[BiO BB] [Portal Web Design for Bioinformatics] How to start and cross platform issues

randalls at bioinfo.wsu.edu randalls at bioinfo.wsu.edu
Fri Sep 25 14:11:02 EDT 2009

Yes, you can build web pages in .net that are accessible or browseable using the plethora of browsers available for Linux, like Firefox.  Just make sure you stay away from things like activex controls, which are a Microsoft Proprietary plugin for Internet Explorer based on COM (pure evil).  

However, you can develop anything you wish in .net, which is a good platform for development, but most of the BioInformatics software that we work with is either written in Java (BioJava) or Perl (BioPerl).  I have not seen at this point any strong development camps for Bioinformatics focused around the .net frame work (yet..but this will/or is changing). 

The site: http://www.eh3.uc.edu:8080/GenomicsPortals/ uses java (not to be confused with javascript) and a servlet engine (most likely tomcat) to render the dynamic content you see.  They may have used frontpage to design the layout, and then embedded <%jsp %> tags into the page to hook into the dynamic pieces.  

To start development of such a site I would begin with a fundamental understanding of HTML. Even though there are lot of HTML generators, like FrontPage or Dreamweaver, you have to possess a fundemental understanding of things like creating web forms using tags like <form></form> or the differences between a get and post request and when to use them.  Once you understand basic things like HTML, then move forward with dynamically generating content using .net or whatever you choose to use.  It is really an evolution every web application developer must go through.  

It can take years to master these skills, so be patient.  As far as online resources, there are plenty on the internet and google will be your most valuable resource.

Good luck.

Randall Svancara
Systems Administrator/DBA/Developer
Main Bioinformatics Laboratory

----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert lzw" <bioinfo.robert at gmail.com>
To: bbb at bioinformatics.org
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2009 9:08:54 AM
Subject: [BiO BB] [Portal Web Design for Bioinformatics] How to start and	cross platform issues

Hi there,

I am a newbie to web design for bioinformatics and going to design a portal
web page similar to the following link:

It looks that the above portal was designed on Unix/Linux using JavaScript
and Microsoft FrontPage 5.0 processing datasets in MySQL database. As I only
have MS Visual Studio 2008 Prof software, I plan to go with ASP.NET and
ADO.NET to do it for processing datasets in SQL databases.

Does anybody know if this will work? Can the portal web pages designed based
on Windows .NET framework be browsed without any problem on Linux/Unix.
i.e., other platforms than the Windows? Regardless, any suggestions on how
to start designing such a portal web page (books, online resources,
framework and tools) would be highly appreciated. I need a general, correct
direction to follow. Thank you very much in advance.

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