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Frequently asked questions

Q: How do I reference ADAS in a publication?
A: Please reference:
  'Summers, H. P. (2004) The ADAS User Manual, version 2.6'
Q: How can I obtain ADAS data?
A: The ADAS database is deployed to all ADAS sites and is usually found in /home/adas. If you are not an ADAS Project member then please contact us.
Q: What languages are ADAS subroutines supported in?
A: ADAS subroutines and data are available for Fortran, C, C++ and IDL. Data access in Matlab is also supported but to a lesser extent. Other languages will/can be implemented if there is demand.
Q: How do I use ADAS Fortran routines which require character variables from my C/C++ program?
A: It's quite complicated to pass character variables from C/C++ to Fortran. A full discussion is given here.
Q: Can I take copies of ADAS source code and data to use in my own code?
A: We would instead encourage you to use our central library and database for your code. Our aim (notwithstanding bugs) is that with a specific ADAS release the centrally available library routines are compatible with our centrally held data. If you link against our central libraries and use our central data then everything will be fine. Problems occur when people make local copies.
Note that this FAQ only addresses the technical considerations of software development. Re-distribution of ADAS data and code to third parties is a separate issue not discussed here.
Q: If I do make local copies (against your advice) then can you inform me when you change the central routines or data?
A: Every change to every ADAS routine or dataset is recorded in the ADAS Bulletins. The ADAS bulletins are available here. It is the responsibility of the individual users to check the bulletin in full. It is impractical for us to keep track of who has copied what and when they copied it and give individual notice to users. We re-iterate that we strongly discourage taking local copies of ADAS data or code.
Q: I don't want my modelling results to suddenly change. How transient are your central libraries and data?
A: The libraries are stable and need not be regarded as any more unstable than numerical or system libraries which you may be calling. The data are only ever changed if a mistake is found which is seldom. If new or improved data is introduced then this is always as a new file so will not affect your modelling results.
Q: I tried to write my own routine to read your data and I am having problems, can you help?
A: The ADAS data formats are ASCII but can be quite complex. Reading routines are supplied in central libraries. While we are happy to provide help our advice is almost always that you should call central ADAS-supplied libraries: it is only in exceptional cases that we would encourage people to write their own reading routines. The formats are documented in full in the appendix of the ADAS manual.
Q: Will ADAS run on Windows?
A: Not at this time, we recommend installing VMWare and Linux. A VMWare/Linux disk which can be run through the VMWare Player is currently being considered, please contact us if you wish more information on this.
Q: Is IDL required for ADAS?
A: Interactive ADAS requires IDL but the (free) IDL Virtual Machine can be used for this purpose. Using ADAS subroutines and data via C, C++, Fortran or Matlab does not require IDL.
Q: Is ADAS only for fusion plasmas?
A: Absolutely not, ADAS was originally developed for fusion but has been generalised. ADAS has been used successfully in the analysis of Astrophysical Plasmas, Technical Plasmas and Microlithography Plasmas. Certain parts of ADAS (e.g. ADAS601) are exclusively for Astrophysical use.
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