RD/Controls Software Release Note 93.5<P> <b> A Guide to Translation of EPICURE Lingo</b>

RD/Controls Software Release Note 93.5

A Guide to Translation of EPICURE Lingo

Deb Baddorf Cyndee Chopp Kal Dabous Ed Dambik John DeVoy Al Forni David Kline Brian Kramper Therese Watts Bob West


This document briefly describes TLA's and FLAp's commonly used in regards to the EPICURE system.

While we cannot claim credit for creation of all the TLA's and FLAp's described herein, (for many of these are part of DEC Lingo, terms in common use by those involved in digital design, or have come into common use by some other means within Fermilab,) we have tried to include the acronyms in common use by the creators and keepers of EPICURE, without regard to their means of origin.

It is anticipated that this document will grow as missing acronyms are discovered. All readers are invited to contribute missing acronyms along with descriptions, and join the author line. Simply mail your contribution to ``WARNER::WATTS" today!

You say, what's a TLA and FLAp? Well...why don't you now try using this document to look them up! Hope you find this document both useful and enjoyable.

AAD ``Allocation Area Descriptor"

A descriptor containing a pointer to the start of an allocation area, a size of an individual block in the allocation area, a count of the blocks in the allocation area, and a pointer to a queue header that maintains the free list for the alloction area. The bulk of Common Memory (CM) is broken into Allocation Areas which contain the different size Common Memory Blocks (CMBs).

ACC ``Auxiliary Crate Controller"

A one slot wide camac crate controller which contains an ARCnet data broadcast link. An ACP is required to control the ACC. This module exists but has never been used in EPICURE.

ACE ``Access Control Entry"

An individual control line in an ACL. Typical format:

(IDENTIFIER=id_string, ACCESS=access_to_be_allowed)

ACL ``Access Control List"

A list of identifiers and associated access privileges which is attached to a particular file. The list is scanned from the top. The first ACE which fits is used, even if a later ACE might also fit and might grant a different privilege. If no ACE on the list fits, only then is the protection mask used (DIR/PROTECTION).

ACP ``Auxiliary Crate Processor"

This module is a general purpose CAMAC slave with firmware configurable function codes and sub-addresses. It was meant to provide processing enhancement to existing CAMAC systems within a camac crate. This module exists but has never been used in EPICURE.

ACNET ``Accelerator Controls NETwork"

The control system used by the Accelerator Division from which some EPICURE ideas were derived.

ALM_ ``ALarM services"

UTI routines ALM_DPY_ provide the interface between an alarm display process and the ARD. These routines are public.

UTI routines ALM_RPT_ provide the interface between the AMP and the ARD. These routines are not public.

ALMBRO ``ALarM BROadcast"

Allows users to receive alarm messages in broadcast mode.


An applicaton program that allows a user to monitor devices currently in alarm, and provides status information on the alarm system.

AMP ``Alarm Monitoring Process"

A process that supervises alarm monitoring in the AMT (Alarm Monitor Task). AMP receives ASBs (Alarm State Blocks) from ALCON (Alarm Control Program), maintains a database of the current state blocks, and sends the ASBs onto the appropriate AMT (Alarm Monitor Task) for processing.

AMT ``Alarm Monitoring Task"

Responsible for performing the actual device alarm monitoring. It receives data from the data acquisition system and compares values which have been defined by user requests. It will report alarms if the requested parameters are outside of the device reading. Alarm monitoring is supported for both reading and status properties.

AOA ``Automatic Optimized Access"

This application rebuilds and distributes the Optimized Access Database and restarts the EDBServer process on the following nodes: WARNER, DISNEY, CYTST, CYPS1, CYPS4, CYNMS, CYMCC, BUGS, WEBBY.

ARB ``Alarm Report Block"

Communication block signalling a condition change (going into or out of tolerance or changed state of a scanned bit) for a device reading or event. Contains current alarm information returned from AMP to ARD.

ARD ``Alarm Report Distributor"

Receives alarm reports from AMP on front end nodes and transmits them across the network to display processes.

ARP ``Alarm Report Packet"

A ``cooked" ARB. An ARB to which some database information has been added (device name, alarm text, bitname etc.). If the device is analog then the reading is converted from raw to engineering units. ARP's are passed from the ARD to alarm display applications.

