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Site Configuration
McIDAS-V can be customized 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 resource 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 four places for the resources it uses to configure itself. A user can enter the full path to the resource file, or use one of the four macros below which McIDAS-V will replace with the appropriate path:

When McIDAS-V first starts up it reads the system properties file: mcidasv.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 mcidasv.properties files under the app, site, and the user paths:
idv.properties = %APPPATH%/mcidasv.properties;%SITEPATH%/mcidasv.properties;%USERPATH%/mcidasv.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:

idv.resourcefiles = %USERPATH%/mcidasv.rbi;%SITEPATH%/mcidasv.rbi;%APPPATH%/mcidasv.rbi;%IDVPATH%/mcidasv.rbi
When McIDAS-V is started for the first time, the application writes out an example RBI file to the ~user/McIDAS-V directory. This file defines the location of different collections of resources. When originally created, this mcidasv.rbi file doesn't define any paths to the different resources used by McIDAS-V, but it can be used as a template to do so. To show how this can be done, there is a commented out entry to define where McIDAS-V can find the XML files that define the color tables:
  <resources name="idv.resource.colortables" loadmore="true">
    <resource location="%USERPATH%/colortables.xml"/>
    <resource location="%SITEPATH%/colortables.xml"/>
    <resource location="http://www.somewebsite.edu/somepath/colortables.xml"/>

The example above tells McIDAS-V to look for color tables in the user path, sitepath, and an online URL. 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.

The loadmore tag for the colortable resource is set to "true" by default. When this is set to true, then the colortables resource contained in all of the directories in the idv.resourcefiles property will be used, meaning the user will have access to system color tables (in the %APPPATH% directory) as well. If this loadmore tag were set to "false", then only the mcidasv.rbi contained in the %USERPATH% directory (the first path contained in the idv.resourcefiles property) would be used for the colortables resource, system resource.

This gives the flexibility to customize McIDAS-V to us only resources set by the user and not those used by McIDAS-V by default. This mcidasv.rbi file does not contain all of the resource files available for use by McIDAS-V, but instead contains a subset of commonly-used resources. Additional resources can be added to this file by the user.

An example use case of this mcidasv.rbi file is if your site needs to use a set of special color tables that you have created. Once the color tables have been created in McIDAS-V, they are saved to ~user/McIDAS-V/colortables.xml (as defined by the resource paths defined in the app path's mcidasv.rbi). This file can then be copied to a web site or on a shared file system that is pointed to by the McIDAS-V -sitepath flag. Now, your users simply need to define the -sitepath at startup and they will naturally pick up the color tables saved in colortables.xml.

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.actions Actions actions.xml$
idv.resource.addeservers ADDE servers and datasets addeservers.xml$
idv.resource.aliases Data aliases aliases.xml$
idv.resource.autodisplays Automatic display creation autodisplays.xml$
idv.resource.backgroundwms Background WMS images backgroundwms.xml$
idv.resource.bundles Default bundles that are evaluated at start up no pattern
idv.resource.bundlexml Bundle xml no pattern
idv.resource.categories Display categories categories.xml$
idv.resource.choosers The definition of the user interface for data choosers choosers.xml$
idv.resource.colorpairs Color pairs no pattern
idv.resource.colortables Color tables used in the application colortables.xml$
idv.resource.controls Display controls controls.xml$
idv.resource.datasource Specification of the data sources datasource.xml$
idv.resource.derived Derived quantities derived.xml$
idv.resource.enduserformulas Native formulas enduserformulas.xml$
idv.resource.grib1lookuptables Grib 1 Lookup tables grib1lookuptable.lst$
idv.resource.grib2lookuptables Grib 2 Lookup tables grib2lookuptable.lst$
idv.resource.helptips Help tips shown in the help tips dialog helptips.xml$
idv.resource.imagedefaults ADDE Image Defaults imagedefaults.xml$
idv.resource.imagesets Image Sets imagesets.xml$
idv.resource.jython Jython libraries .py$
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.messages Message catalog messages.properties$
idv.resource.misccontrols Controls for different display types misccontrols.xml$
idv.resource.njConfig Configuration files njConfig.xml$
idv.resource.paramdefaults Display defaults for data paramdefaults.xml$
idv.resource.paramgroups Parameter groups paramgroups.xml$
idv.resource.plugins Plugins no pattern
idv.resource.preferences User preferences no pattern
idv.resource.projections Map projections projections.xml$
idv.resource.prototypes Prototypes no pattern
idv.resource.skin UI Skin skin.xml$
idv.resource.staeprojections Projections for USA states stateprojections.xml$
idv.resource.stationmodels Layout models stationmodels.xml$
idv.resource.stationsymbols Layout model symbols stationsymbols.xml$
idv.resource.toolbar Tool bar toolbar.xml$
idv.resource.transects Map transects transects.xml$
idv.resource.translations Hydrometeor classification value mapping translations.xml$
idv.resource.urlmaps Maps calls from old thredds server to another urlmaps.xml$
idv.resource.userchooser End user constructed data choosers no pattern
idv.resource.varrenamer Maps one field name to another varrenamer.xml$
idv.resource.viewpoints Viewpoints viewpoints.xml$

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