Version Matrix

ITAC Command-Line Interface (2021A)

This is the repository for the Gemini Observatory ITAC application.

Upgrading from 2020B

If you already have a 2020B workspace set up, you can do cs update itac to get a new version, then skip down to Using ITAC below.

Please read the new documentation because there have been some changes.

Installing Itac

1. Overview

Installing ITAC is straightforward but you may require a bit of assistance if you're not comfortable using the command line. Anyone from ITS or the software group can help you if you get stuck.

Open a command shell (Terminal.app on the Mac) and continue with Step 2.

2. Install Coursier

First install the Coursier native launcher. This will let you set up ITAC as well as the Java Virtual Machine, if necessary. Follow the instructions here.

Depending on how you installed it, you may need to move cs into a directory that's on your executable path, such as /usr/local/bin/.

On success you will be able to do:

$ cs --help
Coursier 2.0.0-RC6-10
Usage: cs [options] [command] [command-options]

Available commands: bootstrap, complete, fetch, install, java, java-home, launch, publish, resolve, setup, uninstall, update

Type  cs command --help  for help on an individual command

3. Install ITAC

Use cs setup to set up Java, configure your path, and install ITAC.

cs setup --yes --channel edu.gemini:itac-channel --apps itac

Close and re-open your terminal window and itac --help should now run and print a help message.

4. Update ITAC

Once ITAC is installed you can update to the latest version thus:

cs update itac

And uninstall:

cs uninstall itac

Using ITAC

ITAC is a command-line application that reads proposal XML files along with some configuration information stored in YAML files, and produces an observing queue. The main workflow is:

  1. Initialize a workspace directory to contain all your input files, and copy proposal XML files into the proposals directory.
  2. Customize configuration files as necessary to specify partner times, shutdown blocks, target changes, and so on.
  3. Place proposals in band folders according to desired queue placement.
  4. Create queues and examine the output, tweaking configuration and applying proposal edits until you're satisfied.
  5. Send emails and ingest the proposals into the ODB.

Keep in mind the following big ideas:

  • All the input files are just normal text files. You can rename them, make backups, store them in source control, manage them however you like.
  • All proposal "edits" are specified as part of configuration and occur as proposals are loaded from disk. The XML files are never touched. This means you can undo or change edits by updating the contents of the edits/ folder.
  • The input files completely specify the Queue. If you want to have several queues that you can compare, you can have several sets of input files.

Now let's examine these steps in more detail.

Initialize and Configure an ITAC Workspace

Note: this step requires a connection to the internal Gemini network, so if you're working off-site you need to have the VPN turned on.

Create a new directory, move into it, and initialize the ITAC workspace for next semester.

tmp$ mkdir itac-example
tmp$ cd itac-example/
itac-example$ itac init 2021A
[INFO ] Creating folder: removed
[INFO ] Creating folder: edits
[INFO ] Creating folder: band-1
[INFO ] Creating folder: band-2
[INFO ] Creating folder: band-3
[INFO ] Creating folder: band-4
[INFO ] Writing: ./common.yaml
[INFO ] Writing: ./gn-queue.yaml
[INFO ] Writing: ./gs-queue.yaml
[INFO ] Fetching current rollover report from Gemini North...
[INFO ] Got rollover information for 2020B
[INFO ] Writing: ./gn-rollovers.yaml
[INFO ] Fetching current rollover report from Gemini South...
[INFO ] Got rollover information for 2020B
[INFO ] Writing: ./gs-rollovers.yaml
[INFO ] init: initialized ITAC workspace in .
itac-example$

itac has created a bunch of files. Let's look at them.

itac-example$ tree -F --dirsfirst
.
├── band-1/
├── band-2/
├── band-3/
├── band-4/
├── edits/
├── removed/
├── common.yaml
├── gn-queue.yaml
├── gn-rollovers.yaml
├── gs-queue.yaml
└── gs-rollovers.yaml

