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Linux Journal: Low-Bandwidth Communication Tools for Science

Jul 08, 2000, 14:10 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Enrique Canessa, Clement Onime)


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"Dissemination and management of knowledge is essential for scientific enterprise and sustainable development. For several decades, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, has paid special attention to the needs of developing countries to foster, through training and research, the progress of science. The Centre long ago realized the importance of information retrieval systems on the Internet, including the distribution of in-house preprints, yearly activities and public access catalogs."

"On a technical level, Linux provides us with a cost-effective alternative for promoting distance electronic collaboration... Based on the Linux OS, virtual laboratories and the extensive use of digital communication tools can help reduce scientific isolation, while filling the need to transfer knowledge to developing countries in the Southern Hemisphere in an unprecedented way..."

"Following these principles, we have started building prototype, on-line scientific tools to further enhance electronic collaboration and to support the use of web navigation and database search by e-mail. Below, we describe two tools that Salam ICTP offers the low-bandwidth scientific community. Both packages use state-of-the-art technologies and software developed in-house, and are distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL)."

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