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Today I knew about the existence of BioStar, a site that I'm quite interested in joining. So, I logged in with the same google openId that I've been using in all the sites. It was quite a surprise to see that I was not recognized there.

I came here and did a search for Biostar and found just a few questions, the two most relevant by Andrew Grimm ( A Stack Exchange site is wrongly saying it hasn't been created yet and http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/72947/is-vote-fraud-detected-on-stack-exchange-sites). The second was even closed as off-topic, with a comment "belongs to meta.stackexchange.com", which redirects to here. (An irony that I actually enjoyed, by the way).

From those questions I learned that BioStar is an SE 1.0 site, as opposed to the 2.0 sites I've been using until now. I then found this other question: what's the difference between stackexchange 1.0 and 2.0? but the only relevant answer points to a wiki list of new features, so it really does not address what is the point of having both versions running.

So, back to the origin: Is it still BioStar an SE site? Is it going to stay alive? If so, will it become a SE 2.0 site (whatever that means)? There is no love for bioinformaticians? (I know quite a few, and I would understand a status-declined for the last question.)

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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Biostars

SE 1.0 sites will be shut down eventually. Original date was slated for sometime in June or July 2010, but unofficial word suggests that this is variable as SEI works with the sites.

It appears that the people who started it are working on a stackalike clone, and are planning on maintaining it themselves. You can follow their progress here:

http://groups.google.com/group/biostar-dev

The site is currently located here:

http://www.biostars.org/

Which redirects to the SE 1.0 site, but presumably will switch to their clone once they're happy with the site and have transferred the databases over.

They haven't ruled out migrating to SE 2.0, however they are discouraged by the failure of a few recent proposals that never made it out of beta due to low quantity. It suggests that their site doesn't have enough activity to make it out of beta alive, which is why they are pursuing their own clone.

SE 2.0

Note that there is an area51 bioinformatics proposal that is gaining some steam:

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/6729/bioinformatics

But, legally, the content in Biostars is owned by the group that started it, so unless SEI comes to some sort of agreement with them, there will exist two different sites, and the SEI site will not have the Biostar data on it.

There is some discussion on area51 about this issue, but it appears that the Biostars group is not particularly pleased with the direction SEI has chosen:

Successor to BioStar

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Additional blog posting regarding the reasoning behind avoiding SE 2.0: blog.fuzzierlogic.com/archives/509 and a few specific mailing list posts regarding the choices they face: groups.google.com/group/biostar-central/browse_thread/thread/… and groups.google.com/group/biostar-central/browse_thread/thread/… –  Adam Davis May 28 '11 at 4:23
    
@Adam this is a great answer. I am not giving much feedback (yet) because I'm busy reading the links you posted. Many thanks :) –  Aleadam May 28 '11 at 5:23
    
what's with all the cw lately? –  fretje May 28 '11 at 6:38
    
Rep on meta, useless he thinks. –  Lorem Ipsum May 28 '11 at 6:49
    
@fretje I have some sort of weird issue with my meta rep getting higher than my SO rep. –  Adam Davis May 28 '11 at 7:48
    
@Adam: You do realise, this solves the problem merely "artifically" ;-) –  fretje May 28 '11 at 10:22
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@Adam after reading the links you posted (and the links therein) it looks to me that they are not pleased rather with the direction they think SEI has chosen. Of course I am a newcomer there (and also here, I've been active only for a few months), but I read a lot of concerns about important, but only potential situations. –  Aleadam May 29 '11 at 3:54
    
@Aleadam Well they are right to be concerned. They've already had the rug pulled out from under them once, and they well know the dangers of letting someone else control the playing field. Certainly everything should work out if they simply chose SE 2.0, but there is absolutely no guarantee of any kind that the site will exist, nevermind exist in a form they would be happy with. Plus they don't sound like they've committed 100% to pulling away completely - they are simply doing as much as they can now so they can pull away when and if needed. It's reasonable to have a backup plan. –  Adam Davis May 29 '11 at 4:35
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Just a complement to Adam Davis' answer.

Aside from the bioinformatics proposal, there is the companion Biology proposal, already in commitment phase which could also need some support from all interested.

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Yes, I committed to Biology some time ago (since I am a biologist myself, it just made sense), but the question posted would be probably off-topic there. –  Aleadam May 29 '11 at 3:50
    
@Aleadam: do you think it would be a good idea to merge the two proposals? (I think myself rather not as having a generalist Biology SE would be beneficial and not too cumbersome to manage together with a bioinformatics one if we can make it work). –  ogerard May 29 '11 at 9:09
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