Diffraction Integration for Advanced Light Sources


The DIALS software is developed in a fully open-source, collaborative environment. The main development teams are based at Diamond Light Source and CCP4, in the UK, and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA. However, in the spirit of the open source movement, we welcome collaboration from anyone who wishes to contribute to the project.

To avoid “reinventing the wheel” as much as possible, the DIALS project builds on knowledge accumulated over many decades in the field of crystallographic data processing. We benefit greatly from the altruism of experts who contribute their ideas and advice, either directly or via their detailed publications on existing algorithms and packages such as XDS [2] and MOSFLM [3]. At the heart of the DIALS framework lies a design philosophy of hardware abstraction and a generalised model of the experiment that is inspired directly by material published on the seminal workshops on position sensitive detector software [1]. Continuing in the spirit of these workshops we held our own series of meetings, with talks from invited speakers, and code camps in which specific problems are addressed by intensive effort across the collaboration. Summaries of these meetings and copies of slides given as presentations are available here.

DIALS is written using Python and C++, making heavy use of the cctbx [4] for core crystallographic calculations and much infrastructure including a complete build system. Seamless interaction between the C++ and Python components of this hybrid system is enabled by Boost.Python. Python provides a useful ground for rapid prototyping, after which core algorithms and data structures may be transferred over to C++ for speed. High level interfaces of the hybrid system remain in Python, facilitating further development and code reuse both within DIALS and by third parties.

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