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ecFlowUI provides rich facilities for viewing tasks' scripts, jobs and job output. Although their usage should be fairly self-explanatory, some details are given here.

To see this information about a node, either right-click on the node and choose one of the options from the context menu such as "Output ...", "Script ..." or "Job ...", or create an Info Panel - information for the selected node will appear there. The script, job and output tabs have much in common, so most of the information below is relevant for them all.

Header strip

At the top of these tabs is a shaded area which provides information about the file being viewed, for instance its size and how it was retrieved (e.g. straight from disk, from a log server or from the ecFlow server).

To the right of this is a toolbar, providing common buttons to control the following:

  • to change the font size, click on the two 'A' buttons; alternatively, hold down the CTRL button whilst moving the mouse wheel
  • to bring up the search bar, click the magnifying glass
  • to go to a particular line in the file, click the magnifying glass/123 icon

All these buttons have tooltips, providing further information about their keyboard shortcuts if you hover the mouse cursor over them.

Searching for text

The search bar allows for powerful text searching within the viewed file.

The start of the search bar is a verb, representing the search type:

  • Matches is a wildcard match, similar to UNIX file syntax, where "*" means "any number of any characters" and "?" means "one of any character", e.g. "*monitor?". If no wildcard characters are used, the result will be that only those strings that exactly match the search expression will be found. This is often the simplest way of searching. See also
  • Regexp is a regular expression match, using the Qt regexp syntax. The regexp equivalent of the above example would be ".*monitor.". See also
  • Contains finds strings which contain the given regular expression as a substring; similar to Regexp, but can find more matches since the regexp only needs to match a substring rather than the whole string.

Note that the search works within a line, not between lines.

The spanner icon to the right of the search bar provides more options to customise the search, and also the ability to highlight all matches in the text.

As text is typed into the search bar, the results of the search are updated almost immediately (but see Large file mode, below).


Once a remote file has been transferred and viewed, it will be cached locally to speed up future access. To get the latest version of a job's output, see Reload, below.

Job output

The job output tab has some additional functionality over the others, described in the following sub-sections.

File listing

Beneath the output file is a list of files available for that node; select a file to view its contents. The file defined by ECF_JOBOUT is considered to be the the current one, and will be selected by default and is highlighted in the file list. If ECF_TRYNO is 0 then the task is not currently running and hence there is no current output file; in this case the viewer will be empty until you select one of the files from the list.

Detailed file information

Since there can be several steps to retrieving an output file, this information is made available by clicking on the Information button in the toolbar.

Local output files

Output files may be read in one of three ways, attempted in the following order:

  • from a log server (if defined)
  • directly from disk (optional)
  • from an ecFlow server

ecFlowUI will always attempt to obtain a file from the log server if it is defined for this task. Then, optionally, it attempts to read the file directly from disk if it is accessible. Finally, if the file has not yet been read, ecFlowUI will request the file from the ecFlow server.

This behaviour tries to avoid the situation where the wrong file is read because the same path exists on the machine where the task is running and on the machine where ecFlowUI is running, but they are not the same file. As an example, consider that the machine that ran the job wrote its output into a file called /tmp/myjob.1, where /tmp is a file system local to that machine. If a different file of the same name exists on the machine where ecFlowUI is running, this could be read instead of the 'real' output file.

If you know that this could be the case, you should go to the Server Settings and deactivate the option Read files from disk when appropriate.


Click the Reload button to obtain the latest version of the job output file. Note that these files can become very large, and can take some time to transfer across a network if they are hundreds of megabytes or more. If you are viewing an old output file and you click the Reload button, the file viewer will switch to the current version of the file (it assumes there is no need to reload an old version of the file). This button also causes the file listing to be updated.

Saving a local copy of the job output

The job output toolbar has a 'disk' icon which allows you to save a local copy of the currently-displayed file. This will invoke a standard 'file save' dialogue from where you can choose the location to save the file to.

Automatic search

The job output tab follows this algorithm when it is reloaded or loaded for the first time:

  • if the search bar is open and contains a search term, then its search is performed
  • otherwise, if the viewed file is the current output for the selected node, an automatic search for keywords is invoked: search backwards through the document for the strings --abort and --complete; it is intended to make this behaviour user-configurable in the future.

Large file mode

This should be largely transparent to the user, but when viewing a log file which is greater than 1MB, the file viewer goes into "large file mode", where it loads only the visible portion of the file into memory. This mode gives a massive saving in memory usage and also significantly increases performance.

If the file is larger than 5MB, the search results are no longer updated immediately as text is typed into the search bar; you must hit enter to initiate the search (as indicated in a warning bar). This mode allows the user interface to remain responsive while typing a search term.