Saturday, May 05, 2007

phenix graphical task setter upper

PHENIX is a big huge project by some very smart guys to build a new system for solving crystal structures. It's pretty neat, but their GUI is pretty clunky.

They have a whole bunch of colours representing different states. From the documentation:

"The colors of the task indicate the activity of the strategy. A purple task means that it has finished running. The green task is the currently running task and blue indicates a task that hasn't been run. Red indicates a task that failed during calculation and yellow is used when a strategy run is stopped by the user."

Now, that is just too many colours, way too confusing. I can see green as being "currently running" and red being "error" or "stop", but for the rest, it should be something more subtle and intuitive.

I'm also not so sure about using Python as the scripting language for building the pipelines, I'm beginning to be convinced, however, after trying to come up with other ways to do this using things like BPML (Business Process Markup Language). It probably is good to have a scripting language underneath the hood, just look at Emacs with Lisp, Lisp is what gives all the power to Emacs. A lot of people look at Emacs and see weird keyboard shortcuts, but it's so not about the keyboard shortcuts, it's about the idea of having a customizable editor with a programming language inside to do the customization.

Still, so far I just cannot bring myself to code in Python, it just feels so wrong. But, everyone else in crystallography is using it, and Google is using it, so I should maybe give it more of a chance. I just can't stand that whitespace is syntax. That is just wrong. So so wrong, on so many levels.

There is also a phaser phenix tutorial