When we began doing training on the UCSC Genome Browser nearly a decade ago, we were going around and telling people about all these cool things they could do to show what they wanted in a genomic region. And they began to ask us: Can I save this view if I like it? We heard that over and over, and gave that feedback to UCSC.
And lo and behold: Sessions! The UCSC team created a way to store the filters, menus, tracks, regions–to show exactly what you wanted, and reload them later for yourself. Or you could get a URL to share with others. This was a HUGE hit as we went around doing more trainings.
Here’s our first announcement about that–from 2008: Oh, could you take a look at this? Browser sessions.
I use this all the time now. It’s great for training, blogging, and other conversations with people. There’s a few genomic regions I’m scientifically interested in, and sometimes I reload those and look at new SNPs or ESTs or other data that might have come in (and next week’s Tip of the Week will cover another new data type!).
If you haven’t used Sessions, check them out. We mention them in the intro training–and mention that you have to create a login in the wiki system. But just now I got a mailing list notice that they have changed that slightly–it’s not the wiki login now, it’s a new system. But not to worry–I just tested it, and it’s true: all my sessions are there, and it was no problem to just use the new login interface. Remembered all my stuff.
Here’s the announcement:
If you have ever created or used Sessions in Genome Browser, then you have signed into the website. (If you don’t know what a Session is, they are useful for saving or sharing a snapshot/configuration of the Genome Browser. Read more about them here: http://genome.ucsc.edu/goldenPath/help/hgSessionHelp.html).
In the past, the sign-up process was handled by our wiki site: http://genomewiki.ucsc.edu. Today we released a new sign-up method and are discontinuing our reliance on the wiki site. Other than a few minor changes to look-and-feel of the Session page, this change will be transparent to you. You will continue to save, share, and load saved sessions as before. All previously-saved sessions are still available under the same username. Your username, password and email addresses are all the same as they were before the change.
The current Media-wiki server at http://genomewiki.ucsc.edu will continue to serve as a forum for users to share knowledge and ideas.
As always, if you have difficulties with Sessions or anything else on the website, do not hesitate to ask our help desk at email@example.com.
To see the intro training that includes the session piece (freely available as it is sponsored by UCSC): http://openhelix.com/ucsc