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How it Works

Running the CogBox

Once your build is successful, all you have to do is:

% ./ run
or for cygwin users:
% ./ run

Getting Help

You can right click on just about anything in the Cogbox and a window will pop up telling you what that thing does. I am adding a true Help system soon, but this will suffice until then. Cclick with any button on the window to close it, or just close it normally.

The CogBox Main Window

If all goes well, you will see a small menu bar with a Connection and RSL menu and some icons to which they correspond. The icons, from left to right, are:

Load Credential Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2 Loads up a Globus credential either locally or via MyProxy. If you create a proxy from a local credential then a proxy goes into the default proxy location. If you get a proxy from a MyProxy server the proxy only exists internally to the Cogbox.
Open Local File View Screenshot Opens up a local filesystem view.
Open Secure Connection Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Attempts to establish a secure connection to the specified server. See the installation instructions for information regarding your file.
Open Insecure Connection Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Attempts to establish a connection to the specified server via normal FTP. Enter the desired system name or ip address, and your username and password on that system in the dialog box - note this passes the username and password you enter to the specified server in the clear, hence "insecure".
Open Anonymous Connection Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Opens up an anonymous ftp connection to the desired machine. All you have to enter in the dialog in this case is the machine name to which you would like to connect.
Open RSL DropArea Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Opens a window to a server onto which you can drop RSL files from either your local filesystem or the Playpen.
Open Playpen Screenshot Opens the "Playpen", the area in which you store your RSL files for instantiation in DropAreas.
Quit Closes all connections, closes all windows, ends CogBox.

Server Windows 

Once you have a server window up (any server window, be it secure, insecure, anonymous or local), you have the following icons/menu items:

Refresh View Refreshes the current directory listing.
New Directory Makes a new directory in the current working directory.
Delete Deletes selected files (A warning dialog will pop up).
Transfer Out If you can't find the window you want to move files to, or Drag&Drop isn't working properly, you can select a list of files from the current working directory and then hit the "Transfer Out" button. A list of currently open server windows will pop up (including the Playpen, if it's open), and you can choose the server to which you want to transfer the selected files.
Disconnect Closes this connection, closes this window.

The Playpen 

The Playpen serves as a holding place for RSL files. You can drag from any open Server Window into the playpen. The Playpen checks all incoming files for validity before completing the drop. If your file does not contain a valid RSL string it will not show up in the Playpen. Once you have a valid RSL file in the Playpen you can drag (or Transfer Out) the RSL file to a DropArea. The menu options of the Playpen are:

Edit RSL Allows you to view/edit an RSL file in the playpen.
There is a radio button which when activated causes the job being edited to throw its output up in a local window. The selected value is remembered from session to session, so setting it once will make all jobs started with that RSL throw up local output windows until you unset it. The Save button will attempt to validate your RSL string before allowing you to save the string to a file. The Revert button restores the saved version of the file in case you want to start over with your edit.

NOTE : I add something to the RSL file in order to achieve local output, so if you have Local Output selected for a particular RSL file that RSL file becomes unfit for use elsewhere, although fixing it is beneath trivial. Examining the file in the playpen directory will prove it.

Transfer Out Move an RSL file to some open Server Window or DropArea. If you select a Server Window the file is copied to that server. If you select a DropArea the RSL is instantiated on that server.
Disconnect Closes the Playpen.


A DropArea does not actually represent a live connection to a machine, it is simply a place into which you can drop a file containing an RSL string in order to get that RSL string executed on that server. Each DropArea keeps track of the jobs running on that machine and represents this information to you with the following icons:


Each item in the list of a DropArea gives the status icon followed by the name of the RSL file you dropped there. The icon will change depending on the status of your job. In order to delete a job which is finished, or failed at startup (which will remain in pending state until you get rid of it) simply double click on it in the DropArea list.

Note that you can drag an RSL file from any Local Filesystem window to a DropArea, as the Playpen is just a very specific Server Window with only one directory that it views. You are not guaranteed that the file you are dropping has a valid RSL string in it if you do this, however. You can not yet drag from ftp servers to a DropArea.

Double clicking on a live instantiation request (i.e., the STATUS_ACTIVE or STATUS_PENDING icon is shown) will cause that job to be cancelled.

The MDS Search Window 

The MDS search window is a powerful new feature of the the CogBox which lets you search any GIIS/GRIS for available resources in a variety of formats. Once the search results are returned you can open up Server Windows or Drop Areas to these resources with a few caveats. There are two ways to specify search parameters:

Enter Search Attributes Screenshot Allows you to specify new search attributes, including host, port, search string, and attribute to return. If you have values in your file these values will be filled in the boxes for you so you can edit them, otherwise they will be blank. Once you have entered in a search, the last values you used will be the values that are presented in the dialogue box for you. When you close the MDS search window, these values are reset to their startup values.
Close MDS Window Closes the MDS Search Window.

Once you have a list of resources you can right click on them to get a list of options for that resource. You can multi-select from the list. You may attempt to do one of three things with any member of the list:
  1. Open a DropArea. If your search was for gatekeepers or returned machine names or IP addresses, you can open a window which represents a DropArea to that resource. NOTE: If your search didn't return information regarding gatekeepers then opening a DropArea window to a member of the list won't be very useful.
  2. Open a secure ftp connection. If your search returns hostname or hostname:port you can attempt to open a secure ftp connection to that resource with your currently loaded credentials. Attempting to open secure connections to nonsensical search values results in peculiar behavior (on part of the cogbox).
  3. Open an anonymous connection. If your search returns hostname or hostname:port you can open an anonymous ftp connection to that resource.

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Last modified: Wed May 9 13:38:47 EST 2001