Many high quality Open Source scientific applications have been available for a long time.
Some of them have proved to be particularly useful for carrying out the usual activities involved in viticultural research projects, such as statistical analyses (including spatial analyses), GIS work, database management (possibly integrated with statistical and spatial analysis) and even “low-level” often highly time-consuming activities (e.g. repetitive task on text files).
A few essential applications regularly used by the author in agronomic and viticultural research during more than a decade are summarily presented. They have consistently made the successful accomplishment of the projects possible without having to rely on commercial software. The advantages and disadvantages of Open Source applications versus commercial software (with comparable features and quality) are discussed from a more general point of view.
Author: O. Zecca
Institut Agricole Régional. Région La Rochère 1/A, Aosta, Italy