[Pipet Users] the future of piper (was: semantics, security, ...)

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Mon Jun 3 11:57:07 EDT 2002


The future of Piper is uncertain, as we have had *a lot* of trouble
attracting contributors.

As for myself, I have been spending time with more fruitful projects, such as
my organization (Bioinformatics.Org) and my education (I have about a year
left for a Ph.D. in biochemistry).  I've also noticed *many* projects that
are something like Piper, including 2 that we have hosted at

  Systems Biology Workbench (SBW):


ISYS and OpenBSA (hosted elsewhere) are similar too and related to

The funny thing is, Bioinformatics.Org had a conference in Arizona, and almost
every talk had something to do with "integrating disparate computing
resources."  I guess this is no longer such a novel idea, probably more
*timely* than anything.

Personally, I am seriously considering taking what I have written for the UIL
(the GUI of Piper) and integrating it with FreeMol, possibly, and having it
limited to a single website (integrating tools at one location and providing a
Web interface for doing that--I'd have to switch the GNOME canvas for
who-knows, maybe imagemaps), e.g., at Bioinformatics.Org.

But, for a distributed system using a traditional GUI, I'll throw my support
(whatever it's worth) behind SBW.  My interests in developing an *Internet
distributed* system have waned, as I think leading such a project requires a
background in CS.

Look to hear more about the direction of Piper later.


Luca.Toldo at merck.de wrote:
> dear pipers,
> compliments for your activities. I certainly think that the way you are
> approaching the complex task of scalable biocomputing
> is novel, however I do not understand few things:
> - network-wide communication: CORBA ?
> I have the impression that CORBA has been chosen as architecture to connect
> components across different machines.
> Unfortunately, this is not much "firewall friendly", right ? Any comments
> about the use of Piper across secure environments ?
> - semantics ?
> I miss the point about how to define the semantics of the various
> processing elements across and within networks.
> Any plan to use DAML-S ?
> I am preparing a talk that I will give at NETTAB02, and have to rush
> finishing up the paper by friday. If you could drop me a line
> or two about the above topics, I will be happy to mention PIPER at that
> conference.
> Compliments anyhow
> and regards
> luca
> p.s. the comments here shall be interpreted in constructive way, please. No
> flame, only wish to understand.
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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."
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