A Cyberinfrastructure platform to meet the needs of data intensive radio astronomy on route to the SKA

Cyber SKA

Cyber SKA

Collaborators on the CANARIE Cyber SKA Project

CyberSKA Portal Release Notes - v1.2.0 - April 4, 2011

Below is a summary of the latest CyberSKA portal release (v1.2.0) on April 4, 2011. An updated Third Party Application module (v0.6.2) and FITS Viewer (v0.6.0) was also released at the same time.

Some of the new portal collaboration features include the ability to share site resources with other users (i.e., point them to something of interest) via a "share" link associated with most resources. Users are also now able to directly respond to site messages via e-mail. When you receive a new message e-mail notification from the site, simply reply to the e-mail. The CyberSKA site will receive the e-mail, archive it on site in your site messages and send it to the recipient. It works best if using a plain text e-mail client currently (superfluous text/markup might be seen in the e-mail if using an WYSIWYG/html editor - we are working to eliminate this problem).

The third party application user interface has had some major enhancements. Via the Tools->Applications menu item users can now get access to an Application Catalogue and can bookmark applications of interest that will appear in a "My Applications" listing. Each application now also has its own information page and a widget has been added for the group dashboard for displaying group applications.

The on-line FITS Viewer has had a significant number of new features and performance enhancements made. Grid labeling, a thumbnail view, more Gaussian 2D fitting features, more colormap options and many more features are now supported. Next steps for the FITS Viewer will focus on the server side implementation to increase scalability and provide support for showing movies of multi-dimensional images.

There are many other new features/enhancements in this release. For a more complete overview please see the list below:

CyberSKA Portal v1.2.0

  • users can now respond to site messages via e-mail directly; messages are still archived on the site as well (works best with plain text e-mails)
  • easier approach to sharing site resources with contacts (via sending message with a link)
  • page history now displays differences between revisions rather than the difference between that revision and the current version
  • default access levels for a group resource is now the group
  • default sub-page access levels are inherited from the parent page
  • delete button has been added to the list view for files
  • group member page has tabs like the main member page now
  • various bug fixes

Applications v0.6.2

  • revamp of the application module user interface
  • added an application catalogue
  • added information page for each application
  • custom icon can now be associated with each application
  • addition of "My Applications" - bookmarking functionality like that for "Group Applications" to allow users to mark applications that are of interest to them
  • addition of a "Group Applications" widget for the group dashboard
  • various bug fixes

FITS Viewer v0.6.0

  • added grid labeling
  • added thumbnail view showing entire image and location of current area zoomed into
    • dragging in thumbnail pans the image
    • clicking in thumbnail centers the clicked pixel on the screen
  • gaussian 2d fitting enhancements
    • redesigned UI
    • centre on centre of mass now works on images with negative values
    • more rendering options (show/subtract gauss values)
    • now stops automatically
  • added functionality to toggle Elgg decoration and maximize use of space in browser window
  • Elgg decoration toggle saved as a cookie (last choice is stored)
  • separate pop up windows for selecting colormap and histogram to maximize screen space for image
  • more colormap options
  • added permalink to screenshot upload
  • added total flux density calculation to region statistics
  • fixed permalink update in the URL so that it does not get saved in browser history (works in newest Chrome, Firefox, Safari, but not in Opera)
  • when new version of FITS Viewer is available, browser side caching is circumvented so that the new version should always load
  • implemented FITS loader which loads all data as AJAX
  • while loading FITS Viewer a thumbnail of the loading data is displayed
  • performance/memory/storage improvements
    • removed web worker implementation due to performance issues
    • store data as 2D array instead of 1D, allowing for larger FITS images
    • thumbnail calculation is now extraordinarily memory-efficient
    • optimized histogram/colormap calculation by caching
    • server side javascript cache computation much more memory efficient (at a slight expense in performance)
    • server now stores the javascript cache on disk compressed, resulting in less storage, faster loads, less server CPU (it used to compress this on the fly)