NOBUGS 2004 Conference

New Opportunities for Better User Group Software

October, 18-20, 2004 at PSI, Switzerland

Abstract Submitted for NOBUGS2004

Recent Developments for the MX Beamline Control Toolkit

William Lavender

This report discusses recent progress with MX, a data acquisition and control system with over 350 device drivers that has been under development for 9 years. MX is designed to be easily retargeted to alternative hardware or operating systems and has long had the ability to call out as a client to external control systems. We now report progress in the other direction of making MX usable as a server component for other control systems. The goal here is to make it easy to reuse MX's large driver package in other control systems. We have striven to make it easy to write device drivers for MX, so that beamline staff and graduate students can easily do the work. In addition, the new server support will make drivers written this way immediately usable by multiple control systems. The initial effort is to create EPICS and Spec servers that use the MX driver library to control the hardware. We also report progress in other efforts, such as performance work to make MX as fast and efficient as possible, both internally and in its connections to external control systems. Support has been added for CCD camera control and robotic sample changers for crystallography. There is also new support for MODBUS and USB interfaces, for beam position monitors, and new enhancements to support for XIA multichannel analyzers. Other improvements include work specific to Delta Tau PMAC motor controllers that allows a PMAC coordinate system to be used as an MX pseudomotor. On the user interface side, work is underway for writing user interfaces for a variety of synchrotron radiation experiments. These include a new tabbed format crystallography GUI being developed by SER-CAT (Univ. of Georgia) and new GUIs for microfocussing, XAFS, and lithography experiments. In addition, a graphical editor for editing MX databases has been developed.

Abstract File: abstract00112.txt


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