Notice of change in release/development software strategy on June 7, 2004

Release Branch to be deleted June 7

Currently there are three versions of the RHESSI software available at any time.  They are listed below.

1. The most stable version is the numbered release (currently 8.1) which is changed infrequently and as such sometimes does not work with new versions of database files. This is the version you get if you have set $HESSI_PATH to $SSW/hessi/release. We propose to eliminate this branch.

2. The second most stable is the development branch without the atest directory. This is updated every couple of months with routines that have been tested by many users. We propose that this will become the new 'release' version.

3. The least stable is the development branch with atest. This contains the latest and greatest features as well as up-to-the-minute bug fixes.

We plan to delete the release branch of the HESSI software tree on June 7. We will continue to put recently changed routines in the atest directory, and after a period of testing, promote them to their proper directories. This periodic clearing of atest will be considered a release. Tar files will be available for each of these releases. See for instructions on restoring an earlier release.

In the new configuration, there will be two versions of the RHESSI software available at any time:

1. The development branch without atest - the more stable version.  This will be known as the release version.

2. The development branch with atest - less stable, but always up-to-date.

We recommend using the development branch with atest. That way you always have the latest fixes, even though you might get inadvertent bugs too. If your goal is stability and consistency, remove atest. In addition, as mentioned above, if want to reproduce results achieved using an earlier release, you can install the earlier release.

You cannot select between these two versions before entering SSW IDL. By default, the atest directory is included. After entering SSW_IDL, but before running any programs, you can remove atest by typing hsi_remove_atest. (You could put that command in your IDL startup file if you always want to remove atest.)

The setup.hessi_env file distributed in $SSW/hessi/setup after June 7 will define HESSI_PATH to $SSW/hessi; users will no longer need to set HESSI_PATH. Previously, you were instructed to set HESSI_PATH yourself to either the development version or the release version. On UNIX you did that in a startup file like .login or .cshrc, on Windows it was done in the .bat file you use to start SSWIDL. To avoid confusion you may want to edit whatever file currently sets HESSI_PATH (remove the HESSI_PATH definition), but it shouldn't be necessary, since it should be overridden by the new definition in $SSW/hessi/setup/setup.hessi_env. (However, if you have a non-standard setup and are setting HESSI_PATH somewhere else where it won't be overridden by the $SSW/hessi/setup/setup.hessi_env setting, you must remove it.)

The SSW upgrade procedure will not change - you will still upgrade the normal way.  The only effect of this change is that the first update after June 7 will force a deletion of the entire release branch of the software ($SSW/hessi/release) on your computer.  Other than that (and your new smaller choice of development branch with or without atest) this change should be transparent to you. 



Release branch will disappear June 7.
You don't need to set the environment variable HESSI_PATH any more.
By default, you will get the development version of the software (recommended).
To use the release version, type hsi_remove_atest at the beginning of an SSW IDL session (or in your idl startup file).
You have the option to restore an earlier version of the software from tar files.

Kim Tolbert
Last Modified: 17 November 2008



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