NCBI Blast email

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From: 	  mcginnisA@TncbiD.TnlmD.TnihD.Tgov
Subject:  BIoPerl and user complaints. 
Date: 	  September 6, 2005 9:38:10 AM EDT
To: 	  bmooreA@TgeneticsD.TutahD.Tedu, jasonA@TbioperlD.Torg

Dear Jason and Barry: 

We recently received an e-mail from a user complaining that a small change
to the format of the BLAST output resulted in a problem with the BPLite
parser. 

BPLite appears to be parsing the plain text output of the BLAST results and
simple change such as removing a colon form the output causes it to not work
properly. 

NCBI does not advocate the use of the plain text or HTML of BLAST output as
a means of accurately parsing the data. We reserve the right to alter the
appearance of "human readable" formats precisely to make them more usable to
human readers of the results. It's not convenient for us to tie the human
readable results down to a software compatible format. 

To this effect we make the ASN.1 and XML outputs available for parsing the
BLAST output. We support these formats and we will not alter or change them 
without ample forewarning and support. 

You may wish to repair your BPLite program, but can I also ask that you put
some sort of disclaimer in it that it relies on a format which is subject to
change with out advanced notice. 

Thanks,

Scott McGinnis.
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