Medline on CD-ROM?

Rob Harper harper at convex.csc.FI
Thu Jun 11 04:40:50 EST 1992

In <1992Jun10.201404.14290 at nic.funet.fi> harper at convex.csc.FI 
(Rob Harper) writes:

>	Anyone interested in the CDROM/networking debate should read
>	this article. (Might be one or two months old)

I got a few personal queries regarding this article. Here is the full
reference if you want to get the lowdown on the trends that are happening
in biocomputing.

HACKING THE GENOME by Deborah Erikson.
Scientific American: April 1992 p. 98-105



"Lipman hopes NCBI's current offerings will just be the beginning of
a far more extensive GENINFO database he would like to see distributed
on CD-ROM every two months. Researchers who have very limited computer
facilities or do not want the bother of being connected to wide area
networks could use the data."


"Branscomb and Selzak demonstrated how SQL enables online realtime data
retrieval through computer networks such as Internet... from a hotel 
auditorium in San Diego they used computer workstations to connect to 
three independant databases across the country and simultaneously fetch
information from each."


"We're deliberately making the data standardized to encourage commercial
involvement, Lipman asserts"


"But the idea of requiring a fixed description language for all important
data rankles some researchers and other data-base builders who argue that
it compromises needed flexibility in manipulating raw data in new ways, and
is impractical for most data being produced by the genome project."

I suppose that by picking out these quotes I have tended to show just how
polarized the debate is. If you read the article you come away with the
feeling that everyone thinks that their own particular solution is the best.
And there are obvious differences of opinion between the top players on the
pitch... that is life.

However it is the enduser and the money in his pocketbook that ultimately 
decides on which option to go for.

Me??? I want everything... and NOW.

   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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