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Why can't I get my FF server to serve my data?

Submitted by jimg on Wed, 05/11/2011 - 16:29

Here are a few suggestions for troubleshooting your FF server:

1) First, test that your format files are defined properly and that it fits your data files by running chkform on them. You can also check that your data is being interpreted as you desire by running newform. Both chkform and newform are FreeForm tools that come with the DODS FreeForm Server distributions. (They should be located in the bin/ directory of your distribution.)

So that newform can display your data, you will need an 'ASCII_output_data' section in your format description file. Like this:

	ASCII_input_data "test"
	Time 1 10 double 4
	Test 12 33 enote 20
	ASCII_output_data "test"
	Time 1 10 double 4
	Test 12 33 enote 16

2) If you are serving ASCII data, pay attention to the whitespace in your data files.

  • FreeForm will gag if whitespace extends beyond the line length determined by the format description. For instance, if the format descriptor fits
    • '34.523 1.45'
    FF will give an error on
    • '34.523 1.45 '
  • There needs to be whitespace filler if the data in a line doesn't cover the entire format. For instance, if the format descriptor fits this data
    • '34.456 234.456'
    FF will die on this data
    • '34.456 234.45'
    but will not die on
    • '34.456 234.45 '
  • The enote type doesn't seem to work quite like that. For instance, if the format fits
    • '34.456 2.34e-2'
    FF will die on
    • 34.456 2.3e-2