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NEEScomm IT announces NEEShub Release 3.5


The NEEScomm IT Team is proud to announce NEEShub Release 3.5.  Release highlights are described below.

November 16, 2011


1) batchsubmit Improvements

Description – Batchsubmit gives NEEShub users a rich environment in which batch jobs can be run both on NEEShub and on other high performance systems (aka venues).  It is currently a command line feature invoked from the Workspace tool.  A Batchsubmit Webinar will be provided to the NEES community in January 2012.

 Syntax and Options – After launching the Workspace tool, enter ‘batchsubmit –h | more’ at the command line to see a paginated display of the batchsubmit help.   Note that there are a variety of submit options such as:

venue – local, osg (Open Science Grid), Steele, and Hansen

wait – wait for a job to finish before returning from command (synchronous); witout this presence of this option, the default behavior is to not wait (asynchronous)

Parallel processing options (Wish #266)– a number of options are available to support parallel processing

Addition of Scratch space – A high-capacity storage location called ‘Scratch’ is used to temporarily store batchsubmit output.  Scratch space is not intended as a permanent storage and is not regularly backed up.   Scratch space is created for each NEEShub user with the first usage of the batchsubmit command. NEEShub users are encouraged to use SynchroNEES to move batchsubmit output from Scratch space to a permanent, regularly backed up storage location.


2) SynchroNEES

SynchroNEES Version 1.2.0 – A new release of SynchroNEES (1.2.0) is available with Release 3.5.  This release addresses a number of SynchroNEES tickets. 

Scratch Space access (Wish #352) – SynchroNEES has been modified to have access to Scratch Space.  Since Scratch Space is temporary storage that is not backed up, SynchroNEES allows users to move the batchsubmit output to a permanent, backed up storage location.  The main page of SynchroNEES will show a Scratch Space option with the first usage of the batchsubmit command.


3) Project Warehouse 

Curation Dashboard - A new feature, the Curation Dashboard, has been added to the Project Display and Project Editor.  The dashboard, shown on the right side of the main Project and Experiment pages, gives a red-green-yellow snapshot of the status of the project and experiments based on elements necessary to start project/experiment curation. An entry field for communicating curation-related information directly to the NEEScomm Data Curator is available under the curation dashboard for users with update access to the project/experiment. 

Note that the Curation Dashboard is available only for new or in-progress projects/experiments.  It is visible to users who have read access to the project/experiment, but only those with grant permissions can use it for communication with the NEES Data Curator. 

Improved Sensor Help information – As a first step to upcoming major improvements to Sensor functionality, the help text for sensor upload has been centralized on the Sensors tab for a given experiment.  The types of help for sensors now include the Download template, Sensor Types, Required Fields, and Measurement units.

Multiple Select on File Upload for Photos and Videos (Wish #273) – For Firefox, Chrome and Safari, there is now the ability to select multiple files for upload of photos and videos. 

Auto Contribute for initial load of publication – When initially uploading a publication associated to a project, additional entry fields are available for population.  The purpose of the additional data fields is to enable retrieval of resources uploaded to the Project Warehouse in the NEEShub platform and to make them discoverable on the Internet. This same enhancement allows users to automatically contribute an uploaded file or publication as a NEEShub resource.


4) PEN (Project Explorer for NEES)

PEN Version 1.4.4 – A new version of PEN is available with this release.  Be sure to download the appropriate version based on operating system.

Improvements to Main screen – The main screen of PEN has been modified to resemble SynchroNEES by showing a list of active and available projects (project number and project description) from which the user can select.  Once a project is selected, PEN will attempt to connect to the Project in the Project Warehouse.

Documentation – Improved, user-friendly documentation about PEN has been developed.  It is available from the PEN About page as a link, from the Blue Bar menu option Collaborate -> Wiki, PEN Quick Start Guide, or directly through this link: http://nees.org/topics/PENQuickStartGuide

Ignore file/directory (Wish #311) – PEN now has the ability to ‘ignore’ files and folders based on selection.  This feature will cause the file or folder to be ‘ignored’ for checksum, upload and download.  The feature is available by performing a right mouse click on the file/directory to be ignored.

Expand/Collapse All (Wish #331) - The Expand All and Collapse All features, located in the Tools menu, are now accessible.  This feature allows users to easily find any forgotten files in their local project.

File Import Tab Improvements (Wishes #334, #335, and #367) - PEN now supports the selection and import of multiple files in the File Import Tab.  In addition, PEN now has a button in the File Import Tab, which will import selected files into the highlighted item in the tree.  This helps eliminate difficulties with dragging to the wrong folder, and also provides a solution for Mac users who were previously unable to drag and drop in PEN.

Increased Thumbnail Size (Wish #313) - For image files, the thumbnail size has been increased.  This should allow users to better understand the attributes of the image when editing file information.

Transfer Rate Information (Wish #229) - PEN now provides the current upload/download speed whenever a user uploads or downloads files.


5) Cosmetic Changes

Fixed Page Width – The entire site has been modified to have a fixed width display.  Users will see a gray margin area outside the left and right sides of pages through the site.

Changes to Blue Bar Menu drop down – A brief description has been added to the top of each Blue Bar menu options to provide new users with information about the purpose of each menu option.

New Governance Board page – A new page displaying pictures and profile information for each member of the Governance Board is available from the About NEES à NEEScomm blue bar menu option. From this page, select the left nav ‘Governance Board’ option.

Simulation Landing page – Minor cosmetic changes have been made to the Simulation Landing page.


6) My NEEShub

My Groups List in MyNEEShub (Wish #166) - The My Groups component within My NEEShub is now sorted in alphabetical order for easier selection.

Display User Storage Quota – The My Sessions component within My NEEShub now shows a bar graph of storage used/available in the user’s home directory.  By default, each user has 1 GB of home directory storage available.


7) Miscellaneous Improvements

Improve Adding members to Groups (Wish #268) – When adding members to a Group, the members entry field now provides a drop down list based on how the first few keyed in characters match to user names.

Time Zone on Event in NEES Calendar (Wish #183) – When adding new calendar events, the user can now select the time zone in which the event will occur.

Question and Answer next/previous links (Wish #203) – When the user goes into a particular Question to see the answer, there are now next/previous links to support navigation to other Questions without returning to the full list of Questions.


For questions or concerns about Release 3.5, contact Dawn Weisman, NEEScomm IT Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.