[Pipet Devel] New piper version + docs

Brad Chapman chapmanb at arches.uga.edu
Sat Jun 10 07:12:23 EDT 2000

Jeff wrote:
> BTW, do you want the sockets API to be phased out?

Well...I already blasted it away, so I guess so :-). Seriously, I 
don't want to have to maintain two APIs and I think the CORBA one is 
much more straightforward, so this is the new API for talking to the 
dl from a user interface. I'm quite sensitive to the concerns that 
Gary had about a CORBA interface being harder to learn, which is one 
of the reasons I started writing the docs. I also don't really think 
the XML API has that much less of a learning curve, because there you 
need to understand how to generate and parse XML, so you still have a 
learning curve, just a different one. I hope this is okay with people.

> There was quite a bit of confusion between you and me about how to 
> this container.  I eventually wanted to make container == workspace 
> unconnected loci, and we argued about that for a while.

This is all your baby since it deals with GUI stuff. My only point, 
which you echo below, is that it is kind of a pain to use the 
"workspace" view to represent things like filesystems and databases, 
which can have a lot of loci.

> I still want container == workspace (network) of unconnected loci 
(nodes) for
> MOST types of containers.  But, a database "container" is a special 
> particularly since there are so many database "items" to consider 
(we can't
> make one node per database item when some databases are huge).  So, 
> databases should not be workspaces but instead treated like any other
> external
> program.

My plan was to make filesystems and databases separate locus types, so 
I think we are on the save wavelength here.

[...stuff about DOM...]
> Do they still use "node" in the namespace?

"Node" is part of the spec and is never doing away. This is just a 
packaging change so that the 4DOM stuff can now be integrated into the 
XML-SIG package, so now we will have one less dependency! Yay, I'm 
doing my part to reduce dependencies :-).

>>     I also updated the dl documentation and added two new docs, "How
>> to Plug a Program into Piper"
> Super.  But maybe this should be part of the BL or PL docs.
>> and "How to write a UI for Piper."
> And this should be part of the UIL docs.  

Well, I think of all the docs as "Piper" docs, and I'm definately not 
trying to take over anyone elses doc writing responsibilities. What 
I'm trying to do is have actual written things about how things work 
(instead of just mailing list archives) so that we can all get on the 
same page and also have something to show people if they get 
interested in Piper. Since I just changed the user interface to 
dl commmunication to use CORBA, no one else presumedly knows what I am 
doing here (unless they can read my mind :-), so I wanted to try and 
explain that. The "how to write a user interface doc" is more designed 
to explain the thoughts behind the uil to definition layer 
communication, so that you and Deanne can use it. I was hoping this 
might clear up some of the questions you guys had about how to talk to 
the dl (when you were mailing back and forth about Peep).

> Seriously, my (and our) goal is to make BL and PL network design and
> operation
> almost identical from the user's point of view.

Well, we want to have everyone using the same GUI as soon as possible, 
so that we can hack on the same source. Jean-Marc's point in keeping 
his GUI was that he needs to use Overflow for his master's work, so it 
doesn't make any sense to switch to using Piper, which doesn't even 
work yet. So the sooner we can get Overflow functionality into Piper 
so that Jean-Marc can do everything he wants to, the sooner we can 
start working off the same source. Then we will only have one (set) of 
GUIs to maintain, so hopefully this can make us all a lot more 
productive, and also free most of us from having to do GUI coding :-)

> So, when do we want to put the Piper source on our sourceforge 

As soon as it is ready! Seriously, I'm very ready to get it into cvs 
so that I don't have to make tarballs and everything anymore and so 
that we can all coordinate things and more people can hack on this.
    If Deanne could send me her most current Peep stuff, I can also 
put this in there and then import it all of it into CVS, if it is set 
    Thanks for getting back with me on all this, Jeff.


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