The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.
— David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
With the release of Pfam 24, HMMER3 beta test code has been pressed into service just a bit earlier than we’re comfortable with. Though the 3.0b2 code seems to be holding up reasonably well, we are aware of six bugs — two in how H3 handles Pfam GA/NC/TC cutoffs, two in how H3 handles the ‘*’ nonresidue character that some sequence files use to represent stop codons in translated DNA, one in hmmscan’s tabular domain output (“domtbl”) format, and one in sequence description lines with % characters causing crashes in jackhmmer. All six are fixed in the development trunk. We are starting our test/release cycle for 3.0b3 (the third and probably final beta release) now. The fixes will be included in 3.0b3, along with some important new functionality I’ll discuss on the blog soon.
More details on the six bugs are below the fold.
Continue reading →
Writing and drawing are slow, deliberate activities, so I tried to keep distractions to an absolute minimum, and I did everything myself. I liked this control, as it fostered a sense of craftsmanship. There was great personal satisfaction in attending to detail and quality, and I remain very proud of the standards the strip met day after day. I also liked the responsibility of knowing that, succeed or fail, it was all my own doing.
— Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes
Besides writing code all day, one of the more interesting things about the job is what I get to do on the side. Technically, Janelia expects me to be physically present for nine months a year, and it gives me three months to do whatever I want — skiing in New Zealand, NIH study section, visiting some university and giving a seminar, swine flu, it all counts against my three months of “vacation time” as far as Janelia’s concerned. So. Mild-mannered software/bio geek by day; advisor to US government agencies by… uh, well… seemed like pretty much the whole summer, this year. Two big time commitments with serious committee reports to help write. One report is finished for the Department of Defense, and another is well underway for the National Academy of Sciences. That, plus three weeks in Spain for the Benasque RNA conference, plus some review work for NIH all pretty much enforced a personal vacation away from the HMMER code. Probably good, because the code was making me cross-eyed, not to mention cross. I needed a break from it.
Nonetheless, despite a few months of radio silence, things have been moving forward for HMMER3. Especially on the Grand Long Term Strategy front. HMMER now has a development team.
Continue reading →