Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Progress on Release of FDS 6

We are going through the final phases of our release of FDS 6. Since our first release in 2000, it has become much more difficult to issue a major new release, simply because we have put in a place a more rigorous process of testing. We now do nightly builds of both the FDS and Smokeview source codes, run all the verification cases, and compile all the manuals. This only takes a few hours to do while we sleep. Our validation cases, on the other hand, take a few weeks to run on our 256 core linux cluster, as there are approximately 900 individual cases that comprise the test suite. Some cases take only a few minutes on a single processor; some take as much as a week on multiple processors. Inevitably, Murphy's Law holds true, and there always seems to be something that hiccups. But we're nearing the end of our testing and we're almost through with the internal and external review of our manuals. Thanks to those of you who have made comments on the manuals. It's quite a task to wade through all those documents.

Those of you who have helped with the beta testing or proof reading, check to see that your name and affiliation are listed near the beginning of the new FDS User's Guide. You can find a copy that is posted nightly by following a link at the bottom of the home page, fire.nist.gov/fds. If we've forgotten to add you to the list, just post a note to the Issue Tracker thread that you used to post your test results. That's the easiest way to keep track of who did what.

If all goes well, we hope to have an official release of FDS by the end of the month.