[BiO BB] biological database API

Mike Marchywka marchywka at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 15 11:38:58 EDT 2008

> From: jeff at bioinformatics.org

> The annoyance may be trivial, but the problem isn't. This is a major problem with "Web 2.0" approaches. And, as a programmer, you're very much limited in your use of GET: multiple step forms (e.g., wizards) and form inputs that accept large datasets (e.g., textarea tags) can't easily be placed/replicated in a single URI. You'll end up needing to store steps and data somewhere. But, if the endpoint is all that matters, simply store the results in a temporary file and link to that.

Yes, this very much depends on the type of service being provided as a computed result rather than a
database lookup doesn't need to be stored on the server. Getting a text or xml response from a POST
request fixes most problems and you may be able to describe a POST more easily than navigating
a GUI in any case. 

I would also mention that, having used Coldfusion, it can be hard to generate text from  a
a server-provided html result in some cases. So, depending on what you are using server side, there could
be some effort in extracting the information from the formatting but even with the rather extreme case of CF 
it  is usually only a few more lines of code.

> Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 11:24:26 -0400
> To: bbb at bioinformatics.org
> Subject: Re: [BiO BB] Advanced web query interfaces for biological databases

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