Draft of text for Sources instructions.

Rob Harper harper at nic.funet.fi
Wed Jan 1 13:45:25 EST 1992

In <9112301919.AA07792 at genbank.bio.net> MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET (Foteos Macrides) writes:

*>        Let's really clarify this within the context of Rob's draft.  It
*>presently gives instructions on how to deposit software via FTP to
*>nic.funet.fi (plus an email message about it to molbio at nic.funet.fi), or via
*>email to software-sources at genbank.bio.net if the submitter doesn't have FTP.
*>Will Rob then get the stuff to the other archives, or should we do that
*>ourselves?  If the latter, how would submitters who don't have FTP get the
*>stuff to ftp.bio.indiana.edu?

History lesson:

Genebank and Bionet originally had all the molbio software. When Bionet
went down I ftp'd all of their software and sent it to EMBL to Peter Stoehr.
Shortly afterwards Don put his server up to distribute files via ftp, and
Rainer took over NETSERV at EMBL. Dan came on the scene with MENUDO which
was basically a E-mail server, and I mirrored his site at NIC.

So the current situation is that there is two major sites in the USA and Europe
which offer distribution of files either by E-mail (EMBL & MENUDO) or 
by anonymous ftp (INDIANA & NIC)

EMBL did the pioneering work in getting a UUE/UUD set to work over the net
and that is the set of encoders that biologists have adopted.

At the momment I run a private list for the people who maintain the
different molbio servers ( Dan, Don, Rainer, Dave and myself ) we use that
to send files to each other. This list is only used by the BioServ managers
and nobody else belongs to it. 

If a person posts to bionet.software.sources the files will be sent 
to "moderators" namely Dan, Don, Rainer and myself. They can then make the 
files available on their own servers, and I have the task of "approving" 
the files for general distribution over Usenet.

Biologists have made their own "standards" and they are *NOT* in accord
with what is usually used on the net... but once we have taught people
to do things a certain way then it is a tremendously difficult task to
persuded them to do it some other way. ( A change from the NETSERV UUE/UUD
to the Richard Marks UUE/UUD would screw things up for many because of the
file nameing conventions employed... a change to UXX encoding would be
even more confusing, not to mention the fact that by mearly whispering 
SHAR/UNSHAR causes many noses to sniff the air and exclaim what is this??)

If we wait for a "sources" only newsgroup to take off... it may take for ever.
There is not the volume. If we put up uuencoded binaries, a steady input
could be expected.

Let me know what you want, and how you want it.

   Rob Harper                     /   E-mail:          harper at convex.csc.fi    
   Finnish State Computer Centre  /   Molbio/software: harper at nic.funet.fi
   P.O. Box 40, SF-02101 Espoo    /   Telephone:       +358 0 457 2076
   Finland                        /   Fax:             +358 0 457 2302

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