All Hands – 4/5/2013

Via gotomeeting.

Purpose of the meeting:  Plan 4/12 Developers’ Meeting with Bob, Allen, and John by Vir’s demonstrating current (working) version of VISTAS (including both ENVISION and VELMA functionality).    Somewhat unfortunately for the short term, we only got through with the demo for VELMA VISTAS’ code, since we spent most of the time talking about the overall purpose of the system, namely “who will be using VISTAS and what does the user of the software need to know about the content of the visualizations.  At this point at least, the software is meant for our close collaborators only;  and our objective right now is simply to get the software into their hands so they can use it to explore their data.  Once we have worked out the bugs we will work with them on providing context for the visualization.  The question will be:  will they use VISTAS to generate images that they then embed in presentations and publications, or will they want VISTAS to stand on its own with their customers (e.g., resource managers)?   In between these two extremes is the extent to which VISTAS images should be annotated with metadata such as:  attribute viewed, data set name, data set created by what, whom and when, etc.

That said, the discussion brought home the importance of some of us being able to demonstrate VISTAS in a way that captures the scientific purpose (not ‘just’ the technology), and the need for use cases that clearly define the system boundaries for the components under development.

Issues identified:

  • Min and max values for attributes do not appear o change when user selects a new variable to view on a second scene.
  • Slider does not appear to be synchronized with the screen.  This might be a difficult problem to solve.


  • Kirsten’s paper proposal was accepted – she’ll update us!  Congratulations Kirsten!  Kirsten will do a dry run of her presentation at the May All Hands Meeting
  • Judy has purchased gotomeeting….Thanks to Nik for recommending it.  we discovered our first limitation with the software – only 6 persons can be seen on video.
  • Dani Witherspoon (Evergreen undergraduate CS student) is joining the project – for this quarter (through June 15), she take on the responsibility of
    a) quickstart guides – writing one for ENVISION features and updating VELMA guide,
    b) writing Use Cases,
    c) research the CS scientific visualization centers, and other CS vis research,
    d) testing new functionality and developing regression tests for prior functionality,
    e) identifying, archiving, and documenting test case files.
    Next year (2013-14 academic year),  when she learns C and C++, Dani will start coding VISTAS plugins.

Key people and roles:
developers: Vir (to demo), Lee (to help us test VISTAS for VELMA), Nik
Kirsten, Denise, Susan, Jenny, Mike:  to critique current implementation, offer ideas
Danni:  to be introduced, get a feeling for VISTAS so she can start writing user docs
Judy: to run the meeting, and set agenda for 4/12