Next Grant

José R. Valverde jrvalverde at
Tue May 20 12:53:04 UTC 2003

We were discussing about how to facilitate/encourage people participation
in EMBOSS development and why there are so few code submissions.

On Tue, 20 May 2003 10:21:58 +0100
Peter Rice <pmr at> wrote:
> So you always tell them how to contribute, right?
Half as well as I'd like. And that is less than half they deserve. 
All I can tell them is to contact Alan.

Look, I'm on your side, I know, you know, _we all_ know.

What you fail to understand is that you are at _Hinxton_. Developers
outside tend to look with awe to Hinxton, where the elite dwells and
performs amazin magic. Honest.

It is very common for people outside to be shy about their work.
And everybody is told not to use a list to post a single question that
is probably a FAQ. So they don't go to emboss-dev.

Picture it another way: which looks less intimidating, an FTP server
with an "incoming" directory or one with no evident way to upload
software to? A shared disk or another guy's PC?

Or put another way: why does Jemboss ship with EMBOSS while wEMBOSS,
W2H, EMBOSS-GUI didn't? What is outsiders' perception?

Don't tell *me*. I'm on your side. I know. You know. But _they_ don't 

When the TMPC addressed the core team, what we asked was for a
visible documentation of the submission process: how does one go
around it? Whom do they send their code? What is needed for code
to be accepted? If accepted, how do they gain access to the CVS
tree to maintain it?

It's no help that when we see a few guys once a year we encourage them
to go to the web site if they don't _feel_ a warm welcome there.

So, please, don't repeat what we all know. Just tell everybody what
the exact procedure is and provide an example in the website that
makes it look like "Whoa man, that was easy!! wasn't it?".

Something along the lines of "choosing a project/getting access
to a part of the CVS tree/using CVS to maintain your code/notifying
the 'core' team when it is done/getting universal recognition and a 
free beer next time we see you..." You get the idea.

And let's move this to emboss-dev from now on.


P.S.: since you ask, I've been trying to make an Embassy for MD package
TINKER for over two years now. I work on my scarce spare time and must
reverse engineer obscure physicists-written FORTRAN code, and it takes
me time to write front-ends for over 50 programs changing over various
releases. If I ever happen to catch-up, we'll have free MD/MM code in
EMBOSS. But it's all on my own spare time, which is a real rarity, I'm
not expected to do development at work, I'm supposed to be a service

P.P.S.: on the same line, BEN developed interfaces for blast/fasta. Why,
they were shy to offer working, but localised code. I've been working on
making it generic (again on my spare time) and feel confident they should
work, sort of, but am looking for another piece of my spare time to test
my changes (amazing, isn't it?) before submitting it. You must be aware
that I need to find some time at work after I finish work and when I have
nothing else pending to simply run the test. And I'm heavily overloaded.

P.P.P.S.: AR and us are putting up a proposal to the TMPC to add LIMS
facilities to EMBOSS. *WE* care. *WE* are on your side.

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