Wouldn’t that be great? Hey, there’s an Ubuntu Christian Edition, an Ubuntu Muslim Edition, and another Ubuntu Christian Edition. Why not an Atheistubuntu? Or a Skeptibuntu? or, more usefully, I would think, Sciencebunutu with Atheistic tendencies?
(And for those of you who like to cross certain boundaries there could be a Science Fiction Edition. Called, of course ….
Anyway, how would a science edition of Ubuntu be different than plain old Ubuntu?
Well, three things. First, it would have a LOT of software automatically included that at present us sciency types have to bother installing. Second, a community on how to use all that cool stuff could form. Third, the repositories managed by apt would not be only software. There would also be data repositories into which places like NASA and NOAH and various citizen science projects and so on would put stuff.
Here are a few software items that I think Sciencebuntu should include;
1) A collection of programming languages (we can fight about that later)
2) Bleeding edge emacs (and other text editors. We can fight about that later.)
3) Gnumeric spreadsheet
4) r, with bells and whistles included
5) All the TeX, LaTex, BibTex stuff.
6) Mendeley desktop (and a collection of other research tools)
7) Some calculators
8) The default home screen for the Firefox installation would include a google universal calculator window, and links to three or four key resources in each of the major sciences, implemented as an on-board HTML page that can be easily edited and customized (no, wait, no need to make it easy. Just raw code is fine). People can excange their home page ideas.
9) Sciency screen savers including protein folding and other CPU sharing progects.
10) Astronomy software, Chemical symbol reader software, whatever math software seems to work well that is OpenSource, etc.
And, to remind you, the repository would include a data repository, not just a software repository.