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would like a command button for task info
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Questions and Answers : Wish list : would like a command button for task info

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Steve Wenner
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Message 44447 - Posted: 23 Jun 2012, 18:40:16 UTC

The "Show graphics" button in the Command section of the Task tab is very nice - could you add two more buttons, one linking to the model page (describing the model) and another to the experiment page (the particular experiment using the model)? This would provide an easy way for the newbie volunteer to quickly identify and get information on each task (both the simulation model and the experiment) without having to laboriously search through the climateprediction.net site. The "properties" button doesn't fill that function, being nothing more than a simple list of technical run data.
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Profile Dave Jackson
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Message 44450 - Posted: 24 Jun 2012, 10:20:15 UTC - in response to Message 44447.

I think the buttons are all a BOINC thing. Don't know if there is any scope for different projects to implement their own buttons or customise any that are there. My guess is there are those who know a lot more than I do who can answer that though.

Steve Wenner
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Message 44451 - Posted: 24 Jun 2012, 11:06:01 UTC - in response to Message 44450.

I notice that the buttons and button functions and button results are specific to each project and task; so, they can't be just a BOINC thing. Obviously,both the project people and the model people have a hand in determining what buttons are displayed and what they do.
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Steve Wenner
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Message 44452 - Posted: 24 Jun 2012, 11:21:15 UTC - in response to Message 44451.

The buttons are different for the three projects I am supporting (climateprediction, Milkyway@home and LHC@home). Also, within a given project, like climateprediction, some buttons return different results for each task (e.g., the "Properties" button for climateprediction). It seems to me the button functions could be enhanced to give some info about the experiment (maybe just a link an experiment page), as well as provide some info about the model being used for the selected task. (I see no need for any more project-level button functionality, just a need for more experiment-level and model-level info).
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Steve Wenner
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Message 44453 - Posted: 24 Jun 2012, 11:38:47 UTC - in response to Message 44452.

(just expanding my comments a bit) I notice that under the Tasks tab it is not immediately clear what the difference is between the Application and the Name; some Applications have tasks with different Names - it would be nice to have a button which clarified these things, without forcing the curious volunteer to search the project web site.
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Profile Thyme Lawn
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Message 44454 - Posted: 24 Jun 2012, 12:25:57 UTC - in response to Message 44453.
Last modified: 24 Jun 2012, 22:26:16 UTC

Steve,

The web site buttons shown in BOINC Manager are, as you have noticed, fixed by each project. The information required to do this is contained in the scheduler replies. If there were buttons linking to the application and task BOINC Manager would have to:


  1. hide (or disable) those buttons on the advanced view projects tab.
  2. dynamically change the links underlying those buttons every time a new task is selected.


Scheduler replies currently have a single fixed URL underlying each button and BOINC has no code in place to implement what you're requesting. To do that there would need to be an option to replace the single URL with a list containing 3 parameters:


  1. the URL.
  2. the BOINC Manager field (application or task name).
  3. the BOINC Manager field value.


I don't imagine such a change would find much support from the BOINC developers.

Edit: The links you requested are indirectly available:


  • experiment desciptions are available on the Experiments and weatherathome links on the page opened by the "climateprediction.net" button.
  • individual tasks can be viewed via the link to your computers on the page opened by the "Your account" button.


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Profile Dave Jackson
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Message 44455 - Posted: 24 Jun 2012, 15:48:15 UTC - in response to Message 44454.

Thanks - as I don't run any other tasks, I hadn't noticed the differences.

Dave

Steve Wenner
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Message 44456 - Posted: 25 Jun 2012, 1:36:26 UTC - in response to Message 44454.

Thyme, thanks for your thoughtful reply. I understand that I am asking for additional BOINC functionality to make it possible to link to info about specific models and tasks; but, you did call this forum a "wish list"!

The "climateprediction.net" and "Your account" buttons do not do the job - they send the user to the same project web page, regardless of which task is selected. I imagine that by scouring the climateprediction site I can eventually find out what experiment and model are associated with the application "UK Met Office HADAM3P Pacific North West 6.09" and task "hadam3p_pnw_b9ke_1997_1_007898701_1", but I don't think it is easy (I have tried). I imagine that "HADAM..." denotes the specific computer model being employed by the experiment, but it would be nice to learn some basic details of the model.

Anyway, this is a minor gripe. You guys are doing a great job. By the way, I bought a new very beefy computer recently with 8 CPUs, and I am donating 6 CPUs to BOINC spread among 3 projects. ClimatePrediction is the only one for which I have some trouble finding out what my tasks are doing.
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Les Bayliss
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Message 44457 - Posted: 25 Jun 2012, 2:18:37 UTC - in response to Message 44456.

The climateprediction.net button takes users to the front page of the project.

On the right hand side of this page are links to several areas of this web site, containing all of the basic information that new users are likely to need, as well as a list of science papers that have LOTS of information.

One of the right hand links there, is to weatherathome, which is the new name for the regional models. It was renamed because several external sponsors wanted to introduce climate modelling to the wider public, and wanted a less intimidating name for what is being done here.
If you read that page carefully, you'll find a link not far from the bottom that leads to a relatively new section of the site, climateeducation.net, which you should also read.

