Tuesday, December 4, 2007

FDS-SMV Website Update...

I have added links on the Sidebar and on the Documentation page to the listing of FDS-SMV Wiki pages. Take a look at the updated Documentation page for a little note on the purpose of the Wiki pages. These have been available on the project site for some time, but now it will be a little easier for new and existing users to find them.

Also, we are in the process of building another bundle for FDS and Smokeview. This will be the first bundle release since FDS_5.0.0. More news on that soon... This is also a good time to take a look at any outstanding Issue Tracker posts you may have open and see if they have been resolved to your satisfaction.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

A must watch video for everyone involved with the FDS and Smokeview Project.

I found this video very good for myself personally as I participate in other open source projects and as a developer in working with the FDS-SMV community.

In my opinion, this is a must watch video for anyone participating in software projects online.


As a side note, these are the guys that run the Google Code Project that we are using for FDS-SMV project services.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

fds_5.0.2 Released for All Operating Systems.

I finally had a chance to catch up with the FDS tags and builds for OS X today. So, now there is fds_5.0.2 available for all supported platforms. For those of you who build FDS for yourself, I have added tags, 'fds_5.0.1_m' and 'fds_5.0.2_m' in the repository. The 'm' at the end of the tag name stands for Maintenance Release. For reference fds_5.0.1 is based on repository revision 836 and fds_5.0.2 is based on revision 977. You can update to those revisions, or else switch to the tags I have created, either way you get the same thing. See the FDS Release Notes Wiki for information on the changes between each release.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Updates for smv_5.0.2 and fds_5.0.0_osx_intel.

I posted the correct fds_5.0.0 binary for osx_intel and Glenn posted a maintenance release of smv_5.0.2 for all platforms.

Go to the downloads page and click on your Operating System to find the new files.


Happy Modeling,

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

FDS_5.0.0-SMV_5.0.1 is Released!!!

The day has finally arrived! The Official Release of FDS and Smokeview is upon us.
The new website is back at the old and familiar URL of http://fire.nist.gov/fds so update all your bookmarks. Take a look around the new site as there are some new features and added content to make the website and the FDS-SMV applications even easier to use than before. So go there today and get your self a fresh copy of FDS and Smokeview, hot off the compilers.

Note for windows users... You must uninstall the previous RC versions through 'add/remove programs' to get rid of all the stuff in the start menus, etc. Then run the new installer.

I want to give a big Thank You to all the Release Candidate Testers who helped us through the long and sometimes painful testing phase, you may notice your names in the User Guide as a thank you and acknowledgment of your contributions. If you helped us during testing and do not see your name in there, then please email myself or Kevin and let us know we will add it to the next revision of the manual.

This Major Release of FDS and Smokeview does not close the door on the collaboration or the development process. We intend for FDS and Smokeview to be living applications that will continue to evolve through all of our work and community feedback. So, please keep the Discussion Group alive and report bugs and problems you run across to the Issue Tracker.
Keep your eye out for the email from Kevin announcing the official release and we hope that the wait for FDS and Smokeview Version 5 will be worth it.

Best Regards,
Bryan Klein

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Latest news for FDS-SMV development...

It has been too long since my last post. For that I apologize, as we have been very busy behind the scenes getting everything ready for the Official release of FDS and Smokeview version 5.

This month has been very productive and we have finally conquered the last big bugs in the RC releases. What does this mean to you? Well, in short, it means that we are now putting the finishing touches on the FDS_5 package before official release. Yes, that's right... the next release will be the official one! We are probably more excited than you are. :^)

In the meantime, if there are things you would like to see added to the user's guide, or example's of certain functionality added to the Verification Suite, please submit the request to the Issue Tracker.

One last thing... The Official FDS-SMV website will be moving to a .gov top level domain name soon. The fds-smv.net domain will still be used for the Google Code site, the Discussion Group and the Weblog. But the website will not be www.fds-smv.net much longer. Hopefully this is the last change to the website URLs. For the curious, it is because I maintain the site in an official capacity and is part of our mission and therefore must be .gov. It will look a little different, yet familiar, as I am taking this as an opportunity to add in a few special features.

