ICAT Project


Meeting 104 – 23 February 2017


  • Actions from meeting 103 (Steve)
  • Component development
    • ICAT (Steve)
    • ICAT Manager (Alex)
    • Python-icat (Rolf)
    • IDS (Steve)
      • FUSE
      • PollCat (Frazer)
      • SmartClient (Steve)
      • WebDAV (Tom Gowland)
    • TopCAT (Jody)
    • IJP (Brian R)
    • ICAT Dashboard (Tom Gowland)
    • Multi-container support (Steve)
    • Installation (Steve)
  • Issues from ICAT production deployments (Any)
  • AOB (Any)

Present: Steve, Jody, Sylvie, Tom Gowland, Frazer, Kevin, Gordon, Brian Ritchie, Jianguo, Andy, Milan, Alex, Shelley, Tom Griffin, Rolf, Peter

Action 102.1: Rolf has not yet completed this action because the suggestion is first dependent on another change to the IDS regarding internal logging.

Action 102.2: Brian R. has not done this yet due to there being too many changes before the new releases

  • ICAT Development – Steve reported ICAT 4.9 is near to release. He reported that there is one more change that he’d like to make to separate the Lucene indexing such that two ICATs can rely on one Lucene index. There is still testing that needs to be done to overcome a bug that has been preventing this until now. Steve also reported that there has been a request from Diamon to allow the browsing of data in TopCAT by the data structure. Tom Griffin raised a concern about how to handle permissions on the nodes in this separate structure. Steve agreed to look into how rules would be enforced at this level. Steve made a final point about making ICAT more portable. A recent foray into ICAT by ELI-ALPS has shown up the problems with deploying on WildFly. Steve thinks this is due to WildFly not being able to find the properties files relatively. A possible solution will be to use a similar principal as with the logback XML files where the properties files are packaged up into the War file. Further to this point, Tom Griffin asked about Glassfish 4.1 support and Steve responded by saying new releases will gear towards supporting Payara instead.
  • Python-ICAT – Rolf reported that he is waiting for ICAT 4.9 to be released before making any further changes to Python-ICAT.
  • IDS – Steve reported that he has looked into Rolf’s pull-request which contains his work on locking. Steve sent a couple of suggestions back to Rolf and Rolf asked for some clarification on one of the points.
  • PollCat – Frazer reported that Sylvie has started to look into using PollCat for Diamond. Once there is a more formal plan in place, Frazer said he will look into providing a better installation path for PollCat.
  • WebDav – Tom Gowland reported that there is an upcoming deployment for ISIS. He also reported that there have been issues with datasets which contain many datafiles which is mainly due to the way in which Windows handles the files. When you mouse over a directory in Windows, it will attempt to load all of the information beyond that directory even though you might never have wanted that data in the first place. The best way to see if this will affect users of WebDav will be to see what comments come out of the deployment.
  • TopCAT – Jody reported that TopCAT 2.2.1 is now out. He is still doing some tinkering for Diamond and hopes that this will resolve any issues they are still having. He also reported that 2.3.0 is now nearly ready but before release it will need some more documentation of the plugin API. There was also some general discussion about Jody’s idea of simplifying the TopCAT configuration from the user’s perspective. This would involve extending the admin section of TopCAT to include a section where users can edit their TopCAT settings with explanations alongside. There was also an idea from Frazer which was to split the JSON file up into multiple smaller files to make TopCAT more easily configurable.
  • IJP – The graduate student (Thomas Attwood) did some work on supporting the versioning of datasets. He also worked on provenance linking betweek jobs. IJP now also checks that there is a corresponding application for each job type rather than making up its own. Brian has also been working on some changes to the appearance of the TopCAT plugin, introducing interactive sessions into the IJP and expanding the configure job dialogue.
  • Dashboard – Tom Gowland reported that he had been helping Alex at the ESRF to complete his Dashboard installation. The ESRF reported that they were using the Dashboard daily and they would love to see some more configurability. Tom Gowland suggested that if they had any specific wishes that they should add them to the GitHub issues for Dashboard. Tom also said that he had been working on the bugs that had been reported by the ESRF team and also adding a contacts page so that users with queries or issues could raise them by contacting the right people.
  • Multi-Container Support – As previously reported, this should be made more practical with the addition of properties files to the War file.
  • Installation – There was some general discussion about the documentation of ICAT as a whole. Steve mentioned that one outcome of the ICAT steering group was for Andy and Shelley to provide some feedback about how to improve the ICAT website. Tom Griffin mentioned that he had recently installed a piece of software which only required a Vagrant install in order to get a test copy up and running to see if it was fit for purpose. Tom said that this could be useful for those trying to get started with ICAT.
  • Issues from ICAT production deployments – Andy and Alex reported their performance issues which seem to have been fixed by the newest TopCAT release. They intend to closely monitor the situation to see if anything changes.
  • AOB – Andy submitted a proposal to E-Infra 12 which was declined. Rolf will be travelling to the ESRF to have discussions about the IDS. Andy reported that Alex and Damien will visit STFC to learn about TopCAT plugins. Kevin reported that he has just started work alongside the European Space Agency who want to use ICAT for their new Mars Rover



Item Description Assigned
102.1 Send message to icatgroup explaining proposed modification to plugin interface for IDS locking Rolf
102.2 Produce new releases of IJP components Brian Ritchie