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HOWTO's - Another Source of Guidance for BaBarians

Along with the Workbook for BaBar Offline Users, experts in the Collaboration also contribute to a set of ascii files called HOW-TOs. These are task-specific instructions and examples that are currently maintained by Pete Elmer. Some of the information from these HOW-TO's has been incorporated into the Workbook, but these are an excellent source of information, particularly for more-detailed studies.

HOWTO's Currently Available

The HOWTO's are a package of ascii documents created by Pete Elmer which can be checked out like any other package of BaBar code.

The three HOWTO's that are of more general interest are:

  • HOWTO-Basic-Debugging
  • HOWTO-CVS-Tips-and-Tricks
  • HOWTO-MC-Tips-and-Tricks
In particular, you should read HOWTO-Basic-Debugging once you have started to run BaBar analysis jobs, as it explains how to report problems, how to run the various BaBar debuggers, etc. This document is also linked and a recent version is available in the Workbook section Debugging.

A number of the HOWTO's are not of general interest, but more for people working in the computing organization, e.g.:

  • HOWTO-DB-SchemaManagement
  • HOWTO-DB-SetUp-OPR-REPRO-SP-Test-FDB
  • HOWTO-Load-Random-Triggers-From-Xtc
  • HOWTO-database-importing
  • HOWTO-database-tags-test
  • HOWTO-fullTestBuild
  • HOWTO-letteredBuild
  • HOWTO-physicsPackageTest
  • HOWTO-skimBuild
The SoftRelTools package contains two very useful HOWTO document:
  • SoftRelTools/HOWTO-GNUmakefile
  • SoftRelTools/HOWTO-dependency
as well as several others which are more specialised, including
  • SoftRelTools/HOWTO-ROOT
  • SoftRelTools/HOWTO-bison
  • SoftRelTools/HOWTO-flex
There are other HOWTO documents in specific packages, but they tend to be fairly technical and beyond the scope of material covered in the Offline Workbook.

How to view HOWTO's on the Web

You can see the latest versions of the HOWTO files in the "newest" BaBar code release at:

How to obtain HOWTO's - addpkg

There are two ways to get copies of the HOWTO documentation. The first is to check out the HOWTO package like any other BaBar software package (see the Quicktour section of the BaBar Offline Workbook for information about checking out new packages):
addpkg HOWTO
Since the HOWTO package is updated relatively frequently, it is perhaps best to look at the newest version of this package, as well as the version associated with the currently software release you are using. All BaBar packages can be found in the directory:
$BFDIST/releases
The latest version of a particular HOWTO is in:
 $BFROOT/dist/releases/newest/HOWTO/HOWTO-whatever

How to obtain HOWTO's - cvsweb

A list of all CVS packages to browse can be obtained on the cvsweb Main Page (you will need a hypernews password for access). This is a WWW interface for CVS repositories which allows you to browse through packages and see the revision history for each file. This is extremely useful as it allows you to see which files were most recently changed as well as listing differences between versions of files.

Because of the large number of packages, the main cvsweb page can take a long time to load, so you will probably want to bookmark the pages for your favorite packages, e.g. cvsweb page for HOWTO package. To view the latest version of a given HOWTO, click on the revision number (or the HOWTO name and then revision number from that link).

cvsweb has some nice features: When one is looking at a particular package (for example the HOWTO package linked above), one can click on the column headers to re-sort the entries by various attributes. For example, if one clicks on "Age" one can re-sort to see what has changed most recently in this package (a useful query when one has the feeling that ones code is now crashing because of some recent change in a package).


General related documents:

Back to Workbook Front Page

Author: Jenny Williams

Last significant update: 18 April 2001 (page created)
Last modified: 5 June 2005