[ADMB Users] The current status of BUGS

Arni Magnusson arnima at hafro.is
Wed Jun 16 12:08:44 PDT 2010

After reading Mark's excellent article "Converting WinBUGS into ADMB", I 
decided to explore the history and current status of BUGS. I guess many 
ADMB users might be equally curious, so here's a summary.

1989 - BUGS created at Cambridge University, with David Spiegelhalter as 
the designer and Andrew Thomas as main programmer

1996 - Nicky Best migrates from Cambridge to Imperial College and leads a 
team that creates WinBUGS

2004 - Andrew Thomas (original BUGS programmer) migrates to University of 
Helsinki and creates OpenBUGS

After the Helsinki fork, WinBUGS and OpenBUGS gradually diverged, each 
introducing features not found in the other. Recently a consensus was 
reached in the BUGS developer community to focus all development on 

The original BUGS is frozen at version 0.6 (1997), the current version of 
WinBUGS is 1.4.3 (2007), and OpenBUGS is at 3.1.0 (2010). OpenBUGS runs 
the example suite at a similar speed as WinBUGS. OpenBUGS is written in 
Component Pascal and is a native Windows program that can be run inside 
Wine on Linux.

In short, WinBUGS will be left behind and OpenBUGS is the flavor of today 
and tomorrow.


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