6 directories, 5 files
itac-example$
  • band-<n>/ are where your proposal XML files (from Jared's system) need to go. Place each proposal in the folder associated with the desired band placement.
  • edits/ is where you define edits that are applied to the XML files as they are read. See Editing Proposals below for more information.
  • removed/ is a folder for proposals that have been removed from consideration for some reason. These will appear in reports and so on but will not be considered by the queue engine.
  • common.yaml contains configuration that applies to all queues and is unlikely to change much. You will need to edit this file to specify shutdown times, and prior to finalizing the queue you will need to specify information for email generation.
  • <site>-queue.yaml specify site-specific queue configurations. The most important part here is hours which specifies per-partner hours in bands 1, 2, and 3. You may need to add or remove partner lines.
  • <site>-rollovers.yaml contain rollover reports fetched from the ODBs at GN and GS. You may wish to adjust the times here. To re-fetch a rollover report you can say itac --force rollover --south (or --north). Note that you must have an internal or VPN connection to do this.

Experimenting with Last Semester's Data

If you wish to try out the new software with last semester's data it is recommended that you copy/paste the relevant information from old configuration files into the new ones, because some sections in the old config files are no longer needed and may lead to confusion.

  • All proposals must go into the appropriate band folders. The extras/ and extras_not_submitted/ folders are no longer used.
  • common.yaml is compatible with the 2020B, but some entries are no longer used.
  • <site>-queue.yaml files have a different format for band ovefills.
  • <site>-rollovers.yaml files can be copied verbatim; the format has not changed.
  • edits/ from 2020B are not compatible with this version and cannot be used.
  • bulk_edits.xls from 2020B can be used, but the ITAC/NTAC comments columns will be ignored. You can delete them to avoid confusion.

Get Help

You can get detailed help about itac commands and options with the --help flag.

Command Action
itac --help Show top-level help.
itac <command> --help Show help for a specific command. For example, itac queue --help

You can also ask for help on the #itac channel on the Gemini Software Slack (ask Arturo if you need access).

Look at Proposals

The following commands display information about the proposals in your workspace's proposals/ directory.

Command Action
itac ls Show a list of all proposals in the workspace.
itac summarize <ref> Display a summary of a proposal and its observations. For example, itac summarize BR-2019B-071

Construct a Queue

Assuming everything is configured reasonably, you should be able to generate a queue.

itac queue --south

Editing Proposals

Editing Individual Proposals

itac allows you to define edits that are applied to proposals as the XML files are read. Here is the workflow.

  • Use itac summarize <ref> to look at the proposal you wish to edit.
  • Use itac summarize --edit <ref> to write a copy of the summary into the edits/ folder, with the name <ref>.yaml.
  • Edit the file in the edits/ folder, making changes as instructed in the comment at the top of the file.
  • Changes will be applied each time the proposal is loaded from disk. The original XML file is never touched. You can verify changes by running itac summarize <ref> again.
  • To undo your edits, delete the edit file.

Bulk Edits

itac provides an Excel spreadsheet for bulk edits that are applied prior to exporting proposals to the ODB. These edits are not used during queue creation. If this file does not exist (or does not contain newly added proposals) you can create/update it explicitly.

itac-example$ itac bulk-edits
itac-example$ ls *.xls
bulk_edits.xls

Generating Reports

The following commands are available for generating reports.

Example Command Output Type Description
itac blueprints --north Text Blueprints by band.
itac chart-data --north Text Instrument time by RA.
itac director-spreadsheet Excel Director's report.
itac duplicates --north Text Target duplication report.
itac instrument-spreadsheets Excel Instrument report.
itac ngo-spreadsheets Excel NGO queue reports (one per partner).
itac scheduling --north Text Report of prooposals with scheduling notes.
itac splits Text Report of split (joint) proposals.
itac staff-email-spreadsheet Excel Staff email spreadsheet.

Exporting Proposals and Sending Email Notifications

This needs to be done by Rob for now :-\