[Bioperl-l] working on new Bioperl website

Jason Stajich jason.stajich at duke.edu
Wed Nov 9 14:37:54 EST 2005

I just wanted to make you aware that we are working on a new Bioperl  
website and to solicit interested experts to help in the content

We are undertaking this to use some more modern technologies than  
just vi for building HTML for a website.  We are moving towards using  
a mixture or static pages, Wiki, and blogging software.

I am planning to announce the site in early December after a lot of  
the content on the static pages is updated and moved to the new  
wiki.  Ideally, I'd like to see a regular postings on the blog site  
summarizing the mailing list traffic, and perhaps additional  
summaries of major commits to the repository.  This would require  
someone to volunteer for a shift at the blogging helm - I would like  
to gauge the interest of whether or not a) summaries are useful b)  
you (or someone you know) would be willing to help in the summaries.   
Aaron Mackey did a few of these ages ago for the O'Reilly site, but I  
know it took some time.  http://www.oreillynet.com/weblogs/author/1067

The static content on the current Bioperl page will be migrated (and  
updated) to a Wiki site that can be more easily updated and commented  
upon.  We're using the MediaWiki software that runs wikipedia.org.

We will continue to use bugzilla to track bugs, but maybe a tighter  
integration of the bugs with the wiki so we can help keep a history  
of how things are fixed and what is needed to be worked on.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with the content or  
design of the new site, please get in touch and I can point you to  
the prototype's URL.  Things are still preliminary and I'd like to  
start with a well organized site at the beginning before asking for  
everyone to contribute to it.  We'll announce the new site when  
enough content has migrated that it can be useful and we can  
transition all the static files from the old server to the new one.

The wiki doesn't quite solve the problem of a threaded discussion  
about a problem and there has also been at least one request for a  
bulletin-board/forum software like phpBB .  The idea of maintaining  
and answering questions on a web forum AND a mailing list is not  
appealing to me but perhaps it can be a useful way to organize the  
FAQ capture other things that are hard to sort through on the mailing  
list.  I think there ought to be some feedback from the community on  
what you would like, but I also expect the decision will come down to  
(like most of the open-source solutions) who is willing to do the  
work.  In the end I do not expect the mailing list to go away, but  
perhaps a subset of conversations may be held on the forum site.

Starting a BB/forum site is just an idea, if you have opinions,  
please share them so we might make the most informed decision about  
how to proceed with better documentation and efficient coordination  
of software developers.

(Chris Dagdigian has been of course instrumental in getting the  
initial software installed - proper kudos will go out when things are  
officially announced).

Jason Stajich
Duke University

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