The AliRoot framework is entirely based on OO design and implementation. Unlike in other experiments, the physicist in ALICE does not have the choice between a FORTRAN environment based on CERNLIB and a OO/C++ environment. This decision has been taken in order to minimise the amount of legacy code and to focalise all the existing resources in the development of a single framework avoiding waste of resources.
In the Off-line Project we realise that this can put a strain on the physicist not conversant with the new programming techniques and who is in need of results quickly. To alleviate this problem we have taken two steps:
1- Use the ROOT framework. This offers the possibility to use a very complete subset of C++ as a scripting language. We have seen that this reduces the threshold for new users and allows them to obtain rather quickly the results they were obtaining with PAW and kumacs. Of course the power of C++ as a scripting language greatly exceeeds the kumac syntax, but this does not hinder the user to obtain easily the first results.
2- Run a program of training in correspondence with the ALICE weeks and dedicated Off-line meetings. One or more one-day sessions are organised, where an introduction to AliRoot is given, accompanied by hands-on exercises. These sessions are targeted at the ALICE environment and they do not attempt to explain OO techniques or C++ in general. The user feed-back received from these courses has been positive up to now and more will be organised in the future.
In general for problem related to AliRoot, physicists should address themselves to the designated Off-line expert of the Project they are working within (see organisation).
If this person is not yet designated or he/she has not been able to solve the problem, a message can be sent to the Off-line mailing list.
Messages of general interest are sent to the ALICE mailing list.
General problem regarding support of the ALICE WorkGroup servers at CERN should be addressed to the ALICE support mailing list.
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