Don't be too high-tech!!! Re: VAX/VMS & NCBI's _Entrez_: text interface desired

Steve Thompson: VADMS genetics THOMPSON at WSUVMS1.CSC.WSU.EDU
Mon May 10 11:10:35 EST 1993


RIGHT ON! Reinhard!!!

In article <9305080911.AA04762 at net.bio.net> doelz at comp.bioz.unibas.ch 
(Reinhard Doelz) answers to <C6ons3.4G7 at murdoch.acc.Virginia.EDU>,
wrp at cyclops.micr.Virginia.EDU (Bill Pearson) whom responds to my posting ID#
<930507104042.214062a7 at JAGUAR.CSC.WSU.EDU> when I write:

Thompson:  ... Yet few of our users have X-window server software on their
machines,  furthermore, many of our users ONLY have access to text or at most
Tek graphics terminals.  Has anybody developed a text only interface to
_Entrez_ ?

Pearson:  It is hard to believe that there are more terminals than Windows
compatible PC's at many universities today.  No, nor should they [in re: to my
question]. 

Doelz:  It is reality that the current infrastructure in Universities is that 
workgroups of 5-15 persons have rarely access to Workstations or  ethernetted
environments. Some even use modems to access a vt100 type  server. My surveys
indicate that, in Switzerland, the number of  users who currently have vt100
type serial access to molecular biology computing is considerable and will stay
considerable in the next  years due to low economy -> shrinking budgets -> no
money to recable buildings. This is also true in most parts of Germany and
other  countries where I know the environments. 

Despite my believe that a GUI is what all biologists should have  it is a
severe mistake to neglect all non-X or non-ethernetted biologists.  A certain
fraction doesn't even have access to the central facility  but need to walk (or
even travel) to get to a place where a access point is on the desktop. So lests
behave as generous as possible and stick  to also line-oriented interfaces.

Me again:  I really appreciate Reinhard's comments.  He describes the reality
of the situation at many institutions in the United States also.  Many of us
(Recall our current and still unresolved financial situation discussion on this
board.) are struggling to merely stay in existence, NOT EVEN dreaming about
trying to get a Sun 'station on every desktop!  Regardless of what Bill may
think, not all people who need and desire to use seqence analysis and/or
molecular modelling techniques have access to the appropriate computing
environment to take advantage of an X type GUI.  Even many of those with an
ethernetted personal computer have not made the investment in time and money to
install X-window server software, nor do they often want to.  All applications,
whenever possible, should be written with a basic commmand line structure
minimum and, if desired an advanced GUI.  Only providing the GUI is
discriminatory snobbery!

				Thanks Reinhard!  Sincerely, Steve Thompson

                              Steven M. Thompson
            Consultant in Molecular Genetics and Sequence Analysis
VADMS (Visualization, Analysis & Design in the Molecular Sciences) Laboratory
           Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-1224, USA
          AT&Tnet:  (509) 335-0533 or 335-3179  FAX:  (509) 335-0540
                  BITnet:  THOMPSON at WSUVMS1 or STEVET at WSUVM1
                   INTERnet:  THOMPSON at wsuvms1.csc.wsu.edu





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