[Trilinos-Announce] Trilinos project changes

Heroux, Michael A maherou at sandia.gov
Fri Oct 30 17:50:18 EDT 2015

Dear Trilinos community members,

In the coming weeks we anticipate completing preparations for moving the primary Trilinos repository to GitHub.  We will announce the move when we are ready for the transition.  We are very excited about this change and the expanded opportunities it will provide for collaboration, innovation and availability.  At the same time, the change will come with some disruption.

Anticipated changes and highlights are listed below.

Current GitHub version of Trilinos:  There is already a Trilinos repository on GitHub, established by Nico Schlömer.  This version will be replaced by the official repository.  If you have been using this version, you will need to do a fresh clone or fork.

No updates to current public repository: One disruption already present is the lack of updates to the current Trilinos public git repository (https://software.sandia.gov/trilinos/repositories/publicTrilinos).  Many of you have come to rely on this repository for your source code activities.  You may have noticed that this repository has not been updated for several weeks.  We had a system failure that disrupted the process and have decided to stop updating this repository since resources required to restore the update process would delay efforts to move to GitHub.

Removal of some packages: The move to GitHub gives us an opportunity to refactor the package space for Trilinos.  Over time some packages have been superseded by others.  Others are more specialized and will do better as independent projects.  The following list of packages will be removed from the main Trilinos repository and re-introduced as separate repositories (after the initial transition period):

WebTrilinos (will likely fold into the new Trilinos tutorial repository in GitHub)

Workflow changes: After transitioning the repository to GitHub, we will start adopting new workflows.  We will utilize multiple branches to protect master from regressions.  Presently we plan to have a two-branch model (master and develop), but may adapt plans as we go forward.  We will also integrate pull requests into our bug fix and feature development processes.  We will have new issue management processes, presently exploring GitHub issues and Atlassian Jira.

Package collaboration models: We have started efforts to support more loosely coupled relationships between Trilinos packages.  Recently the TriBITS build system and the Kokkos node parallel programming environment have been extracted from Trilinos and made available independently on GitHub.  Independent availability has enable other projects to depend on TriBITS and Kokkos without the addition of the much larger Trilinos repository.  Both packages are "snapshotted" into the Trilinos repository, giving the appearance that they are native.  The Data Transfer Kit (DTK) is an externally developed package that is Trilinos-compatible.  DTK can be cloned into the Trilinos package directory and built as though it were native.  Finally, we have plans to export copies of some packages, e.g., the Teuchos utilities package, for independent use, even though development still continues as usual within Trilinos.

We anticipate that the above packages (Optika, WebTrilinos, ...) will have the same relationship with the Trilinos repository as DTK.  We also expect that some new packages will prefer this same kind of dual existence, and we have a toolset foundation to support this relationship, e.g., the snapshot tools.  With this model, a package can be available independent of Trilinos and also be used with Trilinos, utilizing the API extensibility features that Trilinos provides and the build support of TriBITS.

We will also be establishing package policies for interoperability, practices, testing and related, in order to improve developer and user experience with Trilinos as we all grow in knowledge of how to best write reusable scientific software.

Trilinos.org website:  One thing we don't expect to change dramatically is the trilinos.org web portal, although we are always open to better ways to develop and organize this portal.

Thank you for your interest in Trilinos.  We welcome feedback as we move forward with the GitHub migration and related project changes.

On behalf of the Trilinos development team,


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