Best Regards,
Bryan Klein

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

FDS-SMV Website Statistics...

As you can see from the new International Resources page on the website, there is a lot of interest around the world in FDS and Smokeview. I am happy to see that people are willing to help each other make FDS and Smokeview more accessible to others.

But, just how much international interest is there you ask...?

Well, I have been using Google Analytics to track website activity and have just posted a nice PDF summary of the visitors from 77+ Countries visiting the website. The report covers the time from April 26th, 2007 (when I enabled the tracking), until yesterday July 2rd, 2007.

Here is the link to the PDF report: http://www.fds-smv.net/VisitorsByCountry.pdf

It is interesting to see where visitors are coming from, how long they stay, what pages they are spending the most time on, etc. I will be using some of this information to further enhance the quality and quantity of information on the site.

As a side note, you will notice a fairly high bounce rate. This is basically when someone leaves the site from the same page they started on. On the FDS-SMV website. this is by design. We are trying to make pages that are on topic and complete so that a visitor can get to any information they need on the page they visit (typically the homepage) and can move on from the site in less than 2 clicks. My goal is to have a visitor come to the site, find what they need quickly and then go get some real work done. From these initial statistics, it seems that my plan might be working.

Finally, I want to take a second to recognize all our our international visitors, and thank you for being a part of the FDS-SMV community, your presence and support is welcome.


New International Resources Page on FDS_SMV Website.

A few weeks ago, I made a call out to the FDS-SMV user community for translators and the response has been impressive and very much appreciated.

There is now a new page on the FDS-SMV website with links to email addresses and websites/documents that these generous people have provided. There is a link under User Support on the Homepage and here is the direct link.

See: http://www.fds-smv.net/internationalresources

If you would like your name added to the page, to assist with helping users in a language you are fluent in, please email me your name, email address and if you have any documents or web sites specific to FDS-SMV in that language, include them as well.

Thank you again to all of you who generously offered your time and support.


Monday, July 2, 2007

PPC XLF compiler now working for OS X 10.4!

Well, I finally got it to work!!! In hindsight, is was not hard at all. Basically a small change in the xlf.cfg file and an updated environment variable. Not as difficult as some websites would like you to believe. :)

The good news is that there are some nice improvements in performance on the G5 platform.
But, as you can see, my Intel MacBook Pro laptop is significantly faster than both the Absoft and IBM compiled versions of FDS5_RC6 on the Dual G5.

I ran the room_fire.fds Verification case long enough to develop a trend then stopped it.
I don't expect different results if I run the case to completion.

== G5 ABSOFT Results at Iteration 100 ==

Time Step 100 July 2, 2007 17:14:45
CPU/step: 1.154 s, Total CPU: 1.88 min
Time step: 0.03403 s, Total time: 3.91 s
Max CFL number: 0.85E+00 at ( 26, 52, 12)
Max divergence: 0.25E+01 at ( 26, 52, 8)
Min divergence: -0.16E+01 at ( 26, 52, 12)
No. of Lagrangian Particles: 50
Total Heat Release Rate: 10.214 kW
Radiation Loss to Boundaries: 3.622 kW

== G5 XLF Results at Iteration 100 ==

Time Step 100 July 2, 2007 16:57:27
CPU/step: 0.629 s, Total CPU: 1.02 min
Time step: 0.03394 s, Total time: 3.91 s
Max CFL number: 0.85E+00 at ( 26, 52, 12)
Max divergence: 0.25E+01 at ( 26, 52, 8)
Min divergence: -0.15E+01 at ( 26, 52, 12)
No. of Lagrangian Particles: 52
Total Heat Release Rate: 10.173 kW
Radiation Loss to Boundaries: 3.611 kW

== Intel MacBook Pro Results at Iteration 100 ==

Time Step 100 July 2, 2007 16:33:51
CPU/step: 0.303 s, Total CPU: 29.13 s
Time step: 0.03375 s, Total time: 3.88 s
Max CFL number: 0.84E+00 at ( 26, 52, 12)
Max divergence: 0.25E+01 at ( 26, 52, 8)
Min divergence: -0.14E+01 at ( 26, 52, 12)
No. of Lagrangian Particles: 47
Total Heat Release Rate: 10.238 kW
Radiation Loss to Boundaries: 3.631 kW

So far it looks like the XLF compiled version of RC6 is almost twice as fast as the Absoft version. But, the Intel compiler on the Intel Mac spanks them both with twice the speed of the XLF version and almost four times the speed of the Absoft version.

