Stan speaks a different language.
I desire to know NMR and math like he does, but I am hopeless. It' s like dreaming to play football like Julio Ricardo Cruz or chess like Michele Godena or the sax like Getz. Generally speaking, when I read a scientific paper, I don't understand what's going on. Sometimes, however, I need to decide, at least, if that paper/poster is important or forgettable. My "trick" is to think like a better. (Actually, every better thinks in his own way...). Now I will show you my "analysis" of the eDispa poster.
One very good reason to bet that eDISPA works: the authors, who are friends of mine, wrote privately that eDISPA really works; they have never told a single lie and I trust them.
Five reasons to bet against it:
(1) The poster says the method is not ready yet. An algorithm, like a principle, either works or not. If it's not ready YET, it means that it doesn't work and never will. I do hope that Stan has discovered ANOTHER method that works, but, from his words I get that the method described into the poster doesn't work.
(2) In the last 20 years more than ten articles have been proposing novel methods for automatic phase correction. All the articles begin affirming that ALL the preceding methods "do not seem to be reliable" (Anal. Chem. 1990, 62, 864). If you are to make a bet, you have more chances to win if you bet against ANY auto-phasing method, at least those published. There is abundant historical evidence that no author is "reliable" when judging his own algorithm.
(3) The old auto-phasing methods based on DISPA are among the worst ones. Therefore I am suspicious of anything containing "DISPA" in its name.
(4) I can see no connection between DISPA and eDISPA. Does any reader? I believe that Stan started with the idea of building a modified DISPA. He had already found the name for the successor. He soon realized, however, to be on a wrong path. He could find an alternative approach, but not a new name: "eDISPA" has remained. I can read all these things between the lines of the poster.
(5) The principle described by the poster is too complicated. It looks like a series o patches applied over a hole. I like simpler concepts.
It's false that I write this blog to reveal the errors into the work of my competitors. My mission is to shout: "Customers, wake up!". Let's take for example Mnova. I have found a simple combination of 3 VERY COMMON menu commands that, given to Mnova right after the start, in any order, cause me to reboot the computer (because, unfortunately, Mnova doesn't crash, but keeps thinking forever and takes complete control of the CPU). I have reported the problem to the authors and I know they will fix it ASAP. The problem is that I am not a customer! MestreLab Research has kindly provided me with a license for free, so I can try their algorithms, but I don't work with Mnova. How is it possible that thousands of paying customers have never seen their computers freezed? Either my computer is too old, or they don't use the program for 2D NMR (this is what I believe) or they prefer complaining with me rather then writing two lines to the makers. That's something I can't bear. Anyway, my shouting hasn't woken up anybody yet. Why the hell keep I writing?
It's true that I have dedicated more space to criticize the errors than to praise the merits. This doesn't mean that I can't appreciate what others do. For example, Carlos Cobas, co-author of eDISPA, has invented a terrific algorithm to correct an NMR baseline. I have always expressed my deep admiration for it (I never invented anything of that level in my whole life) and asked his help to add the algorithm into iNMR.
I also invite the reader to visit Carlos' blog. He describes algorithms that you can verify by yourself immediately, because he also gives you the program (for all platforms! free trial period of 45 days). I have verified that several methods don't apply to my spectra (plain vanilla 1H spectra, FYI) and that saved me the effort of studying the corresponding articles.
Stan thinks that it's a good thing when a commercial application offers the choice among many alternative algorithms. I think that, the more methods are shown by the interfce, the more time I am going to waste with them. Give me only a few methods that always work, if such a thing is possible. Keep the alternatives hidden.