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Mastering Perl for Bioinformatics

by fredopalus (Friar)
on Jul 05, 2003 at 16:37 UTC ( [id://271651] : perlnews . print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Looks like O'Reilly has a new Perl book on the way called Mastering Perl for Bioinformatics.
Check it out.

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Re: Mastering Perl for Bioinformatics
by jepri (Parson) on Jul 05, 2003 at 18:17 UTC
    Hmmm. Another book on how to use a programming language for a niche purpose. I'm probably getting jaded, but I'd like to see "BioInformatics for Perl Programmers" instead.

    O'Reilly could have titled it more accurately by calling it something like "Perl for Biologists Who Didn't Just Do Biology Because It Was The Only Subject Without Computers In It". Their target audience is desperately small.

    I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

        Only on a local level. The lecturers in some of the biology courses I did would take surveys of the class to see what other subjects they did. There were no programmers.

        That does overlook the possibility of amateur programmers, but when I found that one of my four hour practicals was "How to search the web", I started leaping to conclusions.

        I'm guessing that in America computer technology isn't so strongly rejected by biologists. On the flip side, I know that many programmer types here a totally fascinated by bioinformatics. So I'd guess that they would be the ones buying, and that's what prompted my suggestion of "Bioinformatics for Perl".

        Come to think of it, I would love to see a series of books like "Bioinformatics for programmers, Physics for programmers, Pol Sci for programmers". They could be written for people who like to learn new concepts, and are good at manipulating symbols and doing math and logic. Kind of the opposite of the XXX for dummies books.

        I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

      I'm probably getting jaded, but I'd like to see "BioInformatics for Perl Programmers" instead.

      Well - I was in a similar situation with Linguistics (Perl for Linguists) where I needed some of my programmers get a book about Linguistics. However a "xxx Book for Perl-Programmers" reaches an ever smaller audience than the other way round. Think about it.

      You will be far better off with introductory literature in Bioinformatics. e.g. : This one.

          All Perl:   MT, NLP, NLU

        A "xxx for Perl programmers" book would indeed be have a very small audience. However I did go on to generalise my suggestion a bit. Regardless of the fact that writing in some other languages is comparable to using a hammer and chisel on stone, people who do so are programmers too. I reckon they would also enjoy "xxx for programmers" books.

        Your book recommendation looks interesting. I'll check it out.

        I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

Re: Mastering Perl for Bioinformatics
by chunlou (Curate) on Jul 06, 2003 at 21:10 UTC
    I found "non-programmers" (or programmers that work a lot with non-programmers) often wrote very good tutorials. And I personally prefer to read a programming book focused on some exotic topic, rather than the generic ones

    Also, bioinformatics serves as a good model for other people to draw inspiration from, just as psychologists draw inspiration from economics, economists from physics, etc.

    And the best problem-solvers are often the cross-disciplinarians.