NASA has started an open source project page for Java Pathfinder at SourceForge. This program was used internally as an an explicit state software model checker for analyzing the overall structure of code to spot inconsistencies and flaws in logic. While many model checkers exist, none have put objects into space. The PR team, along with a few million computer geeks, is excited about this. It's a good way to generate positive perceptions of NASA.

Now with hundreds of thousands of eyeballs looking over the code, maybe NASA will become smart enough to catch little problems like “imperial verses metric” values for variables within the same program. In light of that and countless other debacles, perhaps NASA should open source _all_ their software. God knows they need the help.

Java Pathfinder is a golden gift to the programming world but that doesn't change the fact that NASA is the most incompetent agency in the US government. NASA's talents lie in basic research. Unfortunately, NASA spends all its money feeding the welfare queens of the defense industry and their crack baby subcontractors.

NASA must be reformed into the interstellar equivalent of a Division of Motor Vehicles satellite office. Issue licenses and get the hell out of the way.

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