[Pipet Devel] ideas for a smaller piper core

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Mon May 28 15:25:42 EDT 2001

Jarl van Katwijk wrote:
> About the modulairity: to me Piper is just a set of specifications
> implemented by packages of software labeled 'Piper compliant' by us.

I agree that "Piper" can be constructed using components that comply with a
standard.  I also understand that our packaging of UIL+DL+BL+PL together forms
a standard (or reference), something like the X Windowing System reference
distributed by the Open Group and how the Linux Standards Base might use
Debian as a reference.  But, separate packaging of the UIL+DL+BL+PL will not
prevent us from calling them a standard/reference, providing we specify which
components should be used for a standard/reference.

I think that we should also have a documented standard.

> Could change, like it can for every
> layer, when there are more implementations and we chose the 'best'
> whatever that might be.

What is my motivation for wanting separate packages?  What would the standard
gain by it?  As you said, separate packaging will facilitate a quick change in
the standard, if needed.

What would users gain by it?  As I mentioned before, it would allow high-end
users (those wanting to incorporate Piper into their systems, like Narval or
BlueBox) to quickly swap components.  Additionally, low-end users won't have
to upgrade the whole Piper system when there is a change in only one

What would the developers and code base gain by it?  It would help ensure that
changes in one layer will not have deleterious effects on the other layers. 
This is good practice for any modular system, as it contributes to the
robustness of any one component in the face of the failure of others.  If I
screw something up in the Desktop (Pied), for example, and commit it to CVS
(as I've been known to do), it won't keep everyone else from using Piper,
since you will have an older version of the Desktop available, separately.

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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