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Here's some good news for anyone who has been using both GATK and the Picard tools in their work -- which means all of you, since you all follow our Best Practices to a tee, right?
As you may know, both toolkits are developed here at the Broad Institute, and are deployed together in the Broad's analysis pipelines. The fact that they have been developed, released and supported separately so far is more an accident of history and internal organization than anything else (and we know it's inconvenient to y'all).
The good news is that we're taking steps to consolidate these efforts, which we believe will benefit everyone. In that spirit, we have been working closely with the Picard tools development team, and we're now ready to take the first step of consolidating support for the tools. From now on, you will be able to ask us questions about the Picard tools, and report bugs, in the GATK forum. And developers will be happy to hear that we are also committed to supporting HTSJDK for developers through the Github repo’s Issues tracker.
In the near future, we will also start hosting downloads and documentation for the Picard tools on the GATK website. And before you ask, yes, the Picard tools will continue to be completely open-source and available to all free of charge.
To recap, we have brought the GATK and Picard teams together, and we are working on bringing together in the same place all the methods and tools to perform genome analysis. Our goal is to make a world where you can run our complete Best Practices pipeline end-to-end with a single Broad toolkit. We think it’ll make your life easier, because it sure is making ours easier.
Geraldine Van der Auwera, PhD