While samtools has become an essential tool for processing NGS alignment in the past 4.5 years, I increasingly feel that I am unable to resolve issues and to address user requests in a timely and satisfactory manner due to my limited bandwidth. As such, I am stepping down from the (de facto) lead developer of samtools and its associated projects including tabix and htslib. Petr Danecek and John Marshall from the Sanger Institute will lead the future development and continue to rectify and improve samtools etc. Several Sanger developers will also contribute.
Petr has been a long-time developer of the samtools project as well as vcftools. He has already contributed more code and commits than me over the past year or so. John has contributed ideas and code improvement since the early days of samtools. He is going to put much more time on samtools from now on. Both Petr and John are highly experienced C/C++ programmers and understand how samtools work and what users need. I am very confident that they will make samtools better.
Going forward, we samtools developers plan to unify samtools, tabix and htslib and to integrate part of the vcftools functionality (the part Petr is maintaining in Perl) and CRAM support into samtools. Petr and John might talk about details later.
At the same time, I will continue to contribute to the project and address user requests on the mailing list - I am not leaving the project. With this email, I mainly want to clarify that the ongoing organization of the samtools development team and the sketch of the future plans, which I believe would be good for users to know but have never been stated before.
Finally, I am grateful to all the samtools users who reported bugs, requested features, provided fixes, contributed ideas and answered questions from other users. You have really helped me and this project a lot.
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