ICAT Project


Meeting 126 – 25th April 2019


Stuart, Chris P,  Brian R. Sylvie, Rolf, Alex


Andy G.  Louise, George on leave.

Stuart: could we replace Hangouts with BlueJeans / Zoom stuff, and our VC stuff?

Rolf: will switch to HZB’s videoconf rooms – pressure not to use Hangouts (too)!

Alex: would need to book VC room, but could do.  Stuart says BlueJeans / Zoom can be used on a laptop.

Component releases:

ICAT Server (Stuart):

  • Nothing to report

Topcat (Brian):

Topcat new snapshot (yesterday):

  • console warning if wait for plugins starts to get long
  • Add optional preamble HTML to login page, defined in lang.json (issue #415)
  • Add showAsButton to authenticator configuration (in topcat.json) to give an authenticator its own login button (issue #418)
  • Add extraLoginButtons to facility configuration (in topcat.json) (issue #419)
  • Remove DOI and some login redirections from browser history (issue #424)
  • Replace hard-wired entity inclusions in metatabs with calculated inclusions (issue #405)

The login/authenticator configuration changes were motivated by ISIS requirements, largely concerning users coming to Topcat from DOI landing pages, who were finding the login page confusing; so more text needed, and separate buttons for anonymous login and for registration with the ISIS User Office); also, redirections within Topcat were making it impossible for them to get back to the DOI landing page by using their browser’s Back button.

IDS Server (Rolf):

  • Last week released plugin and storage-file; have discussed changes additional log call main storage; have sent instructions for plugin authors.
  • New call only from upcoming version of ids server; so only update plugin then.
  • Mostly ready to release ids server; debate today, release tomorrow.

Stuart summarised the issue: behaviour of current IDS – when restoring dataset level, if a file is missing, can cause an exception in the plugin. Rolf would like IDS to throw an exception; but Alex relies on current behaviour where it continues to restore data from the zipfile. Stuart suggests a compromise of making the strict behaviour the default but configurable.  Rolf: this may not work. If ICAT is not consistent with storage, IDS will not work. Many other places where this can happen. Risk of downloading a corrupt zipfile.

Stuart: how does it work for Alex at present?

Rolf: it will restore with ids 1.9.0 but zipfile will be corrupt. Alex: impression was it was working fine; but it doesn’t. Test yesterday produced an error. So it may never have worked [after all].

Rolf: new behaviour would throw an error, so DSRestorer would stop.

Stuart: is this reported back to the user?

Rolf: nothing happens: the file does not restore, and so [sits at Restoring…?]

Alex would like to test again.  Consider adding [expected] location as new datafile parameter, but will have to be added to every datafile.

Stuart: suggest Alex tests again tomorrow, if still fails, let Rolf continue with his pull request, as it won’t make any difference to what Alex sees.

Rolf: consider visit Grenoble to discuss further.

Site reports


Stuart: nothing from ISIS (via George)


Chris: no real changes in last few weeks. Interested in progressing discussions on IDS improvements, including new hardware.

Stuart: Rolf suggested using hard links, and that looks like a good solution – one-line change to code, so trying it.  Considering a larger change to the tidier process, perhaps use it to point to the area where we create these links, and use it to clean them up. More thought needed.

Rolf: can’t use current tidier to do this.

Stuart: ? separate tidier to manage links? Delete old files, or delete files until some threshold is reached.


Rolf: upgraded production to 4.10, and it works.  Also tried using schema changes, successfully.

Chris: DLS still to decide 4.9.3 vs. 4.10 – may not need schema changes.