CLEVER - COmmand Line Entrez VERsion available

Tim Littlejohn tim at megasun.BCH.UMontreal.CA
Wed Feb 2 11:27:38 EST 1994

CLEVER - COmmand Line Entrez VERsion available

The clever program for command line access to the Entrez databases
is now available to all.

What is it?

    clever is a character based version of NCBI's Entrez program. It is an
    interactive tool that allows easy browsing of the Entrez database.

    Entrez is:

       "a molecular sequence retrieval system developed at the
       National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of
       the National Library of Medicine (NLM).  Entrez provides an integrated
       approach for gaining access to nucleotide and protein sequence
       information, to the MEDLINE citations in which the sequences were
       published, and to a sequence-associated subset of MEDLINE.The sequence
       records are derived from a variety of database sources, including
       GenBank, EMBL, DDBJ, PIR, SWISS-PROT, PRF, and PDB.  With Entrez and a
       personal computer, you can rapidly search several hundred megabytes of
       sequence and literature data using techniques that are fast and
               - Entrez User's Guide.

    The original Entrez program written by NCBI is a tool that uses
    windows, menus, and a pointing device; since not everyone
    has computers or terminals with graphics capabilities, clever was
    written to do the same work using only text input/output.

    In addition, the clever program permits BATCH access to the Entrez
    databases. Thus by use of script files, clever can be made to perform
    queries in batch mode.  In this way clever can be used as a "search
    engine" for any application which has as its input a set of database
    queries in clever format and can use as output any of the data in the
    Entrez databases (in any of the various formats supported by Entrez).

    clever comes in two flavors, "clever", which runs off local Entrez
    databases (e.g. on CD-ROM) and "nclever", which uses the network Entrez

Platforms/Operating Systems

   clever will run on any hardware/operating system combination that
   are supported by the NCBI toolkit (for more information on the NCBI
   toolkit, send an email to toolbox at; for more information
   on Entrez, send mail to entrez at  Presently this includes
   (from the README file supplied with the toolkit):

		* IBM 370
		* SUN (SunOS & Solaris)
		* DEC Alpha under OSF/1
		* DEC Alpha under AXP/OpenVMS
		* Macintosh A/UX
		* Microsoft Windows
		* DOS
		* CenterLine CodeCenter
		* Cray
		* Convex
		* Hewlett Packard
		* NeXT
		* IBM RS 6000
		* Silicon Graphics

   Binaries for clever are supplied for some of these paltform/OS combinations.
   See the relevant "Binaries" directory (see "Obtaining Clever" below).

Obtaining Clever

   clever can be obtained by gopher by pointing your gopher client at:

   and selecting:

	 -->  5.  Computational Molecular Biology- programs, documents, help/
 	  -->  9.  Entrez/
	   -->  1.  Clever- Interactive Command Line Entrez/

   or by anonymous ftp to:

   Files can be retrieved from the /pub/clever directory.

Installation Instructions

   There are two options for installing clever on your system.  The
   first is to obtain the code and compile it on your own system.
   obtain the cleverXXX.tar (where XXX is the current version number)
   from the Distribution directory in the repositories discribed above.
   Then read the INSTALLATION file in that directory.

   The second is to obtain a precompiled executable file.  Executables
   for some platforms are supplied in the Binaries directory located
   in the repositories described above.  Make sure you also have an
   appropriate ncbirc file available.  For unix systems, this will
   be a file called .ncbirc  and be located in your home directory.
   See the Entrez documentation for details on other computer platforms.
   A sample ncbirc file is provided in the Documentation directory.

   Note that to use clever you will need access to the entrez databases
   locally (e.g. on CDROM), and for nclever, you will need access granted 
   to your computer to read the Entrez databases at NCBI.  Send mail to
   entrez at for more information on obtaining the Entrez

Further Information

   For more information about the clever project, send email to the
   Informatics Division of the Organelle Genome Megasequencing Unit
   at the Universite de Montreal:

	ogmp at

   All feedback welcome.


    This software was written by Pierre Rioux of the OGMP (Organelle
    Genome Megasequencing Project), Departement de Biochimie, Universite
    de Montreal (riouxp at and William A. Gilbert, of
    the University of New Hampshire (gilbert at under the management of
    Tim Littlejohn, OGMP, Departement de Biochimie, Universite de Montreal
    (tim at  Please send any comments/correspondence to
    ogmp at  Thanks also to Jonathan Epstein at NCBI for
    providing some of the binary files of clever & nclever.
    The development of clever was supported by a grant from the Canadian
    Genome Analysis and Technology Program (CGAT).

Tim Littlejohn

E-mail:     tim at  

Snail Mail: Departement de biochimie        Phone: (514) 343-6111, x5149
            Universite de Montreal          Fax:   (514) 343-2210 
            C.P. 6128, succursale A,
            Montreal (Quebec), H3C 3J7

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