SWAMI for Users:
The NGBW Project was conceived by a domain Biologist as a tool to meet the needs of educators, students, and researchers using modern but well understood and reliable technologies. Since its inception, the project has been based on a User-guided development model. In implementing the NGBW, we strive always to make the development flow from user requirements, and to make choices driven by user needs rather than by specific development goals. Further, we beleive that Information Technology is a necessary component of all modern research, and so must be made available to users at all levels of training, independent of location, and with minimal barriers to entry. We are grateful to NIGMS for funding that allows us to provide these resources to the community...
The NGBW project and its team embrace best practices in software development, but we approach the project without a Computer Science research agenda. Ultimately we believe it is only possible to aggregate tools and data resources in a reliable, integrated package using well understood technologies. We approach this problem by making choices that favor providing user capabilities quickly, while at the same time favoring stable, scalable solutions. We actively explore new technologies for users, insofar as they can be supported with the dependability of a production resource. There is, of course, a dynamic tension between the dual goals of meeting user needs in a timely way and in making choices that will extend the lifetime of the project, and neither goal can be perfectly realized. We rely on User input to help set priorities as we navigate this space.