%load_ext autoreload
%autoreload 2
from IPython.display import IFrame,YouTubeVideo

A recording of this jupyter notebook in action is available at:

import numpy as np
import os

import requests

import sys
## ignore these lines, you do not need to add this if Firefly is pip installed into your PYTHONPATH
sys.path.insert(0, '/Users/ageller/VISUALIZATIONS/Firefly')
from firefly.data_reader import ArrayReader
from firefly.server import spawnFireflyServer,quitAllFireflyServers

Tutorial notebook: Sending data to a local Firefly server through Flask

A drawback of using .json files on disk to pass data between the Python frontend and the Firefly webapp is that these .json files can 1. take up a lot of unnecessary disk space 2. take a long time to read from disk

To address these problems, we use Flask to host a webserver and parse data directly from Python at a data upload endpoint. This procedure is detailed in the server documentation. From the user’s perspective, all they need to do is POST their data to a specific port on their local machine and they will be able to explore their own data without ever having to write a file to disk.

Start the Firefly server as a background process

In this tutorial we’ll demonstrate how to update the data being shown in a live instance of Firefly running on a local webserver through Flask. Before attempting this tutorial read through the server documentation which explains how to specify the listening port and different methods of hosting a Flask Firefly server (here we use the firefly.server.spawnFireflyServer function which starts a background process).

process = spawnFireflyServer(5500)
Waiting up to 10 seconds for background Firefly server to start....done! Your server is available at - http://localhost:5500

Show Firefly in an IFrame

IPython allows one to embed webpages into a notebook using an IFrame, we’ll take advantage of that to embed Firefly here (you can also visit the localhost:5500 url in your browser if you’d prefer).

url = "http://localhost:5500"
IFrame(url, width=1000, height=500)

Create some example data and put it into a firefly.data_reader.Reader object

See the reader documentation or the reader_tutorial.ipynb example notebook.

## let's create some sample data, a grid of points in a 3d cube
my_coords = np.linspace(-10,10,20)
xs,ys,zs = np.meshgrid(my_coords,my_coords,my_coords)
xs,ys,zs = xs.flatten(),ys.flatten(),zs.flatten()
coords = np.array([xs,ys,zs]).T

## we'll pick some random field values to demonstrate filtering/colormapping
fields = np.random.random(size=xs.size)

We’ll use an ArrayReader here, check out the reader_tutorial.ipynb example notebook if this is new for you!

my_arrayReader = ArrayReader(
datadir is None, defaulting to /Users/agurvich/research/repos/firefly/src/firefly/static/data/Data
Make sure each field_array (1) has a field_filter_flag (0), assuming True.
Make sure each field_array (1) has a field_colormap_flag (0), assuming True.
Make sure each field_array (1) has a field_radius_flag (0), assuming False.
PGroup_0 - 8000/8000 particles - 1 tracked fields

Send this data to the Flask app

The data will be sent to the Firefly server via a POST request, we can do this in python using the requests module. One the POST has been made scroll back up to the window above and see the new data (if you don’t see new data, it’s possible that you’ve overwritten the default startup.json that shipped with Firefly by following some of the other tutorials. That’s okay! See the multiple datasets documentation or the multiple_datasets.ipynb example notebook to learn more about the startup.json file.

## make a POST request to port 5500, supplying the JSON produced by setting
##  write_jsons_to_disk=False and calling .dumpToJSON"
port = 5500
print('sending to Firefly', sys.getsizeof(my_arrayReader.JSON))'http://localhost:{port:d}/data_input',json=my_arrayReader.JSON)
sending to Firefly 49
<Response [200]>

We’ve also wrapped this code in the .sendDataViaFlask method.

## make a POST request
PGroup_0 - 8000/8000 particles - 1 tracked fields
Posting data on port posted!

Quitting the Firefly server process when you’re done

Because the Firefly server was started in the background, the process will persist even when you’re done with it. You should make sure to quit it using the firefly.server.quitAllFireflyServers function. If you supply a process id (which is returned by the spawnFireflyServer function) then it will only quit that one process. However, processes are a bit defensive and sometimes we’ve found they survive the attempt on their life and then hide under a different PID. In which case, it’s always safest to just quit all the servers indiscriminately. Generally the two are interchangeable unless you’re hosting multiple local servers of Firefly on different ports. This is pretty uncommon/advanced in which case you hopefully know what you’re doing.

The firefly.server.quitAllFireflyServers function will print all of the output the Firefly server

return_code = quitAllFireflyServers()
Server output:
kill: 35444: No such process
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