Display Builder Converters

Converting BOY *.opi Displays

The display builder can read existing BOY *.opi displays. It will automatically convert the widgets and their properties from the legacy file format, so you can simply open exiting *.opi displays in the display builder runtime.

Since there can be subtle differences in the look and behavior of the widgets, you may want to manually adjust a few displays. Do this by opening the existing *.opi in the Display Builder editor, adjust as necessary, and then save the file with the new *.bob file extension. When the display builder runtime opens a *.opi display, it will check for the existence of a *.bob version and open the latter. There is thus no need to delete the older *.opi files, especially as you transition between tools. Most *.opi files will work “as is”, without changes, in both BOY and Display Builder. You only need to create slightly adjusted *.bob file versions as necessary, and the Display Builder runtime will open these instead of the *.opi files.

Manual adjustments will be necessary for displays that use plots or scripts. The Display Builder offers a different set of plots, so legacy displays need to be updated. Since the underlying Java API of the two tools is dramatically different, any scripts beyond this will need to be rewritten:

value = PVUtil.getDouble(pvs[0])
widget.setPropertyValue("x", value + 100)

See script_util/portable.py in the examples for hints.

If you prefer to bulk-convert existing *.opi files into the new file format, you can do that via this command line invocation:

Usage: phoebus -main org.csstudio.display.builder.model.Converter [-help] [-output /path/to/folder] <files>

Converts BOY *.opi files to Display Builder *.bob format

-output /path/to/folder   - Folder into which converted files are written
<files>                   - One or more files to convert

Converting MEDM *.adl Displays

When you open an MEDM *.adl in the Phoebus file browser, it converts this into a *.bob file which you can then open in the Display Builder editor or runtime.

For bulk conversions, you can use this command line invocation:

Usage: phoebus -main org.csstudio.display.converter.medm.Converter [-help] [-output /path/to/folder] <files>

Converts MEDM *.adl files to Display Builder *.bob format

-output /path/to/folder   - Folder into which converted files are written
<files>                   - One or more files to convert

Converting EDM *.edl Displays

To use the EDM converter, add the following to your settings:


For details, see full description of Preferences Listing.

Each time you now try to open an *.edl file, the converter will create a *.bob file in the same location and then open it.

For bulk conversions, you can use this command line invocation, which can convert a list of files, including complete directories:

Usage: -main org.csstudio.display.converter.edm.Converter [options] <files>

Converts EDM *.edl files to Display Builder *.bob format.

-help                        - Help
-colors /path/to/colors.list - EDM colors.list file to use
-paths /path/to/paths.list   - File that lists paths
-output /path/to/folder      - Folder into which converted files are written
-force                       - Overwrite existing files instead of stopping
-depth count                 - Convert just the listed files (1), or also referenced files (2), or more levels down

The batch converter can also recursively convert referenced files like embedded displays or related displays. Refer to the complete -help output for details.


When a user opens an *.edl file, it is automatically converted into a *.bob file and the latter then opens.

Furthermore, there is an EDM auto-converter that can automatically look for *.edl files and convert them. This way, a site that plans to slowly transition from EDM to the Display Builder does not need to bulk-convert all files. Instead, you start with a top-level display that for example includes links to displays a.bob and b.bob. When the user then tries to open a.bob and it does not exist, the auto-converter will search for a file a.edl and auto-convert it. The next time around, the a.bob file exists and opens a little faster. This way, files are auto-converted on first access, on-demand.

To enable the auto-converter, define a folder where the converted files will be stored as well as related settings:


With the auto-converter folder defined, each time the display builder needs to open a file *.bob that does not exist, it will remove the auto_converter_strip prefix, and try to locate an *.edl file of that name along the edm_paths_config. If an EDM file is found, it is converted and written to the auto_converter_dir. In case the EDM file is found via an http link, it is first downloaded. On success, the resulting *.bob file is opened. When that display then refers to other EDM files, the same process is repeated. Converted files are stored in the auto_converter_dir, they are thus only fetched and converted once.

As an example, assume EDM files are located on a web server under https://my.site.org/opi/edm and you want to start by opening https://my.site.org/opi/edm/general/start.edl.

Use these example settings:


where the file paths.txt on the server should include just one line:


To bootstrap access to the EDM displays from your display builder screens, use an action button labeled “EDM Displays” with an action to open $(user.home)/AUTOCONVERTED_FILES/general/start.bob. When you first click that button, $(user.home)/AUTOCONVERTED_FILES/general/start.bob does not exist, and we attempt to auto-convert it from an EDM display:

  • The auto_converter_strip prefix is removed, leaving general/start.bob

  • Using the search path listed in the file provided by edm_paths_config, the corresponding EDM file is found as https://my.site.org/opi/edm/general/start.edl

  • It is downloaded as $(user.home)/AUTOCONVERTED_FILES/general/start.edl and converted into $(user.home)/AUTOCONVERTED_FILES/general/start.bob

From now on, $(user.home)/AUTOCONVERTED_FILES/general/start.bob exists and simply opens right away.