Hotwired Hands-On Session

Late abstract deadline: April 15, 2015

Evening Session, Wednesday 13th May

Beginning 18:30 in the Riviera Ballroom

Chair: Griffin Hosseinzadeh

VOEvent Hands-On Session, hosted by John Swinbank & Tim Staley

Discussion of inter-observatory communications, hosted by Roy Williams

All attendees are encouraged to attend this session, and we ask that you RSVP to hotwired-loc (at) to help us to organize the logistics.

During the VOEvent Hands-On session, we will be demonstrating how to get started with VOEvent using voevent-parse and Comet. We hope that the audience will follow along with us on their own systems. To make that possible, it would be useful to spend a few minutes installing the necessary packages before the session starts. Here are a few general notes and some step-by-step instructions starting from a clean Ubuntu 14.04 install. We hope they’re enough to get you going, but if you run into problems don’t worry — just come to the session and we’ll help you out.

In general, we suggest relying on package management tools where possible, rather than attempting to compile everything from scratch. For Python packages, we’ll use pip; for system libraries, use a package manager appropriate to your operating system (APT for Debian, Ubuntu and related systems; Macports or Homebrew on OS X, etc). If you don’t have permission to use one of these systems, ask your system administrator nicely (or get yourself a cheap-as-chips virtual machine from Amazon EC2 or Digital Ocean or similar).

Note that we depend on Python 2.7; unfortunately, not all of the tools described have yet been ported to Python 3.

We suggest using Virtualenv to create an isolated environment for installing the Python packages we’ll need. That means you don’t need any special privileges, and you can blow the whole thing away and start over when you make a mistake simply by running rm.

In addition to Python, pip and Virtualenv, you will need to install libxml2 and libxslt. You’ll need the header files for zlib (the library itself was almost certainly installed along with your operating system). You’ll also find IPython useful for following along with our examples. On Ubuntu, you can simply run:
$ sudo apt-get install libxml2-dev libxslt-dev zlib1g-dev python-dev python-pip python-virtualenv ipython
to install the libraries we depend on. Next, create a Virtualenv for working in and activate it. The name is arbitrary — here we’ve used “voevent-venv”, but you can call it whatever you like:
$ virtualenv voevent-venv
New python executable in voevent-venv/bin/python
Installing setuptools, pip...done.
$ . voevent-venv/bin/activate

You can now install voevent-parse and Comet using pip:
$ pip install voevent-parse
$ pip install comet

Finally, you can check that Comet is working properly using its test suite:
$ trial comet