ASB ``Alarm State Block"

Communication block used to read or set the state of alarm monitoring for a device. ASBs are used to communicate between DAR and AMP.

ASCII ``American Standard Code for Information Interchange"

A binay encoding scheme using seven bits to present alphabetic characters, numbers, and special symbols.

AST ``Asynchronous System Trap"

VAX/VMS system mechanism for interrupting the execution of a program and causing it to branch to a specific subroutine. Upon returning from the subroutine, the program begins executing where it left off. ASTs are used to signal a program that some external event has occurred such as I/O completion, keyboard input, system timer expiration, data arrival, etc.

BEAR ``Beamline Event Acquisition Recorder"

Refers to the data logger system that is used to log devices containing beamline intensity information. The logged information is used to analyze beamline and accelerator efficiencies.

Big ENDIAN ``The Big END"

A convention for ordering bytes within a word by which the byte whose address is "x...x00" is placed at the most significant position in the word.The IBM 360/370 and Motorola 680x0 follow this model.

BPS ``Bits Per Second"

A common measure of the rate of flow of information between digital systems.

CAMAC ``Computer Automated Measurement and Control"

A modular Instrumentation and Digital Interface System.

CAMAC/DAE ``CAMAC Data Acquisition Engine"

The VME based 80386 processor which mates with the VSLD for the purpose of acquiring camac data.

CDD ``Common Data Dictionary"

A repository for storing data structures. Particularly used by DTR and RDB, but can be used by user programs as well.

CDB ``Central Database"

A static repository of devices within the Epicure control system. Also referred to within EPICURE as the RMS database.

CI ``Cluster Interconnect"

The direct CPU-to-CPU bus used in DEC's original clusters and, of course, still used when clustering larger VAXes which *have* a CI bus.

CIA ``Control Interface Adapter"

Adapter to solenoid type hardware. Used by EPICURE for interface to vacuum systems.

CLI ``Command Language Interpreter"

DEC supported routines used to process command strings using information from a command table. The CLI routines include the following: CLI$DCL_PARSE, CLI$DISPATCH,

CLI$GET_VALUE, and CLI$PRESENT. These routines are heavily used in the COA program.

CM ``Common Memory"

VME resident memory which is addressable by both the VME based modules and VAX Frontend.

CMB ``Common Memory Block"

A data block which is entered or removed from a CM queue, consisting of a UMB and CMH.

CMH ``Common Memory Header"

The common memory header is a structure within a CMB that contains queue pointers used by QVI services and DAE modules.

CMS ``VAX DEC/Code Management System"

A library system for software development and maintenance. CMS stores project files in a central library, manages changes made to these files, and monitors user access to the files. Successive versions (called generations) of a file are maintained and may be accessed. A set of file generations may be defined as a class to comprise a base level or a release version of a project. Related files may be organized into groups.

COA ``Create Optimized Access"

A program which reads Device Descriptor Template files (DDT) and Module Descriptor Template files (MDT) to create hash tables, shared records, and device records (or section files), which in turn make up the Optimized Access Database.

CPU ``Central Processor Unit"

The ``brain" part of a computer.

CRYO ``CRYOgenics"

Branch of physics that deals with low temperatures, especially at or near absolute zero. By extension, used to refer to the equipment and personnel associated with this pursuit.

DA_ ``Data Acquisition services"

These UTI routines provide applications a means of making device reading requests and collecting data.

DAE ``Data Acquisition Engines"

The VME based 80386 processors which schedule and acquire beamline data.

DAL ``Data Acquisition List"

Refers to the block contents of a UMB which contain DAPs, DSPs and offsets to DAP and DSP packets.

DAP ``Data Acquisition Packet" or ``Data Accessing Packet"

Contains hardware and software device addressing information and may contain an FTD and sometimes setting data. This packet is a data request.

DAR ``Data Acquisition Requester"

A local server which formats, combines and sends device data reading and setting requests to front end nodes from application programs and returns data to application programs.

