Meeting 105 – 23 March 2017


  • Actions from meeting 104 (Steve)
  • Component development
    • ICAT (Steve)
    • ICAT Manager (Alex)
    • Python-icat (Rolf)
    • IDS (Steve)
      • FUSE
      • PollCat (Frazer)
      • SmartClient (Steve)
      • IDAV (Tom Gowland)
    • TopCAT (Jody)
    • IJP (Brian R/Alastair)
    • ICAT Dashboard (Tom Gowland)
    • Multi-container support (Steve)
    • Installation (Steve)
    • Review of website (Andy)
  • Issues from ICAT production deployments (Any)
  • AOB (Any)

Present: Steve, Jianguo, Tom Gowland, Rolf, Jody, Peter, Frazer, Milan

Apologies: Alex, Andy, Kevin, Tom Griffin, Alastair

Actions from 104

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

Action 102.1: Rolf reported that this is ongoing and is dependent on the work being done on the internal logging in the IDS.

Action 102.2: Brian was not present to discuss this action.

Component Development

ICAT – Steve reported that 8 snapshots have been released as part of 4.9. The Lucene release requires Payara and all of the other releases support Payara as well as GlassFish 4.0. Steve also reported that the same installation scripts from Glassfish installations can still be used and that Payara is externally almost identical to Glassfish. Steve has also made changes to the RESTful authenticators and notes  that if you specify a JNDI  it will be preferred to a RESTful url. Therefore, any configuration of the authenticators should be done with care at this point. Rolf has messaged the group to further explore the issues that he’s been having with installing the new releases on GlassFish 4.0. Steve said he would look further into Rolf’s issues and try to reproduce the errors by installing the new releases on GlassFish 4.0.

IDS – Steve is still awaiting a reply from Rolf regarding IDS locking issues. Steve also suggested that Java’s own reentrantlock class might be useful in the development of IDS. Rolf said he would look into this. Steve reported that he has recently been looking into issues that Diamond have been having with the IDS. The isPrepared call might take a long time at the moment. A fix has been coded and will be available in the next release along with  a more efficient getSize. This next release will also use the new style property configuration files.

PollCat – Frazer reported that there has recently been more movement in the staging of data onto the Scarf cluster at STFC. There will also be further developments so that PollCat can make use of the isPrepared call which is being introduced into the IDS.

IDAV – Tom Gowland reported that recent developments have been focussed on adding a MyData view to the top level structure of IDAV. When IDAV was given to users at ISIS to test, they reported that they would like an easier way to get to the data that belongs to them. Although a MyData view had been attempted before, the code needed a general refactor to make progress possible. Tom also reported that he has been working on trying to speed up the listing of datafiles which takes a long time for any more than 100 files.

TopCAT – Jody reported that version 2.3 of TopCAt is very close to being released. 2.3 will include a file uploader and also improvements to pluggability and documentation. Jody has also been developing a plugin in order to facilitate a single sign on option for ISIS. He has also spent two days with Damien and Alex from the ESRF to introduce them to developing their own TopCAT plugins.

ICAT Dashboard – Tom Gowland reported that he has recently been helping the ESRF team to redeploy Dashboard for their facility. The issues were initially solved by getting around the proxy at ESRF so that Dashboard could communicate with the APIs that it needs. Tom also reported he had been working on adding more configurability to the Dashboard such that users can change their default home page and default time periods that data is shown for as well amongst other options. He is also working on making the frequency with which Dashboard talks to ICAT configurable as well which is something the team at ESRF have suggested.

IJP – Alastair had sent in a report saying that what he has done with the IJP has been on things that will enable the Octopus use of IJP rather than central IJP functionality. Enhancements include: emptying of cart when job is completed and improvements to the configure job dialog. Bug fixes include enabling the detection of jobs with status unknown, handling of orphaned jobs correctly , better failure messages for submission failures and optional options for job provenance.

Review of ICAT Project website – Although unable to attend the meeting, Andy had reported that he has started work on the review of the website and hopes to distribute it at the start of next week.

AOB & Issues from ICAT Production Deployments

Package Nomenclature – Rolf has sent a mail which outlines his proposal for defining a specific nomenclature for code packages. He suggests that they should all be of the following initial structure:<FacilityName>. There was general agreement for this proposal.

Config files on GitHub – Rolf reported that he had set up a GitHub repository containing configuration files from different ICAT components. He suggested that other facilities might find more examples useful and Steve asked him to move the repository to the ICAT/contrib repository for people to have a look and see if they find it useful.

File uploading query – Jianguo asked Jody whether the new file uploader would allow a user to upload a whole folder or just individual files. Jody replied that multiple files could be selected and added at once but adding a folder itself would not work.


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