Month: March 2010

Ph.D. thesis

As I promised before, you’ll find here the text and slides of my Ph.D. thesis (btw text and slides are in French). The oral presentation was on March 24th, 2010 and everything was fine ­čÖé Slides can be watched below.

Software license and use of end-product

In one of his buzz, C├ędric Bonhomme drew my attention on the Highcharts javascript library. This library can produce beautiful charts of various types with some Ajax interaction. The only negative point imho is that it is dual-licensed and all cases deprive you from your freedom:

  • there is a first Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License: you can use the library for your non-profit website (see details on the licensing page) ;
  • there is a commercial license for any other website.

Now what if we only need the end-product, i.e. the resulting chart, in a commercial environment? What is covered by the license is just the re-use of the javascript library in a website, not the resulting chart. If a company choose to use Highcharts internally to render some beautiful charts and just publish (*) the resulting image, I guess they can just download the library and use it (* by “publishing”, I mean: publish a scientific paper in a peer-reviewed journal, not publishing on its website). On the other hand, no one ever questioned the fact commercial companies have licenses for all the proprietary software they use to produce anything else, from charts to statistical data, just because they publish results with these software as tools. So the “trick” here would be that, by changing the medium on which you display end-results (from website to paper, even if it’s in PDF on the journal website), you can use the free-to-download license, even in a commercial environment, for an article from a commercial company. I’m not sure this was the original intention of Highslide Software.

A new website for Open Clip Art Library

Open Clip Art Library logo A small post to welcome the new website for the Open Clip Art Library (OCAL). The OCAL was created more than 6 years ago and now has more than 24.000 vector illustrations in the Public Domain (in the SVG format that can be read by most graphic software). For me, a major improvement is the direct visualisation of thumbnails. In the previous version of the website, it was indeed painfull to open each result of a search in order to see if the illustration was what one was looking for. I’m using the Library since a few years and I am always amazed at the quality of most illustrations in the science and biology sections (the two sections I use the most).

So, if you didn’t know OCAL or didn’t have a look at it since a long time, it’s worth visiting their new website now!

Every year the same?

Every year, same resolutions. And same end? As I did previous years, I promised to myself to update this blog more often but it seems “daily life” events caught me up.

This year, I resigned from my position at Callata├┐ & Wouters (C&W). A lot can be said and written but overall, it was an interesting experience. I’ve learned a lot about software development and how to manage people (or not). Finally, I’ve met some very interesting people. Let’s close this chapter now.

Open space office


This year, I finally finished my Ph.D. thesis! The public defense will be on March 24th, 2010 in Liege (Roskam lecture hall). I’ll talk about rat hippocampus, proteins, stress, sleep (deprivation) and cognition. The final text will be available here after that.

And finally, I’m joining GSK biologicals. This is a new challenge but, from what I’ve seen so far, I think I’ll enjoy it a lot!

So I hope to resume posting more frequently on this blog (and with stuff more interesting than my own personal life) ­čÖé Stay tuned!