MDSplus quality improvement project

Thomas W. Fredian, Joshua Stillerman, Gabriele Manduchi, Andrea Rigoni, Keith Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


MDSplus is a data acquisition and analysis system used worldwide predominantly in the fusion research community. Development began 29 years ago on the OpenVMS operating system. Since that time there have been many new features added and the code has been ported to many different operating systems. There have been contributions to the MDSplus development from the fusion community in the way of feature suggestions, feature implementations, documentation and porting to different operating systems. The bulk of the development and support of MDSplus, however, has been provided by a relatively small core developer group of three or four members. Given the size of the development team and the large number of users much more effort was focused on providing new features for the community than on keeping the underlying code and documentation up to date with the evolving software development standards. To ensure that MDSplus will continue to provide the needs of the community in the future, the MDSplus development team along with other members of the MDSplus user community has commenced on a major quality improvement project. The planned improvements include changes to software build scripts to better use GNU Autoconf and Automake tools, refactoring many of the source code modules using new language features available in modern compilers, using GNU MinGW-w64 to create MS Windows distributions, migrating to a more modern source code management system, improvement of source documentation as well as improvements to the web site documentation and layout, and the addition of more comprehensive test suites to apply to MDSplus code builds prior to releasing installation kits to the community. This work should lead to a much more robust product and establish a framework to maintain stability as more enhancements and features are added. This paper will describe these efforts that are either in progress or planned for the near future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)906 - 909
Number of pages4
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Fredian, T. W., Stillerman, J., Manduchi, G., Rigoni, A., & Erickson, K. (2016). MDSplus quality improvement project. Fusion Engineering and Design, 112, 906 - 909.