Scientists should not maintain software

I’ve been diving back into computational chemistry programs in the last couple of days. There should be some sort of law that says all scientists must hire a real programmer to maintain their programs. I’m trying to get a couple of programs working, called MOPAC and Tinker — both of which are in Fortran, of course.

I know MOPAC used to compile a couple of years ago, but no longer — and nobody’s updated it, and nobody’s fixed it that I can find. The only distribution I’ve found besides the public domain stuff is FreeBSD, and MOPAC’s marked broken on >=5.0.

As for Tinker, well … I can’t even untar the source. My system is broken somehow, and I have no clue what the cause is. But the source is all up on its homepage, and the build process is incredibly obscure.