[kepler-dev] Why I can't work: a plea for stability

Edward A. Lee eal at eecs.berkeley.edu
Thu Apr 20 18:07:20 PDT 2006

Ptolemy has also gone through periods with many cooks in the kitchen,
but there are certain strategies that seem to help quite a bit...
One is to minimize centralized resources.  It seems that the icons
and search mechanisms in Kepler both went the other way, adding both
fragility and complexity (resulting in slower startup, for example).
Perhaps these designs should be revisited?  One of the reasons that Ptolemy
uses *Icon.xml files, for example, rather than something centralized
is precisely to enable and encourage experimentation that doesn't
break things for everyone else.  You can have your own idiosyncratic
actor library without stepping on anyone's toes...


At 01:19 PM 4/20/2006, Dan Higgins wrote:
>     I fully agree with your comments. I am worried that Kepler is way
>too fragile for a project supposedly this near to release. I attribute
>this to 'too many cooks in the kitchen', but that may just be the cost
>of a distributed open-source project. In other words, I don't have a
>good solution for the problem.
>Christopher Brooks wrote:
> >I'm not actually upset or anything, but I thought I'd give
> >you an outsider's perspective.
> >
> >I'm one of the worst offenders here, since I know I broke the build
> >yesterday which my diva related changes.  I had things working
> >in one tree, but was not able to test because of a problem in
> >my other tree on another machine.
> >
> >Basically, I thought on my other tree I had broken something
> >and spend several hours tracking down the problem as being that
> >some geon actors were removed, but geon.xml was not updated.
> >It took more time than necessary because I upgraded Eclipse
> >and did a reinstall of ptII and kepler sources so I could
> >be sure.  It also took more time because the error message
> >was a NullPointerException and I had not seen this sort
> >of error before.
> >
> >Now, I'm facing problems with Eclipse again?
> >I'm seeing errors about cipres PAUPInfer class?
> >
> >It does not build in Eclipse, so I excluded it, and
> >then I had to remove some files from actors
> >and then trash ~/.kepler and run ant buildkarlib
> >
> >I eventually did all that stuff and now I was able to work.
> >
> >
> >A couple of comments:
> >1) We all, (me especially) need to be more careful about not breaking
> >the build and Kepler in general
> >
> >2) Kepler needs to be restructured so that it does not require the
> >entire library to be present and working at startup.  Ptolemy II does
> >this so as to avoid problems like PAUPInfer.  I don't know what this
> >class does, and since I'm not using it, I shouldn't care.  This would
> >help start up time.  I think that this might possibly be worth
> >considering implementing before 1.0.
> >
> >3) The Eclipse instructions are very complex.  We were never able to
> >help Sivagowri Swaminathan <sivagowri at hotmail.com> to his or my
> >satisfaction.  BTW - Under Eclipse 3.2.0 (rc1), with java 1.5.0_06,
> >the svg icons are not visible for me?  Not sure why.
> >
> >4) The limitation about being able to run only one Kepler because
> >of the database is troubling.  I'm running on a shared Windows
> >server.  If I wanted to use Kepler in a class and have students
> >run on this server, would I be able to?
> >
> >Anyway, those are some random thoughts.  As I said, I'm not
> >at all upset about these issues, and I really enjoy contributing
> >and collaborating with you all.  I think Kepler is pretty slick,
> >I like what you've done with Ptolemy and appreciate you putting
> >up with Ptolemy's (and my) ideosyncracies.
> >
> >_Christopher
> >_______________________________________________
> >Kepler-dev mailing list
> >Kepler-dev at ecoinformatics.org
> >http://mercury.nceas.ucsb.edu/ecoinformatics/mailman/listinfo/kepler-dev
> >
> >
>Dan Higgins                                  higgins at nceas.ucsb.edu
>http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/    Ph: 805-893-5127
>National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) Marine 
>Science Building - Room 3405
>Santa Barbara, CA 93195
>Kepler-dev mailing list
>Kepler-dev at ecoinformatics.org

Edward A. Lee
Professor, Chair of the EE Division, Associate Chair of EECS
231 Cory Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-1770
phone: 510-642-0253 or 510-642-0455, fax: 510-642-2845
eal at eecs.Berkeley.EDU, http://ptolemy.eecs.berkeley.edu/~eal  

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