CALL FOR DISCUSSION: BIO-WWW/bionet.software.www

Reinhard Doelz doelz at comp.bioz.unibas.ch
Sat Jun 4 02:42:33 EST 1994


In article <2snvtp$65u at net.bio.net>, kristoff at net.bio.net (David Kristofferson) writes:
|> In article <2snfbj$ca2 at nntp2.Stanford.EDU>,
|> Mike Cherry <cherry at stout.Stanford.EDU> wrote:
...
|> >problem. I do not think fragmenting the resources by software is the
|> >overall best approach. Maybe fragmenting by topic would be better, if
|> >fragmentation must be done. Many resources are available via a number
|> >of different Internet software, will a site be excluded from
|> >mentioning their Gopher and FTP servers? Of course all you have to do
|> >is list a URL for a gopher resource and it is a WWW issue? So why
|> >state that non-WWW is excluded?
...
|> standpoint.  We can, of course have a bionet.software.gopher group or
|> a combined group, etc. but Reinhard has reasons for this WWW proposal
|> that he should elaborate on himself.

OK folks, from the current discussion point of view I agree that there is 
the need  to  debate  on infosystems in general. Now the question is, how 
general do we want to  be? And,  in  particular,  what  is the purpose of 
creating a newsgroup which  deals on these  systems.  Sure  there are ad-
ministrative issues to be dealt with, and technical issues as  well. Why, 
and this is for the BIOLOGIST, do we deal with  infosystems? I was enthu-
siastic on GOPHER in  1992, just after  Don Gilbert set up his service on 
GENBANK and related  databases, and we're still actively serving the EMBL 
database  with more than  300 accesses per day on  our GOPHER. Now as WWW 
becomes  'fashionable' we should offer  this as well, and if gobbledygook 
is the new toy on the net then gobbledygook will become a must. 

My point is, that all  these services  have been made  by non-biologists, 
and are  used by  biologists to fit  into their needs. There's  not  much 
a  difference between  announcing a WWW homepage  and a WAIS source other 
than Mosaic might  be more versatile as it includes more than WWW.(There-
fore  we  propose WWW). However,  what  we  really NEED is a 'quality' of 
service.  Once  a 'link' goes down, who tells the end user, and who  sig-
nals the 'go ahead' if the  link is up again?   Who  reads, as biologist, 
comp.infosystems.www or  Keith's  homepage every week to learn that a new 
service popped up? 

Next, as we're all tired to read such long postings  as this one, we need 
a method where  people can  say  'I have a point to make, read it on ...'
rather than they bless the net with all their blabla. 

Further, moderating delays information, and smells unhealthy. Added value, 
however, can only be achieved if a certain degree of disciplineis enforced 
(news.answers,  for  example, is  moderated despite the fact that all FAQs 
can be posted there). 

Last, let me present the model I want to see in such a information system. 
The  vision  is  to  have email/news only as pointer carrier, and have the 
real  documents  at  people's  home page. Only this way we will be able to 
achieve top-quality information for the Biologist. 


           Submission to the information system  by end users
          -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- 
                        |          |        |
                        V          V        V

                    www/forms     mail     news
                    ^   |          |        |
            presents:   +--------->|        |
                    :              V        V
           +------------+     +---------------------------+
           | WWW server |<----| moderator/ B I O S C I    |-+
           +------------+     +---------------------------+ |
           | points to   _         |        |    | archives |
           V            |\         |        |    |          |
+----------+              |        V        V    +----------+
| WWW site |-+            |        mail     news      ^
+----------+ |-+          |        ^        ^         |
  +----------+ |          |        |        |         |
    +----------+  <------\|        |        |         |
                          |        |        |         |
                          |        |        |         |
          
               -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
                     Access to information for end users 



Thanks for reading that far. What about a 
bionet.software.infosystems.forum        (moderated, new technology) and a 
bionet.software.infosystems.admin                       ('conventional') ? 

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