Here you will find a selection of frequently asked questions. For more information, please refer to the Discussion forum where you read other users’ questions and submit new ones.

Why start this project?

It goes without saying that the microanalysis community heavily depends on software. Quantification software, simulation programs, and physical quantities databases are essential tools for today’s microanalysts. Broadly speaking, these software can be classified into four categories: commercial (sold by instrumentation’s manufacturers or third-party companies), personal/research group internal or not openly distributed (XFILM, PENELOPE), free to download and use (WinCasino, CalcZAF) and open source (DTSA-II, pyPENELOPE, PENEPMA?). Without a doubt all types of software play an important role in the community, but we strongly believe that only open source software can foster innovation while offering the same level of validation and transparency as peer-reviewed scientific work. Although closed source software may be based on published equations, they remain black boxes as other equations are sometimes used in running codes. Alternate implementations, further optimization or special cases are not shared with the users. Most importantly, commercial, private and free software are a barrier to innovate as they force scientists, who would like to improve or develop new algorithms, to start from scratch.

Who started this project?

  • Hendrix Demers (McGill University)
  • Raynald Gauvin (McGill University)
  • Philippe Pinard (RWTH Aachen University)
  • Silvia Richter (RWTH Aachen University)

How can I participate?

The best way to participate to the project is to sign up to the Discussion forum and join in the conversation.