroslav Halchenko              /(   )\               ICQ#: 60653192
                   Linux User    ^^-^^    [175555]

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Project Summary

Neuroscience research involves an increasingly complex set of software. With
the joint goal of maximizing research transparency and methods sharing, the
scientific community has produced free and open source software (FOSS) to
cover all aspects of the research process: stimulus delivery, data collection,
data analysis, and publication of scientific findings. Portals, such as the
Neuroimaging Tools and Resources Clearinghouse (NITRC, http://www.nitrc.org)
were initiated, to provide researchers with information and download sources
for all relevant software, as well as to aid development of these tools.
However, availability alone is not always sufficient for a wide adoption of a
particular software. It is often hindered by absent or mediocre deployment
infrastructure ? tedious and non-uniform installation and upgrade
procedures, weak integration with other tools and legal issues (indefinite
non-standard license terms). Dealing with these aspects imposes an unnecessary
burden on researchers that reduces their availability for actual research
activities. It also has a negative impact on their motivation to test new
analysis tools, and thereby often disconnects whole research groups from the
latest methodological developments in the field. While this is already
negatively affecting overall scientific progress, at times, it also leads
existing publicly funded FOSS research software developments into decline ?
despite their availability and continued usefulness. The NeuroDebian project
(http://neuro.debian.net) aims to provide neuroscience researchers and
software developers with a versatile and stable environment, that offers free
software for virtually all research needs. It fully addresses the deployment
problem by seamless integration into the Debian operating system
(http://www.debian.org), making special purpose research software (e.g., AFNI,
Caret, FSL PsychoPy, PyMVPA) as accessible as any generic text editor. The
wellknown stability of Debian, its unique democratic and open development
model, clear standards, and the world's largest maintained software archive
and distribution network provide a reliable foundation to carry out everyday
research routines. NeuroDebian's task is to track latest developments of
neuroscientific software and integrate them into Debian, which also makes them
automatically available in its derivative distributions (e.g., Ubuntu;
http://www.ubuntu.com), hence covering the majority of the Linux market.
NeuroDebian will expand its coverage of neuroscience software, improve quality
assurance through regression and heavy testing of the involved products,
facilitate expertise transfer among individual development teams, provide
convenient media for setting up advanced computing schemes (e.g. distributed
and cloud computing), and further elaborate support for virtual computing
environments on top of proprietary (e.g., MS Windows, Mac OS X) operating


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