Draft of text for Sources instructions.

Foteos Macrides MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET
Mon Jan 6 11:35:00 EST 1992

        Our INTERBIT gateway is down again, so I don't have responses (if any)
to my last posting, but I've had more thoughts on the subject.

        Bionet.software/BIO-SOFT is, in practice, a forum for interactions
between Working Biologists and Computer Pioneers about where to get molbio
software and databases, and how to use them to do this or that.  The exchanges
are brief, to_the_point messages, or announcements/lists of software/db
availability.  I don't think any of us want this forum to change.

        Bionet.software.sources is, in practice, a combination of a sources
and a binaries Usenet group, with the submissions made in the style of a
binaries group.  If Dan relatively quickly places all postings to .sources
on his Gene-Server, I don't personally care what encoding scheme is used, if
any, or that it have a corresponding mailing list.  If people on BITNET-only
nodes don't know how to get indexes from the Gene-Server and efficiently
compare them with the previously-fetched indexes to see what's new, that can
be explained to them in the monthly Sources posting or a monthly Software FAQ.

        What I was trying to get across in my last posting is that we lack
a forum in which Computer Pioneers, system managers, and molbio hackers can
exchange, discuss, criticize_with_the_objective_of_improving computer code
*per se*, under circumstances which would not bother the kind of biologist who
couldn't care less about the inner-workings of the software s/he is using
(i.e, just cares that it does work and that s/he is using it optimally).

        Perhaps what we should do at this point is create an *unmoderated*
bionet.software.sources.d/SRC-DISC (Usenet_group/email_list).  In addition do
discussing the software posted to .sources and on the molbio archives (from a
programming, debugging, improving perspective), this would be a forum for
posting shells, scripts, subroutines and program source codes that would be
useful to other molbio programmers, system managers, and hackers, but are not
polished programs or packages of the sort expected in .sources and on the
molbio archives.

        At the very least we need a .sources.d/SRC-DISC to get long
discussions threads like this out of .software/BIO-SOFT.


 Foteos Macrides           Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology
 MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET     222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

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