[Pipet Devel] loci-config, a modest task?

J.W. Bizzaro bizzaro at bc.edu
Sun Sep 19 20:05:35 EDT 1999

barry cohen wrote:
> ps I've been doing some Python coding;
> so perhaps I could take on some modest
> task.

I think we should start on a configuration program for Loci: 'loci-config'. 
This would be a program that runs separately from the others and is used to (1)
set preferences, (2) help with installation and (3) launch the other programs. 
And since it will be the launching 'Loci', it should be named 'loci' (or be
symlinked from 'loci') and be the first program executed.

I would like it to be written in Python/GTK/GNOME, but it doesn't HAVE TO use

The preferences manager would...

    (1) Set Workspace theme (pixmap or solid color)

    (2) Set locus colors (right now, black on white or white on black)

    (3) Set locus scale (the size of loci can be scaled up x1-5)

    (4) Set GTK widget theme (pixmap or solid color)

Regarding themes, they are actually specified in a 'gtkrc' file.  We will have
preconfigured gtkrc files, so we don't have to worry about writing to them.  We
would just allow for selection between those available.  So, we should have a
directory where the gtkrc files are stored, like this:


And the user can select theme1.gtkrc, etc.

The preference settings should be stored in two places, as is common for UNIX
systems: (1) in the Loci installation directory, maybe...


and (2) in the user's directory:

    or ~/.loci/locirc  ?

We also want this configuration program to manage installation.  So the
installation manager would...

    (1) Check for the presence of libraries required to run Loci.
        (I think this should be done every time Loci starts.)

    (2) Manage the installation/removal of individual loci/locuses.


Installation management is very much akin to installing RPMs.  There had been
some talk about using RPM itself, and all we may need to do is make a wrapper
for RPM.  Typically, Loci will not be transporting programs across the Internet,
but just the GUI represented as XML.  If the user wants to get something like an
analysis program and install it on his own computer, that should be done in the
traditional fashion: Get the tarball (or RPM) and install it.  This would mean
setting it up so that it is accessible by others that use the computer, which in
turn means the sys admin needs to install it.

Finally, the config program should lauch the rest of Loci.  Why?  As I mentioned
above, loci-config will check for library dependencies and installed loci.  This
will assure that Loci starts up properly and knows what locuses are available
(to the local user and to remote users).  So I think this config program will
start up with a dialog box containing a graphic, some text about what config is
doing, and a progress bar (see how The GIMP starts up):

        |                           |
        |     THE LOCI PROJECT      |
        |       (pretty pic)        |
        |                           |
        |   checking libraries...   |
        |                           |
        |  ############### 80%      |

And then when done checking everything, the user (or sys admin) can choose (via
button) from the 3 options:

        |                           |
        |     THE LOCI PROJECT      |
        |       (pretty pic)        |
        |                           |
        |                           |
        |  [Pref] [Inst] [Launch]   |
        |                           |

Any takers for working on this program?

                         |        J.W. Bizzaro        |
                         |  jeff at bioinformatics.org   |
                         |                            |
                         |        THE OPEN LAB        |
                         | Open Source Bioinformatics |
                         |                            |
                         | http://bioinformatics.org/ |

More information about the Pipet-Devel mailing list