Design considerationsΒΆ

The development of biotoolsSchema was guided by the following ten founding principles and design considerations:

  • Practical - focus on salient attributes of practical value in everyday use; especially to support the discovery, use and practical interoperability of software; superfluous details are excluded.
  • General - generally applicable, i.e. to all manner of bioinformatics resources (see Scope).
  • Consistent - use ontologies and standardised enumerations of terms (see Controlled Vocabularies) where possible, to support precise searches over biotoolsSchema-formatted data and return of consistent and therefore comparable information.
  • Concise - mandate URLs or standard identifiers where possible, helping to ensure the sustainable upkeep of biotoolsSchema-formatted data and support future integrations, applications and cross-linking with other resources.
  • Simple - biotoolsSchema is as flat (unstructured) as is practicable, ensuring ease of use, whilst preserving essential structure, e.g. a meaningful model of tool function.
  • Compatible - it is inevitable that tool providers, integrators, and cataloguers will continue to use a variety of models, methods and formats for tool descriptions; biotoolsSchema is broadly compatible (see Comparison to related efforts) to support future integration scenarios.
  • Extensible - to cater for emerging requirements, and adaptable by others for their own purposes.
  • Stable - the maintenance of software dependencies on mutating schema is expensive. Backwards incompatible changes are only made if absolutely required (see Development process and status).
  • Free and open source - to encourage reuse and new applications.
  • Community-driven development - to ensure end-user needs are satisfied.