Minutes:2009 BOSC Meeting
Note: this is preliminary and needs some editing.
OBF Business Meeting at BOSC 2009
- Location: Rica Talk Hotel, Restaurant 2nd floor
- current BoD members: Hilmar Lapp, Kam Dahlquist
Called meeting to order at 7.05pm.
- Explained business meeting purpose and distinction to conference call that will make decisions
- Introductions: Hilmar, Kam, everyone else around the table (see guests)
- OBF does a very good job in servicing its member project
- could look at open source projects more globally; specifically could come up with an open source policy statement that is global
- Kam: in agreement, we are overdue with coming up with a broader vision statement
- should maybe open this up and do it in an open and transparent manner
- Location of incorporation issue
- Has not been pursued further since the last conference call.
- Issue of being under US export restrictions, and the open question of whether we can legally accept membership applications from citizens of countries under US trade sanctions.
- Incorporating in Canada would be an option. Generally, need to look carefully at the local laws as to what they permit in terms of transferring funds.
- Open-source hosting portals: what are the benefits of the various sites?
- Github: very much focused on the code, working with other people.
- SourceForge: temporary inaccessibility problems and interface changes can be nasty, especially for web hosting. They also
- Shouldn’t OBF take a more outspoken role in software development best practices, patterns, and standards?
- OBF history has provided a forum for such practice recommendations to be promulgated and to foster the community to converge among common practices, but has otherwise remained neutral.
- Is that maybe a role the member projects could fill out? For example, EMBOSS or Biojava have done this in their communities.
- Some mistakes are often repeated. Maybe create a repository of organizational knowledge about practices that have proven efficient, and anti-patterns.
- What makes a project an Open Bio project? Could formalize some recommendations based on empirical experiences and lessons learned.
- We may be easily duplicating efforts – there are many other organizations and fields defining design patterns and recommended practices.
- There are still many new people coming into Bioinformatics that come from a different background. They shouldn’t have to learn by the hard way how not to do things.
- Once people are into it they really need to make the first step of looking beyond their own little sphere themselves.
- However, training and education needs to be built into the undergrad and graduate curricula.
- Can and should the OBF play a role in this, for example by compiling and providing resources, information, and tutorial material?
- ISCB actually has an education committee, and it takes simply showing up to participate. Members come from any different perspectives and backgrounds. A subgroup (which seems invitation-only) is working on
- Should OBF maybe initiate an open resource (as opposed to a purchased book) for education and training? Really needs a critical mass of people to push it forward.
- OBF could provide a coordination or point of contact or counselor role to help potential authors retain copyright when they publish a book.
- caBIG infratructure increasingly mature and required to be built upon or in a compliant way by NIH grant applicants.
- Everyone reinventing the wheel continues to be an issue. Need to reach local partnerships between faculty members to break down further the “do it on our own attitude).
- caBIG had to dole out money for “early adopters”.
- Biologists can be highly biased purely due to the application domain.
- People may have odd preconceptions to open-source projects solely because they haven’t looked at the supporting community yet.
- Bioinformaticists often are trying to solve a specific problem, only to move on to something else immediately afterwards.
- BOSC conference:
- Should keep requiring abstract submissions (rather than just title, for example), but should not require full papers to remain sufficiently inclusive.
- Tutorials could be held in a session concurrent with the main ISMB conference.
- These parallel tracks are separate submissions to ISCB. Lonnie and Peter volunteer to work out a proposal for 2010.
- OBF remit: Should keep existing, support its member projects, and promote open-source software among biologists.
- Conference proceedings:
- Open source software work