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Re: Towards a cyberinfrastructure for the biological sciences: progress, visions and challenges

From: Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 12:31:23 +1000 (EST)
To: Marco Roos <M.Roos1@uva.nl>
Cc: public-semweb-lifesci <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, mygrid@listserv.manchester.ac.uk, myexperiment-discuss@nongnu.org, Matthias Samwald <samwald@gmx.at>
Message-ID: <7651242.1021219285880207.JavaMail.peter@Macintosh-2.local>


----- "Marco Roos" <M.Roos1@uva.nl> wrote:

> From: "Marco Roos" <M.Roos1@uva.nl>
> To: "Matthias Samwald" <samwald@gmx.at>
> Cc: "public-semweb-lifesci" <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, mygrid@listserv.manchester.ac.uk,
> myexperiment-discuss@nongnu.org
> Sent: Wednesday, 20 August, 2008 8:11:36 PM GMT +10:00 Brisbane
> Subject: Re: Towards a cyberinfrastructure for the biological sciences: progress,   visions and challenges
>
> Hi Matthias,
> 
> Interesting remarks. You'll be interested to know that 'webifying'
> workflows (in various ways) is one of the prime interests of people at
> myGrid and myExperiment. My personal opinion, a bit from a biologist's
> perspective, is that we should be careful not to loose some aspects of
> workflows in our enthusiasm about Web 2.0 and wiki approaches. One of
> my main reasons for liking workflows is that they represent a
> publishable and reproducible 'protocol' similar to a wet laboratory
> protocol. This should not be volatile in any way, which Web2.0 or wiki
> approaches easily can be.

Wiki's explicitly allow for a permanent link to a particular version of something. Hopefully an implementation of a wiki-like workflow editor online, will have similar characteristics so that you can still use a particular version to reproduce a past result if you need to, provided the web services still exist and haven't changed their interface ;-) It would also be nice to be able to get corrected versions via the wiki mechanism though and that would suit the Web 2.0 way, as opposed to publications to which corrections are hard to make.

A commenting feature, similar to the way Nature implemented possibly in reference to the paper that started this thread, would also be useful to give explanations of the way a workflow works for instance or a textual description of which circumstances it doesn't work in. 

Cheers,

Peter
Received on Thursday, 21 August 2008 02:32:07 GMT

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