[Tdwg-phylo] Publishing a trees in RDF

Hilmar Lapp hlapp at nescent.org
Fri Oct 22 18:56:21 CEST 2010

On Oct 22, 2010, at 12:39 PM, Richard Ree wrote:

> Both technology and users' needs evolve rapidly - so the "gaps" will
> never be closed, at least in the time frame required by grants, etc.
> Also, in phylogenetics a lot of developers are themselves users, so
> quick and dirty solutions to scratch individual itches is inevitable.
> It's a good thing, IMO.

I agree entirely with the "solutions to scratch individual itches is  
inevitable and a Good Thing(tm)".

What I don't agree with is if this is portrayed as being mutually  
exclusive with reusable and more sustainable software. Projects like  
Bioconductor, the Bio* libraries, and other similar ones demonstrate  
that it clearly does not need to be mutually exclusive if we don't  
want it to be. Every piece of code in BioPerl is there because it  
first scratched someone's itch. The rate of innovation in Bioconductor  
is pretty rapid.

The barrier, if there is perceived to be one, is social, not technical  
or scientific. If we as a community of practice don't care about  
sustainable software, it won't happen, and we'll continue to lose  
software. If we want to think that the software we produce is an  
integral part of our science, we lose part of our science every time a  
piece of software is no longer maintained. And if we want to think  
that writing a new piece of software is part of our scientific  
progress, then every time someone writes code for something that code  
has already been written for, our rate of scientific progress is  
slowed down unnecessarily.

Again, just my own $0.02.

: Hilmar Lapp  -:- Durham, NC -:- informatics.nescent.org :

More information about the tdwg-phylo mailing list