Archive for January, 2007

Test Suite Timing Comparisons

January 18, 2007

Part of the release procedure for Apex is that I run the test suite on the compiled app. ‘The test suite’ is currently nine AppleScripts which run Apex through a lot of its paces — importing and exporting files, calculating a proxigram, saving an animation as a QuickTime movie, running the select particles in shell action from the isosurfaceOps plugin, and most recently I’ve added an rdf export.

I run the suite once on a PowerPC machine and once on an Intel-based machine. If the test succeeds, its a pretty good indication that the build is OK to go out the door. It doesn’t catch issues in the GUI, and it doesn’t run through all the functionality, but it gets a good deal. For example, the most recent problem I discovered was that one of the plugins was building for PowerPC only because of a glitch in the XCode config files.

Of course, one of the things that I monitor is how long each script takes, so I can verify that I haven’t screwed anything up too much in making changes for each release. And the other thing is that, having an automated test suite means its pretty easy to move the test to new machines. So I’ve done a little comparison of performance on a few different machines. From slowest to fastest:

G4 PowerBook , 1.25 GHz: 508 seconds
G4 PowerMac, Dual 1.25 GHz: 462 seconds
G5 PowerMac, Dual 2 GHz: 250 seconds
iMac, 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo: 209 seconds
MacBook, 2 GHz Core Duo: 192 seconds
MacPro, Dual 2.66GHz Xeon: 133 seconds

These are all running 10.4.8. All in all, its about what you would expect, but I must say I’m very impressed by the MacBook.

The Reconstruction Summit

January 17, 2007

Imago is hosting a two-day mini conference on reconstruction issues in 3D Atom Probe Feb 5 and 6 in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Maybe more like a retreat, as Mineral Point is a rather out-of-the-way bit of Wisconsin — a bit of history, and bit of artist colony, a bit of bed and breakfast. In any case, it should be a solid two days with Atom Probe scientists from around the world. I just got my tickets a few days ago.

Improvements in Apex a46

January 16, 2007

The selection property of a document is now working as expected. This means one can set the selection with a command like this:

set the selection of document 1 to {34, 46, 47, 49, 56}

Which will select 5 ions, or clear the selection with

set the selection of document 1 to {}

The ‘select particles in sphere’ verb is implemented as part of the RDF plugin, and the export rdf command is working from a script as well:

tell document 1
set the selection 1 to {}
select particles in sphere centered at {0,0,100} with radius 10
export rdf saving in (“Macintosh HD:my folder” as alias) filename “rdf” relative to atomtype 2 total bins 500 radial cutoff 20
end tell

When importing a POS file, the selection is now correctly set to nil.

‘get coordinates of ion n’ now works as a shorthand for ‘get {x coordinate, y coordinate, z coordinate} of ion n’

Improvements in Apex a45

January 11, 2007

Apex a45 fixes the Atomtypes dialog. There were some drawing issues with this dialog that got a lot in one of the last few releases as I was updating to use more HIView based code. Its fixed now.

Improvements in Apex a44

January 8, 2007

Mostly, this update provides a select particles in sphere action as part of the new RDF plugin. Part of the reason to do this is to get an easy way to define a selection for an RDF to act on. It makes sense to do it in the RDF plugn so that test scripts for RDF can be guaranteed to have this feature available.

Now, select particles in sphere should really be part of the main application, but to do it right, one should be able to define a sphere object in the same way that you can define a cylinder or plane object. Actually, ellipsoid would be more general. That will be a little extra work, so for now, its just a simple function in the RDF plugin.