Tcl Powered Pictures of Real Tcl/Tk Applications

Hosted by Lick Observatory

Santa Cruz, CA

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Memes and Agents: Software/Hardware System Design

Etcha Tool (showing Ownership feature)

Using the Etcha tool you can not only sketch diagrams showing the information flow between agents in a system, you can save your sketches to a RDBMS backend. This is a nonsense drawing I was working on to test the concept of "ownership" of paths. The red paths are processes taking place on the red host, the blue paths are on the blue host. Later you'll see how this concept is represented on a real drawing.

Etcha Agent Editor

Etcha's editing facility for Agents is crude, yet effective. One feature you can't see in the static picture is that RETURN after completing the Agent name will retrieve data automatically from the database and fill in the whole form for you.

Etcha Path Editor

The Path editor is a mite more tedious, since Etcha can't read your mind; but keybindings assist you with automated data fill wherever possible.

Etcha Tool multi-object select

Any drawing program has to be able to select multiple thingies and drag them around... that green thing is the Etcha selection box.

Etcha Tool (Hardware Control Diagram)

Here's a real sketch in progress, showing motor control system design for the DEIMOS instrument.

Drawing: Hardware Control Diagram

And here is the drawing generated from the database that was stuffed by Etcha. Note that this drawing represents levels of hierarchy that you didn't see on the sketch in progress... the boxes represent superagents who own all the paths inside the boxes.

Drawing: DEIMOS System Overview

You can use Etcha to express relationships at very, very high levels, as in this overview of the entire DEIMOS system.

Drawing: Database Outputs

This drawing represents all the outputs from the database (info management component) of DEIMOS.

Drawing: Slit Mask Fab and Handling

This drawing shows the process design for Slit Mask fabrication, quality control, and storage.

Drawing: Memes World Schema Diagram

Etcha actually didn't contribute to this drawing! This is an EER diagram showing the tables in the Memes world, to give you some idea of the rich knowledge base that these drawings tie into. (Memes, or units of meaning, are the representation of information travelling between Agents -- Agents are hardware, humans, software, anything that can process information).

Drawing: Memes and Agents Schema Diagram

This drawing shows the other half of the picture. Every Mpath record has a unique Meme ID and shows the transit of that Meme between two Agents. So this schema diagram plus the last one make one big one:

Drawing: Memes and Agents Schema Diagram

That's the big picture. Want to know more? Check out the Knowledge Base topic in the Guided Tour!

The UC Regents don't care if my code works for you or not, so there are no guarantees. Read the COPYRIGHT statement on anything you download from us. Everything you get from us is free. As software ought to be. :-)
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De Clarke
UCO/Lick Observatory
University of California
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Tel: +1 408 459 2630
Fax: +1 408 454 9863