Rosetta alpha ??

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Message 6938 - Posted: 20 Dec 2005, 21:42:40 UTC

Is there a Rosetta Alpha project?

If not, can I put in a plea for you to start one ASAP.

You have had a series of annoying bugs that have affected participants, and this is no surprise to anyone who has worked in the software industry. You will never stop producing a certain percentage of buggy apps unless you stop producing new apps altogether.

It seems to me you could usefully screen new apps before general release and after hands-on testing by the original programmers which you already do.

A trial release of 1000 or so WU to people willing to be guinea pigs, willing to keep a more careful watch on their boxes than the average participant, and self-selected as having some idea of how to report bugs or being willing to learn -- does that sound useful? All that can be yours with an alpha project.

Participants will, if asked, sort themselves into three groups. Firstly those who enjoy finding bugs and will willingly join an Alpha project, and who are likely to be able to offer the most useful feedback to the project programmers.

Secondly those who want their machines to be set and forget -- so they can tell their parents they are working on a biochem project without putting in any direct effort.

And the third group is like me -- I have some machines where it is convenient to check daily and some where it is not. I\'d join the first lot of boxes to alpha but not the second.

It would not need new servers, just another instance of the existing BOINC software on the servers you already have, and a new master url at (say) /rosalpha instead of /rosetta.

As I imagine it being used, the first WU for any app, or any new protein, would be sent to the alpha project. They would continue to be restricted to the alpha project till (say) 1000 WU had completed without nasty surprises - by which time more than 1000 would have been issued.

After that the series would continue on the mainstream rosetta, and hopefully it would be a simple script to feed the successful alpha results through to the scientific databases for the results to be used together.

Equally, dud results from buggy apps could easily be binned, and those problems could be identified and fixed without alienating the set-and-forget donors, and without frightening off newcomers who are unlucky enough to arrive at the wrong time.

Alpha participants would also still be attached to the mainstream project for those times when there was no work in alpha.

At first it woud be a bit more work for your programming team setting it all up, but I think the benefits of faster feedback on innovative WU, and of fewer confused mainstream participants would make it worthwhile. I would also hope that in the longer term it would actually save programmer time.


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Profile David E K
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Message 6943 - Posted: 20 Dec 2005, 22:18:58 UTC
Last modified: 20 Dec 2005, 22:19:35 UTC

We are seriously considering setting up a test server in house to test work units before they go out to production, due to the recent issues. The problem was/is that we were/are trying to do too much before the holidays.
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Profile Bill Michael
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Message 6956 - Posted: 20 Dec 2005, 23:23:13 UTC

I think an in-house SET of systems is an absolute requirement. A Windows XP box, a Linux box, and a Mac, would be the bare minimum. The first step after a programmer has come in and said \"this is ready to ship\", or a scientist has come in and said \"here\'s the new WUs ready to send\", would be to run for a day or so on the in-house systems.

THEN, I think if there was _any_ reasonable \"risk factor\" involved, (always on an app, I don\'t know on WUs) River\'s idea of Rosalpha (Ralph?*) would be good. Just another project we could attach to, high resource share because it would rarely have work to send. Wouldn\'t mess with credits on it, unless you _did_ steal a lot of time... Make deadlines as short as you want there too, so you don\'t have to wait long for the feedback. Anyway, this would give you dozens or hundreds of \"test systems\" - at ZERO dollar cost.

----
*bizarre random brain cells firing, sleep deprivation mode; Rosetta Alpha; Rosalpha; R-alpha; Ralph; wasn\'t that the girl\'s name who was the tractor mechanic on Green Acres? Somehow Ralph just seems like a perfect project name for this...

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Profile David E K
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Message 6960 - Posted: 21 Dec 2005, 0:25:58 UTC

Ralph it is.

One more thing to add to the list of things to do for this project. But, I agree, this is a necessity.
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Message 6961 - Posted: 21 Dec 2005, 0:32:03 UTC - in response to Message 6960.  
Last modified: 21 Dec 2005, 0:32:19 UTC

One more thing to add to the list of things to do for this project. But, I agree, this is a necessity.


You didn\'t think this was going to be SIMPLE did you? :-)

Have a good holiday.

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Message 6976 - Posted: 21 Dec 2005, 6:44:33 UTC - in response to Message 6960.  

Ralph it is.

One more thing to add to the list of things to do for this project. But, I agree, this is a necessity.


Said in my best Wallace voice (*) (of Wallace and Gromit fame)

\"We\'ll call it Ralph.\"

(*) The voice is actually that of Peter Sallis, and is, IMHO, a work of casting genius. But them I\'m biased, having seen Peter Sallis in many episodes of Last of the Summer Wine.
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Message 6993 - Posted: 21 Dec 2005, 12:40:13 UTC - in response to Message 6943.  
Last modified: 21 Dec 2005, 12:41:25 UTC

We are seriously considering setting up a test server in house to test work units before they go out to production, due to the recent issues.


After the in-house testing and before general release, it is well worth issuing WU to volunteer guinea pigs who promise to repoert any problems and promise not to get upset by them.

So I suggest around 1000 volunteers to help with this -- out here in the community is a much bigger diversity of different test rigs than anything you could put together in the lab. You will get plenty - Orbit got 1000 alpha testers in a week - and they did not even have any code at the time they called for volunteers. The problem will be you will get too many, so be sure to know how to turn off account creation on the alpha accounts, and have a polite \'thanks but no thanks\' page prepred in advance for those that miss the chance.


