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Open Bioinformatics Foundation: 2014 Update & Some Introspection


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Annual update about the Open Bioinformatics Foundation, presented at the 2014 Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC). which was held July 11-12, 2014, in Boston, MA.

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Open Bioinformatics Foundation: 2014 Update & Some Introspection

  1. 1. Open Bioinformatics Foundation: 2014 Update & Some Introspection Hilmar Lapp, President BOSC 2014
  2. 2. What is the OBF? • Umbrella organization for the Bio* projects (and EMBOSS) • Non-profit, entirely volunteer-run • Dedicated to promoting the practice and philosophy of Open Source software development and Open Science within the life sciences.
  3. 3. What does OBF do? • Sponsor and run BOSC and other community- nurturing initiatives • Code Fests (and hackathons) • Mentoring organization in Google Summer of Code • Advocacy to promote Open Source and Open Science in bioinformatics • Accepting and disbursing donations on behalf of member projects • Managing assets on behalf of our member projects.
  4. 4. Chris Fields @cjfields U. Illinois Urbana-Champaign O|B|F is governed by a Board of Directors
  5. 5. OBF is an SPI-associated project
  6. 6. You can donate tax- exempt to OBF
  7. 7. We use open and collaborative processes
  8. 8. Growing Community: Attaining and maintaining OBF affiliation
  9. 9. What happened since BOSC 2013?
  10. 10. Board of Directors Elections • Hilmar Lapp elected to a second term as President. • Nomi Harris elected as Director at- large, second term on the Board • Peter Cock elected as Secretary, second term on the Board
  11. 11. OBF is participating in the Google Summer of Code • Eric Talevich (Biopython) & Raoul Bonnal (Bioruby) serve as admins • 6 Students working in Biopython, Bioruby, Biohaskell, JSBML • Promoting reciprocal inclusivity for umbrella organizations such as OBF
  12. 12. Moving hosting to Open Source Lab • Commercial cloud hosting costs eat up a major part of our income. • OSL has expressed interest in taking us on. • Gathering the necessary information has been slow and painful. • Hoping to get this completed in 2014.
  13. 13. Sustainability is hard, including for organizations and communities
  14. 14. Sustaining professional systems with volunteers is a challenge • OBF sysadmin work rests on the same too few people with too little time. • Hard to be professional with volunteer work. • Other all-volunteer tech foundations have similar problems.
  15. 15. OBF is a membership organization. Or is it? 0 30 60 90 120 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Members For perspective: •Biopython: 816 (346 on dev) •Bioperl-l: 978
  16. 16. Can you help us improve this?
  17. 17. What’s next? • Improve our professionalism • Increase what we do well. Divest of/ partner for everything else. • Partner with organizations well aligned with our mission and goals • Identify the best ways to invest in our community
  18. 18. Connect with us • Web: • Twitter: @obf_news • GitHub: • News blog: • Join us as a member.