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The anonymous platform (app_info.xml), what does it do? How to properly get rid of it?

FAQ: The anonymous platform (app_info.xml), what does it do? How to properly get rid of it?
Title: The anonymous platform (app_info.xml), what does it do? How to properly get rid of it?
Author: Jorden
Views: 99575
Category: 03. BOINC Client Software Questions and Answers
Available in: English
Created: 09/10/2009 01:24:24
Last Modified: 27/06/2011 23:55:42

Contents:

What is it? What does it do?
Through the anonymous platform file, or app_info.xml file, you tell BOINC which downloaded or self-built applications and libraries it should use and to ignore anything that it is/was sent by the project.

This is very useful to use when the project does not have their own application for your platform OS. You can then build your own (if their source code is available) and use that instead of waiting for the project to come up with the goods.

Where do they go?
The app_info.xml file and all the applications and other files pointed out in that app_info.xml file should go into the \BOINC\Projects\%project_dir%\ directory of the project you want to use these files on. BOINC needs to be restarted for the changes to take effect.

I lost all my work in progress after I added an enhanced application.
Work on your computer is registered against the present application version on your system. If the app_info.xml file does not tell which older applications it substitutes for, BOINC will throw away all the work for the older application, as it is told to only use the newer application.

How do I get rid of it, so I can run the project's application again? / I get a message that I should remove my app_info.xml file, how do I do that?
We will delete the anonymous platform file and then reset the project. Resetting the project will delete all applications, all work in progress, to be uploaded and reported.

If you still have work for the old application that you want to finish, upload & report, consider setting the project to No New Tasks through BOINC Manager. Then run your cache empty, before following the below steps.

I will show how to do it in Windows only, for now.

- Before all, exit BOINC. Usually BOINC Manager->File->Exit, check "quit running science application" on the exit dialog and click OK).
- Navigate to your BOINC Data directory. When you restart BOINC, you should see in one of the first lines where that is on your system.
-- The data directory may be hidden. In that case either set Windows Explorer to show hidden files and folders, or just type the path directly in Windows Explorer.
- Click on the Projects folder icon.
- Click on the project's folder icon.
- Find and delete the app_info.xml file.
- Restart BOINC. Usually Start->Programs->BOINC->BOINC Manager.
- In BOINC Manager go Advanced view->Projects tab->Select the project you just removed the app_info.xml file for->Click Reset, confirm you want to reset the project.
- If you set the project to No New Tasks, set it back to Allow New Tasks.

By resetting the project we clear all remnants of the anonymous platform files that are still in the client_state.xml file and other files. BOINC will download all the project specific applications again, for as far as they are available for your platform.

* If you do not delete the app_info.xml file, and do a reset, all you do then is throw away all your current work.
* If you delete the app_info.xml file but do not reset the project, the entries in the client_state.xml file about the enhanced application will:
- cause BOINC to look for that file and not find it;
- delete all your present work in progress;
- possibly try to download the enhanced application from the project's site;
- give you a lot of (strange) warning messages in your Messages tab/Event Log;
- cause BOINC to stop downloading work for that project.

Are there any examples of these app_info.xml files?
Sure, below is an example of what the app_info.xml file for the Seti Enhanced and Astropulse Optimized applications can look like.

Code:
<app_info> 
    <app>
        <name>setiathome_enhanced</name>
    </app>
    <file_info>
        <name>AK_v8b_win_SSE2.exe</name>
        <executable/>
    </file_info>
    <app_version>
        <app_name>setiathome_enhanced</app_name>
        <version_num>528</version_num>
        <file_ref>
           <file_name>AK_v8b_win_SSE2.exe</file_name>
            <main_program/>
        </file_ref>
    </app_version>


This far we tell which application to use and which older application we substitute for. We then continue with the lines below:

Code:
    <app_version>
        <app_name>setiathome_enhanced</app_name>
        <version_num>603</version_num>
        <file_ref>
         <file_name>AK_v8b_win_SSE2.exe</file_name>
            <main_program/>
        </file_ref>
    </app_version>


In here we tell specifically what application we substitute with.
We also tell BOINC that we want to use a different application for its Astropulse work:

Code:
    <app>
        <name>astropulse_v5</name>
    </app>
    <file_info>
        <name>ap_5.03r112_SSE.exe</name>
        <executable/>
    </file_info>
    <app_version>
        <app_name>astropulse_v5</app_name>
        <version_num>503</version_num>
        <file_ref>
            <file_name>ap_5.03r112_SSE.exe</file_name>
            <main_program/>
        </file_ref>
    </app_version>
    <app>
        <name>astropulse_v505</name>
    </app>
    <file_info>
        <name>ap_5.05r168_SSE.exe</name>
        <executable/>
    </file_info>
    <app_version>
        <app_name>astropulse_v505</app_name>
        <version_num>505</version_num>
        <file_ref>
            <file_name>ap_5.05r168_SSE.exe</file_name>
            <main_program/>
        </file_ref>
    </app_version>    
</app_info>


More information and options to use in the app_info.xml file can be found in the article in the BOINC Wiki (Advanced Users).
 

Copyright © Neil Munday 2008