At least this confirms that I need to switch to XLF for G5 builds and it also means that Glenn should be able to build G4/G5 versions of Smokeview again. :)


Sunday, June 24, 2007

New FDS-SMV Release, RC6

Fresh from the compilers... FDS and Smokeview 5 RC6!


Come and get'em while they last...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

FDS-SMV Issue Tracker Tips...

When visiting the Issue Tracker, there are a few tips to keep in mind that will help you find what you are looking for.

Modifying the List View:
Above the list of Issues there is a pull down combo-box that will list for you the various filters for what Issues will be displayed. It is usually set to only show Open issues, but there are otherfilters that will allow you to see All issues and Your issues. If you have clicked the Star next to important issues that you want to keep track of, it will also show you Starred Issues.

This leads into another tip...

Starring Important Issues:
By starring an issue, you not only mark that the issue is important to you. It will also allow us on the Admin side to sort the list by the issues that have the most stars. This helps us know what issues are the most important to all users.

Finally, here is a little information online giving you additional Issue search tips from Google.

Happy Issue Tracking,

Friday, June 1, 2007

Updated Launcher for OS X users of FDS and Smokeview...

Hey Mac Users... I have a little treat for you.

First off, this assumes that you have installed the NIST folder from the distribution in the main Applications folder on your machine.

Look in the NIST folder for a sub-Folder of the FDS folder called Utilities.
Inside there is an application called "FDS_5_RC4_OSX_Intel.app"
Sorry for the long name, I will change it in the next release.
In the meantime, give it a try.

Here is how it is supposed to work...


Double click the .app file and a blank text window will pop up.
Find the Icon in the Dock, right click (Control+click) and then click 'Keep in Dock'.

Now click the Quit button on the text window.

*** FDS ***

Find a FDS_5 .fds input file and drag/drop it on the new Dock Icon.
(Try the activate_vents.fds case from the defualt location, /Applications/NIST/FDS/Examples/Verification/activate_vents.fds)

You should see the text window pop up and the output from FDS being updated there.

Now look in the Verification folder where activate_vents.fds is located. You should see a new folder based on the filename. In this case 'activate_vents' and inside of it is where all the output files from FDS are located.

After the run is finished, click the Quit button to close the launcher.


Now to view the results in Smokeview.
Drag the activate_vents.smv file from the output folder to the same Icon on the Dock.
Smokeview should open up the file and run as normal.
To close Smokeview, you can click the Quit button on the Launcher text window that opened with the Smokeview window.


You can associate the Launcher application with .fds and .smv files so that they will open with a double click of the file name. Just right click (Control+click) a .fds file and pick 'Open With' > 'Other...' from the menu. In the Choose Application dialog, browse to the FDS_5_RC4_OSX_Intel.app file in the Utilities folder. Make sure to click the 'Always Open With' checkbox to keep this association. Now do the same thing with a .smv file. After that, test it by double clicking a .fds file then go into the output directory and double click the .smv file. NOTE: You cannot open an .smv file while the application is still running an .fds file, since it is already busy running FDS. Likewise you cannot run a .fds file when a .smv file is running.

You can also pass a set of FDS files to be run in series with a single drag/drop.
Select a few .fds files to run in a batch. (Shift-click or Apple+click) Then drag the set and drop them on the dock icon. This will run all the files you have selected in series, reporting the progress to the Launcher text window.

If you run into any problems with this launcher, please post them to the Support Issue tracker.

I hope this makes running FDS and Smokeview on the Mac a little easier.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

FDS_5_RC5 and SMV_5_RC4 Released today...

Hello everyone!

