[Bioc-devel] Feedback on OrganismDb development

Obenchain, Valerie Valerie.Obenchain at roswellpark.org
Thu Apr 7 16:34:49 CEST 2016

BioC developers,

After the release we plan to continue development the OrganismDb class
and packages. This email outlines some ideas for future direction. We're
interested in feedback on these points as well as other thoughts people
might have.

## Background

The OrganismDb class is defined in the OrganismDbi package and consists
of a TxDb object and the combined mappings from GO.db and an OrgDb. It
supports the select() interface as well as several range-based
extractors such as exons(), transcripts(), etc. The idea was that given
a particular organism, a user would only need a single package to access
both system biology and transcripts-centric annotations.

We currently have 3 OrganismDb packages
These are light weight and don't contain any data themselves but instead
point to the GO.db, OrgDb and TxDb packages.

## Current issues

- Support for sequence representation

We've discussed incorporating an optional sequence component, maybe
BSgenome or 2bit or ... ?

- Class name

OrganismDb is similar to OrgDb which could cause some confusion. We are
considering renaming ... here are a few ideas. Let us know what you
think or add your suggestion.

OrganismDb (fine as is, leave it)

- Package name

The current names are not very descriptive: Homo.sapiens, Mus.musculus
and Rattus.norvegicus.  We'd like to follow the naming convention used
in our BSgenome and TxDb packages which means including the source,
build and track from the TxDb as well as preceding with the class type.
For example, the current 'Homo.sapiens' package would be renamed

- Pre-made packages

Is it useful to supply pre-made packages or just increase awareness of
the helpers so users can make their own? Current helpers:

> ?makeOrganism
?makeOrganismDbFromBiomart  ?makeOrganismDbFromTxDb    
?makeOrganismDbFromUCSC     ?makeOrganismPackage

NOTE: makeOrgansimPackage() will be renamed to makeOrganismDbPackage().


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