The Best vs. the Good

Cameron Neylon recently posted another thought-provoking piece, this one titled, "Building the perfect data repository...or the one that might get used". In it, he talks about why big institutional efforts to create scientific data repositories have mostly failed to take off, and points at simpler grassroots efforts that scientists might actually adopt because they immediately and obviously solve problems that scientists actually realize they have. One that he points to is DataStage, "a secure personalized 'local' file management environment for use at the research group level, appearing as a mapped drive on the user's PC." Another is If This Then That, which is the simplest "dataflow" tool you could imagine, and which I've been using regularly since it burst on the scene a couple of months ago.