NOBUGS 2004 Conference

New Opportunities for Better User Group Software

October, 18-20, 2004 at PSI, Switzerland

Abstract Submitted for NOBUGS2004

CBASS - BNL's Python-based Synchrotron Beamline and Experiment Control System

John Skinner

For over a decade, it has been recognized that efficient use of a Macromolecular Protein Crystallography beamline demands software that is easy to use. While designing an intuitive interface to the experiment presents significant difficulties, the implementation of the underlying control code is complicated by the ever-changing hardware that it controls. Hardware has traditionally been limited to beamline motors, scalers, diffractometers, and X-ray detectors. New challenges for the designers of integrated software are arising as sample changing robots, the need for remote observation or operation, and associated project-management database systems are developed to meet the demands of high-throughput crystallography. It is not sufficient for the software that controls the frequently changing hardware and data collection protocols simply to work in a flawless manner, it must be easy to understand, expand, and modify. With this in mind, we have developed CBASS (Crystallography at Brookhaven Acquisition Software System), a user-friendly Python-based system that integrates data collection and beamline control, with the option of incorporating a sample mounting robot and project-management relational database system. Its modular design, combined with the inherent readability and relative ease of use of the Python programming language, minimizes installation and adaptation complexities often encountered in a dynamic environment.

Abstract File: abstract00103.txt


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