alternate mosaic entry to iubio archive

Reinhard Doelz doelz at comp.bioz.unibas.ch
Mon Apr 25 01:18:37 EST 1994


In article <Coo4DE.n0q at usenet.ucs.indiana.edu>, gilbertd at sunflower.bio.indiana.edu (Don Gilbert) writes:
|> 
|> I still regard gopher and html/www as competitors, and feel
|> that gopher in general is as good or better a protocol for
|> network information services as html/http/www.  But the pretty
|> face of Mosaic has lured away many people from gopher use.
|> 

In this discussion it is important to separate issues. There are currently
several products out there, e.g.,  

PROTOCOLS like Z39.50 (WAIS), GOPHER (gopher), gopher+ (less upoorted), 
               html (www, veronica, lynx, Mosaic), extensions and html+ etc.

VIEWERS like xwais, turpogopher, mosaic, etc. 

SERVER implementations in Perl, C, scripts, w/o ability to be 
	modified easily. 


I sympathize with gopher because of its simplicity, and html is certainly 
superior with respect to intuitive referencing. However, both lack the 
following: 

	o  file import (other than cut/paste to an ASK block or FORMS)
	o  encryption and compression (all data sent are full ascii at worst)
	o  integration to established software in Biology
	o  fault tolerance (if a server doesn't reply it is aborted)
	o  lacking resource discovery - all done via meta-indices

We have seen Wais coming and going, then Gopher was fashionable, and 
I am afraid that the Mosaicmania will last longer only if these items are
seriously tackled - Biologists at the bench are much more serious than 
bing caught by a demo - only real benefit will convice them off the spot.

My SFr.05 on this. The moral is to use our HASSLE package, which does
allow seamless integration of molecular biology programs into today's 
researcher environment. Further details via anonymous ftp on
nic.switch.ch:mirror/embnet-ch/bioftp-sw/hassle.  :-) 



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