Executable or Source code?

Hello everyone, I copy and paste this question from THOUGHREACT Forum because some people may also can help me with this basic issue.

In the upcoming days, my research group is planing to buy a TOUGHREACT license to model fluid flow and reactive transport of acid mine drainage from abandoned coal mines, however we are not 100% sure about the type of code that we should acquire (executable or source). we have read the manuals and all the info posted in Berkely´s web page regarding both options, but we don´t catch the big difference yet. Could anyone help us highlighting the main pros and cons of each code, please?

For example, some specific questions we have are

Does the code selection depend on the number of minerals and aqueous complexes which we want to work in the software with? - Does it depends on the variation of kinetic and thermodynamic values for some specific reaction, for exple pyrite oxidation? - Does it depends on the model size? ... Of course, we would deeply appreciate further comments that you may have about the variables that we have to consider to choose the correct code.

In any case, We pretend to work with windows and do not have so much experience  programing (we are normal users of Phreeqc), So I do not if this also influence in making the decision.

Thanks a lot in advance for your replies and sorry if this is a silly question but we need to be sure in our decision and justify the cost to the faculty, if we took the source version (We are sure that this software will help us a lot for our next research questions)

Best Regards


Diego Bedoya

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  • Dear Diego,

    It's not a silly question, and I hope I can help you understand the difference.

    If you buy the executable only, you will be able to run the code with all the options available in the code, as described in the User's Guide.  But you will not be able to see or alter the source code (that is, the actual computer code that implements the governing equations, equations of state, etc.) if you need to customize the code for some aspect of your problem that the standard code is not set up to handle.  If you buy the source code, and you are an experienced Fortran programmer, you can alter the source code to suit your particular problem if you need some capability that the standard code does not have (and you have an understanding of how to implement it).  From your letter, it sounds like you should get the executable, because you are not experienced programmers.  I am not a TOUGHREACT user, so I cannot answer your specific questions about that.  I recommend you look carefully at the User's Guide, including the sample problems, to make sure that the code includes the capabilities that you need.  If it is still unclear to you, post a question on the TOUGHREACT forum.

    Good luck, Christine

    • Sorry for the late response and thanks a lot for the clarification Dr. Christine Doughty . Base on your clear answer we bought the source code and are working very satisfied with it. Best regards, Diego

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