The latest release candidates for FDS and Smokeview are now available.
Please go to the Download page on http://www.fds-smv.net for more information.
You can also go to: http://download.fds-smv.net to find the download for your system.

There have been some changes to the Pyrolysis Model input parameters, so check the User Guide Chapter 8 on Boundary Conditions for more detail on the new parameters. Especially information on Reference Temperature, Ignition Temperature and Boiling Temperature.

Please keep in mind that we need your feedback on if the User Guide makes sense, or if it requires more clarification in certain areas. We have been trying to take all of your suggestions and work them into the guides somewhere.

If you have outstanding support issues please rerun your cases with the new version. We found some good bugs in RC4 that should address many of the problems people have noted.

Thank you for your continued support during this time of testing and review.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

FDS_5_RC4 and SMV_5_RC3 are ready for Download...

Hello Everyone!

I am happy to announce that the new release candidate (RC4) of FDS and Smokeview (RC3) are bundled up and ready for download. (I see that around 40 people found them already!)

Please make sure that once you have RC4 that you rerun your cases. If you had issue reports for RC3, please make sure that RC4 fixed them and report the result to the tracker or group where you reported the problem.

There will be a mass mail later this morning, informing everyone on the mailing list of the new release. But I wanted to give the readers of the FDS-SMV Weblog and via the blog, the readers of the Discussion Group a head start on the Downloads.

To download the latest version from the Google Code, Project Host go to: http://download.fds-smv.net

Or, go to the Download Options page on the http://www.fds-smv.net homepage.

Thank you for your continued support of FDS and Smokeview!
One step closer to FDS_5 Official Release,

PS. Keep an eye out for the mass mail later today.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

ChangeDetection(tm) - Know when any web page changes

ChangeDetection(tm) - Know when any web page changes

Handy webservice I am using to monitor the project homepage ( http://code.google.com/p/fds-smv/ )for updates to the various bits of information there.

This will notify me via email whenever the page changes, which would include any of the features downloads, wikis, etc.

Nice free (for now) service...


Friday, May 4, 2007

FDS and Smokeview Logo Contest...

Calling all FDS and Smokeview users with a bit of artistic talent (or those who have a friend with some).

We need a new logo for branding the FDS and Smokeview software package.
This new logo will be used on the websites and as the icon for the applications.

It can either be a single logo that encompasses both FDS and Smokeview, or two logos one for FDS and one for Smokeview that can be combined to make a single logo for the package.

All submissions must be emailed to bryan.klein@fds-smv.net by July 6, 2007 @ 1700 hrs (EST).

Here are the general parameters of the new logo:
1) Must scale well...
The logos must be presented in 32X32 and 128x128 sizes. The preferred logo format is SVG though PNG is also acceptable. The websites will typically show the logo at about 128 pixels wide, but it may be used in a larger print form on posters, etc.

2) Ensure that all Logo content is not copy protected or licenced in any way...
In other words, it must be free to you and to us. We expect all original content, which also means that you get all the credit.

3) Criteria for Judging...
30% - Originality - make it yours.
30% - Communication of concept - how well is FDS and Smokeview represented in the logo.
20% - Visual Impact - how memorable it is. We want it to leave a mark, neurologically speaking.
20% - Community Voting - we will put all the submissions on a web page at the end of the contest for the user community to cast their votes.

4) Communicate the interdependence of FDS and Smokeview.

5) Have fun with this...

The contest starts today and I hope that everyone pays special attention to item #5 above.

Ready, set, go....
-Bryan Klein

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Automatic build process option...

BuildBot Manual 0.7.5

Thinking of using BuildBot to automate FDS and Smokeview build processes and find errors across platforms quickly.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Release Candidate 3 Beta and a New Web Site...

Hello everyone, Bryan Klein here...

I am filling in for Kevin today as he is off having fun giving a talk today to IAAI in Canada... Lucky.

We have been receiving some great feedback from those of you who have been testing the new releases.
I hope that you all keep it up on this new release RC3, and those of you who are not testing yet, please take this opportunity to give it a try.

