[Pipet Devel] NetInputs and NetOutputs

Brad Chapman chapmanb at arches.uga.edu
Mon Jun 19 10:48:54 EDT 2000

Hello all;
	I've been working on getting Overflow ideas and concepts worked
into Piper, but am not sure how we are planning on integrating the concept
of NetInputs and NetOutputs from Overflow.
	So, first let me try to explain what NetInputs and NetOutputs are.
Overflow has the ideas of Networks, which are equivalent to Workspaces in
Loci, and the idea of Subnets, which are equivalent to composite loci in
Loci. The idea is that Subnets are like little functions, that take some
kind of input, process it, and then generate some kind of output. This is
cool since it lets you simplify the overall workflow diagram, and also lets
you reuse useful internal functions. One of the key concepts that goes
along with this is the ideas of the Inputs that flow into a subnet, and the
Outputs that go out (which are just like the parameters and return values
of a function).
	Now, I'm trying to think of how to make this work in Piper, using
the gnome GUI (pied) from Loci. I attached a screenshot from the current
Piper which shows what this looks like. In the simple example, we have a
Constant value putting its input into a composite (which is analagous to a
Subnet in Overflow), and a TextViewer recieving the output from the
composite. Inside the composite, we just have a NetExec locus, which will
process the input, and return the output.
	Now, the question is, what is the process by which we will direct
the input from the Constant into, say, input connector 1 of the NetExec.
Similarly, how will we direct the output of say, output connector 1 of the
NetExec into the TextViewer?
	I am not sure at all how this is concieved to work in GUI, so I'm
having a hard time visualizing how to model it in the definition layer.
Does anyone have any ideas about how to do this, so that I can get a better
grasp on what do ? Thanks much!

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