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11th community OpenFOAM Workshop: finally managed to attend one of these! Part 3

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11th community OpenFOAM Workshop: finally managed to attend one of these! Part 3

Posted July 3, 2016 at 12:43 by wyldckat

This is the third part of a long blog post, see the first part here and the second here.

On the 30th:
  • I arrived at around 08h10, had to meet+talk with Miguel Nóbrega to see how the clinics sessions were going to be organized.
  • The first (and only) lecture was given by Fred Mendonça, with the title "Custodians of OpenFOAM®".
    • He told us about his career experience. In a nutshell: a lot of experience, both CFD and business/management!
    • Told us and showed us a map of the 5-7 offices around the world that ESI-OpenCFD has got around the world, working with OpenFOAM.
    • Told us and presented the test and quality control cycles they use for OpenFOAM+.
    • He has contributed to the latest OpenFOAM+ v1606+ release as well.
    • Showed a few of the latest features that were going to be released in v1606+ release, as well as who else from the community and industry contributed to this release, which included Bernhard Gschaider's contribution for profiling at runtime.
    • Told us about the partner program that they are setting up, to make it easier for people and companies to contribute in any of several possible ways.
    • And now I'm drawing a blank... hopefully his presentation will be up on the workshop website in the next couple of weeks.
  • After that, I had to take the printed questions we had received for the clinics sessions back to the assigned rooms. Then I went to the general questions room, where I would have been lost without the answers given by Bernhard Gschaider, Tomislav Maric, along with Hrvoje Jasak dropping by every 15-30 minutes, to answer people's questions.
    • It felt like an humbling experience for me, given that even though I've helped a lot of people with OpenFOAM technology here on the forum, I still have several thousands of hours to go to learn more about it.
  • After that and the coffee break, there were a few special interest group sessions, among which was one that I vaguely remember it was entitled:
    sudo git merge OpenFOAM+foam-extend
    It was proposed by someone that unfortunately I didn't catch his name and the company name or research group
    • I arrived a few good 10 minutes late, but still managed to witness a lot.
    • There was an open Q&A from all sides, namely:
      • Hrvoje Jasak and Henrik Rüsche from foam-extend's side;
      • Fred Mendonça from ESI-OpenCFD from OpenFOAM+ side;
      • and the public present at the room, including the many of the contributors to the community.
    • Let me see if I'm able to explain this properly - and unfortunately I didn't take a picture of the final list - but given that the public wanted and wants to start working on merging the various forks, Fred Mendonça asked what exactly people want in more detail.
    • Orally a list was collaborated and contributed by the people present there, while Henrik took notes on a Powerpoint presentation (yes, the one from Microsoft Office, it was in the closest computer they had at the time).
    • The objectives outlined were roughly the following (I'm drawing from memory here):
      1. One landing site where people can find out more about this effort, i.e. a central location for OpenFOAM related developments, although the inclination is to have a the master project being developed there.
      2. One development line, although OpenFOAM+ and foam-extend will have to be working side by side for a few years, while features from each one are sorted out and merged.
      3. One bug tracker, along with collaboration infrastructure for all related projects.
      4. One documentation, training and education location, for everyone to contribute with documentation and study materials.
      5. One testing and validation infrastructure.
      6. Authorship attribution is properly presented, making it clear who is contributing and has contributed... including pictures and what they are currently active on.
      7. I believe there was also the proposition to have an open and public way to collaborate.
    • There was a few more entries, but I can't remember right now. The nutshell is that the objective is to create what people have been waiting for, for several years already. A common and joint place where everyone can contribute, along with a joint development line.
    • Fred Mendonça stated that for the upcoming OpenFOAM User Conference in 2016, this will be announced and addressed in more detail with everyone, so that everyone can contribute, not only the people who happened to manage to be present at OFW11, at that specific time and room.
    • In the meantime, a list of features that each fork has got will be outlined, probably at where this infrastructure is already prepared for, to make it easier to outline which features we can count on from each development line, in order to at the very least get an idea of what it takes to merge and what features we can expect.
    • Time will tell, but if people and contributors show their investment in this, things can progress. Otherwise, this will only have been an exploratory discussion session that will be part of history and remain there.
  • Afterwards, it was lunch time. After eating, I finally managed to talk with Tomislav and Jens from I got a good perspective of the problems and what the younger (2-5 years younger than me, maybe?) generation of engineers who work with OpenFOAM professionally and that want to contribute to the community. The side of the people who have the energy to push things forward, but see things lagging behind, because... well, everyone is busy.
  • During the afternoon session, I managed to talk with a group of fellow Portuguese engineers/students. Time went by and before we knew it, an 1h30 had gone by.
  • After that, it was the closing session. A summary was given for each SIG meeting; a brief review was done of the attendance, posters, presentations, abstracts and so on, were for this workshop, something like. The only numbers I can remember were: 296 total registered+present at the workshop, 69 of which were Portuguese and 41-43 were German. After that, it's all a bit of a blur of numbers in my mind.
  • Finally, I said goodbye to several of the people I met at the workshop and went back to the hotel. I was oddly not sleepy and I was expecting that I would fall asleep without warning. Sure enough, at 19h00 I was almost asleep... after mustering a bit of energy to eat something, I can't remember when exactly, but sometime between 20h00 to 22h00, I was asleep.
So, what did I get from this workshop? A lot! At least:
  • Had the chance to talk and meet a lot of people! This included:
    • people I helped on the forum, directly or indirectly;
    • people with whom I had only exchanged emails with;
    • people who needed help - and also those who didn't need - my help
  • I've gotten to ear first hand a lot of perspectives on what people see for the future of OpenFOAM, OpenFOAM+ and foam-extend and of what's going on.
    • Without this, it would have been a lot harder for me to understand as much of what it will take to get all development teams for each fork to collaborate one way or another with each other.
    • And no, it's not going to be easy. It hasn't been done yet, precisely because it's hard to do, given the multitude of constraints and development possibilities.
  • I felt really weird for me, both because I'm not use to this kind of socializing and because of the lecture I had to give at the workshop. But on Friday morning, it felt like I was ready for another day of the workshop.
What's next? Well:
  • need to compile a list of details that failed with the USB-stick and write them at;
  • a lot of work is waiting for me at the office;
  • there is a ton of stuff I want to do and to help with, including:
    • return to bug hunting/fixing for the OpenFOAM Foundation development line;
    • do a bug fix for foam-extend that I got to know about at the workshop, along with a couple of others I found out while taking care of the USB stick;
    • and take care of the severely large number of threads waiting for me here at the forum
  • ... and to try and not panic...
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