All Singing All Dancing

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Martin Scharm

Jun 12, 2015, 12:38:19 PM6/12/15
Me again.

As part of the advertising initiative (see last mail) I tried to develop
a fully featured (All Singing All Dancing, as I just learnt) COMBINE
archive to demonstrate it's power. The latest version of the archive can
be found in a github repository at
The archive can be obtained from (small script that
simply zips the latest version of the github repository).
You can also explore its contents by importing it to the CombineArchive

This archive, however, just shows how I understand the role of COMBINE
archives. I would also like to see other, maybe more typical archives.
How do actual archives created by our tools look like? I'd love to see a
set of demo archives...
Besides demonstrating the power of COMBINE archives, this set might also
be useful to test and evaluate our tools. Are the tools able to read and
understand the different notions of archives?

I'm writing this mail to
* get feedback for my show case. Any errors? Something missing? Feel
free to extend it.
* ask you to provide similar show cases. As my archive was artificially
created for the purpose of demonstration I'd like to see some real world
* see the reaction to the general idea.

Best wishes,


David Nickerson

Jun 21, 2015, 5:53:30 PM6/21/15
Hi Martin,

I was hoping to have time to give some more detailed feedback, but I
haven't - so I'll just make a couple of comments here.

I think showcase examples such as this are really valuable and useful.
I do think that this particular example highlights, at least to me,
some of the issues that need to be considered when using archives in
combination with "traditional" version control systems. For example,
in this example I think it would be preferable to use git submodules
to embed the CellML model into your repository, having the direct link
to the source repository is useful and allows you to capture any
change in the particular revision of the source model that you link
to. I'm also not sure how much value there is in having a bunch of
"modified" entries in the metadata.rdf file - particularly since there
is no information other than the date and which file changed. I think
it is more valuable to have collections of changes which describe all
the files modified at a given time or for a given purpose and any
comments as to why they were changed - i.e., the git changeset from
the repository, in this example. But whether you store those changes
in the metadata file, the git repository, or duplicate the information
in both - who knows! :)

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David Nickerson
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