The name of the rose and the smell of the article

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” wrote Shakespeare.  Yes, but an article about the rose’s smell wouldn’t smell as sweet at all.

The form of the article as a mean for disseminating research is more and more questioned. I liked  Idiot things that we we do in our papers out of sheer habit by Mike Taylor, as an example.

An article is only the tip of an iceberg of results, proofs, experiments, software and hardware. There are more and more platforms of publication, or better said dissemination, where articles come together with auxiliary data.

In math there is the HoTT book example, the result of  a wonderful collaboration on github, which gives not only data, but also programs.

Let’s think about a hypothetical article about the smell of the rose. In reality that smell is a manifestation of a host of chemical reactions in the rose, in the nose, in the brain, etc. Taking example from the HoTT book, in the hypothetical article we would write about these reactions and other phenomena, we would add data, methodology explanations, and … why not the “smell program” itself, that is not only  a static description of the chemical reaction networks involved in the smell process, but  a simulation of this as well.

That would be great: instead of talking about it, we could experience it, tweak it, comment it!

It is technically possible, but is there somebody who does it?

I am motivated to ask this question because of a concrete need I have.

I’m preparing a web document which is something in between an article and a (say) remark.js slide show, which uses the demos from here Now, how could I submit something like this for peer review? That’s the question. Just the text, without the dynamic explanations, is too bland. Just the demos, with as many as possible text explanations, are not in the article ball park. Just the programs from the github repository, that’s not inviting.

But if it is possible to make it, why not try it?


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