SDIWG:Meeting Minutes 20050415

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  • Potential Agenda Items--we won’t be able to get to all of them, but I will list them here.
  • Discussion on the potential use of Common Component Architecture (CCA) components to promote interoperability
  • Discussion on the draft caBIG Compatibility Guidelines Revision 2, posted at The revised draft is better organized and includes more explanatory information about how to approach interoperability between systems

Attendees John Haller (NIBIB), Jennie Larkin (NHLBI), Shawn Murphy (I2B2), Peter Lyster (NIGMS), Bill Lorensen (GE/NAMIC), Michael Sherman (Simbios), Ivo Dinov (CCB), Karen Skinner (NIDA)

Minutes of Discussion

(Sherm was the minutes-taker for this meeting.)

Peter: no edit history preserved in open discussion. Discussed changes. 3rd element to plans: foster interactions with other groups. Sherm talked about the SimTK Engineering Journal. Bill talked about the Insight journal and that the ITK book was generated from the source, uses doxygen (and more?). Peter: xml-like documents. Bill notes that in extreme programming only the code counts. Bill discussed when extreme programming is useful. ITK: 3 months after first all-hands meeting code was checked in. VTK: fast, effective processes causes releases to be rare. API stability is a problem. Bill: we do pair programming sometimes; uses projection system more often Discussion about openness of Wiki, Bill gave this example: Peter: Wiki navigation is difficult (many clicks); Bill asked for suggestions.

New topic: Version control. Bill: on a new project, Subversion would be great to try. Will try Subversion in NAMIC sandbox, may convert to it. Ivo brought up Gforge. Bill: OpenGE -- derived from old open source SourceForge code 2200 projects/6000 users. Gforge has similar history. Not used for vtk/itk. Uses mailman/cvs/wiki. Peter asked about "NIHForge" (suggested by Bill): how interlinked? (Bill DART2 just announced -- much more flexible, dashboard of dashboards). John Haller asked about "federated approach". Bill: his portal to vtk & itk is the dashboard. We took a tour of the ITK dashboard. Sherm asked about dashboard use for independent components. ITK builds against VNL's system. Haven't figured out "federation of projects" yet. Bill offered to help us get Dart2 into

Peter: Interoperability. Could use federated of dashboards and so on as a kind of interoperability (not necessarily mutually exclusive).

Ivo: it's a network, but "branched science". Not sure whether centers should focus on interoperability necessarily, although multidisciplinary DBPs should. (Intersection of centers themselvesmay be zero.)

Peter: refactoring must be done without stopping work.

Bill: forced interoperability could be counterproductive. Involved in forced project, very difficult. Not a made up interoperability project, though.

Peter: whatever we do (interoperability or federation), we shouldn't demand to do it all at once.

Bill: open up an agenda for the July meeting now.

Note: we did not get to CCA or caBIG agenda items.

Comments from Peter Covitz

Sorry I missed the meeting everyone. I can offer a few comments on some of the technologies listed:

  • SourceForge - Popular open-source software project hosting service in the non-governmental open-source space, but problematic for government-hosted projects because they require that you sign an agreement indemnifying SourceForge from any liability. The government attorneys won't do this, so you have to negotiate a waiver of that requirement with SourceForge if you want SourceForge to host your stuff. The SourceForge project management software itself is a commercial product that is rather expensive to license, but you can do so and run it yourself at your own hosting facility and not have to deal with the indemnification problem.
  • GForge - An open-source alternative to the SourceForge software that does not require license fees. Probably the first place to look if you want to set up your own project hosting site. No hosting service as far as I know, you have to set up your own instance, but services are available to help you do that.
  • CVS - A very mature code management and versioning system that supports multi-developer software projects. Usually used in conjunction with Source/GForge types of frameworks, or on its own. We currently use CVS at the NCI.
  • Subversion - A newer alternative to CVS that is backward compatible with CVS clients. Has some fancy features that CVS doesn't have, including the ability to check for differences in binary files in addition to text files. I've noticed that many open source projects have changed from CVS to Subversion in the last six months. We will likely evaluate Subversion in the coming year.