The problem was/is that we were/are trying to do too much before the holidays.

an understandable temptation, but on a DC project not one you are likely to get away with... 20,000x as many chances to find sneaky bugs and 20,000x the embarrassment when they do...

River~~
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Message 6997 - Posted: 21 Dec 2005, 12:59:19 UTC - in response to Message 6956.  
Last modified: 21 Dec 2005, 13:16:28 UTC

Wouldn\'t mess with credits on it, unless you _did_ steal a lot of time...

I\'d like credits. Not for the impact on my overall scores, but so my involvment in a limited edition project shows in my stats sig.

I may be crazy, but I\'m more proud of my 50 cobblestones of pirates credit than of my 39k CPDN. Especially as its the only project where I\'m ever likley to beat a certain high scorer who only got... petty? On one level the credits are always beside the point, but they seem to matter to some donors. And cobblestones cost a lot less than pounds or dollars.

BOINC out of the box does credits, and making the XML stats available once a day is not hard given that you\'ve cracked it for the mainstream project.

<flimsy rationalisation/>
And then again, you want to test whether the credit scoring is broken by the new app don\'t you?
</flimsy rationalisation>

Make deadlines as short as you want there too, so you don\'t have to wait long for the feedback.


Absolutely. This project is for the developer\'s benefit, not for the scientists.

But not tight enough to push every box into EDF or you will not be testing the effects of pre-emption, which we already know is a Rosetta issue.


\"We\'ll call it Ralph.\"


ho hum, oh well

a Rosetta by any other name would smell as sweet

River~~
-----


see those 50 credits in the last row ;-)
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Message 6998 - Posted: 21 Dec 2005, 13:05:08 UTC - in response to Message 6997.  

I\'d like credits. Not for the impact on my overall scores, but so my involvment in a limited edition project shows in my stats sig.


True... which brings up the fact that even if the URL is \"ralph\", the exported project in the xml should be spelled out \"Rosetta Alpha\"... :-) Unless the \"limited edition\" project would gain a mystique from having a bizarre name to make people ask about it. Whatever.

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Message 7003 - Posted: 21 Dec 2005, 13:28:40 UTC - in response to Message 6998.  

...even if the URL is \"ralph\", the exported project in the xml should be spelled out \"Rosetta Alpha\"... :-) Unless the \"limited edition\" project would gain a mystique from having a bizarre name to make people ask about it. Whatever.


Like Pirates being a support project for Einstein, developing screensavers and suchlike. Pirates originally so-called because it wasn\'t a part of the Einstein project team, but then the name took over and gave it a life of its own.

Ralph is OK by me, shiver me timbers let\'s start off with an in-joke ;-)

River~~
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Message 7158 - Posted: 22 Dec 2005, 10:37:55 UTC - in response to Message 7003.  
Last modified: 22 Dec 2005, 10:38:50 UTC

...even if the URL is \"ralph\", the exported project in the xml should be spelled out \"Rosetta Alpha\"... :-) Unless the \"limited edition\" project would gain a mystique from having a bizarre name to make people ask about it. Whatever.


Like Pirates being a support project for Einstein, developing screensavers and suchlike. Pirates originally so-called because it wasn\'t a part of the Einstein project team, but then the name took over and gave it a life of its own.

Ralph is OK by me, shiver me timbers let\'s start off with an in-joke ;-)

River~~

I like ralph. That really will be an entertaining tag line in the stats sigs. It will give me another project to use my pirate name on as well hehe.
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Message 7270 - Posted: 22 Dec 2005, 22:22:51 UTC - in response to Message 6938.  

If there is a beta (alpha, really) for this project.. I'd like to be a part of it also David :) pretty please
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Message 7278 - Posted: 22 Dec 2005, 22:50:46 UTC

I\'d like to join Ralph as well, whenever it\'s ready.
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Message 7283 - Posted: 22 Dec 2005, 23:04:24 UTC

RALPH seems to be a good idea, you could count me in.



Supporting BOINC, a great concept !
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Message 7284 - Posted: 22 Dec 2005, 23:06:03 UTC - in response to Message 7283.  

RALPH seems to be a good idea, you could count me in.


Anybody who would join a project called BURP... :-P

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Message 7354 - Posted: 23 Dec 2005, 11:29:09 UTC

Oooo! Oooo! I want to play too. Can I play with \"Ralph\" when he\'s ready to come out and play!

Kathryn
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Message 7367 - Posted: 23 Dec 2005, 13:40:56 UTC - in response to Message 7354.  

Oooo! Oooo! I want to play too. Can I play with \"Ralph\" when he\'s ready to come out and play!


Kathryn,

And here I thought you were sensable ... :)

Aside from BOINC beta, I have stayed away from the test projects and have been very happy with the results ... :)

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Message 7413 - Posted: 23 Dec 2005, 20:45:57 UTC - in response to Message 7284.  
Last modified: 23 Dec 2005, 20:52:00 UTC

RALPH seems to be a good idea, you could count me in.


Anybody who would join a project called BURP... :-P


I\'ve yet joined BURP, so joining Ralph too isn\'t so bad for me...
See you soon



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Message 7484 - Posted: 24 Dec 2005, 6:32:27 UTC - in response to Message 7367.  

Oooo! Oooo! I want to play too. Can I play with \"Ralph\" when he\'s ready to come out and play!


Kathryn,

And here I thought you were sensable ... :)

Aside from BOINC beta, I have stayed away from the test projects and have been very happy with the results ... :)



I work with kids almost 10 hours a day. I lost all my sensibility when I took this job.


Kathryn :o)
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Message boards : Number crunching : Rosetta alpha ??



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