Dear image.sc community,
Many of you know that I am part of APEER, the digital microscopy platform for scientific image processing.
Full Disclosure: The platform was initiated by ZEISS (see here).
We already talked to the image.sc admin team and they suggested we bring the discussion to the whole community. So here it is:
We as the APEER team would like to become a partner site with its own top level navigation entry here in image.sc. We believe that this is the best place to focus the discussion about scientific image processing and data analysis, enhancing community knowledge, learning and education
I have laid out our intention, now here is the main question of this thread: Would you agree with us that becoming a partner site, discussing current and future functionalities and interacting with the scientific community in one place is a good thing?
Some FAQ for the discussion
APEER is sponsored by ZEISS so it is commercial!
Yes, ZEISS is behind the APEER efforts. The idea and vision behind APEER is make research easier by making it a little more seamless. We want to enable researchers like you.
The platform is currently free to use for everybody and will remain free at its core. We might add paid features at some point in the future enabling options such as, purchasing more online storage space, purchasing more CPU/GPU resources to run processing tasks or the option to add paid modules by external content creators.
Why is APEER a community platform?
- APEER is designed in such a way that the smallest functional unit is a "Module". These Modules perform certain processing tasks and can be connected to other Modules to build full featured processing workflows.
- Every user of the platform has the option to add their own Modules and extend the functionality. Initially these Modules are private to the respective user account but can be shared with everybody if the Module creator chooses to do so. In the near future features such as sharing results or collaborative data viewing will be added.
- A Module in itself is typically a docker™ container which contains the required code and hosted with GIT. This makes it easy develop open-source tools because one has the freedom to choose what tool or language to use
Is/can APEER be open source?
- Yes, one of the next features that are going to be released will enable Module creators to decide if they want to share the source code of their Module(s) with every user. As mentioned above the versioning system is GIT so if you choose to open source your module other user can directly clone the source code with GIT.
- If you chose to share your Module(s) with everybody you retain full ownership! APEER only hosts the backend processes and the infrastructure that allow users to build, run and share meaningful workflows.
What does APEER add to the image processing community?
- APEER allows you to build your own workflow from start to finish and later share it with everybody.
- You can also add your own functionalities and extend the platform according to your needs. Adding new functions is very easy if you are already programming or scripting your own processing functions. You are not limited to a certain programming language but you can use nearly any language of your choice be it Python, R, Java, C, etc.
- APEER is continuously developed, and we will listen to your needs. We want to shape the future of this tool together. In addition, we already working hard on adding more community features for easy collaboration, sharing, education and distribution.
Do we want free support?
- No, for technical support we still have our own direct support channel and email to reach our support staff. However since APEER is supposed to enable the community we cannot take responsibility for shared modules from content creators. Therefore, a unified forum such as image.sc will be ideal to bring the community together.
We hope for a good discussion and that we can ultimately become a partnersite and we can grow together with all of you.