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Glint Client

Copyright (C) 2017-2018 Index Data ApS. This software is distributed under the terms of the Apache License, Version 2.0. See the file LICENSE for more information.

Table of Contents

System requirements
Installing the client
Running the client


Glint is open source software for sharing data sets. The Glint client is a command line client that connects to a Glint server to post, describe, or integrate data.

System requirements

  • Linux or macOS
  • Go 1.10 or later

Go is needed in order to compile Glint from source code. On macOS running Homebrew, Go can be installed with brew install go.

Installing the client

First ensure that the GOPATH environment variable specifies a path that can serve as your Go workspace directory, the place where Glint and other Go packages will be installed. For example, to set it to $HOME/go:

$ export GOPATH=$HOME/go

Then to download and compile the Glint client:

$ go get -u -v

The compiled executable file, glint, should appear in $GOPATH/bin/. The next section assumes that glint has been added to the path.

Running the client

Configuring glint for the first time

Before the Glint client can connect to the server, it has to be configured with details such as the server URL and your user name and password for accessing the server. This can be done using the config command, which stores settings in the file .glintconfig in your home directory:

$ glint config remote.url
$ glint config remote.user izzy
$ glint config remote.password
Enter new password:

The first time you connect to a server, change your password with the passwd command, which will update the password both on the server and in the local configuration file .glintconfig.

$ glint passwd
Enter new password:
(Confirming) Enter new password:

Posting data on the server

A basic function of Glint is to share data by posting it on a server. By default a data file is expected to be in CSV (comma-separated values) format with a header line containing column names, although other formats also can be used. Posting data looks something like:

$ glint post ocean.csv

Glint responds with a URL to the newly posted data set. This URL can be used to share the data set with others. In a web browser the data appear as a formatted table.

In other contexts the URL provides the data in a CSV or tab-delimited form, which is easy for software or services to parse and is natively supported by existing software such as R and Excel.

For example in R:

> ocean <- read.csv("")
> ocean
  id                   t record site_id air_temp_avg baro_press_avg rel_hum_avg
1  1 2016-12-19 17:04:00   8109       1           NA          792.5       171.4
2  2 2016-12-19 17:34:00   8110       1           NA          789.0       163.7
3  3 2016-12-19 18:04:00   8111       1           NA          790.4       169.7
4  4 2016-12-19 18:34:00   8112       1        12.64         1012.0        92.7
5  5 2016-12-19 19:04:00   8113       1        13.26         1011.0        92.5
  dew_pt_avg vpr_press_avg wind_speed wind_dir stdev wind_gust wtr_lvl_avgreal
1         NA            NA      0.443    26.72 0.048     0.443        1.238093
2         NA            NA      0.443    26.72 0.048     0.443        1.237691
3         NA            NA      0.000     0.00 0.000     0.000        1.238556
4      11.50         1.355      0.000     0.00 0.000     0.000        1.237252
5      12.08         1.408      0.000     0.00 0.000     0.000        1.236872

Or with curl:

$ curl -o -
1,2016-12-19 17:04:00,8109,1,,792.5,171.399993896484,,,0.442999988794327,26.7199993133545,0.0480000004172325,0.442999988794327,1.2380930185318
2,2016-12-19 17:34:00,8110,1,,789,163.699996948242,,,0.442999988794327,26.7199993133545,0.0480000004172325,0.442999988794327,1.23769104480743
3,2016-12-19 18:04:00,8111,1,,790.400024414062,169.699996948242,,,0,0,0,0,1.23855602741241
4,2016-12-19 18:34:00,8112,1,12.6400003433228,1012,92.6999969482422,11.5,1.35500001907349,0,0,0,0,1.23725199699402
5,2016-12-19 19:04:00,8113,1,13.2600002288818,1011,92.5,12.0799999237061,1.40799999237061,0,0,0,0,1.23687195777893

Changing how data are retrieved

Glint interprets commands added to the end of data set URLs as changing how the data should be retrieved. (The syntax is roughly based on THUMP.) For example:

$ curl -o -,wind_dir)as(tsv)

The commands, show() and as(), have been added to the end of the URL created in the previous example: show() asks Glint to select a subset of the columns to retrieve, and as() sets the format of the retrieved data, in this case TSV (tab-separated values).

Adding metadata

Another feature of Glint is the ability to add metadata to data sets easily, especially standard metadata on columns. These examples demonstrate associating columns with Dublin Core and YAMZ metadata:

$ glint md ocean.t dc:date

$ glint md ocean.wind_speed yamz:h3846

The first example tags the column t with the metadata element dc:date which identifies it as a date/time field. The second example tags the column wind_speed with yamz:h3846, a YAMZ identifier for wind speed data.

Integrating data with services

Glint provides a basic plotting service for time series data at /plot-time-series, as a demonstration of integrating data with services. The service accepts any data set having a column that has been tagged with the metadata elements, dc:date or yamz:h1317, both representing a date/time. It accepts a data set as input in the form of a Glint URL that refers to the data. Glint can include metadata tags in the header line of a data set, in a format that is easy for the service to parse, e.g.:


The time series plotting service asks the Glint server to include these metadata tags by adding md() to the URL that was provided as input. For example, suppose that this URL is given as input to the service:,air_temp_avg,wind_speed)

The service adds md() to the end of the URL before using it to retrieve the data:,air_temp_avg,wind_speed)md()

This allows the service to identify the time column to use for the x-axis and plot other columns on the y-axis.

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