DAS ``Data Acquisition Server"

An EPICURE process which manages the flow of requests and data between the VME-based Data Acquisition Engines (DAEs) which actually perform the collection of data, and the Data Acquisition Requestor (DAR) processes which centralizes and manages the data requests from user programs running on a single node. A Data Acquisition Server executes on a node which has a hardware interface (QVI) between the QBus of the VAX and the VME crate allowing communication via common memory in a VME memory module. Communication across this interface is via EPICURE VMS system service routines. DAS and DAR communication is via DECnet. The DAS receives lists of requests from each DAR, performs the necessary reformatting, and writes them into the common memory via the QVI service routines. Each time the DAS receives notification that data is ready, it uses the QVI service routines to read the data from the common memory, reformats the data as necessary, and writes it via DECnet to the associated requesting process.

DB_ ``DataBase services"

These UTI routines provide access to database information from the OA database. These DB_ calls are used to first set up a work area and then to request information from the Optimized Access Database.

DBEDIT ``DataBase Edit"

Screen based utility to add and remove devices from the EPICURE Database and to display and modify information for devices.

DBLOOK ``DataBase Look"

Screen based utility to display current EPICURE Database information for devices (a read-only version of DBEdit). Replaces the DBPEEKER utility.

DBS ``DataBase Server scanner and distributor"

This process monitors the EDBS processes that are resident on WARNER, DISNEY, and cryo VAXes for consistency of the OA/LAL serial numbers and build times. Additionally, it will be used to distribute both the OA and LAL databases to valid destinations.

DBSA ``DataBase Serial Access server"

A server process which receives database transaction requests from other applications and executes them on the RMS databases on behalf of the requestor.

DBSA_ ``DataBase Serial Access server"

These UTI routines provide the interface between the database editor and the DBSA server process. These routines are not public.

DCL ``DIGITAL Command Language"

The language used to communicate with the VMS operating system. DCL commands consist of English verbs and text describing what the system is to do. DCL commands may be entered at a terminal or from a process created by the system such as a batch job or a network process. Some uses of DCL commands are to get information about the system ( e.g., SHOW QUOTA), modify the work environment (e.g., SET DEFAULT), develop and execute programs (e.g., EDT and RUN), and provide security (SET PROTECTION).

DDT ``Device Descriptor Template"

A set of files containing descriptions of database attributes and fields for individual devices.

DEC ``Digital Equipment Corporation"

Maker/manufacturer of VAX computers, among other things.

DI ``Device Index"

A three byte long index. This index along with the name property is one of two master keys into the database.

DIBS ``Database Integrated Builder System"

Subsystem of EPICURE which is responsible for maintaining the RMS databases, and synchronizing the distribution and restart/remap of the OA/LAL databases with the database server processes.

DIPI ``Device Index / Property Index"

One longword in length. First three bytes of the longword make up the DI, last byte is the PI.

DMQ ``Device Modification Queue"

Used by the DBSAServer process to keep track of which devices have been effected in the RMS databases. The SOAL application uses it to create the LAL.

DRAM ``Dynamic Random Access Memory"

Random access memory which must be periodically refreshed in order not to lose data.

DS_ ``Data Setting services"

These UTI routines, provide applications a means of making device setting requests and collecting setting completion status.

DSD ``Database Scanner/Distributor"

Server process that is responsible for maintaining a consistency of the OA database section files throughout the EPICURE control system.

DSP ``Data and Status Packet"

Contains device information returned from a front-end such as a time stamp, completion status, and sometimes reading data. This packet is a data reply.

DTR ``DataTRieve"

Name of a DEC product which uses regular RMS files to create databases. Files are not as fancy as the newer product, RDB, but the report facility is better and is sometimes used to report on RDB databases too.

``EARS EPICURE Alarm Reporting System"

Term encompassing the whole of the EPICURE alarm reporting system made up of AMP, AMTs, ARDs, and the ALMDISP application. Used to refer to the alarm system components as a single entity.

EDBS ``EPICURE Database Server process"

Responsible for servicing user requests to access property and attribute information about control system devices.

``EDDS EPICURE Distributed Database System"

Term encompassing the whole of the EPICURE database system server processes, which interact together maintaining a consistent view of the database and allowing device modification. Processes include: EDBServer, DBSAServer, DBScanner and the DBRPTServer. This term is used to refer to these processes as a single entity.


Digital's standard editing utility also known as DEC Editor. An interactive text editor. Invoked with the ``edit" command.

EPICS ``Experimental Physics Interactive Control System"

The control system used in the fixed target beamlines before EPICURE, from which some EPICURE ideas were derived.

