Overview

The structure of applications built on top of the FleCSI programming system assumes three basic types of users. Each of the user types has their own set of responsibilities that are designed to separate concerns, and to make sure that development tasks are intuitive and achievable by the associated user type.

Tip

A single individual may play the role of more than one user type.

The user types are:

  • Core Developer
    These are users who design, implement, and maintain the core FleCSI library. Generally, these users are expert C++ developers who have a well-developed understanding of the the low-level design of the FleCSI software architecture. These users are generally computer scientists with expertise in generic programming techniques, data structure design, and optimization.

  • Specialization Developer
    These are users who adapt the core FleCSI data structures and runtime interfaces to create domain-specific interfaces for application developers. These users are required to understand the components of the FleCSI interface that can be statically specialized, and must have a solid understanding of the runtime interface. Additionally, specialization developers are assumed to understand the requirements of the application area for which they are designing an interface. These users are generally computational scientists with expertise in one or more numerical methods areas.

  • Application Developer
    These users are methods developers or physicists who use a particular FleCSI specialization layer to develop and maintain application codes. These are the FleCSI end-users, who have expertise in designing and implementing numerical methods to solve complicated, multiphysics simulation problems.

The source code implementing a FleCSI project will reflect this user structure: The project will link to the core FleCSI library; The project will use one or more specializations (These will usually also be libraries that are linked to by the application.); and, The application developers will use the core and specialization interfaces to write their applications.

Documentation

FleCSI documentation is primarily directed at Application and Specialization developers, and is structured so that these users can easily skip topics that are out-of-scope for their focus area. Documentation is split between prose (the documentation you are reading now), and the API Reference that is generated by Doxygen. It is also divided into User Guide, and Developer Guide sections.

Tip

Where appropriate we will annotate the documentation to identify the intended user audience.

All users should read the User Guide documentation and work through the tutorials, as these describe the runtime, control, execution, and data models that define the FLeCSI programming model. Users who are interested in developing FleCSI specializations should also read the Developer Guide. Finally, FleCSI core developers should read the Core Guide.

Note

The Core Guide is really only appropriate for developers who are creating/maintaining the FleCSI internal repository, or who are directly contributing code to the core library.

The release notes advertise new features and bug fixes, announce deprecations, and warn about possible issues when upgrading.

Namespaces

FlecSI uses C++ namespaces to identify interfaces that are intended for different user types:

  • flecsi
    The types and functions defined in the flecsi namespace are intended for all user types, but are primarily targeted to application developers.

Warning

Application developers should never use types or methods that are not defined in the top-level flecsi namespace.

  • flecsi::X
    The types and functions defined in flecsi::X namespaces, where X is nested within flecsi, e.g., flecsi::topology, should only be used by specialzation and core developers.

  • flecsi::X::Y
    The types and functions defined in flecsi::X::Y namespaces are intended for internal FleCSI development only! Use of any of these types or functions outside of the core library is undefined!!!.