History of Visual Raptor










Visual Raptor has evolved from its first version several years ago.


It began as a graphic representation of several small networks. Each machine was represented by a check button. Several buttons would execute commands on all the selected machines. Soon more buttons were added to select groups of machines. Since those early versions, most of the commands are now on menus.


As the program evolved and grew to scan more machines and networks, it became evident that version control and setup were requiring more time. Changes made to one version were slow to migrate into the other versions. Running xdiff to merge versions was tedious and time consuming. The program was moved to Source Forge in April, 2001. There, with open source development, it continues to grow.


We had all the check boxes for networks and machines hard-coded into the program. With a loop to create the check boxes, we eliminated hundreds of code.


Visual Raptor now has a separate .mac file with all the machine names and machine specific values. It has another small text file with the network names, abbreviations and details.


We quickly found some network connectivity anomalies. We found machines that could not see certain machines, but all the other machines on their networks could see them. So initially the VR Mode made more work for us. It made us fix things that no one knew were broken. This is good if your team already has a proactive approach to cleaning up networks. Someone said sooner or later those unknown glitches will jump up and bite you. I want Visual Raptor to be patrolling my networks. If there is any biting going on I want the Raptor to do it.


The program started out on an SG O2 machine. It is currently being developed on an Octane and a Linux box. It has been ported to SUN and Linux. However, not all of the functions have been implemented on the other machine types. Since Tcl, Tk and ITcl run on many platforms, it was easy to test even on windows.

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