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  • eScience, eResearch and Computational Problem Solving

    This module is included inLens: eScience, eResearch and Computational Problem Solving
    By: Jan E. OdegardAs a part of collection: "e-Research Community Engagement Findings"

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Identifying Generic Functionality

Module by: Alex Voss, Marzieh Asgari-Targhi. E-mail the authors

Summary: Describes the problem of defining what functionality to include in e-Research software. How can software be generic enough to be re-used and specific enough to be useful in particular circumstances while as the same time avoiding scope creep?

Economies of scale can be realised where effort invested can be reused. While, arguably, the mechanics of software reuse are relatively well understood, identifying just what is and what is not generic and how generic components can be adapted to specific purposes, remains a challenging task.

"the amount of work that you have to put in to getting something that works for [a service] for example I mean they have a very different access model to HPC and you know if you’re going to have a sort of common look and feel to both to them I think you may struggle and you’d struggle to get something that was workable and met the needs of the different communities and they’re very significant practical issues." (service provider)
"what I fear is that the e-science software so far has been too focused on building general infrastructure and maybe they better off solving, fewer, smaller [...] problems but at least solving them properly [...] rather than try to write something so general that everybody should be able to use it but in the end no one will use it." (researcher)

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Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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