[Pipet Devel] genentech

J.W. Bizzaro bizzaro at bc.edu
Fri Apr 2 06:17:53 EST 1999

Justin Bradford wrote:
> I pretty sure I'm going to be accepted for an internship at Genentech this
> summer, working in the biocomputing division.

Congratulations!  I know you'll be a great asset to them, as you are to us.

> In the interview, the
> director of this division was asking a lot of questions about Loci, and
> seems very interested.

That's good, I think.

> Basically, they develop bioinformatic tools and client/middleware
> interface software so the researchers can easily access these
> bioinformatic tools and databases from easy-to-use interfaces over the
> network.
> Sound familiar?

A little ;-)

> So far they've basically been doing Perl/CGI access just using netscape.
> They are wanting to start making use of Java applets to make better
> interfaces, too.
> I was having some trouble explaining the Loci design to him, but we're
> basically doing the same thing. Well, except that the Loci design is
> substantially more powerful, flexible, easier to use, and provides better
> client views. After we're done writing it, of course ;)

We're trying.  I'm beginning to think that our time spent thinking and
rethinking the design of Loci has been very beneficial, even though nothing has
been written.  Had we just jumped in and started coding, there were be less of a
difference between Loci and other concoctions.

But of course, vaporware is vaporware ;-)

> I have a friend who used to work out there, and he tells me they have some
> absolutely brilliant people in the biocomputing/bioinformatics division
> (although they're probably doing development on the bioinformatic
> tools rather than the interface/network stuff). Given the overlap and
> general interest they showed towards the Loci concept, it might not be too
> big of a stretch to get genentech interested in the project. Or, at least,
> maybe I can attract a few developers there.

I have no problems with the prospect that a business might get involved.  Harry
Mangalam also mentioned that NCGR might be interested in extending Loci (see Feb
27 e-mail from Harry).  We are licensing Loci as LGPL rather than GPL so that it
can be extended with proprietary programs.  (This does bring up the issue of
using _some_ GPL code in Loci...as with Dia...I'm concerned that we can't have
any GPL code, that it has to be all LGPL.)

Red Hat, for example, was responsible for most of the GNOME development, and it
didn't matter that it was a business.  It is up to a company to use the GNU
license, and by doing so they are disclaiming their "rights" to make the
software closed and proprietary at some point in the future (the GPL and LGPL
are indelible).

> They have a cross-platform concern, too, with Windows and MacOS, and
> probably some unix, desktops. Has anyone heard about a GTK port to MacOS?

I agree with Rahul that a MacOS 10 port would be simpler than the Windows port,
which already exists.  Of course because OS 10 is UNIX-based (it uses the Mach

> P.S. I'll actually get around to setting up CVS, SSH, etc. on the new
> server this weekend. I promise. Any thing else we need on it?

I have the RPM's for SSH2 already there.  This is the directory where I like to
archive RPM's:


You'll find them there.  As for myself, I will be installing BigBrother (Web
stats) and Mailman (list server).

> P.S.S. Thanks J.W. for starting this project. It played a big part in this
> getting (probably) this internship.

You're very welcome!  This news has made my day, really.  Let me know how it
turns out.

J.W. Bizzaro                  mailto:bizzaro at bc.edu
Boston College Chemistry      http://www.uml.edu/Dept/Chem/Bizzaro/

I have always appreciated your ability to ________, whenever
there has been a blank to fill.

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