more time support for vtm files
Right now the Paraview in-situ adaptors at LANL are writing out vtk multiblock files (vtm). Both the simulation time and cycle time are written out as field data, which can then be shown on a Renderview using the Annotate Global Data Filter. Unfortunately, this does not extend to the pipeline and GUI, and this frustrates users that want to see and plot with the actual time of the data.
There seems to be time support in VTK and Paraview. The PVD format appears to have time support. But this time support is not in vtm files. We are already writing some time information to vtm files, so it would be great to add support for vtm files to properly insert time information into the pipeline and for the GUI to recognize it.
Things I'd like to be able to do with vtm files:
have the 'Time:' box at the top reflect the simulation time or cycle number. that box updates correctly as you step through the timesteps.
be able to query the time of a vtm file easily in scripts and code. something like data.GetTime(), so people can easily do quantitative calculations with time, or make their own graphs and charts.
create a plot over time, and the simulation time or cycle number is used for the x-axis
the annotate time filter works correctly
Proposed ways to do this:
A. extend the xml file formats to allow for a time tag that the pipeline and gui will recognize. this would be nice in that all vtk xml file formats can now specify time, not just vtm files.
B. add an option to the readers to choose which field data to treat as time. this is nice as the user can choose to either use cycle number or simulation time as their official 'time' when loading their data.
C. designate some field data names as keywords, and if a dataset has certain keywords, use that field data as time. for example, check if 'simulation_time' exists in the field data, and if so use that as time.
D. create a filter that applies a certain field data as time