[Pipet Devel] Re: Piper

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Fri Jul 13 11:53:30 EDT 2001

Hi Jonathan!  Thanks for writing back.

Jonathan Corbet wrote:
> What is the development status of Piper?  A quick glance through the
> mailing list archives gives the impression that not much is happening, but
> maybe it's all behind the scenes?

Some of it is behind the scenes.  We have four mailing lists now, so
discussions get spread out a bit.

But a few of the core developers are actually meeting in Denmark in two weeks
for some hacking and discussions.  And we recently started the "PiperNet
Standards Organization":


"The PiperNet" is the name for the/any network created by Piper peers and
compatible systems.  The Standard's Org is a voting body which will publish
API's and other standards.  We even have a corporate member in the
Organization: LogiLab, which develops the Narval intelligent agent system:


Their interests are in adding agents to the PiperNet, among some other
interesting ideas.

Piper probably has more code than any of the other projects mentioned on LWN,
since this is a merger between three projects that date back several years. 
Altogether we have nearly 100,000 LOC's.  Piper is certainly not vaporware. 
But we are not quite past 0.0.1, as a whole system, because a lot of our work
has been in making the changes needed to get the three independent parts
working together.

I think that the biggest distinction is that Piper is not trying to copy .NET
(neither cloning nor taking inspiration from).  (We actually hadn't heard of
.NET until a while after starting the project.)  We are using the UNIX
paradigm of "doing complex things by piping small tools".  And we're really
the first anywhere to try to represent this in a desktop-like GUI:


We (this is my personal project) will even be developing our own desktop
(called "The Pied Piper"), but since we are publishing standards, other *NIX
desktops can be made PiperNet-compatible.

Don't hesitate to ask, if you have any more questions.

J.W. Bizzaro                                jeff at bioinformatics.org
Director, Bioinformatics.org        http://bioinformatics.org/~jeff
"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we
should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention
of ours; and this we should do freely and generously."
                   -- Benjamin Franklin

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