tcp at uchicago.edu
Thu Sep 28 23:45:29 CEST 2006
On Sep 28, 2006, at 2:45 PM, Garrett Smith wrote:
> If you have specific ideas for how you're thinking of using Trac,
> post them and we can do some brainstorming on how it could be used.
In brief, one of the many things my group does is work with many
collaborating researchers, analysts and data-managers in clinical
and social science research and help them manage data and other
research related tasks -- much of the time it's a byproduct of
working more efficiently ourselves =) -- one of the central themes of
our work of late has been examining and adapting tools from software
development and the open-source software environment to the
university research environment. One great example of this is
getting researchers and bio-statisticians to do their data analyses
more or less completely programatically and version both their
datasets and their data management/manipulation code. As fundamental
as these processes may be to many in the software development
community, it's a completely new concept to many in clincal trials
and social sciences, among many other fields -- the 'track changes'
option in ms word is the closest that anyone seems to get to
versioning and even that is used inconsistently and poorly (a straw-
man, I admit as it can't be used well, IMHO ;) With my own
experience in research psychology, I can say that solid data
management processes are just not commonly taught in these fields --
and if they are, it's not done in any sort of formal manner.
So, anyway, web-based collaborative tools are big and we're looking
for ways to satisfy a number of needs without becomming full-blown
plone developers or allowing the heavily sharepoint wielding MCSE
types around here make a "solution" for the research groups with
which we're affiliated. So, anyway, trac's wiki functionality,
skinability and interconnection with SVN have been making it look
like a good option for us to move some of our projects to rather than
some of the home-grown zope based options we've been using for a few
years, which need updating and improvement.
So, yeah, that's the gist of why I asked.
Department of Health Studies
The University of Chicago
tcp at uchicago.edu
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