Is 9.0 a net minus vs. 8.1?

mathog at seqaxp.bio.caltech.edu mathog at seqaxp.bio.caltech.edu
Tue Jan 21 15:34:07 EST 1997

Hi all,

I've got 9.0 sitting on my desk and am now about 99% certain that I'm never
going to install it, but rather stay at 8.1.  We'll probably drop GCG
support too - my reading of the contract is that we can continue to run the
currently loaded version without support on the same machine.

Anybody else thinking along the same lines? 

Reasons to install 9.0
  1.  Better editor in Seqlab
  2.  Some bug fixes
  3.  A couple of minor programs.

Reasons not to install 9.0
  1.  NO SOURCE CODE.  Ok, supposedly it can be had, but they are quoting
      much money (and vaguely talking about discounts).  Reminds me of 
      dealing with the old Biosym, blech.  By taking out the
      source code in 9.0 GCG removed the one thing that truly distinguished 
      their package from the likes of DNAstar - it was something that you 
      could build on. Now it isn't.
  2.  9.0 will break all locally modified software.  No way to be absolutely
      certain, but history speaks loudly, and the last major upgrade messed
      up every single program we had.  Not that it was a lot of work to 
      bring them into 8.0 compliance, but with no source code, there will 
      be no way to repair them this time.
  3.  Have to depend on GCG for all software maintenance and modification.
      No more "think of a new command line switch, implement it, test it",
      done in 10 minutes.  Apparently program modification will be included
      in "maintenance", but how long until that too becomes an extra service?
  4.  Even if we DID get the source code, we could no longer share programs
      with others easily.  How much use to you SGI users is an OpenVMS 
      binary going to be (and vice versa)?

For us 8.1 -> 9.0 is clearly a net minus. A BIG net minus.

Anybody else care to comment?


David Mathog
mathog at seqaxp.bio.caltech.edu
Manager, sequence analysis facility, biology division, Caltech 

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