Draft of text for Sources instructions.

Foteos Macrides MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET
Sat Jan 4 15:43:00 EST 1992


>Is it only me, or is anyone else disappointed that
>bionet.software.sources is [...]
>
>Dick Depew
===========
>Let me know what you want, and how you want it.
>
>Rob Harper
===========
>>         My guess is that bionet.software.sources hasn't taken off as much
>> as we had hoped because it doesn't have a corresponding BIOSCI list ...
>
>hmm ... but there are e-mail servers at U of H and EMBL for this
>purpose.  The USENET software.sources group has already been
>criticized for excessive use of network bandwidth (although I think
>this group is defensible against that charge).  I'm not sure I would
>feel the same way about adding a mailing list when servers are already
>in place.
>
>Dave Kristofferson
===================
>Everyone repeat to yourselves:  This is not a flame, this is not a flame.
>
> David O. Tinker
=================

        I know what I want.  I know what I don't want.  This discussion still
leaves me up in the air about how to get what I want and not what I don't
want.

        I want to have a place where people can post shells, scripts and
programs that are useful to biologists, and are not necessarily polished,
submitter-supported software.  FOR EXAMPLE:  When the BLAST, GENEID and GRAIL
servers were announced, I and I'm sure others wrote user-friendly command
shells for accessing them.  Steve Clark formally posted such a shell for BLAST
to the archives.  It's specific to sequence files in GCG format, and it's
already obsolete.  I bet we'd all have ultimately better shells, ultimately
more portable code (e.g., using READSEQ instead of Steve's GCG-specific
routine for casting the sequence into the server's format), for all of the
molbio servers, if we had a forum were people freely posted their shells
without the onus of the forum being a formal vector into the Four Great Molbio
Archives.

        I would like to have a personal email subscription to such a fourm,
even if it were also available to me via NEWS or other bboard software.  I
would like to be able to hunt down previous postings via a WAIS search of
biosci.src and/or LDBASE search on LISTSERV at IRLEARN, in the same way that
others search past postings about METHODS.

        I would not like the functioning of the forum and the archiving of
postings to be dependent on coordination among four moderators who have very
different time constraints, financial and computer resources, senses of turf,
and personal styles.

        I would again like to extend KUDOS to Dan, Dave, Don, Rainer and Rob
for all that they've done to develop and refine the Four Great Molbio
Archives.  I use them all, frequently, and couldn't live without them.

        But I think, at this point, that making bionet.software.sources a
formal extension of that archiving collaboration, rapidly accessible only via
USENET, is actually impeding what I (and perhaps others) had hoped the forum
would become.  It's so easy now to find out what's new on the Archives and get
what you want via FTP or email.  Let's make the sources group more than just
another vector to Archival Software.  Let's make it a place were we pass on,
exchange or refine any useful code for computers used by biologists.  If we or
the Archivers feel that particular software posted to the fourm is of, or has
reached, archival quality (and hopefully that will be, or become, true for
much of it), then we or they can deposit that particular software into the
formal Molbio Archives, but all of the postings should be accessible and
searchable via NEWS-WAIS/LIST-LDBASE style software on both Internet and
BITNET.
                                Fote

=========================================================================
 Foteos Macrides           Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology
 MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET     222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545
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