Published on February 19, 2014
HDF Software Process Lessons Learned & Success Factors Mike Folk, Elena Pourmal , Bob McGrath National Center for Supercomputing Applications University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign NOBUGS 2004 HDF-EOS Workshop VIII -1- HDF
Outline • • • • • • • What is HDF? and Who is HDF? HDF “Architecture” Some statistics How do we measure success? How can we achieve success? Group practices Summing up – strengths, weaknesses, needs -2- HDF
What is HDF? Who is HDF? -3- HDF
HDF in a nutshell – what it is • File format and I/O Libraries for storing, managing and archiving large complex scientific and other data • Tools and utilities • Open source, free for any use (U of I license) • Well maintained and supported • From HDF group, NCSA Univ of Illinois • http://hdf.ncsa.uiuc.edu -4- HDF
HDF in a nutshell - features • General – simple and flexible data model • Flexible – store data of diverse origins, sizes, types – supports complex data structures and types • Portable – available for many operating systems and machines • Scalable – works in high end computing environments – accommodates date of any size or multiplicity • Efficient – fast access, including parallel i/o – Stores big data efficiently -5- HDF
HDF in a nutshell - users • Apps in industry, academia, government – More than 200 distinct applications • Large user base – E.g. NASA estimates 1.6 million users • Underlying format for community standards – E.g. HDF-EOS, SAF, CGNS, NPOESS, NeXus -6- HDF
Example of HDF file: mixing and grouping objects Text : This file was create as a part of… see http://hdf.ncsa.uiuc.edu foo a 3-D array z 1GB lat | lon | temp ----|-----|----12 | 23 | 3.1 15 | 24 | 4.2 17 | 21 | 3.6 c b palette x _foo_y Table Raster image Raster image -7- 2-D array HDF
HDF “Architecture” -8- HDF
HDF “Architecture” Tools & Applications HDF5 Applications Programming Interface Low level Interface Utilities and applications for managing, manipulating, viewing, & analyzing data. HDF I/O library – High-level, object-specific APIs. – Low-level API for I/O to files, etc. File or other data source File -9- HDF
User’s controlled I/O and “storage” • Data pipeline – – – – HDF I/O Library HDF “File” Data transformation Compression Encryption Storage layout • Virtual file options – – – – – – - 10 - Stdio (normal file) Split file MPI-IO & other parallel Network Memory custom HDF
Supported languages and compilers • C • Wrappers: – C++ – Fortran90 – Java • Vendors’ compilers (SUN, IBM, HP, etc.) • PGI and Absoft (Fortran) • GNU C (e.g. gcc 3.3.2) - 11 - HDF
Supported Machines and OS • • • • • • • Solaris 2.7, 2.8 (32/64-bit) IRIX6.5 IRIX64-6.5 HPUX 11.00 AIX 5.1 (32/64-bit modes) OSF1 FreeBSD Linux (SuSe, RH8, RH9) including 64-bit - 12 - • • • • • • • Altix (SGI Linux) IA-32 and IA-64 Windows 2000, XP MAC OS X Crays (T3E, SV1, T90IEEE) DOE National Labs machines Linux Clusters HDF
Architecture in context Tools & Applications C C++ F90 Java HDF5 Applications Programming Interface Low level Interface IA32 SGI Wintel Cray File Linux RH IRIX32 XP SV1 Serial - 13 - Parallel HDF
Architecture in context Tools & Applications HDF-EOS SAF CGNS C C++ F90 Java HDF5 Applications Programming Interface Low level Interface IA32 SGI Wintel Cray Linux RH IRIX32 XP Serial - 15 - SV1 Parallel File HDF
The testing challenge Machines × operating systems × compilers × languages × serial and parallel × compression options × configuration options × virtual file options × backward compatibility = a large number - 16 - HDF
“Diversity makes our code better…” Todd Smith, Geospiza - 17 - HDF
Some statistics - 18 - HDF
HDF Statistics • HDF Group – 15 FTE + 3-5 students – $2.1million annual budget • HDF5 source code distribution – 2073 files – 917,186 Lines of code • HDF Project – HDF5, HDF4, H4toH5, H5Lite, Java – 3,000,000 lines of code (estimate) - 19 - HDF
HDF5 source distribution by categories (lines of code) Library Tests 13% Tools Tools tests 4% 4% Configure 15% Docs 33% Libraries 30% Examples 1% - 20 - HDF
HDF5 staff investment Comm. with users 2% Meetings, etc. 9% Code dev. 33% Peer-to-peer comm. 12% User's support 14% Test writing 7% Docs, design, consult 14% - 21 - Porting/release testing 9% HDF
How do we measure success? - 22 - HDF
How do we measure success? • • • • • • • Mission Goals and objectives Strong and continuing relationships with users High quality software Strong committed development team Great working environment Adequate funding - 23 - HDF
Mission, goals and objectives • Mission – To develop, promote, deploy, and support open and free technologies that facilitate scientific data exchange, access, analysis, archiving and discovery • Goals (examples) – Innovate and evolve the technologies in concert with a changing world of technologies – Maintain a high level of quality and reliability – Collaborate and build communities – Build a team - 24 - HDF
Mission, goals and objectives • Objectives - how we reach the goal • Example: – Goal • Maintain a high level of quality and reliability – Objectives • Improve testing • Implement a program to insure excellent software engineering practices • Develop and execute a plan to meet quality/reliability standards - 25 - HDF
Users • • • • Number of users Happy users Unhappy users Users achieve their goals by using HDF technologies • Users coming back with new needs • Financial support from users - 26 - HDF
Software • Technology that addresses users’ needs and demands (current and future) – E.g. big files, parallel access, multiple objects • Usability – – – – Number and types of applications Appropriate APIs and data models Available tools Interoperability with other software • E.g. IDL, MatLab, Mathematica - 27 - HDF
Software • Stability – Can data be shared? – Can software run on needed platforms • Sustainability – Can read data written 15 years ago on obsolete platform – Is software available in 15 years? • Acceptability – De facto standard • Open standard for exchange of remote-sensed data • Over 3,000,000,000,000,000 bytes stored in HDF and HDF-EOS - 28 - HDF
