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break on first step and runtime vs edit properties

Hello all, I'm trying to get a better handle on some behavior I'm seeing.

First, my goal (and lets ignore for the moment why I want to do this) is to be able to change the parameter values (or local variables) for the "MainSequence" that I am running through the API -- I kind of want it so that a sequence developer can define some defaults and then I can later override those defaults as needed when I actually run the sequence (as opposed to what I believe is the usual teststand model of the sequence reading parameters in from a file or database). As I understand it (, the process model will receive any parameters I pass in as the "sequenceArgsParam" on Engine.NewExecution and if I use method 2 from that article, I lose the benefits of running in a process model.


So, what I do is I use "breakAtFirstStep" which I had assumed/tested would break before executing anything. This allowed me to get the sequence parameters (RunState.ProcessModelClient....seq[0].parameters==client MainSequence parameters). Unfortunately, I tested further today and I'm seeing weird behavior. On some runs, it breaks within the process model as I expect. On others, it doesn't break until it reaches the mainsequence setup steps. So far as I know, I changed no settings between runs and yet clearly something changes. 

=>Q1: Is there a sure-fire way to make "breakAtFirstStep" break at what I consider to be the first step -- the first step in the process model?


The other oddness this revealed is that the runtime copy of the client sequence seems to be different from what I mentioned above (RunState.ProcessModelClient....seq[0], which I'll call the "ready to run" version) -- when I manually inspect the IDs of the sequences, the running MainSequence has a different ID than the "ready to run" version and this is reflected in the behavior (changing the "ready to run" parameters permanently changes them until I force unload the sequence file, and setting the Root.RunState.ProcessModelClient... after MainSequence starts does not appear to change the parameters).

=>Q2: I'm still finding the run mode vs edit mode properties hard to distinguish -- is there a good document describing what belongs to what?

=>Q3: Is there a way to ensure that I can get a reference to the run-mode MainSequence, so that I can edit just the run-mode variables, before MainSequence begins to execute within the process model? I had assumed the "RunState.ProcessModelClient" would do this, but it does not appear to be what I'm looking for.


And more generally, if you have any advice on a better route to take, let me know. I'm thinking more and more about giving in and trying to this through a custom process model, but my issues with run/edit state make me think I'll just end up in the same spot.



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