Conference call regarding GPHIGS test source code license for CERN

513/R-068 (CERN)



Show room on map

We meet with the Software Product Director of FEI to try to obtain the source code license.

Summary of the meeting with the Software Product Director of FEI 3/5/2017

Present: Juan Fernando Fantino, Ulrich Schwickerath, Frank Berghaus, Ignacio Reguero
  •  we explained the history and the situation
    • LEP experiments DELPHI and OPAL used GPHIGS for their event displays
    • The experiments were stopped in 2000
    • Software stack and access to the data is maintained in case of any discovery
    • Event displays are useful for event visualization
    • Within data archiving activities the experiment software is put on a public file system called CVMFS, with the exception of the event displays due to GPHIGS
    • The PHIGS standard has been abandoned many years ago. There are no replacements
    • Rewriting the code is not possible because of
      • Too much effort needed
      • Vanishing expertise
    • The only future use case if for educational purpose and research
    • The expected use is minimal
  • Explained issues with GPHIGS
    • The newest libraries we have are from 2001
    • They have been compiled with egcs and g77, both compilers are gone
    • The libraries no longer work due to missing symbols. Ugly hacks are needed to be able to link the code
    • The code is broken in multiple ways:
      • Printing libraries produce wrong ps files which cannot be printed
      • Crashes of the code (segfaults)
      • Issues with color maps
      • No 3d acceleration
      • ...
  • The FEI responsible informed us that he knows about the history and use of GPHIGS at CERN. He was one of the developers of GPHIGS at the time
    • They still sell GPHIGS and give support for it
    • They usually don't give away the source code
    • GPHIGS is fairly cheap these days
    • They can recreate the libraries for recent OS
    • They can fix issues which we report
    • Putting the libraries on CVMFS is per-se not an issue for them as long as the license key is not on this file system.
    • External users (outside our field) will have to purchase a license from them
  • We have the following options:
    • Buy the source code from them
    • Let them recreate the libraries for 32bit CentOS7, we report any issues we see with the code and they will fix them
There are minutes attached to this event. Show them.
    • 1
    • 2