How can we achieve success? - 29 - HDF
How can we achieve success? • Maintain strong, responsible, and continuing relationships with users • An approach to needs identification, software design, and software implementation based on sound principles of software engineering • Effective technical processes for developing, testing, integrating and maintaining software • Business and social processes based on sound group management principles - 30 - HDF
Stages of software development at HDF • • • • • Getting started Creating an implementation approach Implementation and maintenance Relations with users and sponsors Group practices - 31 - HDF
Getting started • • • • Discover a need Identify a sponsor Clarify the need, its role, and its importance Enter task into the project plan – – – – Make initial estimate of time and resources for the task Give it a priority Identify task’s lead Identify a person who will work on the task - 32 - HDF
Creating implementation approach • Write up a needs/approach RFC (Request For Comment) – Actively solicit feedback from developers/sponsors – Revise until satisfied • Write up a design/approach RFC – Get feedback from developers/sponsors – Revise until satisfied • Revise project plan according to RFC results • Archive RFC - 33 - HDF
Implementation and maintenance • Identify validation plan (need improvement) • Implement – Library or tool – Tests – Documentation • Ask sponsor and friendly users for feedback • Review results and repeat appropriate steps above as needed • Clean up (documentation, Web, etc.) and announce • Support (debug, fix, add more tests, advertise) - 34 - HDF
Relations with users and sponsors • Who are our sponsors? – Organizations and communities with institutional and financial commitment to HDF • NCSA, NASA, DOE ASCI, Boeing, … – Agencies supporting R&D • NCSA, NASA, DOE, NSF, … – Collaborators who make in-kind contributions • Cactus, PyTables, NeXUS, CGNS … – HDF group members - 35 - HDF
Relations with users and sponsors • Each task is associated with a sponsor • Each task has a priority, which should be confirmed with sponsor • Each task falls into one of these categories – Research – R&D (research, possibly integrate into product) – Development • Technology infusion • Library or tools enhancement - 36 - HDF
Group practices - 37 - HDF
Group practices - technical • Source code management: CVS • Bug tracking: Bugzilla – Bugs entered by support staff and developers – Prioritized by staff – Easy bugs fixed “on the fly” - 38 - HDF
Group practices - technical • The testing challenge • Code testing – – – – – Testing before code check-in Regression testing Remote testing Different configurations testing Backward compatibility testing - 39 - HDF
Daily test report From: HDF group system admin <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HDF5_Daily_Tests_FAILED!!! *** HDF5 Tests on 041022 *** ============================= Watchers List ============================= HDF5 Daily test features/platforms watchers and procedure --------------------------------------------------------Procedure: The watcher will investigate and report the cause of failure by 11am. The developer who checked in the error code may report so by then too. The watcher or the developer should get the failure fixed and report it by 3pm. - 41 - HDF
Group practices - technical • Release levels – Development release – Official release – Past releases - 42 - HDF
Group practices - technical • • • • • • Coding standards Maintaining platform-independence Maintaining time-independence Rules for changing APIs Documentation Rapid prototyping - 43 - HDF
Group practices – business and social HDF Project HDF Project • Staff breakdown – – – – – – – User support Documentation QA Software development Testing Team leadership System administration Support, Support, doc, QA, doc, QA, maintenance maintenance - 44 - Basic library Basic library development development Tools and Tools and Java Java Parallel I/O, Parallel I/O, Grid, Grid, big machines big machines • Team lead for each team • Most staff in two or more teams • Staff relationships – Complement each other – Overlap each other – Keep each other honest HDF
Group practices – business and social • Accountability of everyone to the whole process • Help desk • Approaches to carrying out tasks – Paying attention to technical proposals – Weekly HDf5 developer’s meetings – HDF seminars • Management and administration – Performance reviews with emphasis on goals, development – Critical to success – That’s another talk - 45 - HDF
Summing up Strengths, weaknesses, needs - 46 - HDF
Strengths • User support • Staff – High quality, diverse staff with good morale – Staff commitment and enthusiasm • Ability to address all aspects of product development – Emphasis on quality control – Fast bug fixing and frequent releases – Ability to focus on a single product over a long term • High level of support from sponsors • Project’s visibility through NCSA, NASA, DOE, users - 47 - HDF
Weaknesses • Software development team – – Library expertise still concentrated among too few developers Team communication is challenging • Processes – – – – – Release/maintenance take too much time and resources Configuration and porting are a huge time sink We don’t do enough prototyping Hard to keep up with new technologies Parallel I/O hard to support - 48 - HDF
More weaknesses & challenges • Usability – – – – Software too hard to use for casual users Insufficient documentation Insufficient tools for high level users Insufficient interoperability with common tools and formats • Marketing – Marketing effort is inadequate – Need to connect better with users and potential users • Viable long-term support - 49 - HDF
Most immediate needs • • • • Configuration and build Testing and prototyping Marketing Reporting – Performance reports – General reports to users – HDF book • Sustainable business model - 50 - HDF
Thank you - 51 - HDF
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