Magnolia has been lovingly crafted by a small team of people who are passionate about science, engineering, mathematics and education.  Our mission is to provide high-quality, fit-for-purpose mathematical modeling software to communities who find themselves in need of alternatives to existing commercial or open-source applications.  Our approach to creating software is motivated by a few principles:

  • We think that newer technologies are not necessarily better than older technologies.  Some of the language standards and public domain integration algorithms and linear algebra codes used in Magnolia have their roots in projects that are over four decades old.  Years of development, testing and refining have made these libraries, algorithms and standards robust and reliable.  This by no way means there is not room for creativity and innovation.
  • We think that high-priced commercial software packages aimed at large markets are not necessarily better than software tailored for a particular community-of-practice.  Software targeted at large, diverse markets will sometimes fail to adequately meet the needs of certain smaller markets because of the business requirements created by a large company’s own successes.
  • We think (conversely) that free and/or open source software is not necessarily better than commercial software.  Development of high-quality, professional software can be a resource and time-intensive process.  The continuous improvement and testing of a software package is sometimes better served by a small, integrated team of full-time developers than a large community of developers working ad-hoc.
  • We think (as a result) that successful software development for small communities can be achieved by a careful balance of proprietary and open source code, and of commercial and non-commercial funding and licensing approaches.
  • We think that even small communities can successfully support professional, high-quality software development efforts using creative funding, R&D and licensing strategies.  Our aim is to employ creativity not only in the technical design of our software, but in the larger business of technical software development.

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