CESM Support Policy

April 2014

SUMMARY

This policy relates to support of CESM. By CESM we refer to the entire CESM system and each component that it comprises. Support of this system consists of updates as needed for bug fixes, script changes, and/or code to address the requirements of the time evolution of supported machines. Support by the CESM Software Engineering Group (CSEG) will also entail responding to questions on the CESM Bulletin Board during the support period. Major releases of CESM are to be supported for five years after the date of release or for two years after the next major release, whichever period is longer. More details are provided below.

CODE AND SCRIPTS

CESM releases may incorporate different types of model enhancements as specified in the model release strategy.

Releases are identified by a numbering system CESMx.y.z where:

  • "x" refers to a major release number
  • "y" refers to a minor release number that is associated substantive changes in functionality and MAY BE climate changing
  • "z" refers to a revision release number that is associated with changes which are NOT climate changes but which can involve bug fixes, machines updates and/or new component sets
     

A major release is defined as a fixed major.minor pair, where the minor number is 0 but where the revision number, ".z", can vary to accommodate bug fixes, machines updates and/or new component sets. A "major release" will include a number of different supported configurations (or component sets - "compsets") and numerous years of simulation output for scientifically supported configurations. For a major model release, we aim to provide the community with a stable code base to perform experiments that may require several years to complete. Therefor, CESM code and scripts in the major release category are supported for five years after the date of a major release or for two years after the next major release, whichever period is longer. For example, under this support policy, the CESM1.0.z release will be supported until at least 2015 or until CESM2.0.z is released, whichever period is longer.

A non-major release is also defined as a fixed major.minor pair, but the minor number is greater than 0. Non-major releases do not have necessarily adhere to the five year support time period. Development versions of the model system associated with individual model enhancements and/or infrastructure improvements fall into this category. Non-major releases are supported until the minor number is incremented. As an example, cesm1.2.z will be supported until cesm.1.3.0 is released.

For both major and minor releases, only the latest revision number (".z") is supported.

Support will consist of updates as needed for bug fixes, script changes, and/or code to allow the addition of new machines. These will be provided to supported major model releases for the duration of the major release support period. These will not have undergone the extensive testing associated with formal releases but will be provided for the benefit of the user community.

Released code, scripts and associated input datasets for major as well as non-major releases will be available on the web for that period. This policy may be modified at the discretion of the SSC in order to extend the support time.

Machine Support

   Category 1: Fully Supported Machines
   Category 2: USERDEFINED machines
  • Users should post questions to the CESM bulletin board

The addition of new machines to, or removal of old systems from, the Category 1 class will be based upon the availability of future CESM production capability. Priority will be given to super-computers at NCAR, NSF, and DOE centers.

HOW SUPPORT IS PROVIDED

CESM and component model documentation are maintained for each currently supported release series.

The release notes for each supported release series provide information regarding what's new in science and software functionality, answer-changing features, supported machines, and known problems.

The CESM Software Engineering Group (CSEG) and CISL support the a CESM bulletin board for addressing issues such as porting to USERDEFINED machines, data inquiries and bug reports.