Currently, there are 3 models being run as regional/weatherathome:
PNW Pacific North West (an area of the USA, although apparently some Americans don't like that term)
SAF Southern Africa
EU European region


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Steve Wenner
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Message 44462 - Posted: 26 Jun 2012, 3:20:35 UTC - in response to Message 44457.

Les, are all the climateprediction.net experiments using "regional models" (weatherathome stuff)? We've got projects, experiments, Applications, models, Names and tasks: it's a little hard for the newbie to keep these words straight and to know what they mean and which are synonyms. That's one reason why a task-specific info button would be useful. I guess "model" refers to computer code, and "experiment" refers to a specific objective that a research team is trying to achieve by running the model; but, this simple deduction wasn't obvious at the start!
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Les Bayliss
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Message 44463 - Posted: 26 Jun 2012, 4:46:36 UTC - in response to Message 44462.

projects: SETI@home, cpdn, Orbit@home, Orbit@home, and several dozen others.

experiments: On this project, what the different research groups are doing. I sometimes refer to these as subprojects.

applications: Also know as a science application. The BOINC name for the project supplied programs in general.

models: The name for what is being run here. Also called a 'work unit' by BOINC.

tasks: What is currently being run or waiting to run, on any given computer. Also a BOINC word.

There are currently only 4 types of model available, 3 regional models, and occasionally a hadcm3 (Coupled Ocean model), for the RAPID-RAPIT experiment.

No amount of buttons would help with all of this, because not all of your questions are about project specific matters.

If you want BOINC changed to allow for more buttons, then this is the place to sign up and start requesting it. As you're the only person having problems with this, no one else is going to do it.


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Profile astroWX
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Message 44464 - Posted: 26 Jun 2012, 4:55:47 UTC
Last modified: 26 Jun 2012, 4:59:13 UTC

Terminology is as fluid as the mix of work. What we now call "tasks" were formerly called "Models" and in another era "Results". That was not all CPDN's doing. CPDN would require a Technical Writer to keep up with it all -- and if 'they' don't fund enough programming staff to properly support the enterprise ...

Your solution?

I'm curious as to why you raise the issue and continue the drumbeat. I sincerely don't understand. You aren't a "newbie" though your participation averaged less than three tasks per year and recently rejoined after a hiatus. (Sixteen total tasks, five archived from years ago, a long gap, then three completions, an error, and seven of the sixteen 'in process'.) The "newbies" (I loathe that term) you want to protect aren't complaining. So ...?

As Thyme Lawn and Les noted, the information is available and not that difficult to find. I add, "For those wanting to find it".

No, not all CPDN tasks use the Regional Model, as you would know if you followed Les' helping hand. See how it works?


Edit: I see Les weighed-in while I did my usual slow typing. Thanks, Les.
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Steve Wenner
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Message 44480 - Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 0:45:49 UTC - in response to Message 44464.

AstroWX, Les,

Thanks for your replies, and I apologize if I've been a pain. By way of explanation, I volunteered for climateprediction several years ago, but it seemed like BOINC was crashing my computer; so, I had to bail until I eventually bought a new computer with plenty of horsepower. Now I've being running BOINC on 6 of my 8 CPUs (actually, quad core double threaded with 16 GB of memory) with absolutely no problems! But, having been away for so long, I really do feel like a novice; so, your patient explanations have been helpful.

Obviously, if I am the only one to have ever requested those extra buttons, they would not be worthwhile to do.

Which leads me to another suggestion: how about finding a way for volunteers to vote on the ideas in the "wish list", so you might know how to prioritize your volunteers requests?
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Les Bayliss
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Message 44481 - Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 3:56:43 UTC - in response to Message 44480.

how about finding a way for volunteers to vote on the ideas in the "wish list", so you might know how to prioritize your volunteers requests?
There's no need, as the moderators can deal with posts in almost real time.
Anything that we can't deal with gets passed up to the project people for an answer. This applies to all parts of this board.

However, there is currently a request for suggestions on our alternate, completely separate board, here. This needs signing up for.
The thread in question is here in the section Improving the Website and Wiki Documentation.


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Steve Wenner
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Message 44486 - Posted: 29 Jun 2012, 1:30:52 UTC - in response to Message 44481.

Les, thanks for the link to your other board (not sure I understand why there are two boards). Anyway, I gave my two-bits on the suggestion thread. Now I can annoy moderators on both boards!
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Profile Iain Inglis
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Message 44487 - Posted: 29 Jun 2012, 10:02:15 UTC - in response to Message 44486.

... (not sure I understand why there are two boards).

The other board is a bit slicker than this one and is available to anyone whether they participate in CPDN or not - and this board is not always available. This board does, however, have the significant advantage that user/machine/model information is accessible, which helps when trying to sort out a problem.

Profile astroWX
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Message 44490 - Posted: 29 Jun 2012, 16:27:04 UTC

To add a historic note to Iain's post:
CPDN existed before boinc and we used the PHP board from the beginning. Then came boinc -- and its board was a mere skeleton of the present implementation, so we continued with the PHP board. Even with improvements to the boinc board, the PHP board provides functionality not available here. The paired facilities proved their worth time and again.
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