Bioperl: Re: Bioperl-guts: Changing of the Guard

Ewan Birney
Wed, 19 Jan 2000 22:01:42 +0000 (GMT)

On Wed, 19 Jan 2000, Steve Chervitz wrote:

> [ Apologies if you receive multiple copies of this message. 
>   The topic is important enough to warrant sending to all Bioperl
>   lists. ] 
> Bioperlers,
> This is to announce that I am officially stepping down as chief
> coordinator of the Bioperl project. I am passing the torch over to
> Ewan Birney of the Sanger Center (

Many thanks Steve. Just to mention to people, about 3 weeks ago I became
a federal european employee, and I am now leading a team at the European
Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) which, by chance, is next door to the
Sanger Centre. Yes... I will be changing my email pretty damn soon ;)

> Ewan has devoted a tremendous amount of energy to Bioperl over the
> past year and a half and has continued to commit his resources towards
> using, maintaining, enhancing the Bioperl code base.

In addition, I would like to point out that I hope that people in my group
at the EBI will be making a large contribution to bioperl (Elia Stupka
already has). When there are clear pieces of work that can be coordinated
through bioperl I will be encouraging everyone I meet to use it. Bioperl
was created by the community, it has served the community well coordinated
and I hope to continue the work in the coming year. I'd also like to
acknowledge the other key player to bioperl, Chris Dagdigidan, who set up
the bioperl machines and maintains them.

In addition, I believe that bioperl is only one of a number of groups
promoting free and open software to the biological community, and I hope
to help coordinate bioperl with these groups, some of which are co-hosted
at bioperl but are separate groupings of people. In particular I'd like to
point people towards sites:

biopython -
EMBOSS - Free C libaries for bioinformatics (
bioxml -

Also up for grabs is (currently hosted at
bioperl) waiting for a sensible and motivated open group to take it on. If
you feel you want to start a biojava project and repository, just drop
me/chris a note ...

> I would like to emphasize that Bioperl is not a one-person
> project. The job of the coordinator is to provide vision and to make
> sure that the Bioperl distribution hangs together as an integrated
> whole and generally, keeping everything is in good working order. The
> writing & testing of modules, the reporting & fixing of bugs, and the
> contribution of ideas & suggestions is a communal process.
> Organizational & adminstrative tasks also require team effort.

I agree completely with this sentiment, and want to stress that at bioperl
we really value anyone's input into the project, from small stand alone
scripts through to large modules. In addition, I know that there are a
number of very effective perl programmers who I feel we can work with
better in the future. Everyone is welcome - please follow Derek's example
in finding a problem, discussing it and then writing the solution.

A point to remember is that we believe that working code is the best
way settle arguments. 

> I plan to remain involved with Bioperl as much as possible in
> the future and I am pleased to be passing the torch to a capable
> person. Take it away Ewan....

I'd like to thank Steve for the years he has put into the project, in
particular the pain of bug hunting and making decent releases. I only
hope I can be as good a coordinator as steve...

> Steve Chervitz
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Ewan Birney. Work: +44 (0)1223 494992. Mobile: +44 (0)7970 151230

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