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[Info-gcg] GCG non-support

Staffa, Nick (NIH/NIEHS) via info-gcg%40net.bio.net (by staffa from niehs.nih.gov)
Wed Aug 1 13:08:26 EST 2007


I am the employee of a sub-contractor serving in IT support at the
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle
Park, NC. I have supported GCG and sequence analysis at this Institute since
before GCG even had fragment assembly. Although job related,
the opinions expressed here are solely MY OWN OPINIONS.
These opinions do not represent the opinions or policy of my employer(PSGS)
nor anyone employed by my employer(PSGS), nor its primary contractor, nor do
they represent the opinions of the US government, the NIH, NIEHS or any of
their employees or agents.

Accelrys's plan to "retire GCG products" comes as rather a shock.
They were right in the middle of bringing it into the genomic age.
It is especially alarming since many IT types seem to want to get rid of
un-supported software.
NIH in Bethesda MD has removed GCG and urges people to use EMBOSS.

I don't think EMBOSS - an eclectic collection of miscellaneous programs -
approaches the usefulness of the SeqLab environment. One very useful and
important feature of SeqLab is its ability to easily make lists and ad-hoc
databases (with LookUp and other programs) and to do fasta or other searches
in them. 

GCG started out at the University of Wisconsin as a collection of existing
programs that were given a unified (for want of a better word) user
interface by the then UWGCG.   There was a hint that the founders were
thinking of a consortium of some sort - a cooperation among users,
scientists and developers. The sources were available up through version 8.

The attitude of the founders as true supporters of science was quite
refreshing and much to be praised. Over the years they kept the product much
affordable, yet managed to provide service and survive, even after they were
forced to leave the University and become a self-supporting company.  Their
one competition in the beginning was a product called Intelligenetics that
cost twenty times as much. Apparently Intelligenetics was out to make money,
but were eventually forced out of the game.

It would be a crying shame if this product were to die just because its new
owners won't feed it. Accelrys must be made to give it all away to company
or group who is interested in its further support and development. They
cannot be allowed to be so selfish and childish to withhold this from the
world.

The opinions expresses above are my own personal opinions and do not
represent the opinions or policy of my employer(PSGS) nor anyone employed by
my employer(PSGS), nor its primary contractor, nor do they represent the
opinions of the US government, the NIH, NIEHS or any of their employees or
agents

 
Nick Staffa 
Telephone: 919-316-4569  (NIEHS: 6-4569)
Scientific Computing Support Group
NIEHS Information Technology Support Services Contract
(Science Task Monitor: John D. Grovenstein (grovens1 from niehs.nih.gov)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
National Institutes of Health
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

 

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