MANAGER: Don't wait because your piece is still in pieces! Whatever you've concocted is sure to be a hit, and simple recipes are simple to serve up. Nor does it help to offer anything complete -- your audience will only tear it apart.

POET: You don't appreciate how low such hackwork is, or how unworthy of a genuine artist. I see that you derive your principles from the fine efforts of incompetents.

MANAGER: Your accusation doesn't hurt my feelings; a man who wants to be effective must know the worth of proper tools.

Goethe, Faust

I suppose one advantage of a blog is that I can answer a lot of email questions in one fell swoop.

When will HMMER3 be publicly released? The plan is for the alpha test phase to last another month or so; beta test to take another couple of months; and a 3.0 release in the summer. That's our story, and we're sticking to it until September.

Can I use HMMER3 in a publication now, while it's still in a test version? Sure. But if you write a paper criticizing some obscure aspect of H3 performance that I've overlooked, rather than first giving me useful feedback on a freely available pre-publication test I've made available to you out of the open and boundless goodness of my heart, um, well, don't expect me to buy you any beers next time I see you.

When's the next test version (alpha2) coming? Depending on whether you ask the Marketing Promises division of the lab, or the Coding Reality division, that answer is either a) February 12; or b) Real Soon Now. See first question.