IRIS Explorer - the IRIS Explorer Map Editor


 -map "mapname"
 -app "mapname"
 -arenasize "size"
 -base "address"
 -level "integer"
 -script [options]
 -action "integer"

IRIS Explorer is a system for combining small, general tools called modules to create powerful custom visualization applications. Modules linked together this way form an IRIS Explorer Map. The Map Editor is the primary means of interacting with modules that are cooperating as an aggregate IRIS Explorer application. The Map Editor is used to start and stop module execution, make and break connections among modules, and operate controls for the modules themselves.

Use the Module Builder (mbuilder) application to build new IRIS Explorer modules from existing subroutines written in C, C++, or Fortran (even without source).

By default, IRIS Explorer displays a Map Editor window and a Module Librarian. Modules are executed by being selected in the Librarian and dragged into the Map Editor window. Modules are represented in the Map Editor window by small control panels. Larger, detailed full-sized versions of the small control panels can be brought up for each module. Modules may execute on different remote hosts while being part of a local map. Composite module icons in the Librarian represent complete maps that contain multiple modules, and turn into multiple control panels in the Map Editor when executed.

Connections are made among modules by selecting their IO Pads with the right mouse button. Selected IO Pads display a menu of ports offered by the module. Selecting an output port, (right-hand IO Pad) followed by an input port (left-hand IO Pad) of like type will establish a connection. Connections are represented by lines joining modules.

Groups of modules may be assembled, and represented in the Map Editor as single small control panels. Controls and ports for the group may be selected from those hidden on contained modules. Groups of groups may be composed hierarchically.

IRIS Explorer uses the environment variable EXPLORERHOME to find the root of its system files. The default location of these files is C:\EXPLORER4.0. If you change the location at installation time EXPLORERHOME will be set correctly to your chosen installation directory. If this setting is lost you may set it manually.

The following options apply to IRIS Explorer:

-map mapname
Starts the specified aggregate application automatically.
-app mapname
Starts the IRIS Explorer system without the Map Editor or Librarian windows. Maps that are saved with visible maximized control panels will have only those control panels available when executed this way.
-arenasize size
IRIS Explorer usually uses shared memory to communicate between modules on the same host. Applications processing exceptionally large data sets may need to increase the amount of shared memory allocated for this purpose. The default value of arenasize is 32 megabytes.
-base address
The shared memory arena used by IRIS Explorer is normally mapped at an address chosen by the system based on previously allocated resources. Specifying base forces the arena to be mapped at address. This value may be specified in hexadecimal by prefixing it with 0x. Normal caveats concerning the location of mapped files and performance will apply.
-level value
Data input to modules are checked for integrity before being used. Specifying a value for level sets the level of detail at which data is checked. Allowed values are:
0 A ``magic number'' in the data is checked for validity. This helps detect data that has already been freed, as a result of reference count errors in a user's module.
1 Memory allocated for the data is checked for boundary overrun. This helps detect indexing errors which may trash data memory.
The default level is 0. The detailed levels invoke the less detailed tests as well. For example, the magic number is always checked before memory boundaries.
The level of detail can also be set by setting the CXDATACHECKLEVEL environment variable to the same integer value. The command line option overrides the environment variable.
-script file
Starts the IRIS Explorer system in scripting mode reading the specified script file. (Scripting can also be driven interactively via a dedicated scripting control window available from the Map Editor window.)
-action integer
Specifying action defines the action performed when an error is detected in data. An error message is constructed by the module describing where in the data the error is, and at what point it was detected. Bad data is not input to the module. Allowed specifications for action are:
0 The error message is ignored.
1 The message is presented in a pop-up dialogue box that must be dismissed by the user.
2 The message is presented in a pop-up dialogue box and the module halts so that it may be debugged. The module will continue when the global integer variable cxDataErrorRelease is set to a non-zero value. The module cannot communicate with the rest of the system while it is halted. It cannot be fired, connected or disconnected with other modules, or destroyed.
3 The message is presented in a pop-up dialogue box and the module aborts, causing a core file to be left in the current directory.
The action can also be set by setting the CXDATACHECKACTION environment variable to the same integer value. The command line option overrides the environment variable.

