Improve the Tecplot reader both for Structured and Unstructured grids
The Tecplot reader is very usefull, but it should be further improved because many Tecplot files (written by the user according to Tecplot format specifications or written by Tecplot itself !) still cannot be read !
I am usually using Structured grid, and the Tecplot reader works fine for most of my ASCII files, except for those that are written by Tecplot itself and that contain the STRANDID and SOLUTIONTIME tokens that are currently unsupported. I have to remove these unsupported tokens from all ZONE headers before reading with Paraview. May I suggest to ignore those unsupported tokens with just a warning rather than stopping reading ?
Another problem is with Unstructured grids. I tried to read several ASCII Tecplot files with unstructured grids. Some of my files made Paraview freeze, other could not be read and gave many error messages such as :
"The record type XXX found in the file is unknown"
where xxx may be some coordinate data or something else.
It seems that the reader is bad positioned in the file because one or more token in the "ZONE" header are not recognized.
Looking at the reader source file, I tried to modify the header of simple Tecplot files with TRIANGLE or QUADRILATERAL elements, but I never succeeded in identifying which token is not recognized.
As most of complex CFD meshes have now unstructured grids, an improvement of the Tecplot reader for this type of grids would be greatly appreciated.
Oxana Tkachenko commented
Also, you could add a graphical-user-interface for user to specify header-containing lines of the file. It would make analyzing the contents of the file faster, especially when user has many files of identical size (many simulation results for the same mesh).
Oxana Tkachenko commented
It would be nice to have better messages, warnings and errors in Paraview, so that the user would be able to understand why the file couldn't be read.
If you don't understand a token in the header, just skip it, don't crash because of it. For example: "C=Green" is purely aesthetic and can be skipped. User may frown, but it will work. "StrandID=7" and "SolutionTime=1.2" are more serious, since it may be needed for time animation, but skipping it will work, too.
Also, I don't understand yet how it reads the variables. Not even X, Y, Z. There are some variables, yes, but their values are not what I expected to see. And when it shows the slice of "T", the points are shown like a parabola. Something is wrong. Do you expect commas between tokens? Are you prepared to extra spaces around "="? Do you require quotes around variable names? Does CapsLock confuse you? Should I add "Title=..." header to the file?
I completely agree. It is very nice to have an improved Tecplot reader.