[Pipet Users] Khoros and Cantata

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Sat Feb 10 19:50:35 EST 2001

Karl-Max Wagner wrote:
> I think the best thing with piper is the least obvious and most
> abstract: AFAIK piper is the first time pretty diverse projects
> found out that they had a lot of overlap and joined in solving
> the overlapping problems together. This is truly astounding,
> because, not using hindsight, it required thinking on a level of
> high abstraction from all those participating to find that out.

And Free/Open Source projects are often criticized for lacking innovation.

> This led to a state of hight modularization in the project which
> is already paying off: more projects now are joining in ( lately
> we got Narval on board, for an example ).

I hope so.  I think that once we get the pilot version out and posted on
Freshmeat, we'll be turning up the volume quite a bit (no pun about audio
processing intended).

> Here some crazy idea from the area of mathematics:

That reminds me of this Slashdot article I read the other day:


But perhaps it has nothing to do with visual programming.  It'd be nice to see
someone follow up on that thought: using visual programming for mathematical
formula representation.  Very interesting.

> BTW, could someone enlighten me on how all those projects found
> each other to constitute piper ? Just curious.....

It happened when Jean-Marc posted a Gnotice (Gnome News item) about Overflow. 
I read it, and replied (paraphrasing), "Hey, that's something like what we
want to do with Loci!"  Jarl then replied and said, "Hey, that's my goal for
GMS too!".  We then e-mailed each other and discovered that our applications
each lacked (to get to our ultimate goals) something that another was quite
adept at:

        Loci had a fancy visual scripting shell, which GMS and
       (to some extent) Overflow lacked

        GMS had sophisticated (program-to-program) communication
        mechanisms, which both Loci and Overflow lacked.

        Overflow had a system for fast and local data/workflow,
        which both Loci and GMS lacked.

I think that we all saw our systems someday, individually becoming "Piper",
but we all needed help getting there.  The most practical thing for us to do
was join forces and code.

And, besides our same goals and existing overlaps, we were all avid GNU
advocates.  Who could have asked for anything more? :-)

J.W. Bizzaro                                           jeff at bioinformatics.org
Director, Bioinformatics.org: The Open Lab     http://bioinformatics.org/~jeff
"All those scientists--they're all alike!  They say they're working for us,
but what they really want is to rule the world!" 
  -- Angry Villager, Young Frankenstein

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