Sunday, March 11, 2007

Number One

You may have noticed that I usually express negative opinions towards NMR software, while last week I praised a number of programs that have nothing to do with science. There is a natural exception: I like my own software because, whenever I feel it should improved, I change it (and I update it quite often). The majority of NMR software, however, is not elegant. In a future posts I will try to find multiple possible reasons. To start with, we should ask ourselves: "Does anybody care if NMR software contains the Wow factor?".
Few years ago the presentations of two new NMR programs appeared on the web. What they had in common was elegance and the desire to amaze the chemist. This couple of examples demonstrate that, in 2005, there were some companies trying to write modern and innovative products.
The first presentation contains two videos of the "dataChord Spectrum Analyst" in action. It generates lists of NMR data already formatted for publication inside articles or patents.
The second presentation combines a web site and a pdf document to introduce the "NMRnotebook": an all-automatic processor that stores the user's spectra into a single container (hence the name).
After two years nothing has changed and this is extremely anomalous. All other NMR programs are updated at least every year, when they are mature, and more often when they are young. It's really rare to find something still at version 1.0. Very elegant, as if they had reached perfection at the first attempt, but rare indeed.
A frequently seen phenomenon is a product introduced into the market as a "wizard" that fails commercially. I have never had the occasion to see these programs. Time will tell.


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