A few of you have asked about my progress.
So here are the key highlights for the 1st month.
* Grant work officially started March 1st
* Created a landing page at http://www.epicsqt.org
Note: Quotes are correct, but am still waiting for a picture from Cecile Limborg (SLAC) and Valeri Sytnik (JLAB). I also intend to get more testimonials from other sites.
* Created a twitter account (handle @epicsqt) for communication
* Put in place a wiki at http://www.epicsqt.org/wiki
to used by me and hopefully soon the collaboration
Note all of epicsqt infrastructure is on amazon web services. Ownership and administrative rights can be transferred to ***anyone***. I am planning to have key people from sites who contribute have root access.
* Contacted Pete Jemian from APS. Pete's group explored Qt as a replacement for medm. Results were presented at ICALEPCS 2013. At this time, APS will only be watching our progress.
* Contacted Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Mader from the KECK observatory (Hawaii), they would like to be formally part of the EPICS Qt collaboration.
* Other sites to be contacted later (Canadian Light source, Diamond, etc)
Note that I still have to clarify (to myself) what being part of the collaboration means. I believe an isolated individual who contribute to the software or wiki should be considered part of the collaboration. As such, labs do not collaborate. People who work at those labs do.
To get started with our wiki: http://www.epicsqt.org/wiki/WikiHelp/
* Although still in stealth mode, I am currently experimenting on how to involve the EPICS community.
* One person of interest is Matt Neville. Matt works for CARS at U. of Chicago. He is the developer of pyepics (python module for epics). I would like Matt to help me (and possibly later lead) the development of the python environment in EPICS Qt. To date, he and I have discussed the requirements for EPICS4, but my immediate needs are related to the EPICS Qt python-bindings. Discussion are ongoing.
* My approach to the EPICS Qt framework is from the top-down, i.e. with a strong focus on the user experience. That approach requires
(1) identify customers (i.e managers and influencers) who make the strategic decision and decide which software to use
(2) to identify users (i.e different classes of operators, physicists, engineers, designers)
(3) 'make them read' and create empathy for them
(4) identify their needs
(5) design the software to answer those needs
For example, Debbie Rogind manages 40+ engineers at SLAC. She wants to know whether she should consider EPICS Qt for her new accelerator. She asked Michael Zelazny to explore EPICS Qt and compare it to the alternative. Although, I haven't meet Mike yet, I really want to help both of them understand the limitations and benefits of EPICS Qt. In the EPICS Qt framework, Debbie and Michael have their equivalent personas. For those archetypes, I published content to help them get acquainted with Qt and its ecosystem. http://www.epicsqt.org/wiki/FrontPage#ForTheCommunity
At this location, they will find information on the history of Qt, Qt insight report (report on the Qt community at large), the grant narrative+reviews, the Icalepcs 2013 presentations related to Qt and much more to come.
The published information on the wiki is not a substitute for a face to face meeting (I certainly hope to meet with Mike soon).
But, it is a signal that the EPICS Qt is approachable and that the collaboration welcomes them
and welcomes you.
Empathy for customers is just as important as empathy for users. What are the goals of physicists/operators/engineers/designers? How do the EPICS Qt (applications, tools, and collaboration) help them achieve their goal? More about high level application design in a future email.
Finally, I wanted to keep for last what I consider the most significant highlight for the month.
On May 10, 11, 12, at Lyncean in Palo Alto, CA, Andrew Rhyder, Anton Mezger, and I will meet.
The purpose of this meeting is to combine our efforts and to officially start the EPICS Qt collaboration.
We certainly hope others will soon join the effort.