EPICURE ``Experimental Physics Interactive Controls User Resource Enhancement"

The control system which runs beam transport systems and instrumentation in the Experimental Area at Fermilab.

EPROMS ``Erasable and Programmable Read-Only Memory"

A nonvolatile memory that can be programmed and reprogrammed by the user with relatively low-cost equipment. The function of an EPROM is to store programs and data that are never, or only infrequently, modified.

ESM_ ``EPICURE Screen Management services"

These UTI routines, encompass a set of screen manipulation routines used to provide a standard menu based interface for application programs on character cell terminals.

ETs ``Educated Terminals"

Dedicated consoles used for running EPICURE. Each is supported by a VAX CPU and is equipped with color graphics.

EVE ``Extensible VAX Editor"

An interactive text editor built on VAXTPU. Invoked with the ``edit/tpu" command. Differs from EDT in that it allows editing of more than one file at a time and allows windows.

FE ``VAX Front End"

A server acquisition node that receives request packets from consumer nodes which get passed on for service to the VME based DAEs, and which receives reply packets from the DAE for delivery to the requesting consumer nodes.

FIFO ``First-In-First-Out"

A method by which the first item placed in a stack or unit is the first one to be processed.

FLAp's ``Four Letter Acronyms Plus"

Acronyms of Four or more letters.

FTD ``Frequency-Time Descriptor"

A uniform method of specifying a sample time within the accelerator cycle or an asynchronous periodic rate for a data request. An FTD is defined to be a single 32-bit longword divided into three fields: m (bits 22 and 23), event (bits 24 through 31), and interval (bits 0 through 21). The m field specifies the type of sample time: periodic rate, phase reversal clock, (FTD_C_PHICLK), or Tevatron clock. The event field specifies the number of the clock event: 1 through 15 for the phase reversal clock and 0 through 253 for the Tevatron clock. The interval field specifies the rate interval in milliseconds for a periodic event or a delay in milliseconds after a clock event.

FTP ``Fast Time Plot"

Application and lower level facilities for acquiring data in real time at rates in excess of 4Hz.

GAS ``GHASP Advanced Software"

Communications protocol and addressing scheme created by Accelerator Controls for communicating with Multibus based frig systems.

GHASP ``General Host And Subsystem Protocol"

Communication protocol and addressing scheme created by Accelerator Controls upon which GAS is based.

GKS ``Graphical Kernel System standard"

A library of graphical functions that are defined by ANSI X3.124-1985 and ISO 7942-1985. Used in EPICURE to refer to the DEC implementation of these functions.

H86 ``Intel absolute 8086 Hexadecimal"

A download file format used to record binary data in ASCII-encoded hexadecimal form.

IC ``Integrated Circuit"

A complex electronic circuit that is fabricated on a single piece of semiconductor material.

LAL ``Look-Aside-List"

A subset of the Optimized Access Database containing changes to those devices, which have been added, modified, or deleted since the last complete database build. When the database is accessed, the LAL is viewed first, then the OA. Creating a LAL saves time and space since it only saves altered devices.

LAVC ``Local Area Vax Cluster"

A group of VAXes which share disks and system management, and are connected via the Ethernet. The other kind of cluster connects using the CI bus, which smaller VAXes don't have.

Little ENDIAN ``The Little END"

A convention for ordering bytes within a word by which the byte whose address is "x...x00" is placed at the least significant position in the word. The DEC PDP11/VAX and Intel 80x86 follow this model.

LSE ``Language Sensitive Editor"

An interactive text editor built on VAXTPU. Invoked with the ``lsedit" command. This editor is optimized for editing source code. Only available on licensed nodes (e.g. WARNER).

MADC ``Multiplexed Analog-to-Digital Convertor"

A hardware device that can convert analog voltages into digital information. This digital information is typically 12, 14 and 16 bit data sizes.

MB ``Intel MultiBus specification"

A flexible bus structure used to interface the family of Intel's 80/86 products. More commonly refers to the crates housing vacuum and cryogenic monitoring equipment in EPICURE.

MDT ``Module Descriptor Template"

A set of files containing descriptions of default device database attributes and fields, based on a module template type.

MMS ``VAX Module Management System"

A tool that automates the building of software systems. Using MMS, a developer can specify, via a text file, exactly how a software system is to be built and then rebuild only those parts of the system which have been updated since the previous time. MMS is patterned after the UNIX make utility.

