Oh god...+100000000000 <sound of coins dinging in 8 bit glory>

On Jul 23, 2013 7:08 PM, "Matthew Turk" <matthewturk@gmail.com> wrote:
On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 3:27 PM, Nathan Goldbaum <nathan12343@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I've just issued a PR that will hopefully fix a whole class of buggy
> behavior that both new and experienced yt users commonly run into.
> Specifically, I'd like it if we could turn off data serialization by
> default.  This changes a long-lived default value in yt's configuration, so
> I wanted to bring this change to the attention of both the yt user and
> developer community.
> What is data serialization?  Currently, yt will save the result of certain
> expensive calculations, including projections, the structure of the grid
> hierarchy, and the list of fields present in the data.  While this does have
> the beneficial effect of saving time when a user needs to repetitively
> calculate these quantities on the same dataset, it has a number of features
> which lead to buggy, annoying behavior.
> Specifically, If I am developing my simulation code or repeatedly restarting
> my code, searching for a way to grind past a code crash, I will quite often
> regenerate the same simulation output file over and over, changing a line of
> code or switching out the value of a parameter each time.
> If yt's data serialization is turned on, it's likely that yt's
> visualizations will correspond to old versions of the data file.  Since only
> certain operations are serialized, it's also possible for yt to get into an
> inconsistent state - one operation will show the current data file, while
> another operation will show an old version.
> It's possible to fix a bug in your code, but because yt is still loading the
> old data, you won't be able to tell that your bug is fixed until you realize
> that you have .yt and .harrays files littering your filesystem.
> I've personally wasted a lot of time due to yt's serialization 'feature' and
> denizens of our IRC channel and mailing list can attest to how often new
> users run into this behavior as well.
> My pull request only turns off serlialization by default, it doesn't disable
> the capability completely.  Once the pull request is merged in, you can turn
> on serialization either by adding an entry to your config file:
> $ cat ~/.yt/config
> [yt]
> serialize = True
> Or on a per-script basis:
> from yt.config import ytcfg
> ytcfg['yt', 'serialize'] = 'True'
> from yt.mods import *
> The pull request is here:
> https://bitbucket.org/yt_analysis/yt/pull-request/558
> I know several of you are big fans of this feature, so if you object to this
> change please leave a comment on the pull request so we can figure out a way
> forward.

I think this is long overdue, for all the reasons you list.
Auto-serialization treated a lot of symptoms that we have since
improved, or that we should address more directly -- speed of
hierarchy construction, saving data that we want to retain, and
detecting fields.



> -Nathan
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