Low-Bandwidth Communication Tools for Science
ScientificTalk (see logo in Figure 2) is a profession-specific prototype tool for scientists, students and teachers to exchange information via a web browser, using a display of math equations in a synchronous manner. The project focus is on users' interests in such things as mathematics and scientific notation. Our motivation follows an early goal for the Web to be a readable and writable collaborative medium.
Unfortunately, the large tag repertoire of the HTML 4.0 language does not cater to mathematics, since they cannot mark up complex mathematical expressions. Usually, to create technical documents with mathematical or scientific content, web authors resort to methods involving images (e.g., screen captures of equations), which means the sharing of scholastic and scientific material by lecturers, students, etc. is often a many-step process. There are a few available applets and plug-ins that can render MathML in a browser (which are not necessarily designed for synchronous collaboration).
The Mathematical Markup Language, MathML, is a recommendation of the W3C, which provides a foundation for including mathematical expressions in web pages. As an application of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and with adequate style-sheet support, MathML will ultimately make it possible for browsers to natively render math expressions, including threaded on-line discussions. (Some applets and plug-ins are currently available, which can render MathML in a browser.) See W3C at http://www.w3.org/Math/ for a complete list of technical/scientific document viewers and renderers such as the Scientific MessageBoard WebEQ, the IBM techexplorer, EzMath editor and LaTex2HTML.
ScientificTalk is a Perl script for a standard multiway graphical web chat. This CGI-based application is portable across platforms and allows the viewing of occupants, sending input to specific users, etc. While chatting on-line, it converts textual input or standard LaTeX—a popular computer language for composing formatted scientific text for high-quality printing—into HTML. The math displayed on the browser is rich because of the LaTeX typesetting and Ian Hutchinson's powerful TeX-to-HTML translator, tth, available at http://hutchinson.belmont.ma.us/tth/.
For those not familiar with LaTeX commands, ScientificTalk has an external symbols keyboard as well as a composer and messenger window for the user input. There is no need for extra plug-ins or high-speed networks—all input is passed via text-mode only. On the client side, Netscape (v4.0 or greater) needs a simple character-set configuration (for details and demo, connect to http://sv7.ictp.trieste.it/.
Although the ScientificTalk prototype has proven that it is possible to carry out synchronous math discussions on the Web between distant clients today, our to-do list is still long. For example, it would be useful to save a complete session as a LaTeX file (in order to restart an on-line discussion from a given session or collaboratively write LaTeX documents on the Web), display plots from a given function, create small transparent .gif files, and extend its language capabilities to symbols in other domains, such as chemistry.
More opportunities for learning and growth are available if we can shar ideas via a computer environment that is responsive to our professional needs. For example, using simplified scientific notation on the Web can lead to faster, more effective results. Electronic tools, designed for collaboration and based on Linux, will continue to play an important role in an increasingly interconnected world. Off-line browsing via web-to-e-mail servers such as www4mail is still a reality from remote areas of the world, and most likely will remain so, as the number of Internet users is expected to double to 300 million by the year 2005.
Dr. Enrique Canessa (email@example.com) is a theoretical physicist currently working as a scientific consultant at the ICTP. His main areas of research and interest are in the field of condensed matter and scientific software applications. He has been lost in the Internet since 1987.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide