A couple of exciting new projects

This week I’m happy to announce that I’m starting two new projects that I’ll be working on over the course of the next year. The first will be my master’s thesis: a program to help bioinformaticians analyze gene expression networks, utilizing high performance computing clusters. The program will parse the data and suggest workflows based upon that data. There will also be an accompanying book that explains the ins-and-outs of gene network inference. This will deploy to client’s clusters in a portable, standard way. The best-of-breed algorithms will be collected from the literature, and a very nice interface for interacting with the data flow will be provided. This project is going to be a blast!

The second project is a personal project. For a long time now, I’ve been unhappy with music playing solutions. The closest I’ve gotten to a program that I love is Amarok, however I use Ubuntu’s Gnome interface, and Amarok does not integrate with Gnome in a clean fashion. Also, since I am rarely at home anymore, I want my music to travel with me. Thus, the obvious solution was to write a web application that my server would run. I’ve decided to start this project in Scala using the Lift framework with Comet actors. The client side player will be flash based, embedded in the webpage or in a pop-up, and all of the application functions will be handled through the web interface. A similar program to this is Ampache, which is a wonderful program. However, the interface is not what I want, and the on-the-fly transcoding can be flakey. I require something that has a very fast interface, is playlist oriented like Amarok (as opposed to library oriented like iTunes), web accessible, on-the-fly transcoding and streaming, and large-scale database support. To my knowledge, nothing like that exists. It’ll use an Apache Derby database by default, but it will support MySQL and PostgreSQL databases.

I’m very excited to start these projects this week, and I’ll be blogging about both of them as they happen (with, hopefully, some screen shots).

Of course, both of these projects will be free and open source under the GPL when they are released.

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