As part of the PMR hackfest (http://blogs.ch.cam.ac.uk/pmr/2010/12/23/pmr-events-at-unilever-centre-january-1516-and-17/) we plan to have a Blue Obelisk dinner and a BlueOb hack.
The Blue Obelisk (http://www.blueobelisk.org) is a group of like-minded chemists/programmers w2ho create and promote ODOSOS (open Data, Open Standards and Open Source) in chemistry and related disciplines. Year on year the BO creates more and better resources and it’s fair to say that much of this is the equal of commercial offerings or even better. (There have been virtually no new fundamental developments in chemical software and cheminformatics in the last ten years, much of it being rehashing, widget-frosting and integration. For a discipline which cares (or should care) about data quality and reproducible science, ODOSOS is the only meaningful way to go in the future.
The BlueOb has no membership, no formal agendas, no minutes. It is an unsociety. It keeps in touch daily through email, Twitter, FriendFeed, Bitbucket, Skype, etc. Everyone knows what the others are doing. There’s no deliberate competition though duplication can be useful (especially on different platforms). For example Jmol and Avogadro are both molecular viewers and they have overlaps and dissimilarities.
Anyone is welcome to the dinner which will be in the Panton arms – simple pub grub before and after which people will be hacking in the Chemistry Dept. We plan to have a BlueOb display on the Monday at the symposium and the hackfect is an opportunity to mashup some of the software and resources.
The Panton is open to anyone (it’s a pub!). If you want to come to the hackfest and/org symposium just register (free) at http://www-pmr.ch.cam.ac.uk/wiki/Visions_of_a_%28Semantic%29_Molecular_Future_Registration