Making ccc-gistemp more user-friendly

This guest post is written by Filipe Fernandes, one of our Google Summer of Code students, who is working on our ccc-gistemp project. His previous post introduced his project.

Hello, my name is Filipe Fernandes and I’m a Google Summer of Code (GSoC) student for the Climate Code Foundation (CCF).

I’ve worked mostly on packaging and cross-distribution of ccc-gistemp.

The current ccc-gistemp code is a program for people with at least intermediate computer skills. It must be run from the a command line terminal and it is difficult to make multiple runs and comparisons.

We want to change that, making ccc-gistemp available to a broader audience. The progress I have made towards that goal is:

  • Added a Command Line Interface (CLI) that unify all calls to run/vischeck;
  • Package ccc-gistemp via a standard Python setup.py;
  • Registered the code at PyPI;
  • Implemented py2exe (Windows) and py2app (Mac) for a frozen version of the CLI;
  • Started a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

The PyPI package has 63 downloads so far (as of 2011-07-10), which is quite impressive, since there was no advertisement. A Linux package was also added to the Open Build Service (OBS), but the number of downloads is not available.

Via the OBS one can create live CDs with the code or virtual machines that run on Virtual Box or Amazon EC2 making the code even more accessible.

I decided to tackle the GUI early in the project schedule due to its importance and higher difficulty (tackle largest risk first). I never used wxPython before, but I’m glad with the results so far.

The GUI is still under development, but the current version already runs ccc-gistemp similar to the CLI. We are working in ways to visualize the results and compare different runs.

For the second half of the GSoC period I’ll be working with the GUI and implementing an alternative core to ccc-gistemp using NumPy.

My original proposal has changed a little bit, I’m favoring the GUI instead of the NumPy implementation. I believe that the foundation of a good user interface is crucial to achieve the foundation goals.

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