>> One of my colleagues is having trouble developing a peculiar tool: it
has no inputs. This makes sense in our local
>> context - it fetches some constantly updating remote data for the
current user - but implementing it has escaped our
>> skill. Galaxy complains about a tool with no params (i.e. an empty
<inputs>). It complains about a tool with no
>> <inputs> tag. Hidden input fields don't seem to work (i.e. looks like
I'm getting the cached value of the form).
>
> From: "Duddy, John" <jdu...@illumina.com>
> 
> Doesn't this violate one of the basic tenets of Galaxy -
reproducibility? Without the ability to provide full
> traceability to the inputs, one can make no guarantees about the
outputs.

I think that condition is being met - the resulting dataset depends on
no inputs but the time of "fetching", and so traceability is satisfied,
just like many remote and updating data sources. In any event, our
pragmatic need in this case is for such a tool without any need for
reproducibility. 

Which leads me to note the strange behaviour seen when the only input is
a hidden field. When the inputs are:

        <inputs>
                <param name="input_seq_file" type="data" format="fasta"
                        label="Input sequences"
                        help="The sequences to have MLST profiles
constructed for."
                />
                <param name="offset" type="hidden" value="0" />
        </inputs>

this works as expected: a dataset selection dropdown and a hidden field
(seen in the source). But if you delete the non-hidden parameter:

        <inputs>
                <param name="offset" type="hidden" value="0" />
        </inputs>

Galaxy doesn't generate an error, reports loading the tool, and puts an
entry in the tool panel. However the link for the tool in question is
malformed, missing a tool identifier and when clicked only reloads the
middle welcome panel. 

I haven't worked out where and why this is happening, but at the least
it's an uninformative error.

----
Paul Agapow (paul-michael.aga...@hpa.org.uk)
Bioinformatics, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency
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