Cylc GUI discussion @ Suites Guild
2019 06 06
A discussion with a group of (mainly power) users about what they like/dislike
about using the current cylc GUIs.
Hosts: Tim Pillinger (Editor), Oliver Sanders
[Editor’s Notes Attempting to add context in square brackets]
- Cylc GUI (gcylc)
- Cylc Gscan
- Cylc Graph
- Cylc Graph-diff
- Cylc Gpanel
- Cylc Namespace Grapher (cylc graph -n)
| cylc…| All the time | Most Days | Most Weeks | Infrequently | Never|Honestly, I didn’t know it existed |
| — | — | — | — | — | — |–|
|graph -n (namespace grapher)|||| |5|16||
Are there tasks that you do a lot either in the gui or the command line?
- Starting the suite - Slight majority use CLI, one person mentions wrapping
CLI in scripts or suites[?!]
- Stop a suite - about 50-50
- Create pictures for presentations - lines too thin.
- GUI good for inserting tasks, holding suites, triggering tasks
- Advertise Plug Button!
- Difference between nudging and polling tasks [is unclear?]
- Namespace graph too big/complex for many suites. Needs better navigation.
- Lots of love for gpanel (when it worked). Request for RHEL7 version.
- Graph diff is rarely used, but very useful when it is.
Usage of Cylc GUI
Are there common gotchas in the cylc guis?
- [I find it confusing that] task states are ordered opposite in Gcylc and
- Controls that behave unexpectedly
- All the time on state and name
- Could it filter differently for different views?
- Triggering task inheritance sometimes does weird things
Are there capabilities in the Cylc GUI’s that made your life easier whe you found out about them?
- Simulation mode
- Using Wildcard to insert tasks
- Being able to manually set the state of a task is useful for development
- Triggering with multiple tasks is good.
- Multiple selection really helpful in gcylc
- Useful feature - stop suite after named cycle.
Do you use task filtering? If you do, what do you use it for?
Do you use hierarchically named suites?
- What are hierarchically named suites?
- Those that know what they are don’t use them [at least in this room, if you
read this on Sharepoint and disagree…].
- A user who does use hierarchically named suites contacted us later
saying that he likes them and would appreciate more controls,
both in the GUI and CLI.
- Not many of us [use them] but seems useful.
- Not well known.
- Iteration over experiments is desirable in suites.
How do you find out more about a Cylc GUI if you need to?
- Metomi team
- [is it just me, or are the docs notably absent from this answer? ]
- Editing job script to test things without editing the suite. [is this good,
or a gotcha?]
- Menu item that does what cylc-trigger does is useful.
Appearance & Usability
Do you have issues with GUI performance (question implied from answers)?
- Slow start up with complex graphs.
- Occasional gui/gscan dropouts.
- Suite and/or GUI disappears
- Scrolling through large graphs/lists cna be slow/freeze
- Viewing job log files sometimes fails repeatedly.
Do you have any difficulty reading/seeing any part of the GUI? If so why?
- Can be tricky to see what you want from gcylc graphs
- Helpful to be able to change the colour of the task states.
Do you theme the task states? Did you know you could?
- Customizing the GUI would be good. (perhaps on a per-suite basis)
- Theming task states - Some people have never heard of it, some knew but
haven’t used them, and one or two people use them.
How many controls in a cylc gui do you use regularly, and why?
- “I never use the graph view”.
- This looks contested - someone else wrote “I ALWAYS use this feature”
- Probably depends on type of suite
- Suites like UM rose-stem have too many tasks and too few cycles.
Does it take too many mouse/keyboard clicks/strokes to carry out some tasks?
- Inserting tasks is labourious
- More keyboard shortcuts.
- More obvious keyboard shortcuts - make it clearer what ctrl + …. does
- Customizable keyboard shortcuts.
- Popup “stop-suite” panel is well designed and informative.
- “KILL NOW” Useful
- Multiple task selection is good
- Double click functionality is not [always?] obvious?
- Screenshot functionality (bit like cylc graph) might be handy.
Notes on future Cylc GUI Responses
- Some did not like the loss of the separate app window.
- — suggests that the gui could be run in a separate browser
- We might want to look fro a browser => native app conversion tool.
- — suggested the ability to customize menus might be good.
- — asked if there would still be a colour blind theme. Was
told that there would be a colour blind safe theme.
- Nesting suites are a “monster of jinja2”. 👹
- Would be good to filter suites by cycle.
- More control of graph view, esp without a mouse 🖱️
- Can we stagger Alignment of task names in graph view:
- Can we filter by tasks prerequisite to a given task?
- Can we focus on tasks < N links from task?
- Can we have interfaces with other software such as NIWA’s Paraview?
Talk to NIWA contacts to see if this is possible. What about Jupyter
Notebook, HPC status page, Yammer….?
- Are there alternative visualizations being considered? Yes, the most
prominent in our current thinking is the Gantt view, although having got the
data into a rendering engine new views might be fairly ok to implement.
Other (From MS notes)
We may need to have a tool to collect and analyse usage behind the scene.
Nesting suite reload not copying files? Bug?