New release of Coral ...

John Shott shott at
Wed Feb 26 11:15:54 PST 2003

SNF Lab Members:

This morning, during the process of making some hardware and database
upgrades, we also installed a new release of Coral that includes a handful of
new features.  While I won't go into the full details of how to use all of
those new features in this message, I'll at least give an introduction of what
you can expect:

1. Very minor change ... when your Coral client starts up, it now pops up a
window that says "Coral starting ..." so that you know that something is

2. The maintenance client is completely new.  Features that it now adds are,
most importantly, the ability to see the text of problem and shutdown reports
... and to be able to see the text of any message that was recorded during the
clear of a problem or shutdown.  Actually, the message length that will be
displayed will be limited to 4000 characters ... but, for all but the most
wordy, that should be dramatically better that the previous maintenance client
that didn't show the text message at all.  Of course, for people reporting
problems and shutdowns, I expect that you will take advantage of this to more
completely describe the symptoms of the condition that you observe.  And, for
the folks making equipment repairs, you can now detail what you did to fix the
problem ... both for the benefit of our members and so that you have a
permanent written record for the next time you encouter the same problem. No
more one-word resolutions ... By default, the new maitenance client shows any
unresolved problems or shutdowns that have been reported during the last 90
days.  However, by entering different dates and by checking different option
boxes, you can also show resolved problems and shutdowns, for example, in
additon to outstanding problems and shutdowns.  After selecting any specific
problem or shutdown, there is button to show the full text of the
problem/shutdown report as well as the text of any resolution.  Note: while we
may be able to backload any previous reporting/resolving text messages, at the
moment, there are no text messages in the database prior to this morning. So,
if you know that you submitted a problem report (including text) on Monday, it
will not yet show up ...

3. The reservation client now allows you a choice: see all reservations for
one piece of equipment for a two-week time window (which is the old, familiar
standard) or show all of YOUR reservations for ALL pieces of equipment for a
single day (by default, today, but you can move forward and backward in time
by using the "Next" and "Previous" menu items in the reservation menu.  This
new display has two sub-panels ... in the left, you see all of your
reservations for a single day with multiple columns if you have reservations
on multiple pieces of equipment.  On the right side, you can select one or
more pieces of equipment and will see all of the reservations for the selected
pieces of equipment for that day.  (Hint: Control-Click will add additional
pieces of equipemnt to this window and Shift-Click will add an entire range
between to previous and currently selected points in the equipment
hierarchy.)  Also, you can make a new reservation in the right side of the new
window ... the left side, however, doesn't let you make/delete reservations. 
This new client is reasonably complex and I won't try to fully detail exactly
how to use it here ... we'll be trying to put out a more detailed description
in the near future.

4. New remote client ... you will notice that Java Web Start will download a
new set of Remote Coral files when you next fire it up.  Not only does this
add the new capabilities described above, but it also includes new
encryption/decryption software that is more fully compatible with new releases
of Java.  Over the past serveral months, a number of you had encountered
Remote Coral problems for which the fix was to find a file name "jce.jar" on
your local machine and rename it to "jce.jar.ignore" ... which effectively
disabled that file.  If you are one of these people, you should now go in and
change the name of the file jce.jar.ignore back to jce.jar which will will
restore the default behavior of new versions of java.  (For anyone downloading
a fresh version of java, it should work with the new Remote Coral without any
of this "file name tinkering ...").

5. There is also a new panel on the Coral client called "Equipment Status
Summary".  If you highlight one of the areas in the lab ... for example "Dry
Etching" you will see the equipment status of all of the pieces of equipment
in that area including the reporting date of any unresolved problems and
shutdowns.  By clicking the "problem", "shutdown", or "up" button you can view
any combination of up/problem/shutdown equipment in that area.  Note: is is
only a summary page ... if you need to clear a problem or shutdown or want to
view the text of problem/problem shutdown reports, you need to go to the
maintenance client.

We hope that you will find some of these new features of utility.  If you have
any comments or feedback ... or particularly if you see any problems or bugs
... please send e-mail to coral at

Thank your for your continued support,

John and Team Coral

p.s. I should also point out that several of these new features were actually
implemented by the Coral developers at MIT.  Our sister lab at MIT went into
production with Coral about a week ago and, most importantly, have 2 software
developers working on enhancements to Coral.  We believe that both sites will
benefit from this joint development and it is our hope that we will
collectively be able to enhance Coral's capabilities at a greater rate than
either school can individually.

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