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Site Configuration
You can customize McIDAS-V for yourself and your site in a variety of ways. McIDAS-V is configured through a set of resource files. These are typically eXtensible Markup Language (XML) files that define things such as: Most of these files (with the exception of the chooser UI, help tips, data sources, displays and favorite bundle locations) are created through facilities provided by McIDAS-V (e.g., color table editor, formula editor, etc.)

By default McIDAS-V looks in three places for the resources it uses to configure itself:

When McIDAS-V first starts up it reads the system properties file: mcv.properties. This defines some basic information (e.g., title, splash icon, ADDE servers, etc.) as well as defining where to find other properties files. By default it looks for idv.properties files under the site path and the user path:
idv.properties = %SITEPATH%/idv.properties;%USERPATH%/idv.properties;
You can also specify one or more properties files as command line arguments:
-properties your_properties_file
McIDAS-V processes these properties files in order, with properties defined in later files overriding those defined previously.

Once the properties have been processed McIDAS-V initializes its resources by reading in one or more resource definition files. These are called "RBI" files - (Resource Bundle for the IDV). These are XML files, the locations of which are defined by the idv.resourcefiles property:

When you first run McIDAS-V, the application writes out an example RBI file into your local McIDAS-V directory. This example file has documentation that describes how to add in new resources.

These RBI files define the location of different collections of resources. For example, from the system RBI file, idv.rbi, we have the entry that defines where McIDAS-V can find the XML files that define the color tables:

  <resources name="idv.resource.colortables">
    <resource location="%USERPATH%/colortables.xml"/>
    <resource location="%SITEPATH%/colortables.xml"/>
    <resource location="%IDVPATH%/colortables.xml"/>
This says to look for colortables in the user path, sitepath and McIDAS-V system path. McIDAS-V uses the first entry in this list as the file path to write out color tables that are created using the color table editor.

Note: As a further, convenience, if there is a property defined in the properties file which is the resource name then McIDAS-V just uses the value of the property (it treats it as a semi-colon delimited list of paths) as the resources and ignores the resources in the RBI file. So, for example, if you had a property:

then McIDAS-V would only load in these colortables.

To use the RBI file, you need to configure your site to use a set of special color tables that you have created. The first thing to do is bring up McIDAS-V and create the color tables. These color tables get saved in your local McIDAS-V/<Application name> directory in the file colortables.xml (as defined by the resource paths defined in the default RBI). You could copy that file to an area on your web site or on a shared file system that is pointed to by the McIDAS-V sitepath. Now, your users simply need to define the sitepath and they will naturally pick up the color tables you have created.

Most site configuration can be accomplished through the default user/site/system resource locations. However, you can modify the RBI file to include other resources. For example, you could add in an entry:

 <resource location="http://yourwebsite.edu/specialcolortables.xml"/>
to make available some special color tables at a particular URL.
Here is the list of the resource identifiers, description and file pattern (for use with plugins) of the different resources McIDAS-V uses.
Resource Identifier Description File Pattern
idv.resource.colortables Color tables used in the application colortables.xml$
idv.resource.projections Map projections projections.xml$
idv.resource.transects Map transects transects.xml$
idv.resource.messages Message catalog messages.properties$
idv.resource.grib1lookuptables Grib 1 Lookup tables grib1lookuptable.lst$
idv.resource.grib2lookuptables Grib 2 Lookup tables grib2lookuptable.lst$
idv.resource.jython Jython libraries .py$
idv.resource.stationmodels Layout models stationmodels.xml$
idv.resource.imagedefaults ADDE Image Defaults imagedefaults.xml$
idv.resource.backgroundwms Background WMS images backgroundwms.xml$
idv.resource.imagesets Image Sets imagesets.xml$
idv.resource.autodisplays Automatic display creation autodisplays.xml$
idv.resource.skin UI Skin skin.xml$
idv.resource.toolbar Tool bar toolbar.xml$
idv.resource.actions Actions actions.xml$
idv.resource.stationsymbols Layout model symbols stationsymbols.xml$
idv.resource.colorpairs Color pairs no pattern
idv.resource.bundlexml Bundle xml no pattern
idv.resource.aliases Data aliases aliases.xml$
idv.resource.datasource Specification of the data sources datasource.xml$
idv.resource.derived Derived quantities derived.xml$
idv.resource.choosers The definition of the user interface for data choosers choosers.xml$
idv.resource.bundles Default bundles that are evaluated at start up no pattern
idv.resource.controls Display controls controls.xml$
idv.resource.helptips Help tips shown in the help tips dialog helptips.xml$
idv.resource.locations Fixed station locations locations.xml$
idv.resource.maps Maps for the displays maps.xml$
idv.resource.menubar Commands in the menu bar (defaultmenu.xml$|menubar.xml$)
idv.resource.paramdefaults Display defaults for data paramdefaults.xml$
idv.resource.paramgroups Parameter groups paramgroups.xml$
idv.resource.userchooser End user constructed data choosers no pattern
idv.resource.preferences User preferences no pattern
idv.resource.plugins Plugins no pattern
idv.resource.prototypes Prototypes no pattern

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