X-Windows, InterViews, and molecular biology software

Christopher Dow dow at presto.ig.com
Mon Feb 18 00:17:29 EST 1991

	(Whew! we've managed to keep the tone considerabley more
civilized than that of other bionet groups lately [I won't mention 

	Final statement on gcc:
	We (Engineering at IG) have found that it is somewhat 
difficult to get gcc-compiled code to work with non-gcc-compiled
libraries (a more technical explanation should be held elsewhere, 
but it has to do with differing ways to return structs on the stack).

	Well, it would be nice if departments would hire programmers
to support unix and the source code to products that are distributed
commercially or free of charge, but my own experience with organizations
at two different universities -University of Oklahoma and University 
of Wisconsin-and my second-hand knowledge of another department at the 
latter, lead me to believe that it is difficult, if not impossible, to
coordinate such efforts.  Let me qualify that by saying that this is 
obviously not a good statistical sampling, and I'm sure that many, many, 
examples to the contrary exist.   In general, I think that unix will  
only win the OS war (OS/2 1.0 2.0 3.0 , VMS, OSF/1, SysVR4, BSD 4.4, 
ad nauseum) if it becomes more palletable to the run-of-the-mill
computer user.  Certainly if any software pertaining to this group is 
to be commercialized, it will only be successful if it works in a 
world that the user can understand and deal with.  

	Actually, X clients have come to DOS, QuarterDeck has announced
DesqView/X, an X server and multitasking environment which can allow 
clients to run on the same DOS machine as the server.  I think this is
truly a breakthrough, although I would rather see DOS roll over and 
die quietly.

	As an aside, some info on my personal preferrences:

	Windowing System: 	X
	Toolkit:		Motif
	OS:			SunOS
	Computer:		Sparc of any flavor	
	C Compiler:		gcc
	Anything else:		(5th Amendment, Const. of U.S. ;-)
	Also, I think that InterViews is extremely useful, and I find
at least one of its demo programs to be invaluable.
	The opinions I have expressed in this thread are based on my 
experiences in a molecular biology lab (as the programmer), and making 
my living at writing/supporting software for such labs for more than 
four years.
Chris Dow                             IntelliGenetics
Software Engineer                     700 East El Camino Real
(ICBMnet address obsoleted by TLAM technology, address now suffices)
				      Mountain View, Ca. 94040
dow at presto.ig.com                     (415) 962-7320

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