Discontinuation of the GenABEL project

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Discontinuation of the GenABEL project

Postby lckarssen » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:03 pm

Dear GenABEL community, dear friends,

PolyOmica, the company which has provided financial support to the GenABEL Project since 2011, has announced that it will discontinue their support this year. We would like to thank PolyOmica for its generous support of the Project, which made it possible for the community to use the project for free during 2011–2017. As PolyOmica was our only sponsor, we regretfully have to announce our stepping down as Project leaders/community managers, as well as likely discontinuation of the GenABEL Project in its current form. If you are interested in keeping the Project (or some of its parts) going, please read on.

Writing software is one thing, but keeping it alive is another. Maintaining a big software project in good shape has yearly costs of about 20% of the project development price. In the case of GenABEL, which is a large project with hundreds of thousands of lines of code and documentation, the development cost according to the Constructive Cost Model II (CoCoMo II) were several millions of US dollars. Consequently, maintenance costs are in the order of hundreds of thousands of US dollars per year. While for many packages the maintenance was provided by individual developers, and large part of infrastructure and work was provided free of charge by other open source projects (e.g. R-forge, CRAN teams), over the last years, several core packages and the project as the whole were surviving on approximately €5000–7000 per year. With this budget we could only do the most basic and urgent maintenance and little to no time could be spent on keeping the tools up to date and adapt them to the continuing progress in the field of (gen-)omics.

Unless we can find a new sponsor, or an organisation which is willing to take over the project, the only realistic future we currently see for the GenABEL Project in its current form is to discontinue it. In case you are interested in the project or some of its components, please contact info@genabel.org. In your e-mail, please tell us who you are (your organisation and position), which parts of the project you are interested in (e.g. specific packages, forum, etc.), and why. If you think that your organisation can contribute to the project in some form, please write about this as well.

If no viable solution presents itself, the project in its current form will be discontinued in phases: from now on, there will be no code updates for the packages where PolyOmica staff are maintainers (GenABEL, ProbABEL, DatABEL, MetABEL, filevector, MixABEL, OmicABELnoMM). The forum and the GenABEL project site will be archived and taken offline on November 1st, 2018. The Jenkins server has already been shutdown for a couple of months. The source code and bug/feature trackers will remain available as they are hosted on R-forge and GitHub.

It is with some sadness in our hearts that we have to send this e-mail. We have enjoyed our work for the Project very much, and we would like to sincerely thank those who contributed as developers, maintainers, bug reporters, forum users, or in any other way, shape or form.

Best regards,
Yurii and Lennart
Lennart Karssen
The Netherlands

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