We have been listening to your feedback about the Sourceforge websites and have decided to make a major shift from SourceForge to Google Services.
This move was to address many of the comments stating that although many of the features of the SourceForge site were great, the actual navigation and usability was lacking. The demand was for more simple and easy to use site, without loosing any of the nice features that SourceForge offered the community.
I think we were able to accommodate these requests.

Introducing the new FDS and Smokeview Website...


This URL is all I will give you, as I hope that you will go to the site and see for yourself how easy it is to navigate and find what you are looking for.

This new site now integrates the following features:
Direct Download links,
Discussion Group,
Support Issue tracker (easier to use and more flexible),
Community Event Calendar,
Weblog / Journal,
Subversion (SVN) repository,
and more...

The site is new and still under construction, but most of the most important stuff should be there.
Remember, this testing phase is more than just testing FDS and Smokeview...
Feel free to comment on the site, what you would like to see there, what is unnecessary, etc.

Ok, one more link...
To those of you who want to build from source nightly or whenever you feel like it, Jason Floyd made a short How-To page for accessing the SVN repository and synchronizing it with a local folder on your machine. Take a look and tell us what you think in the discussion group.

I will leave you with that, and again, get a free copy of FDS and Smokeview while they last...

Best Regards,
Bryan Klein

National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8663
Gaithersburg MD 20899
Phone: 301 975 5171
Fax: 301 975 4052

Friday, April 27, 2007

FDS Beta Testing


Since my plea last week for more participation in the FDS 5 beta test, I am pleased to report that you have responded most enthusiastically, and our bug reporting traffic has increased significantly. It sounds to me that part of the initial sluggishness of the beta testing has been the SourceForge pages. While the SourceForge system of source code archiving and bug tracking has been extremely useful to us developers, it has also been confusing and intimidating for those unfamiliar with it. So much so that I fear people have been turned off, and turned away. If this is annoying for experienced users participating in the beta test, it will be a disaster for new users once we release FDS 5. Part of the problem has been that we've expected users to navigate the SF pages more than they really need to. In a sense, what we want most users to be able to do easily is (1) download new releases of FDS-SMV, (2) easily report problems or bugs, and (3) participate in group discussions. Those interested in obtaining and working with the source code will have to endure more of the "developer's environment," but that is to be expected from those who would actually edit and compile Fortran code. If we do our job right, there should be a simply designed FDS/SV Home Page, with easy clicks to get what you need and get on with your job.

We have identified an alternative to SourceForge called GoogleCode (yes, yet another Google app!). It is free like SF, but has no ads (unless you count the big Google logo at the top of the page an ad). It is cleaner, faster, and simpler than SF, probably because there is so much less clutter. We are already using GoogleGroups for the discussion forum, so there is only one "account" that users need to establish. Many users already have one type of Google account or another anyway. So there appear to be a number of advantages presented by GoogleCode over SF. Long term, we do not see Google going away, even though at some point we might have to pay for this service. I don't suspect that FDS/SV would ever grow so big that we would require a very expensive support package. Some have asked me why we're not hosting the FDS/SV site here at NIST. Several reasons -- first, NIST has web services, but nothing like the archiving/revision control that would allow non-NIST participants to access the source. Nothing like the discussion forum either. And it would seem pointless to try to create here something that already works well and does what we need it to do.

So in the next few days, we're going to transition to our new system. For most of you participating in the beta test, this will not really change things all that much, other than a resetting of links. Early next week, I'll send out further instructions. For now, I would ask that you not submit any new issues to the SourceForge "Trackers". For those already submitted, we're going to work to resolve them and then close them out. We ask those who've submitted to follow up on any questions we might have for you. Along with the new web site(s), we'll also prepare a new version of the code, a so-called "RC3". For those who've submitted bugs that we have claimed to fix, we'd ask that you check to see if we really did fix the problem, and start new bug reports if we haven't.

Thanks for your patience in all these matters. This is exactly what a beta test ought to be, as we want to fix annoying problems now before we go to an official release.


Kevin McGrattan
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8663
Gaithersburg MD 20899
Phone: 301 975 2712
Fax: 301 975 4052

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

All New FDS-SV Blog Posts Copied to Group...

