Project history

A potted history of the project so far:

  • I had the idea for the project in 2007, after the first release of GISTEMP code.  I saw it criticised online for various failings, from the ridiculous (e.g. “I demanded this code and now you’ve released it I don’t understand it”) to the sublime (e.g. the many attacks on a line of code which quite legitimately translated temperatures in Fahrenheit into tenths of degrees Celsius).  It was plain to me that any software with results which might determine critical public policy should be more accessible than this.  Ideally it ought to be possible for any interested member of the public to download the source code and inspect it.
  • I presented my ideas to colleagues at Ravenbrook Limited in the spring of 2008.  It was agreed that Ravenbrook should pursue such a project on a pro bono basis: we’d use our systems to host an open-source project, but nobody would be paid for their time.
  • David Jones and I got started on the code over the summer of 2008, and presented our first results at PyconUK in September 2008.
  • There was considerable interest at the conference and online, including a number of offers of help.  Wanting to widen participation in the project, but not keen to host and support the infrastructure, we decided to use a Google Code project, and a Google Groups mailing list, and to consider a wiki or blog.  We set those up and various volunteers started work, including John Keyes who later created and hosts this blog and Paul Ollis who has contributed a considerable amount of code.
  • Our real lives intervened, and David and I didn’t do anything very much on the CCC project until the autumn of 2009, when we restarted work on the Python reimplementation and on this blog.  Just in time for the CRU email hacking incident to stir up a lot of public interest in climate code quality.

Leave a Reply