[Pipet Devel] Re: Overflow/Loci/GMS collaboration

Jean-Marc Valin jean-marc.valin at hermes.usherb.ca
Mon Mar 13 23:23:35 EST 2000

> That's along the line of what GMS has accomplished and Loci has been trying to
> accomplish.  This is something we'll need to discuss since we have 3 ideas
> about how this can be done.
> But if Overflow were to be a node in GMS, Overflow would have to handle input
> from and output to the outside world.  I imagine Overflow might need a special
> node for doing that.  An idea that we had for Loci, was that unconnected lines
> on a workspace would represent data that would flow to and from the outside.
> And since Loci was going to nest workspace in a workspace in a workspace,
> etc., and each nested workspace is itself a node, unconnected lines would mean
> data flows to a parent.  I'd like to see us do that in our collaboration.

The reason I was suggesting the Overflow core is that we already handle IO with
files and pipes, so Overflow nodes can also be executables (it's tested and it
works). From what I know now, I see two options:
1) Wrap all Overflow as a Loki/GMS node
2) Use Overflow's core and implement the missing functionnalities.

I'd personnaly prefer 2) but the main question is whether the design we have can
handle the new features from Loci/GMS. I think it is general enough but again,
you might prove me wrong. Can you try find out things in Loci you don't think
Overflow can do, and I'll try to see whether that's the case. As for 1) I'm sure
you can already do it with what you have. Simply edit an Overflow document that
takes its inputs from a file and sends its output to another file (or stdout)
and you're done.

I forgot... another thing we have in Overflow that's essential (well, for what I
do with it) is the ability to "automatically" cache the results that will be
reused in another iteration of a loop or by another node, so nothing gets
computed twice.

I don't know whether that was your original goal, but what we're about to do by
merging the 3 proejcts is this: a graphical shell (we could call it vsh, as in
visual shell). Though with Overflow, it would also be a scientific application
(the original Overflow goal was to be a "visual Matlab").


Jean-Marc Valin
Universite de Sherbrooke - Genie Electrique
valj01 at gel.usherb.ca

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