To keep information connected, all new Blog posts will automatically be send to the FDS-SV Google Group. There the posts can be discussed, praised, exalted, lauded, etc.

So, if you don't want to go the the Blog site, and don't know what RSS Feeds are or how to use them... don't worry. Just go to the group... it is all there.


Thinking of moving from Sourceforge to Google Code

We have received some positive and some negative feedback from users on our new websites and services online... The positive feedback has been related to the functionality of what we know offer through sourceforge. i.e. CVS, Trackers, etc. The negative feed back is how it is presented, more of an interface issue. Ads all over the place, difficult to navigate the site, confusion about which site is the "real" website, how to find the right download, etc.
Much of the difficulty users have noticed, I have noticed too... So I decided to look for a better alternative. And since we are still in this Beta testing phase, now is the time to make the changes if we are ever going to.

I looked around the web a bit and found that code.google.com is open to any open source project... A blog post on http://engtech.wordpress.com helped me decide to give it a try.

I have setup a new website for Users HERE.
But, more importantly I have also setup a new development management system HERE using Google Code for open source projects.

So far I really like the Google system and bringing it all under the same roof makes it much easier for users and for the developers since everything is available now with a single Google account sign-in. There are a few small issues I am still working out, but overall, I think it offers a better solution than sourceforge is currently offering.

If you take a look at these pages, please let me know if you like them more or less than what we have setup on sourceforge.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

FDS_5 RC2 Released today... Feedback Required.

To all you FDS Users and Beta Testers out there... Release Candidate 2 is on the SourceForge servers.

We need more feedback from those of you using the new version of FDS.
What do you like with the new changes?
What is too difficult or what should work better?
How successful have you been with converting existing FDS input files over to the new format?
How did it run, were the results similar?

You see we have many questions... and very few answers so far.
So please take advantage of all the methods of communicating with us and send us your comments and feedback.

BTW, did I mention that we even setup a new tracker on SourceForge for Feedback?
Yeah, we did... get the hint? :)


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

User Contribution, FDS_5 Mesh Size Calculator

Kristopher Overholt posted an Excel based Mesh Calculator in the FDS-SMV Group, Files Section.

It is great to see users contributing tools to the community.
I hope that this sets an example for others who have developed useful tools to build better FDS models.

Kristopher, thank you for your contribution...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Google Groups Features and Restrictions Examination

Google Groups Features and Restrictions Examination

I ran across this VERY informative page on Google Groups.

Since we are using it, I guess it is good to know a little bit about it.


Friday, April 13, 2007

VTT Evacuation Model in FDS

I have been asked about the Evacuation module that is being incorporated into FDS.

Here is a little more info:
The model is being developed by Timo Korhonen and Simo Hostikka from VTT in Finland.

A download is available on the VTT website, but note that it is based on FDS_4 source.
It is currently integrated into the FDS_5 source code, but has not been released for FDS_5 officially.
The module is not documented in the NIST user or technical guide, as all documentation and support for the model will be provided by VTT.

You can submit questions and support requests through the FDS-SMV tracker system, as these issues can be assigned to the VTT guys. But, until it is officially released as a part of FDS_5, please do not submit issues to the trackers for the FDS_4 version.

It will be interesting to see how the FDS+Evacuation combination begins to take shape. There are many other groups developing evacuation models integrated into the results of FDS. I will post more on them as the details emerge.

I hope this answers a few questions... and maybe even answers some before they are asked.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

High Performance Computing for Mac OS X

High Performance Computing for Mac OS X

A nice site helping people setup OS X for scientific computing.

There are links to setting up compilers and how-to's for writing OS X specific code.

It has been very useful to me when getting my new systems setup.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

First Post of Many...

Welcome to the FDS-SMV "official", unofficial web log.

Hopefully the readers of this blog will find it a valuable repository for information related to FDS and Smokeview.

If you would like to be a member/contributor to this blog, please feel free to send your request to bryanwklein@gmail.com .

There are many new resources available to the FDS-SMV community and this is one more to add to it. Be sure to check out the following links to access more of these resources.

FDS-SMV Website: