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The Weekly Pheromone Volume II. Issue4

From: gepr
Subject: The Weekly Pheromone Volume II. Issue4
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997 20:47:39 -0700

                         The Weekly Pheromone
                          Volume 2, Issue 4
                          March 12, 1997

   The Pheromone will stand to inform users of the activities and
goals of the hive and user community.  Contributions are accepted that
announce Swarm-related events or activities in any of the growing
Swarm colonies around the world.  To contribute, send e-mail to
address@hidden  The Pheromone is mailed out on Tuesday (or....
maybe Wednesday) if and only if there is information to be

Table of Contents

   I.  Priorities for the SFI Swarm Hive


   I.  Priorities for the SFI Swarm Hive

   Sven asked for a list of priorities for the Hive at SFI, which we
had begun processing immediately after SwarmFest '97.  So, I just took
what we had written on a white board in the Swarm room and put it into
ASCII.  What you see here is a couple of minor iterations over that
list.  It's not a proper list of priorities because nothing is numbered
and the order in the list is correlated to when we thought to write
the item on the board.... not to the importance of the item.  But, 
since we have done some decision making on a couple of things on the
list, I thought it might be time to broadcast.  (The items on the list
that have further comments are bulletted with an "o" and the others
have the "-".)

       General Priorities:
       o home for Swarm
       - || Swarm/experiment swarm/spatial patches
       - 64-bit architectures (esp. alpha)
       - configure script (w/binaries)
       - Swarm interfaces to other packages
         - distributed object models,
           object passing/saving, full state descriptions
         - graphics format saving/playback (HDF/NCSA)
         - visualization/data manipulation tools (Khoros/fragstats)
       - Documentation
         - Book/Manual proper && reference pages
         - Style Manual (Swarmstyle and coding/commenting-style)
         - ObjC & Swarm Tricks and Techniques Compendium 
         - Archiving methods and services
       - Random library
         - random bit precision
         - random subclass variants - eliminate source bloat
         - extend state representation
       - swarm public launch
       o swarm 1.0.2
       - Swarm NT 
       - experiment protocol/parameter manager
       - shared libs release (configure & libtclobjc => beginning)
       - libtclobjc 1.2
       - Bug Page & Bug methodology/content
       - web redesign
       - HLA specification
       - DefClass project
       - Dynamic Schedule fix      
       - ActivityProcessor          
       - top-level swarm dropping  
       - getCurrentActivity macro  
       - RetainAtEnd for schedules 
       - raster drop                
       - fix to probedisplay notification to remove reference
         if dropped via another mechanism

       home for swarm

       We've decided that the best way to ensure the continued
development of Swarm is via a non-profit entity.  It seems clear that
this entity *must* exist for Swarm to survive with a continuous
commitment to the general development of the basic engine of Swarm.
We came to this conclusion by doing some research into the development
trajectories taken by other packages that had similar histories to
Swarm's (i.e. were developed as research projects and placed under a
public license).  Typically, in other packages, if there was no
altruistic entity maintaining and providing avenues for further
development of the basic package, it was either lost to oblivion or
guided away from the public licensing scheme.  We want to avoid that.

       Hence, we will form a non-profit entity to carry on the
maintenance and development of Swarm.  At first, this non-profit
entity will probably not be a stand-alone organization because there
is more administrative overhead required for that than we can manage,
right now.  So, we will write up a proposal/business plan and fish
around for some institution like SFI or another educational
institution that is willing to host it until such time as it is ready
to take the next step into a full-fledged non-profit organization.  We
will make this plan available to the user community to peruse and
critique when we get a draft written.  The only way an entity like
this can be successful is if it meshes with the users' needs.

       This still leaves open any possibilities for forming a
for-profit company that would take on specific jobs using Swarm and
feed useful code and code changes back to the non-profit entity.  But,
for now, this is ancillary to the goal of instantiating an avenue for
the continued maintenance and development of Swarm and the community
of users it has attracted.


The Swarm Bulletin is created by the members of the Swarm project at
the Santa Fe Institute.  For more information on the Swarm Project,
see http://www.santafe.edu/projects/swarm.  Comments, corrections, and
contributions should be sent to address@hidden

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