ESP-r Developers Conference 2007 - announcement

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Announcement: ESP-r Developers Conference

Venue: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of
Strathclyde, Glasgow Scotland

Date: 22-24 March 2007

Cost: 100 Pounds (to cover lunches and refreshments and
administrative overheads)

The Energy Systems Research Unit of the University of Strathclyde are
pleased to announce the 3rd ESP-r Developers Conference to be held in
Glasgow this March.


Much has happened since the ESP-r community last gathered:

q ESP-r is well into its transition from using X11 graphics to
the multi-platform GTK graphics tool kit.

q A Beta version of windows ESP-r has been released.

q Self-extracting installers have been introduced for each of
the major computing platforms.

q ESP-r development has been placed under a central source code
repository - there have been more than 700 commits to the repository
since March of 2006!

q A formal testing procedure for source code developments has
been put in place.

q The Install process has been rewritten, and new features
added. For example, it is no longer necessary for ESP-r to be
located in /usr/esru

q A new email list for the core development team is up and
running providing notification of changes in each of the development

q New Exemplar models and facilities for managing model
variants have been introduced.

q Many new features have been added. For example: new detailed
component models have been developed for plant and commercial scale
systems models have been developed; contaminant tracking and coupling
of CFD to building models have been made more user friendly.

One of the functions of the conference will be to highlight these
developments. However the main focus will be to discuss the options
for continuing the development of ESP-r into the future.

Conference Details

The conference will cover a range of topics relating to the future
development of ESP-r. Each session will feature presentations and a
discussion on an important development topic. Each session will be
moderated and the discussion and outcomes will be recorded with a
view to producing conference proceedings and a development strategy

Thursday session 1: Introduction and Review

Opening announcements and a review of the current state of ESP-r.

Thursday session 2: Development Issues

There are two issues that confront the community, which ultimately
will dictate the survival of the code:

q ESP-r needs to attract new users, as it is from new users
that new developers emerge. Currently ESP-r, while being an
incredibly powerful tool, does not conform to novice user
expectations, the result being that new users are discouraged from
using the tool and consequently lose many potential developers. How
can we evolve the tool to develop a thriving user community?

q ESP-r has recently passed several critical CEN standards but
is continually confronted by changes in regulatory standards and the
need to evolve so as to gain accreditation. What opportunities exist
to fund vital accreditation work?

This session will evolve a list of tasks and issues to carry forward
to subsequent sessions.

Thursday session 3: Interface

The ESP-r interface has served the community well, however a lack of
funding has limited development and in its current form problems are
emerging as highlighted above for new users but also in the general
development and management of simulation projects. These problems
could be addressed by leveraging the substantial wealth of interface
widgets that GTK offers to bring ESP-r in line with user
expectations. However there is currently a lack of interface
development in the community to progress this task at an acceptable

This session is focused on finding the means to accelerate the
evolution of the interface and developing the guidelines and key
objectives for future interface development.

Thursday evening dinner

Details TBC

Friday session 1: Mainstreaming Advanced Features

ESP-r has a number of lesser-used advanced features that require a
lot of expert knowledge to use, effectively hiding them from the user
community. This session is focused on developing a strategy to bring
the power of ESP-r?s advanced features to the rest of the community.

Friday session 2: Improving Information Retrieval

ESP-r produces a wealth of data from a simulation yet there are
significant issues as to how this data is stored and analysed.
Simulation information is often scattered across several results
libraries. Further, information data such as fan power or the overall
performance of environmental systems made up from a network of
detailed components needs to be derived from the raw simulation data
and involves significant user effort. Finally it is difficult to
compare the performance of different model variants.

This session is focused on improving results processing facilities to
better support performance analysis. The session will also seek to
identify where critical model attributes need to be extended in
order to deliver more appropriate performance information.

Friday session 2: Source Code Control [Hands On]

The move to subversion has had many implications for the evolution of
ESP-r. This session is designed to introduce the mechanics of source
code control to the development community. Features:

q Review of the structure of the archive and working practices.

q 45 min workshop with hands-on experience in the use of
subversion tasks and the development cycle

q Open discussion on how we leverage source code control to
work in distributed teams and to tackle major projects.

Friday session 4: Wrap-up and outcomes

This session brings together the consensus from the earlier sessions
(session chairs report) for discussion and decision making.

The goal of the session is a list of specific actions, likely
contributors and potential resources which can be distributed to the
community at the end of the conference.

If you would be interested in attending please reply by return e-
mail. Further details will be sent soon

[ ] I would like to attend.

Further information:

[ ] I would like to moderate a session
session name:_________

[ ] I have a presentation for one of the sessions
session name:_________
title of presentation:___________
length of presentation [ max. 10 minutes]

[ ] I want to take part in the Saturday subversion skills workshop

[ ] I have a source code branch
branch name:________

[ ] I am thinking about joining the development community

[ ] I have an idea for the development of ESP-r and I want to find
others to work with:
development description:____
skills I have:____
ideas for contributions by others:____



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