More on exTRACE

Mark Berres markb at
Fri Apr 7 05:48:20 EST 2000

Dear Readers,

I recently posted versions of exTRACE for Linux and HP-UX. I
expect that by Monday, I will have an SGI version as well.
See the Bioinformatics section at
for further information.

There seems to be a little confusion about what exTRACE is
all about- it is simply a utility that allows the extraction
of data records contained within ABI processed tracefiles
(not gelfiles; I have not finished testing exGEL). Please
refer to the document "377GSFLAGS.pdf" (included with the
exTRACE distribution) for an explanation of typically available 
FLAG records. Although this document described FLAGS present
in GeneScan tracefiles, it is applicable to sequencing-based
tracefiles derived from the ABI 310, 377, and 3700 to the
extent of FLAG overlap (see the posted FLAG dumps).

As an example, FLAG DATA, TAGS 1, 2, 3, and 4 correspond
to the RAW photometric data for filters 0, 1, 2, and 3 when ABI's 
GeneScan or Sequencing software extracted a tracked lane.
DATA TAGS 5, 6, 7, and 8 are records for gel runtime voltage,
current, power and temperature. DATA TAGS 9, 10, 11, and 12
are where the PROCESSED photometric data for filters 0, 1, 2,
and 3 are stored. In a broad sense, processed means (a) multi-
componented, (b) baselined, and (c) whatever else ABI does
to the RAW data. Typically, most software that displays ABI
tracefile data (e.g. Chromas, EditView etc.) shows you only the
processed data.

Thank you for your interest in this program. Comments regarding
its performance and any of the accompanying documentation are



Mark E. Berres
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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