This project is read-only.

.net Bio Book Club

Dec 13, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Over on one of our Apache projects the community is experimenting with the idea of a "book club" as a community development activity. It looks like it is going well. I wonder if anyone here would be interested in starting one?

It works like this...

Firstly, the goal is to have fun. This is not "work" (although for many it will count as CPD)

A book that will help people work with .Net Bio is chosen. It needs to be a book with reasonably broad interest.

Each week (or perhaps fortnight) members read a chapter and they meet using an online tool for a maximum of an hour (Google Hangouts works well). They discuss the chapter and its implications for .Net Bio. In this discussion they identify some improvements that should be considered in the .Net Bio code and issues are created to track them (complete with link back to an archive of the discussion and a reference to the book)

Members work on the issues identified on a purely voluntary basis.

The results of this process are:

  • A more social community
  • A more engaged community
  • A more skilled community, with a common understanding of how those skills apply t the project
  • An improved product

The only real downside that I can see is that it is very hard to find a suitable time for people in a multi-national project like this. If there is sufficient demand I guess two sessions could be run in different time zones. To work you only need two people able to meet at the same time.

As it happens I have a need to learn to use Visual Studio (I'm an Eclipse and Emacs guy at present). I could also do with learning some .Net stuff and C#. I'm not really overly interested in the deeper biotech stuff but I find it interesting enough to follow along as long as someone without even a high school qualification in Biology won't drag the meetings back too much.

I'm thinking that some kind of cool demo app using .Net Bio to appeal to people at an early stage of their BioTech career might be good. Something that will introduce the core concepts of building a system using .Net Bio but not require an established career background.

What do people think. I'd be happy to organise this if enough people say they would participate. At the very least I need someone who can provide technical leadership on the development of the demo app as I would be very much a learner in this process. I'm happy to help with the open source/community nature of the development process.

First steps, if someone volunteers...

  1. Identify some achievable goals for the demo app
  2. Identify the book
  3. Identify the participants in the book club
  4. Agree technology to use
  5. Agree meeting schedule
  6. Run a test meeting to say hello to one another
  7. Read chapter
  8. Meet, discuss, plan
  9. Implement features
  10. Repeat from seven
  11. Evaluate effectiveness
  12. Consider repeating from 1

Ross

Dec 14, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Ross,

I don't quite get you, what kind of book are we talking about here?

dong

Dec 14, 2012 at 5:01 PM
Exactly what the book would be would be dependent on the goal and the people participating. I guess that much is obvious. However, what I had in mind was a technology book that would benefit people looking to work with .net Bio. Something that covers the core technologies being used. Something that will help improve the shared understanding of the community here. It's hard for me to make a concrete suggestion as I am not familiar with the implementation of .net Bio or the kinds of use people commonly put it to, but in very general terms...

If the goal is some clever visualization tool then the book might be something that deals with data visualization techniques on the .net platform.

If the goal is to explore how to build windows 8 touch based tools using .net Bio then maybe a Windows 8 developer book?

Note, I'm not suggesting something that is specific to bio-informatics since I assume most people who are drawn here are already reasonably familiar with this. What they are likely to be less familiar with is how to work with .net Bio itself.

Ross


On 14 December 2012 16:42, xied75 <notifications@codeplex.com> wrote:

From: xied75

Ross,

I don't quite get you, what kind of book are we talking about here?

dong

Read the full discussion online.

To add a post to this discussion, reply to this email (bio@discussions.codeplex.com)

To start a new discussion for this project, email bio@discussions.codeplex.com

You are receiving this email because you subscribed to this discussion on CodePlex. You can unsubscribe or change your settings on codePlex.com.

Please note: Images and attachments will be removed from emails. Any posts to this discussion will also be available online at codeplex.com


Dec 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM

CLR via C# 4th Edition. (I don't have it yet, I don't have book fund anymore)

Shall we write a .NET BWA together?

Dec 17, 2012 at 9:37 PM

I'm not completely clear how this would work - Ross, if you have an example from another project, can you post some more details?

I would participate if this looked like something others were interested in...

As for writing a .NET BWA - I assume you are referring to the alignment algorithm? I would think that SNAP covered that already.

