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[seul-sci] Introduction

Hello people over there!

	I'm 19 years old, studying Computer Sciences in little city of São Carlos, Brazil. I'm a bit green when it comes to either programming or researching. I use Linux since 1998, with RedHat and Conectiva(brazilian) distros.  My main interest in Seul Science Project is that I work in a Chemical Lab where I am responsible for the Windows -> Linux Transition.
	I have some problems to do it, however. First of all, my lab has seven researchers, 56 post-graduation students, 105 sci/tech projects running, and -- believe me -- a HUGE amount of (guess what) MS windows data. For MS windows data I mean data analysed or published with windows-only apps.
	Secondly, I have to find a alternative program for data analisis, wich, hopefully, opens our old Microcal Origin data.
	I have a huge respect for Grace. However, I can't adopt it for three reasons, wich I see in many sci projects(and others, like LyX): user inteface, environment interaction and reuse of windows-data:
	I believe scriptability and CLI are both power tools, but trainning near fifty chemists in something they are better than me(but they used to do it in another program), would be impossible. 
	The second reason, environment interaction, is also a top. Yesterday, one of our chief researchers said that a great advantage of Word/origin use is that, if you just double click a graphic in word, it would open origin and your data. I just agree with him.
	Generalized Analysis Manager idea from Pete looks great to me, but a real end-user would have a need to, after analysing his data, publish it. GnuPlot would fill this gap, in my view.
	The third reason is common sense in all windows->linux transitions. 
	This way, that´s what I think is a linux in science, end user point of view  wish list:

	- Generalized Analysis Manager(GAM): Great idea. I would just attach a new module: data archieving. In almost every science, you have to use lots of data(microscopy pictures, measurements, data from equipments, etc.). The best way to do it is file name coding and directory structure. There is no "search" or "filter" feature this way.
	Another good feature would be using other machine to run calculations. So, you can have your data organized in a easy-to-use P500 linux box and your calculations running in a five-hundred-PIII600-linux-nodes-beowulf-cluster :).

	- Stupid-End-User interface for every data analysing program. Of course, CLI, scripting, piping, etc. should always be there. It gives power to power users. Front-end interfaces to existing programs are probably the most welcome.

	- Environment: D&D, embedding... looks a good GAM would make the job.

	- WinOld-data: has anybody ever heard: "Looks good. Can I open my word docs with it?"

	- Equipments interface API/Standards. I believe there is already work on it.

	- Standards. Good standards are always welcome.

	Some of those are basic. Others are gaps also with, say, Origin. IMHO.

	Well, I hope this can help. We´ll be starting to change to linux here in my lab this year. Sure i´ll try to put my users´ concerns here. 


PS. Sorry my broken English.
Universidade Federal de São Carlos
Bacharelado em Ciência da Computação