Developers – 10/10 &10/11/2013

Thursday, October 10, 3-4pm: 
Judy, Jenny, Vir, met via gotomeeting with Evergreen students Dani and Justin to introduce them.  We briefly talked about student projects for VISTAS, and then Vir, Justin and Dani each talked about what they did over the summer (Vir presented a powerpoint about his time at Rackspace, which included things he wishes he’d known before going).  Dani went to ‘sysmat’, a 2 week intensive CS security workshop, followed by an internship at Dartmouth.  Justin did an internship at Wizards of the Coast, a game company (viz. “Magic the Gathering”) where he did stress tests and wrote test automation.  We also talked about Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 VISTAS compiles (see below).  Kendra Schmall was unable to join us this week but has completed her Undergraduate Thesis Proposal and will join us in subsequent sessions.

Friday, October 11, 3-4:30pm:
Judy, Mike, Nik, and Vir met following the 1-2pm retreat planning session (Judy, Mike, Susan, Denise, Kirsten).   We discussed what we will request from Collaborators prior to the retreat and current status of VISTAS development (see below).

We also decided that next week’s meeting will be a reading group (need paper!).

Follow up to that meeting involves:

  1. Vir will create a new VISTAS exe, prepare new zip files for easy compile with both 2010 and 2012 Visual Studio, start back working on VISTAS backend for John, and continue work on the webGL VISTAS, and do a 64 bit VISTAS build.
  2. Nik will continue getting VISTAS ready for Bob.
  3. Mike will investigate possible fileshare with Google
  4. Judy will investigate possible fileshare with Amazon and MS Azure, update collaborators (see below), post meeting notes, think on what we developers want done before the retreat.

Update to collaborators on retreat prep and VISTAS development :  (10/14)
QUESTIONS FOR COLLABORATORS : for the retreat we will be asking you to prepare a 15-20 minute presentation on your visualization use and desires. kirsten will follow thru with details on that, but we are hoping that john, bob, and allen will make time prior to nov 14 to “exercise” the most recent version of VISTAS. this will be a huge help to us! Vir will let you know as soon as the new .exe is available.


overall: Vir and Nik have made a changes that speed VISTAS up considerably. this is great. Dani’s short guide is essentially still good, but she is sending out an editable copy for us to check. we will let you know what that is vetted and posted.

Vir is experimenting with a WebGL VISTAS that will allow users to display visualizations so that a download of the app is not needed. note that the file to visualize would need to reside on the server (not the user’s computer), so you will likely still need to download the full vistas.

In the longer term, Nik anticipates the capability to ‘save’ VISTAS projects so users can avoid the time consuming process of loading a file when VISTAS is invoked.  In other words, users will need only load a file once if they save the current session as a “project.”

FYI: fileshare for VELMA/ENVISION/WIND files (and sample visualizations) that we know work with VISTAS. since some of the VELMA (in particular) files are quite large, and there are so many ENVISION files, we are looking towards establishing a (large) fileshare (amazon, MS, google) where we put files that we (and interested outsiders) can use to ‘exercise’ VISTAS.

re VELMA: nik found the bug that prevented you guys from going further with your in-person meetings. he’ll fix it. he is also working hard to get the 2D vis (for graphs) working, and will let you know as soon as that is ready and there is a new .exe.

we will be interested in better understanding the development strategy for future VELMA (Java/C++) as a future development effort will involve making VISTAS work as a backend to VELMA….

re ENVISION: vir believes that he has finished the major functional needs John asked for last year. he is now working on the ability to run VISTAS as a backend to ENVISION, but needs to meet with john to pick that up again.

re WIND VIS: kendra schmal (undergrad from Willamette) will work on a webGL visualization for wind, that would be a prototype for a VISTAS implementation to follow. dani (undergrad from Evergreen) is researching how artists have conceptualized such phenomena. Mike and Vir are also looking into this (thanks to some demo video files that christoph sent).

bottom line – please contact us if any of this is confusing or unclear, and (john, bob, allen) please set aside a little time before nov 14 to work with VISTAS. we’ll be standing by to hold your hands if you need it.