[unrev-II] Piper and web collaboratories

From: Jack Park (jackpark@verticalnet.com)
Date: Mon Nov 06 2000 - 07:40:03 PST

  • Next message: Jack Park: "[unrev-II] OntoWeb"

    I suspect we have visited this site before.
    http://www.bioinformatics.org/piper/ <http://www.bioinformatics.org/piper/>
    However, while talking with Doug yesterday, it became clear that something
    along the lines of the Unix model of pipes and tools should be revisited
    with respect to the eventual construction of an OHS. To that end, it turns
    out that Piper (Python implementation) is going in the right direction.
    "Piper is a system for managing multi-protocol connections between
    Internet-distributed objects. Networks, programs, files, widgets, and so on,
    are all treated as objects and represented in a graphical user interface
    (GUI) as the nodes of a flow chart (with the Pied/Piper
    <http://www.bioinformatics.org/piper/screenshots/loci.gif> user interface).
    The user can join nodes via lines that depict links for data flow,
    procedural steps, relationships, and so forth.

    The Internet-distributed nature of Piper lets the user work in a unique way:
    Only the graphical representation of an object resides on a local
    workstation. Compute-intensive programs and large data sets can reside
    remotely on high-performance, high-capacity computers.

    Joining nodes across the Internet can also be used to form world-wide
    collaboratives (such as The Loci <http://bioinformatics.org/loci> Project)
    and provide an almost limitless collection of objects for the user. "

    BTW: the Loci Project doesn't say much, yet.

    In any case, it seems reasonable to begin to think of the OHS in terms of a
    large toolbox, complete with a graphical user interface that allows users to
    "wire things up" -- e.g. wire a particular email inbox to the knowledge
    mapper tool.

    How does that affect end users who may simply be talking to an OHS web site
    using a browser? Given SVG, it may be possible to make a servlet that
    allows a user to control his/her "MyOHS" web page the same way that workers
    hooked directly (by application rather than servlet) into an OHS can.

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