Visualization in Docker image

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HerculePoirot001
Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Feb 2018, 23:25

Visualization in Docker image

Postby HerculePoirot001 » 19 Feb 2018, 23:41

Hi! Firstly, sorry if this is a really dumb question or doesn't belong here.
I'm a math student mainly interested in Polymake's capability to visualize simplicial complexes. I've installed Docker on Windows and downloaded the polymake container.

I've tried the following commands, as instructed in the wiki:

application 'topaz';
$s = new SimplicialComplex(INPUT_FACES=>[[0],[0,1],[1,2,3]]);
$s->VISUAL;

The command line shows the message "polymake: used package jreality" and displays info about the package, but doesn't display anything. I've also tried "threejs($s->VISUAL); with the same result.

Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong?
Thanks for your patience!

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gawrilow
Main Author
Posts: 310
Joined: 25 Dec 2010, 17:40

Re: Visualization in Docker image

Postby gawrilow » 20 Feb 2018, 12:09

This is not a dumb question but you have poked into a missing functionality hole.

All visualisation tools are supposed to be running outside the docker container because they are 1. not included in the image and 2. require direct access to some protected resources like graphics driver or screen manager which are usually unreachable from within a container. For this reason, on Linux and MacOS there is a starter script polymake-in-container.sh which not only starts a normal docker container with polymake image but also a background process directly in the host OS environment. The latter speaks with polymake over an internal network channel and launches visualisation programs when requested by the user.

Unfortunately, there is no equivalent solution for Windows now, primarily due to lack of knowledge and demand. If you are a proficient Windows powershell scripter or know someone who is, you can have a look at the starter script and try to write something equivalent for Windows. The background server is written in perl so that it might work as is, but as said, has never been tested in a Windows environment.

I don't know whether you can run docker in the Ubuntu subsystem. If this works then the starter script should work too out of the box.

HerculePoirot001
Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Feb 2018, 23:25

Re: Visualization in Docker image

Postby HerculePoirot001 » 20 Feb 2018, 19:55

Thanks a lot for your quick and informative reply!
Now that I know that's the case, I'll just find a computer running Linux or run one of the Live CDs. I knew I was going to regret switching back to Windows... :lol:


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