apologies for unknowingly rekindling old flame war!

Steve Thompson: VADMS genetics THOMPSON at JAGUAR.CSC.WSU.EDU
Mon May 10 17:49:07 EST 1993


Hello Bill and all of the others who have jumped into this discussion:

Bill Pearson wrote the following in response to a discussion which grew out of
my innocent quest for a command-line text interface for Entrez on VMS: 

	>	Hey guys, read what I wrote.  I don't think you should need a
	>Sun to run molecular biology software.  I don't think every one should
	>be running X-windows on their PC.  (Entrez is much easier to install
	>for Windows or MacOS than X.)  I do think that many many more people
	>are running Windows (or Mac's) than have VT100's.  After all, most of
	>those "terminal based" applications are running on terminal emulators
	>on a PC or Mac.  So if you already have a PC or Mac, why not take
	>advantage of the better interface?  Networking is the common problem.
	>But terminal-based interfaces are not the only answer; cheaper
	>networking - perhaps via SLIP and a $250 high-speed modem - may
	>provide an alternative that is much easier to learn and use.

I certainly was not trying to rekindle any old flame wars here and do apologize
for my rather snide comment this morning about snobbery; it was early and I've
been quite frustrated about the "haves vs. havenots" lately.  I do have all the
respect in the world for a nice GUI and the people that can develop them and
wish that scientists all could afford to use one.  Unfortunately that is not
reality.  As far as running the PC MS windows or Mac OS versions of Entrez,
that would be great.  However, the big problem, as Bill points out above, is
networking!  Should every individual who wants to run Entrez be forced to buy a
CD reader?  If the CD's, or as others have pointed out works infinitely better,
the disk volumes are mounted on some distributed platform (in our case a
VAX/VMS cluster) then filesharing or client/server solutions must be found.  A
few have suggested some UNIX to PC and Mac filesharing ware, yet no comparable
VMS sytem has been mentioned.  Therefore, I was trying to come up with the
simplest method for the most access (lowest common denominator).  NCBI has
suggested their new network version of Entrez and we will definitley be looking
into that solution, but, IMHO, a command-line text interface is still a nice
thing to provide.  Additionally Alex Reisner's group in Austalia has written a
Unix command-line interface; we will be checking it out.  

				Just my two cents worth.  Steve Thompson
						thompson at wsuvms1.csc.wsu.edu




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