February 14

Our project consists of two distinct pieces of software: LibGist, a library to be linked against a parallel program on a limited set of platforms; and JavaGist, a portable Java application which reads and displays information from log files written by LibGist.

We have finished the design decisions (at least, the first iteration thereof) on which both software components depend. Accordingly, we have divided the group into two subgroups, one for each component. We expect the LibGist portion to take less time, so we have allocated two group memebers (culver, xiao) to this part, and three members (mccauley, gao, guan) to JavaGist. We hope that the LibGist component will be operative relatively early, so that then the entire group can work on the more demanding JavaGist.

Progress this week has focused on completing the user manual for both components, and the GUI prototype for JavaGist.

User manual. As a group, we decided it's appropriate to have two main sections to the user manual: Chapter 1, JavaGist. Chapter 2, LibGist. Each of these two chapters will have sections on installation, getting started, and so forth. We decided this is better than having a single installation section and a single getting started section for several reasons. The table of contents was recorded in HTML (drafted by gao; updated by culver).

There is also currently a Chapter 0, General Introduction, and a Chapter 3, Glossary. The Glossary is underway as of this week (culver).

JavaGist. The GUI prototype continues toward completion with the following new features added:

LibGist. Setbacks. We have had some problems with CVS. It is an unforgiving piece of software. We have in fact ended up discarding some code changes and starting over, wasting valuable time. In an attempt to encourage all members of the team to continually contribute to the web pages, I (culver) have put all of our html files under CVS. I fear it has had the opposite effect. Nevertheless, I feel it will become a very helpful tool once the setup is stable and all of us are comfortable with it.

We also have not yet found a way to make our web pages attractive and visually consistent. The obvious solution is to appoint a webmaster. However, this project will produce so much documentation that webmastery might use up all of that one team member's time, while adding a 24-48 hour delay on the posting of anything on our web page that was not written by the webmaster. For now, we will have unattractive and inconsistent web pages.