what software do biologists need?

Howard Cash cash at geneva.csmil.umich.edu
Tue Mar 16 09:23:33 EST 1993


In article <1993Mar13.102957.21826 at comp.bioz.unibas.ch>  mlevin at husc8.harvard
.edu (Michael Levin) writes:
>  I am looking for ideas on what kind of software products/services
> biologists would like to have, and don't already have....
> All ideas should be emailed to mlevin at husc8...

Are you kidding?  Why send these general ideas to one person at one site?
I can't think of a thread that might better fit into the topic area of
bionet.software.  Please post replies to the net at large, at least to
the bionet.software group.

In article <1993Mar13.102957.21826 at comp.bioz.unibas.ch> doelz at urz.unibas.ch wri:
>
>Rubbish. The question is what biologists can afford. Certainly all and
>everything is desirable, and occasionally you can even produce it. The
>only question is how many will buy it so that the development costs can
>be covered...
>If I would want to sell this into a market which is already taken by
>well-accepted (though not always well-appreciated) products, I would need
>to price it competetively for, lets say, $1000 per seat. Now as only the
>creation of such a package would cose approx $1,5m we have not considered
>new features and bug fixing, documentation writing, training material
>preparation... But even a one-shot experience would force me to sell
>1500 licenses almost instantaneously.
>


You have a valid point, Reinhard.  Software development is frighteningly
expensive.  But I don't think that makes it inappropriate to discuss what
tools might be useful.  Consider the cost in person-hours to perform some
of the analysis tasks by hand/eye that we routinely use computers for.
Also, there are those who make code and finished products available through
resources like the EMBL server and ncbi.  And there are even the few
true altruist-researchers like Maestro Don Gilbert who produce professional
level programs and distribute them to the community.

I say, by all means, let's discuss our wish lists.  Some wishes may come
true.

Howard Cash




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