To set up my development environment in nanohub, I first delved into how I could make a self-contained python installation. This had me looking into pythonbrew and virtualenv with pythonbrew being more useful. But the admins at nanohub were willing to install the packages that I needed so I didn't have to mess with that too much. Nonetheless, these two projects are great for creating portable python projects.
After I took care of the development environment, I went ahead and started learning about Rappture. I needed some flexibility and what I call 'dynamic input'. Now I could have made a simple application but then it wouldn't be as useful. I had to bend the API to suit my needs. I ended up merging what should have been two simple applications into one more complicated application. That is: I had two sets of inputs for the same calculation. I'll list the issues I had with Rappture:
- Lacking documentation especially for the Python API. This is compensated for by looking at the API for the other languages and the many examples. I mainly figured out how Rappture works by example.
- Lack of computation status output as addressed by this page.
- Not all GUI elements are in the GUI GUI builder.
- Could not generate an authentic contour plot. I used the elements field and cloud to generate a contour plot. This probably wasn't the intended use of the of the elements but it worked...horribly. It struggled to display just a 50x50 grid calculation not to mention that I couldn't put axis labels. Also of general note, elements take strings to input numbers which is inefficient (but works). In my case, I wanted to be able to display at least 1000x1000 points. My solution was to ditch this GUI element and just use an image generated by matplotlib's contourf.
- 'Static' input. I wanted a user of my program to be able to change and check inputs in certain ways.
- I wanted the user to be able to add a selection to a drop-down list. Could not be done. Instead, I have the user reviewing a table of named text input so that the name can go into a text box which should have been a selection.
- Have an input value checked based on another input value. Can be done functionally by writing code that gets processed after hitting the 'Simulate' button. I don't know how I could hook into the GUI input elements so that they can be checked before the inputs are processed for simulation. For example, in my program I wanted to check that the value of 1.0 wasn't between two input values.
- Limited selection of units. (eg. no rad/s.) There should be functionality so that any unit can be input and can be converted to a compatible unit.
Here's how it works:
First you get a page where you can enter named electric permittivity functions.
Then you input the simulation parameters and options.
|The characteristic nearly monochromatic near-field radiation between SiC and SiC|