I've been asked to write a small topic area
for our SBIR (small business innovation research)
program, which is basically a method to fun small
businesses in $70k, $500k, and $2-3M chunks for
promising research topics.  SBIR's premise doesn't fit
too well with open source, but I thought it would
be worth a try.  For more information about SBIRs, see
http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov

The following is a selfish, Ruby-centric draft of a
topic I threw together last night. Please pick it apart,
add to it, ignore it, or whatever, but to have an impact
on this go-around, I need your input by tomorrow morning
(Eastern US time).

  Title: Tools to Support Agile, Scientific Software Development

  The aim of this "software craftsmanship" topic is
  to solicit tools that make it easier for software developers
  in general, and scientific programmers in particular, to adopt
  agile software development practices.  Submissions will achieve
  this by creating tools that are easier to learn and use than
  the current Unix-style tool set, documenting these tools and
  the practices they embody, and remaining readily extendable.
  All tools should be portable across Mac OS X, Linux, and Microsoft
  Windows, come with a complete set of automated unit tests, and
  be implemented primarily in, or scriptable with, Ruby.

  Examples of desired tools include testing frameworks for
  Fortran 95, C, and C++ (unit, regression, performance, and
  integration), CASE tools (Lakos analysis, calling trees, object
  modeling and design, dependency analysis, cyclomatic complexity),
  refactoring tools, API documentation tools (e.g., C++ and
  Fortran 95 parsers for RDoc), a Textile-to-PDF converter
  including embedded LaTeX mathematics and graphics or similar
  way to get from simple markup to a typeset document, domain
  specific languages, code release and request administration
  systems, distributed continuous integration systems, templating
  systems for Fortran 95, and novel systems for monitoring
  simulations (e.g., Peep:A Network Auralizer or other ambient
  means).


Regards,
--
Bil, http://fun3d.larc.nasa.gov