How useful is GCG nowadays (vs Macs)

Reinhard Doelz doelz at comp.bioz.unibas.ch
Sun Mar 19 05:14:20 EST 1995

Foteos Macrides (macrides at sci.wfeb.edu) wrote:

: 	I think this is simply a matter of at present inadequate familiarity
: with WWW software and principles, coupled to a real threat of harmful
: copyright infringement:  If an http server executes a GCG program via a
: CGI script, it is not enough for the server to be on a system with a GCG
: license.  The server should apply at least Level 1 (host check) protection
: to ensure that the client also is encompassed by the site's license.
: Otherwise, a few http servers could have licenses, and service the whole
: world, driving GCG out of business.

This is nicely summarizing this thread that WWW, despite being a great  tool,
does not solve all problems and does not provide all desired capabilities; 
which shows that you need our HASSLE software to run GCG remotely, not http
as advertized :-) 

this sounds less dangerous than it reads, because, as mentioned some time 
earlier in this thread, those few servers really had a hard time. As far
as services like FASTA or similar go, (1) there is a natural tendency to 
clog up a server once it becomes popular, making its use less attractive, 
and (2) the software to run at the server would not necessarily need to 
be GCG -type, but maybe the 'straight' version which runs possibly faster
as well as a public domain product. EBI/EMBLs server runs FASTA since ages 
without representing a huge thread for GCG, for example. 

After all, why should you expect that service providers want to bless the 
world for free? Soon or later all our funding agencies might want to see 
return value or proofs that the facilities provided are serving the purpose.
At the current budget situation, I don't see any public funding agency willing 
to provide world-wide service unless a advertising, user feedback, quality 
improvement or other benefit arises. Just popularity  for the service provider 
is not a source for good revenue in public funding. If you feel different,
I'll mail you our bank account number immediately :-)  or take Dave's to 
support BIOSCI... 

I think all discussion can be summarized in 'yes, we want free access to the 
manual for all' but the implementation model is fairly undefined - do we 
want public advertisement on the net ? Manuals could easily be interpreted 
as such advertisement as you can't make real use of it unless you have (access
to) the software, too. Have a purchase order form codistributed? 
The licensing is worth considering, and you will need to individually 
negotiate with the provider. This has happened in the past, so isn't this a 
reasonable way to proceed in the future, too? 

If really someone insists on running GCG on a locally based system new tools
will arise in the future to provide this type of access. No need to worry 
that the icurrent WWW type of mechanism will be of continuity for very long-
many of us are in the process of developing new tools, access paths and 
more. Stay patient, and time will come.

Reinhard Doelz
(privately speaking)

 R.Doelz         Klingelbergstr.70| Tel. x41 61 267 2247  Fax x41 61 267 2078|
 Biocomputing        CH 4056 Basel| electronic Mail    doelz at ubaclu.unibas.ch|
 Biozentrum der Universitaet Basel|-------------- Switzerland ---------------|
<a href=http://beta.embnet.unibas.ch/>EMBnet Switzerland:info at ch.embnet.org</a> 

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