NRQ ``Network Request Queue"

Used by the DBSAServer process to hold the database requests while an OA or LAL is being built. After the build, the NRQ is unloaded to the RMS databases.

OA ``Optimized Access Database"

View of the EPICURE Database. The creation of all devices and templates into records, which are divided into three sections/files: Hash records, Shared records, and Device records.


Generic application program used to read and control beamline devices. Page can display device data for the reading, setting and status properties and can send device data for the setting and control properties.

PAL ``Programmable Array Logic"

Integrated circuit that can be programmed to perform specific logic functions. A PAL device consists logically of a programmable AND array whose output terms feed a fixed OR array.

PC ``Personal Computer"

Originally PC referred to any small, relatively inexpensive computer designed for the home market. However, since IBM (International Business Machines Corporation), called its model just PC, the name is fast coming to mean the IBM machine. (So what are the rest of the personal computers,...chopped liver?) In general, a PC is meant for individual use, and the individual user is responsible for all related administrative procedures such as code installation, licensing, backup, and organization.

PDB ``Process Data Block"

Database information used by scaling services to scale device data. There are different types of PDBs defined for scaling analog readbacks, digital status readbacks, and for control operations.

PDP ``Programmed Data Processor"

An earlier type of Digital computer. Some still lurk around, but not in EPICURE!

PEA ``Processing Element Address"

The node number and QTI referred to as a single entity. While there is currently only a single VME crate connected to a Vax front-end computer, in the future it could be the node number of a network of VME crates emanating from the VAX front-end. A node of zero always refers to the local crate.

PI ``Property Index"

One byte long. This index is a number which specifies a particular property of the device, e.g. READING PI = 5, STATUS PI = 6.

PID ``Process IDentification code"

A unique number that a VAX/VMS system assigns to a process running on a cluster or stand-alone node.

PID `` Proportional, Integral, Derivative"

A standard equation that is used in describing closed loop systems. The equation contains a proportional, an integral, and a derivative component.

PIG `` Protection Interface Grants"

The EPICURE device protection subsystem.

PIGEE ``Protection Interface Grants Editor"

Allows a manager to list, set, modify, and delete device setting or reading privileges for a user or program.

PTM ``Pulse Train Manager process"

Program which collects reading data from a specific source device at a specified time and writes the data return value to a 010 or 040 camac module, commonly referred to as pulse train modules. This was a common mechanism for data transfer between the beamlines control system and experimental data acquisition systems before networks were available.

QTI ``Queue Table Index"

A short form of the target queue handle, which is used to directly index a table of queue header addresses.

QVI ``Q-bus to VME Interface"

An interface between VAX Q-bus and VMEbus which allows VME address space to appear as if it were QBus memory.

Rdb ``Relational Database"

DEC product which supports a database comprised of tables or relations that are associated with one another according to field values.

``RD-MADC" MADC manufactured by the RD/Controls group

A hardware device that can convert analog voltages into digital information. This digital information has a 14 bit data size. This MADC will replace all Xerox MADC's in the beam lines.

RMS ``Record Management Services"

DEC supported services used to open and close files, read from files, write to files, and extend and delete files. The services are used to implement the databases maintained by the DBSA process.

RTL ``Run-Time Library"

A library of object modules of commonly-used routines that perform a wide variety of operations. Even though these routines may be written in different languages, they adhere to the standard VAX procedure calling and condition handling interfaces and hence may be called from any VAX language. To include the appropriate routines in a program's executable image, the associated object library is specified to the LINK utility. For example, routines exist in the VMS Run-Time Library for performing screen management, string manipulation, data conversion, and different types of mathematical calculations, among other things.

SCC ``Serial Crate Controller"

A crate controller that serves as the serial communication link between CAMAC modules and an external controller or computer.

SCL_ ``SCaLing services"

These UTI routines provide scaling services which convert data from one form to another (e.g., from raw data to engineering units). These routines are used in conjunction with the DA_/DS_ services in reading or setting analog devices and a subset of generic bits for digital devices.

SDL ``Static Data Logging"

Logs devices for a given period of time. Used in EPICURE to help track the length of time a multibus has been up and running, as well as when a problem could have occurred.

