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Re: Cost of codes (was RE: ASCE 7-05 Wind Load and Publication Costs)

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Actually, I would say that Dennis' problem is not with the code.  Does the
code tell you how to determine the maximum moment for a wood beam and
determine the stress in that beam that you can then compare against the
allowable stress value from the code?  Nope.  You make use of general
structural analysis methods and/or statics along with basic mechanics of
materials to determine that maximum moment and then the stress.  The same
is true, albeit much more complex most of the time, for determining
natural frequency and/or period.  Dennis seemed to be expecting the code
to provide that solution to him and when it did not, he then expected ASCE
to provide that solution to him for free.  If he did not know how
calculate such a item from his education or experience, then it makes
sense for him to have to figure it out in another manner.  And that other
manner might be going out and buying some textbook or other publication,
because last time I checked, my college education, which taught me about
moments, stresses, natural frequencies, etc, was not free either.

And as to eminent domain, as you correctly pointed out, when the
government takes your house and land, they are required by law to
compensate you (and I will note that my quote included "...with no
compenstation").  One can certainly argue whether or not it is an
appropriate amount of compensation, but they DO compensate you.  Those
that want free codes seem to basically want the "government" to take those
publications from those organizations that produce them and not compensate
those organizations (i.e. thus the codes be free).

Regards,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Fri, 11 May 2007, Jordan Truesdell, PE wrote:

> Scott, I do generally agree with you. Writing good code and references
> _is_ hard work and valuable. I also think it's a bit out of hand in
> terms of the frequency of updates, and the large number of errors which
> get published. That, combined with the
>
> For what it's worth, you did say:
>
> I would ask if you would mind the "government" taking your house and land
> with no compensation.
>
> That happens fairly frequently, and it's called eminent domain. It was
> recently ratified by SCOTUS even when the taking was used to simply hand
> over the land to a for-profit commercial developer, in hopes of
> increasing tax revenue.  Yes, the residents were paid a nominal fee for
> their land, but it is no different that the ICC already being paid for
> the past development of the code (if you fired everybody at the ICC,
> there would be no ongoing expenses), and no longer being required to
> amend or replace it.
>
> Anyway, the original difficulty Dennis faced was the likelihood of
> spending several hundred dollars on publications which _may not_ have
> actually solved his particular problem. I'm not sure any of us feels
> slighted when we buy a new reference which we know will give us "the
> answers".  It is a bit galling to realize that we pay for a "new" copy
> every couple of years, only to find that the changes are often less than
> the modifications the state makes, and offers for free. Unfortunately, I
> believe that tends to be the nature of the business.
>
> Jordan
>
>
>
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