GMOD Community Support
Roles of GMOD's Community Support
GMOD comprises not only of a collection of intercompatible software components, but equally importantly a large, globally distributed, and diverse community. The community includes users and developers, as well as experts with ample experience in GMOD and newbies who just discovered GMOD. The community interacts remotely through an array of mailing lists, issue trackers, and other channels that can be dazzling even to GMOD veterans.
To broaden GMOD's outreach and to facilitate effective uptake of its technology and continuing growth of its community, GMOD maintains infrastructure and staff devoted to community support. Broadly speaking, GMOD's Community Support aims to grow a healthy, vibrant, and supportive distributed community of users and developers; to provide training in using, extending, and deploying GMOD software; and to promote GMOD to new communities and research applications.
The community support includes the GMOD Help Desk, which liaises between users and developers so that questions, and those who ask them, quickly find the people who are best able to answer. Also, as the diversity and complexity of the GMOD suite of software tools can be bewildering even to more experienced users, the Help Desk maintains the community's website (this wiki), as well as a large body of documentation on GMOD components and best practices for extending GMOD.
Grant Review Service
As part of the aim to promote GMOD adoption, Community Support staff can aid investigators with grant proposals that include using and/or extending GMOD components. Consultancy on grant proposals focuses on
- How GMOD Components can be used to their fullest extent in the grant, and
- Finding opportunities to fund support and extension of the GMOD project as a part of grants that use GMOD.
Training and Outreach
The Community Support organizes and provides GMOD training events and outreach activities. These include the following:
- Running multi-day hands-on GMOD Schools for new GMOD users.
- Giving in person tutorials and workshops at conferences and at GMOD user sites.
- Presenting posters at conferences to increase awareness of GMOD and its capabilities.
GMOD for Evolutionary Biology
The primary Community Support staff is located at and managed by NESCent, as the result of a collaboration between GMOD and NESCent. One of NESCent's goals is to promote the adoption of GMOD for data management, analysis, and visualization needs for the genome-scale information being generated in evolutionary research, in particular for emerging model organisms. This initiative includes extending the functionality of GMOD tools for evolutionary applications, particularly in the areas of managing and visualizing information about genotypic variation, phenotypic variation, and phylogenetics.
The Community Support staff needs your feedback to help guide their priorities. Please contact the support staff if:
- You have a suggestion for a tutorial topic.
- You are interested in attending a tutorial either at a conference or at NESCent.
- You have suggestions on conferences or meetings where a GMOD tutorial or poster should be presented.
- You have a suggestion for improving the documentation or web site.
- You want the GMOD Help Desk to send someone to your organization to help with training, setup, or debugging. (Note that the host needs to pay travel expenses.)
Acknowledgements and History
The GMOD Community Support began as a collaboration between GMOD and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), and was initially managed by NESCent.
Brian Osborne started the GMOD Help Desk in 2006 and, among other things, created this wiki. In 2007 Dave Clements took over, who held the position until the end of 2010 (when he moved to the Galaxy project). Amelia Ireland was Community Support Specialist from July 2012 to May 2014, when grant funding ran out.
Some community support functions are also provided by several other members of the GMOD community, notably Scott Cain, the GMOD Project Coordinator.
The GMOD Help Desk was funded by NIH grant 1R01HG004483-01 under Ian Holmes and NIH grant 5U24GM077905-02 under Jim Hu. Brian's work was funded by a USDA ARS grant under Doreen Ware. We thank Patrick Phillips and Bill Cresko of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IE2) at the University of Oregon for hosting Dave Clements during his 3 years.