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Data Sources

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Data Download Scripts

The DataDownloader system uses a plugin architecture to make it more straightforward to download data from arbitrary sources, and to add new sources to the system


The system is a package located at bio/scripts/DataDownloader.

The package contains:

Core libraries
Source Plugins
configuration files
The executable launcher


  • Moose
  • MooseX::ABC
  • MooseX::FollowPBP
  • MooseX::FileAttribute
  • Net::FTP
  • Log::Handler
  • DateTime
  • Module::Find
  • Web::Scraper
  • Ouch
  • Number::Format
  • PerlIO::gzip
  • Perl6::Junction

If you are using Ubuntu (tested on 12.10), you can run the following command to install the packages:

$ sudo apt-get install libpath-class-perl libmoosex-types-path-class-perl liblog-handler-perl liblog-report-perl libdatetime-perl libmoosex-followpbp-perl libyaml-perl libmodule-find-perl libperlio-gzip-perl libouch-perl libnumber-format-perl

Other perl modules need to be installed via CPAN:

$ cpan
cpan[1]> install MooseX::ABC
cpan[2]> install MooseX::FileAttribute

Data Source Configuration

To learn how to configure data sources of your mine, look here for examples:


The yaml file of your mine is where data download script reads the instruction


To run a set of data downloads, the following call should suffice:

perl bio/scripts/DataDownloader/bin/download_data -e intermine

The Current working directory of the script is immaterial.

Specific sources can be run by naming them on the command line:

perl bio/scripts/DataDownloader/bin/download_data -e intermine Uniprot GOAnnotation

Source names are case-sensitive. You can get a list of the available sources with the switch ‘–sources’.

Adding a new Source

A source is a class in the ‘DataDownloader::Source’ package that implements the following method:

  • ‘get_data’: Get all the data for this source

And accepts the following arguments in its constructor:

  • data_dir => “dirname” the name of a directory to put data in, preferably in a sub-directory.* logger => Log::Handler A logger to use to log error and debug messages.Exceptions may be thrown by a source at any time. They will be caught and logged. It is the source’s responsibility to clean up after itself however.

A template for creating a source is available in the form of an abstract class all Sources are expected to inherit from. This class, DataDownloader::Source::ABC makes it simple to add straightforward source downloaders, and provides helpers to make it convenient to add complex ones.

A minimal source can be seen in the form of bio/scripts/DataDownloader/lib/DataDownloader/Source/

package DataDownloader::Source::FlyAnatomyOntology;

use Moose;
extends 'DataDownloader::Source::ABC';

use constant {
    TITLE  => 'Fly Anatomy Ontology',
    DESCRIPTION => "Drosophila Anatomy ontology from FlyBase",
    SOURCE_LINK => "",
    SOURCE_DIR => 'ontologies/fly-anatomy',
    SOURCES => [{
        FILE   => 'fly_anatomy.obo',
        SERVER => '*checkout*/obo/obo/ontology/anatomy/gross_anatomy/animal_gross_anatomy/fly',


This source fully inherits the behaviour of the ‘DataDownloader::Source::ABC’ abstract class, and only adds configuration. In this case, it defines a set of constants that describe this source:

  • ‘TITLE’: The human readable name of the source shown in log messages.
  • ‘DESCRIPTION’: A Longer description of the data that appears in a version file.
  • ‘SOURCE_LINK’: A link to the origin of the material that appears in the version file.
  • ‘SOURCE_DIR’: The sub-directory under the ‘data_dir’ of the constructor where the new files should be placed.

And some constants that define the data to fetch:

  • ‘SOURCES’: Any data sources defined by this constant will automatically be added to the queue of files to download.

Each source is a hash-reference with the following keys:

  • ‘FILE’: The name of the file on the remote server
  • ‘SERVER’: The path to the location of the file to fetch.

Further keys that can be defined include:

  • ‘POSTPROCESSOR’: A code-reference which will called as a method and passed the downloaded file, and the location where it should end up.