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HTSlib-js: Developer toolkit for a client-side JavaScript interface for HTSlib

By Jeongbin Park, Liam H Childs, Matthias Schlesner, Roland Eils

Posted 27 Aug 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/397935

Background: An increasing number of bioinformatics tools are developed in JavaScript to provide an interactive visual interface to users. However, there are no tools yet that enable fast client-side analysis of large, high-throughput sequencing file formats, such as BAM and VCF files. Results: We present HTSlib-js, an asm.js-based JavaScript wrapper for HTSlib, the de facto standard for processing BAM and VCF files. HTSlib-js exploits recent technological advances in web browser engines that dramatically increase the performance of browser-based tools to enable swift processing of files in the aforementioned formats. HTSlib-js enables quick development of JavaScript-based applications that include processing of aligned sequence reads and variant calling data. Conclusions: HTSlib-js constitutes a toolkit for developers to easily write fast, accessible, browser-based applications that place an emphasis on data visualization, interactivity and privacy. Real-world examples demonstrate the capabilities of HTSlib-js and serve as guide for own developments.

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