User Support News 05 April 2007

The items from which I expect feed-back are marked in red and the items which I propose as action items in the JOC meeting are marked in bold red .

For your information, the User Support tasks have been summarized in the CMS User Support internal area in CMSUserSupportTasks.


Offline/Computing week tutorial

I have sent an inquiry to the physics coordination list to find out what items they would like to cover in the next tutorial session. As suggested by R. Tenchini the tutorial session on April 19th will cover the physics objects and their use in CMSSW_1_3_0. The agenda is in I'm waiting confirmation from Luca for the analysis tools part.


  • WorkBook: to get started and up to first analysis
  • Reference Manual: brief description of content and purpose of each package
  • CMS Offline Guide:
    • description of algorithms
    • usage and "how-to" documents which are too detailed for the WorkBook
    • gathers information currently spread in numerous wiki pages to a single structure.


WorkBook has moved to CMSSW_1_2_0, see This means that all the tutorials in the WorkBook should use 1_2_0 or a more recent version, and many of them have already been updated to 1_3_0.

I've asked Peter Elmer to let me or Jenny know if he can update the part describing currently available data samples WorkBookDataSamples#SamPles. Pete, can you please update the page?

CMS Offline Guide

Work in progress:
  • most of the main pages created, some links not activated yet
  • continuously moving in any CMSSW documentation outside these pages (the pages renamed to start with SWGuide, edited following the Offline Guide format and linked from an appropriate place)
  • much work still required from the developers to properly document the algorithms, will start pushing this when the reference manual documentation milestone is done.

Reference Manual

The release for which all the subsystem and packages are required to have a documentation page in the reference manual is 1_4_0. The announcement sent to the software development HN forum: and a reminder about the cvs links in

I have sent a reminder to each Offline, DPG, and POG group's hypernews forum prior to their meetings.

Reminder: we need a person who can take responsibility for managing the Reference Manual, requesting updates, monitoring quality. I have included an estimated manpower needed for this (0.3 CatB) in the computing project manpower plan, but it is more natural that this person comes from the Offline project.

Getting help

My absence

I will be away from April 8th to April 15th. An out-of-office message for will ask
  • to submit the questions through savannah
  • contact for problems with CMS related CERN computing infrastructure (afs, castor, batch)
  • contact Jenny for issues concerning WorkBook and Offline Guide
The help desk stays closed. Lucia has kindly agreed to follow the questions submitted in savannah.

Savannah notifications

The savannah CMS software project provides a single entry point for end user questions concerning CMS software and its usage. The notifications from user questions in savannah are set as follows: Conveners, please, check the notification list and let me know the names which should be added. Furthermore all questions go to me and Jose Sanches who is getting started as an application trouble shooter. The amount of questions submitted to savannah are still fairly low (1-2/week), but that will certainly increase. The general workflow will be the following
  • a notification for a submitted question goes to the conveners according to the list above
  • user support front-end (Kati, Jose, cms-data-sup) will see if they can solve the problem
  • if not, the contact people (who have been notified) should find an expert who can solve the problem.

Problem reporting channel for data/computing issues

Starting from March 26th, a rotating task has been started to monitor the end-user questions on data access issues. To start with, for some weeks, the person in charge will just monitor the HN forum and record the questions and solutions to savannah. This phase is needed to get an idea of the amount of questions and to build the expertise (to know who can actually solve the question). See details here. Later on, when we know that the system is in place, the end-users will be strongly encouraged to send the questions through savannah.

Problem reporting channel for CRAB/grid issues

I'm in contact with Stefano Lacaprara to see what would be in the future the best approach for CRAB/grid user support, currently handled in a very efficient way in the CRAB feedback HN forum.


There was an e-mail exchange triggered by a user request to find the best practise for copying a small fraction of a large data set. Two use case were identified
  1. Copy a fraction of a data set from local storage
    • a simple configuration file is now provided in the FAQ list
  2. Copy a fraction of events from a remote site
    • Daniele Spiga to implement the facility to be used with CRAB over grid
For the case 1, it was requested to make a small script which would write the config file and copy the events. Offline&comptuing mgt to assign this task to someone so that it finally gets done.

-- CMSUserSupport - 03 Apr 2007

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