SIDL_ ``Static Information Definition Library services"

These UTI routines, provide a means of listing, translating, and returning comments for certain EPICURE database information values.

SLD ``Serial Link Driver"

A unit that communicates with the CAMAC system via a serial highway and interfaces to a computer or other external controller.

SMG ``Screen Management Guidelines"

DEC supported services which are used to manipulate text on character cell terminals. ESM is based on SMG.

SNS ``Server Network Services"

A package of routines which simplify the nontransparent DECnet interface for server processes.

SOAL ``Source to OA/LAL application"

Responsible for converting the RMS database into the OA or LAL databases. Works in conjunction with and is controlled by the DBSAServer process.

SRAM ``Static Random Access Memory"

Random access memory in which data is retained indefinitely except if the power is turned off.

SREC ``Motorola hexadecimal (or `S') RECord"

A download file format used to record binary data in ASCII-encoded hexadecimal form.

SWIC ``Segmented Wire Ionization Chamber"

Instrumentation used in experimental areas to monitor the profile of a high energy charged particle beam of intensity ranging from to particles per beam spill.

TIMER/DAE ``TIMER Data Acquisition Engine"

The VME based 80386 processor which mates with a TIMER board for the purpose of scheduling data acquisition in CAMAC systems and for scheduling and data acquisition in CRYO systems.

TLA's ``Two/Three Letter Acronyms"

Acronyms of two or three letters.

TPU ``Text Processing Utility"

(VAXTPU)A high-performance, programmable, text processing utility. Underlies the EVE and LSE editors.

TS_ ``Timer Server"

These UTI routines may be called by a user program to request to be notified when a given timed event occurs. The timed event of interest is specified as an FTD and may be an accelerator clock event, a phase reversal clock event, a time in milliseconds after such a clock event, or simply some number of milliseconds from now. Notification may be the setting of an event flag or the execution of a routine in the requesting program. The user program may request that notification be done only once or every time the event occurs until the request is canceled.

UIC ``User Identification Code"

A pair of numbers or alphanumerics, which consist of a group and member id, that is assigned to users, files, global sections, common event flag clusters, and mailboxes to specify the type of access available to the owners, group, world, and system.

UIS ``User Interface Services"

The high-level programming interface to the graphic subsystem designed and optimized for VAX workstations and the VMS Operating System. It provides a standard program interface across multiple hardware and software platforms while encouraging a common look and feel for all applications.

UMB ``User Memory Block"

The user memory block is a structure within a CMB that contains fields of importance to users with information such as the list type, the UMB size, and offsets to DAPs and DSPs.

UTI ``User Task Interface"

A library of functions which enable a user-written application program to send information to and receive information from another service in the system.

VAX ``Virtual Address eXtension"

Digital's name for one type of their computers. There are many different model numbers of VAXes, but all are multiprogramming computer systems based on a 32-bit architecture.

VCS ``Vaxcluster Console Software"

A program which allows the console ports of several computers to be fed into this program. The console output (error messages, boot up text, etc) goes to files on disk, rather than just to paper. This saves paper, allows the output to be read remotely, allows searching the output for phrases, and has other benefits.

VI ``VIsual editor"

The standard UNIX interactive text editor. A version written in TPU is available but not supported on WARNER.

VME ``Versa Module Europe"

Known as VMEbus. A microcomputer bus system providing communication facilities among multiple card modules through its backplane bus.

VMI ``VME-to-Multibus Interface"

VME-based board which allows data to be passed between a processor in a VME crate and one in a MULTIBUS crate.

VMS ``Virtual Memory System"

The proprietary operating system of Digital Equipment Corporation for their VAX computers. Allows users to use more memory addresses than the machine has in actual memory by means of swapping data to disk when it is not needed.

VSLD ``VME Serial Link Driver"

A serial communication link protocol between the VME-based CAMAC/DAE card and CAMAC crate controller.

VWS ``VMS Workstation Software"

A versatile graphics and windowing interface designed to be used on any of the VAX family of workstation products. It allows the user to write application programs which can create and manipulate windows, display multiple styles and sizes of text, receive input, and draw graphical objects in the windows.

``XEROX MADC" MADC manufactured by Xerox Corporation

A hardware device that can convert analog voltages into digital information. This digital information has a 14 bit data size.

Keywords: acronyms, controls, EPICURE, RDCS

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