When IRIS Explorer starts up, it first reads commands from the file %EXPLORERHOME%\Explorer.config, followed by _explorerrc in the user's home directory. These files contain commands that configure IRIS Explorer.

These are the available configuration commands:

modulepath [ [ -prepend ] path]
path is the directory containing saved maps, modules, and their resources. Named directories are appended to the end of the existing list of directories. Use -prepend to add directory names at the beginning of the list. If no names or options are given, the list of directories is made empty. The default module directory location includes %EXPLORERUSERHOME%\modules for user modules, and %EXPLORERHOME%\modules for distributed modules.
tempdir dir
Use dir as the directory containing IRIS Explorer temporary files. The default value for dir is %EXPLORERHOME%\tmp. If the value of the TMPDIR environment variable is wanted for this variable, use the string $TMPDIR.
logfile file
Sets the name for IRIS Explorer's status log output file. The default value for file is cxlog.
category name [module|pattern|directory] ...
Use category to place modules in special columns in the Librarian. The special predefined category shelf is used to specify the open rectangle at the bottom of the Librarian's window. Items listed in this command may be module names, patterns to match against module names, or directory names. Module names listed are inserted into the category. Patterns result in all know modules matching the pattern being placed in the category; shell file matching rules are used. Directory names cause IRIS Explorer to search the named directory for all modules, and then they are placed into the category.
arenasize size [ mb | kb ]
Use arenasize to set the size of the shared memory segment. The modifiers mb and kb may be used to specify arenasize in terms of megabytes and kilobytes, respectively. See option flag -arenasize above.
arenabase address
Use arenabase to set the base virtual address for the shared memory arena on those systems supporting shared memory. See the -base option flag above.
scriptfile filename
Use scriptfile to cause IRIS Explorer to read the mentioned file as a Skm script language file on start-up. This is useful to preload a set of scripting procedures into the system for subsequent use.

mbuilder(1) cxmkmf(1)

Details on installation are provided in the IRIS Explorer Installer's Guide appropriate to this implementation. The new features or restrictions of a version are given in the Release Notes for that version.

Help with creating and running applications with IRIS Explorer is given in the IRIS Explorer User's Guide, while the IRIS Explorer Module Writer's Guide is a guide for users who wish to build their own modules for use within IRIS Explorer. Information about the collaborative capability of IRIS Explorer may be found in the IRIS Explorer Collaborative User Guide. Finally, the IRIS Explorer Reference Pages contains the man pages for all of the modules and API calls within the IRIS Explorer library.

On-line information is available using the WWW at which also contains links to the ftp sites and other sources of information about IRIS Explorer and its use. Alternatively, see in North America or in Japan.

IRIS Explorer is discussed on the UseNet newsgroup

To obtain more information about IRIS Explorer please contact one of the IRIS Explorer Centers:

IRIS Explorer Center
Wilkinson House
Jordan Hill Road
Oxford OX2 8DR
Tel:   +44 (0)1865 516377
Fax:   +44 (0)1865 516388
IRIS Explorer Center (North America)
1400 Opus Place, Suite 200
Downers Grove IL 60515-5702
Tel:   +1 630 971 2367
Fax:   +1 630 971 2346
IRIS Explorer Center Japan (IECJ)
Yaesu Nagaoka Building No. 6
1-9-8 Minato, Chuo-ku
Tel:   +81 (0)3 5542 6311
Fax:   +81 (0)3 5542 6312

Release 1 and 2 produced by the IRIS Explorer Development Group, Silicon Graphics, Inc. 1991-1994. Subsequent releases produced by The Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd. 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001.