What Error Checking Will S+ Engineering 2.1 Perform on ADAPT Blocks?

Right now, Composer (up to S+ Engineering 1.5) is the gold standard of configuration support in the INFI 90 family. This noteworthy tool made people forget about DOS CADEWS and WinCAD because it was so much more capable and robust.


One of its deficiencies, however, is that it fails to find many errors that can be a problem. Will S+ Engineering 2.1 (the POSTGRES SQL form) protect users from potentially significant vulnerabilities with useful messages pertaining to ADAPT blocks?


DBDOC detects the following FC24 Adapt block errors and warnings in Composer projects. Will S+ Engineering?


Block adapts a block that is already adapted

- invisible but bad

- nearly always the result of incomplete cloning of valid logic

- always an error in that the intended target block is NOT adapted

- block order can also make the prototype target block get the WRONG value



Spec is illegally adapted

- cold reload can fail to execute

- often indicates AO/L block or other alarm limits that are tunable but not adaptable



Adapt block: Adapted block does not exist

- module can fail to execute

- target block often has been renumbered but the adapt block missed



Adapt block: Spec out of range

- S3 indicates a specification that block S2 does not have

- we do not know what happens when this is loaded and execution attempted



Adapt type mismatch

- can indicate a logic problem

- is often enough legal



Which of these errors does S+ Engineering 2.1 detect? They all can bite.

By Geoff Michaels on 8/18/2017 | Like (0) | Report

Here are good counts for these errors in my samples:

Already adapted (missed adapt) - 446 instances in 74 of 257 projects

Illegally adapte (will not execute on cold reload) - 25 instances in 11 of 257 projects

Adapt block does not exist (will not execute on cold reload) - 53 instances in 20 of 257 projects

Adapted spec out of range (will not execute on cold reload) - 1 instance in 1 of 257 projects

Adapt type mismatch - often used deliberately
- used 192 times in one project
- used 138 times in another project
- 60 instances in 15 other projects

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Geoff Michaels   

asked 6 months ago



Hi Geoff,
Whilst not talking specifically about S+ Engineering 2.1 or future versions, the current Composer / S+ Engineering Block Manager and Tuning Line function help to address some of the long standing issues with the configuration of ADAPT, MUX, DEMUX, RECIPE and TSTALM blocks right now, particularly when cloning logic or dropping macros. The Primary Interface Manual for Composer / S+ Engineering has more information.




answered 6 months ago


By Geoff Michaels on 8/20/2017 | Like (0) | Report

Thanks, Alan. I am aware that complex techniques in the initial engineering of logic using these blocks can allow renumbering, perhaps cloning, correctly. I do not know of any clients who know about them, nor have I ever seen an instance of the text based technique described to me being used in a system.

When a third of the INFI 90 systems I checked have existing ADAPT block issues, it is evidence that the error checking I am asking about is not done in Composer compiles at present. S+ Engineering 2.1 will import existing Composer projects. The question remain about flagging existing errors.

What NEW error checking will S+ Engineering 2.1 introduce along with a new and better database engine? I have laid out five common enough errors - will any of them be detected?

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SPE 2.1 is not yet officially released, so can not be answered

This is not the right forum to discuss the issues on product under Development


answered 6 months ago


By Geoff Michaels on 8/21/2017 | Like (0) | Report


This is a forum for experts. Who else ought to have knowledge about this area? The product is scheduled for release Q2 of 2018, so it better have important things developed by now. It will be used for systems controlling plants worth many billions.

If people are not already testing this type of error detection, one must conclude it is not included. In two decades, Composer never implemented this. Obviously, if SPE 2.1 will do this, the feature must already be in place and under test by the alpha / beta sites. So far, information I was given privately was that there is not yet any significant new error checking implemented.

There are risks and vulnerabilities involved that I am sure you and other experts understand. Do you think these should be addressed by SPE 2.1?

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