Recent neural2d news

Ubuntu 16.04

We’re happy to report that neural2d has been tested in a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 installation, and — whew — it works (subject to the caveat below). That’s using CMake 3.5.1 and g++ 5.4. You are invited to comment on what operating systems and tool versions you have successfully used with neural2d.

Webserver

Thanks to a report from an alert participant, we found a problem where the optional webserver does not get compiled and linked by default as described in the documentation. In order to compile and link the webserver, run cmake with the option “-DWEBSERVER=ON”, and then rebuild the neural2d executable. For example:

cd build
cmake -DWEBSERVER=ON ..
make

Documentation

The README file in the top level directory has been updated with clearer instructions about preparing input data for the neural net, and with a few additional internal links and references. There’s no functional changes, and no new secrets revealed; just wordsmithing. Readers are encouraged to comment on the documentation or to submit additional documentation.

A new diagram showing file relationships was checked into the repository:

file-relationships

CMake to the rescue?

Now that neural2d uses CMake to configure the build system, you can build and run neural2d in Microsoft Visual Studio, or in many other environments. That’s a big win.

In this story, there are two heroes — CMake and open source. It was open-source collaboration that provided the impetus to convert to CMake.

But I had, and still have, two reservations about CMake. One concern is whether CMake is readily available in all environments in which neural2d could be used. The other concern is about the ease of use for the casual experimenter in a makefile-oriented environment. Pre-CMake, the build instructions were a single line:

make

Now the build instructions take up a whole A4-sized page. Should I be at all concerned about that?

Let me know what you think.