Re: [visad] HowTo Questions: gray scale, shader gray scale, viewers, position, process monitor and netcdf access to large files

Hi Marius,

> CachedFlatFields:
> That would be very nice :-)
We've done a number of things with caching. We use the class:
as a singleton to manage the cache. It can 1d and 2d arrays of all of the
primitive types. The CachedFlatField just uses the DataCacheManager to store
its range values. The DCM will hold the arrays in memory until a memory
limit is exceeded then it writes the arrays out to disk and clears them from
memory (least recently used strategy).

The first thing you need to do is to set the directory to cache to, e.g.,
from the IDV:
                new File(getDataCacheDirectory()));

And set the memory threshold:
                    .getPreferenceOrProperty(PROP_CACHE_PERCENT, 0.25));

Then just create the CachedFlatField like a regular FlatField. The IDV does
some tricky things with delayed data reading. See, for example, to see how this is used.

Using the CachedFlatField allows you to, for example, have lengthy time
series of grids or images. If you do a lazy loading (like the IDV does) then
you build up your FieldImpl of empty CachedFlatFields and pass it to the
renderer. When a time step is rendered then the data is read. As the cache
fills up the arrays are dumped to disk in case of subsequent accesses.

Another way we use this is with the This
is a BufferedImage but plays tricks with the base class so the actual raster
data is stored by the CacheManager. This is used by
visad.java3d.VisADImageTile to render images. That way the image data in the
scene graph is transparently cached though when animating and if your cached
image is on disk it can take some time to load.

To enable this the system property visad.java3d.imageByRef needs to be set
to true.