Future Support of BIOSCI at net.bio.net

David Kristofferson kristoff at net.bio.net
Fri Sep 2 20:20:29 EST 1994

In article <34882t$8ph at news.ycc.yale.edu>,
Una Smith <una at doliolum.biology.yale.edu> wrote:
>David Kristofferson <biohelp at net.bio.net> wrote:
>> This discussion topic is actually something we debated doing a
>> long time ago and decided against at the time; I have reopened
>> the discussion with Dave Mack ...
>That's great!  I'm glad that my persistence in exploring this
>topic may lead to some real improvements for bionet.* readers.

I'm sure that the rest of the readership will similarly congratulate
you 8-).  There are a number of security and other concerns which made
us decide against doing this in the past and are still concerns now,
so please don't applaud just yet 8-).

>> We will also, with NSF's permission, be looking into non-grant
>> sources of maintaining BIOSCI as a non-profit operation in the
>> future ...
>I would like to know (and so would many other readers, I suspect)
>what BIOSCI plans to do with the mailing lists, in the unfortunate
>event that no financial support is available.

There is quite a long time before the current support runs out, so no
one need panic.  In the absolute worst case scenario, at least from
Dave Mack's and my personal perspectives 8-), we will go away and all
e-mail support will be offered only through Alan Bleasby's group at
our Daresbury node.  This redundancy has been part of the BIOSCI plan
since the beginning (we have never relied on a single site), and both
BIOSCI nodes are aware of this contingency.  This would, of course,
raise the workload at the remaining site dramatically, so the
possibility also exists of finding another site here in the U.S. to
replace us if needed, but we definitely will *not* be splitting the
lists up and farming the work out to 500 volunteers at various points
around the world.  That is a guaranteed step back into network chaos.
If this scenario does come to pass, i.e., we have no resources left at
all to maintain net.bio.net, I would arrange a smooth transition to
another single site.

However, long before we get to that point, there are several other
options that we are pursuing which I expect to come to fruition to
support the effort here at a minimal level.  I am not ready to
announce them yet.  None of them will involve charging end users, so
no one need worry on that account.

We obviously will no longer be doing the educational seminars and
travel, etc., that we are doing now, so our resource requirements will
be more modest, consisting most importantly of paying for our network
access and hardware/maintenance.  I will probably be doing much less
behind the scenes technical support answering people's private e-mail
queries than I am now, but our hope is that people will continue to
gain in network literary and network access software will continue to
improve, so that less of this will be needed.  After all, people can
use the network for this purpose, but many still seem to like to have
an individual to contact, possibly because of not wanting to display
their ignorance publicly 8-).


				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at net.bio.net

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