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Windows port of contig assembly program

Malay curiouser at ccmb.ap.nic.in
Fri Sep 1 07:42:39 EST 2000


*Actually the thinking was that we expected grants to dry up (and so we'd
all
*be out of a job) unless there's enough income to fund the development. So
the
*goal was simply to _secure_ the long term future of the package.  OK so
making
*it completely GPLed would possibly secure the package even more (assuming
*anyone else wished to maintain it), but it certainly wouldn't secure our
posts
*(only 1 person in the group has a permanent position). So there is indeed
an
*element of self interest here :)

*This isn't hypothetical either. Due to the funding shift from "sequencing"
to
*"analysis" (afterall we all 'know' that all the sequencing has been done
now
*and so it's not worth investing any money in it...) the group was infact
*unfunded for a few months as Rodger was finding it very hard to obtain a
new
*grant. (The typical response was "you're work is valuable, but we're now
*focusing on genome analysis".) The group would have dissolved and further
*development of the Staden Package would have ceased if it was not for
MRC-LMB
*(ie 'here') stepping in and kindly paying our salaries for a few months
until
*we obtained a new grant. I don't think MRC particularly like the thought of
*doing that sort of thing on a regular basis though - hence the
*commercialisation on Windows.

I am actually quite disheartened to see Staden package going in the line of
GCG. It has definitely the potential of becoming the defacto standard for
sequence analysis on a desktop, particularly when windows lacks a suite of
free, standard, dependable package. I guess some drastic measures like Amos
Bairoch did for Swiss-prot is required to keep it public domain. More
saddening part is that it has been there for quite a long time and funding
agencies should realize its importance. A government initiative should solve
the problem. But earlier initiative like *Prophet* lost the game on the way
and *Emboss* has a long way to go.

Sometimes I feel it is quite easy to get funding in countries like India,
where I must say government has been quite liberal in funding projects. My
only hope Rodger goes to *public*, literally for funding and initiate an
international effort to keep the project beyond the clutches of any control
and make it GPL. I guess a GPLed Staden will wash out any other commercial
sequence analysis program.

What we require is just a push and some strong intention.

Malay

Malay Kumar Basu
Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology
Hyderabad 500007
I N D I A

Fax: (00-91)40-7171195
Phone: (00-91)40-7172241
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Dime: a dollar with all the taxes taken out.
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curiouser at ccmb.ap.nic.in




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