Simon

 

Dec 18, 2012 at 11:57 AM

There are a couple of parallel discussions around about writing a book of this nature and some work is reasonably well advanced, some far less so. I'm not exactly sure how the structure proposed by ross might work out, but minimally, let's begin by looking for the sorts of topics that people might be interested in. Some common themes might emerge, and people might want to contribute in some way. 

There are brilliant examples of open books like the ones in the version control community, but I'm not sure whether they came about in the same way. Other examples would certainly be good. 

 

jh 

Dec 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Apache Lucy is experimenting with this idea, and has been doing so since July. They coordinate it via a wiki [1]. The original discussion that started it off is at [2]

Ross


On 17 December 2012 21:37, sjmercer <notifications@codeplex.com> wrote:

From: sjmercer

I'm not completely clear how this would work - Ross, if you have an example from another project, can you post some more details?

I would participate if this looked like something others were interested in...

As for writing a .NET BWA - I assume you are referring to the alignment algorithm? I would think that SNAP covered that already.

Simon

Read the full discussion online.

To add a post to this discussion, reply to this email (bio@discussions.codeplex.com)

To start a new discussion for this project, email bio@discussions.codeplex.com

You are receiving this email because you subscribed to this discussion on CodePlex. You can unsubscribe or change your settings on codePlex.com.

Please note: Images and attachments will be removed from emails. Any posts to this discussion will also be available online at codeplex.com


Dec 18, 2012 at 1:00 PM
Writing a book is quite different to reading a book and is much more challenging. However, it might make the whole thing a little more concrete.

To recap, my proposal was to *read* a book and as we learn about some aspect we build a set of enhancements or demonstrators for .net Bio. The idea is that we help complete newbies to .net Bio (like me) to get to grips with it but also we come together as a community to discuss possible improvements/demonstrators.

Normally I don't encourage synchronous communications in open source communities as they are somewhat exclusionary (some people are asleep when others are awake, others are in meetings etc.) However, since the focus is on a book club rather than the project we can avoid any exclusionary activity. We can all read along even if not in the discussion sessions and all plans come to the list.

The idea of *writing* a book in this way is interesting. Certainly challenging. I've been involved with a number of attempts to write books collaboratively but they've never finished the work, only got a good start at best. However, the thought does give me an idea.

Perhaps the reading book club could focus on building a demonstrator that illustrates the concepts in the proposed book outline.

The problems I've always found in writing collaborative books is that so few of us can write clear, concise material suitable for an enjoyable book. Even those of us who can write tend to exhibit specific styles which often jar when mixed. So it's easy to get a skeleton together, but much harder to get a complete book.

If, however, we focus on the building of a demonstrator application that would take a reader from "new to .net Bio" to "building application X" this might be more manageable. Furthermore, it is easier to manage and coordinate via a mailing list and thus alleviates the need to be online for the book clubs. Finally, it provides plenty of opportunity for people of different skill sets and levels to get involved in different ways.

Of course, there could be more than one application being built at any one time.

So, what kind of application would be interesting?

How about a Windows 8 application to do some interesting visualisation/processing of DNA? I note there is already something out there fore the iPhone [1] - this would be interesting for people looking at Win8 development, would be a good test case for using/testing .net Bio on Win8 and would also be a good "wow factor" app to show off .net Bio to newcomers.

Ross






On 18 December 2012 11:57, jamesmhogan <notifications@codeplex.com> wrote:

From: jamesmhogan

There are a couple of parallel discussions around about writing a book of this nature and some work is reasonably well advanced, some far less so. I'm not exactly sure how the structure proposed by ross might work out, but minimally, let's begin by looking for the sorts of topics that people might be interested in. Some common themes might emerge, and people might want to contribute in some way.

There are brilliant examples of open books like the ones in the version control community, but I'm not sure whether they came about in the same way. Other examples would certainly be good.

jh

Read the full discussion online.

To add a post to this discussion, reply to this email (bio@discussions.codeplex.com)

To start a new discussion for this project, email bio@discussions.codeplex.com

You are receiving this email because you subscribed to this discussion on CodePlex. You can unsubscribe or change your settings on codePlex.com.

Please note: Images and attachments will be removed from emails. Any posts to this discussion will also be available online at codeplex.com