[MacLoggerContest] Exchange entry methods
g0dvj at amsat.org
Thu Feb 10 20:16:02 EST 2005
My 2 cents on this topic - now others have had a chance ! ...
On Feb 7, 2005, at 12:47 am, Jack Brindle wrote:
> The most important area for the user in a contest program is exchange
> entry. As Jonathan has pointed out, there are two basic ways in
> current use.
Great I think we all agree on this :)
>> 1) The operator is faced with a logging line consisting of separate
>> dedicated fields...
>> 2) The operator is faced with one single field into which he/she can
>> enter any of part of the contest QSO exchange...
> Both have plusses and minuses, and some PC programs use either or both
Hence I still wonder if MLC should have an aim of trying to support
either - maybe not both initially - we have to cut cloth to suit as an
old english phrase goes - these 2 styles are so personal a choice that
it would be good to offer either if/when possible.
> The second is rather interesting, and very challenging to code. Trying
> to figure out what a piece of data is for requires some magic by the
> program and its author.
The second can be made easier by various techniques - for example
TAClog employs some interesting options for input within this style.
prefixing a number where the semantics associated with it (its field)
can be ambiguous with a letter seems cunbersome but can work well so
S103 means Sent serial 103 as opposed to a different numeric field.
The other option allowed within this second style is the entry of more
than one field's contents at once - again TAClog is an example of this
where if you type 599 001 JO01MX - this is split up into parts and the
various fields populated - with default ordering being an option if
desired. So the "normal order" you might expect can be taken into
account. Also the problem of easy corrections to fields before
committing is slicker with this second method - typing another match
for a field's contents that already matched replaces the previous entry
for that field.
> But there may be other ways that simply have not been considered. Data
> entry using a tablet and MacOS X's character recognition might produce
> interesting results - as long as the tablet is not troubled with RFI.
> There may be other methods that are just waiting for innovation.
True - I have a tablet - many won't however - and given the experience
I have of Apple "INK" so far I wouldn't want to rely on it for contest
> Callsign dupe checking and "Super Check Partial" are very useful
> utilities that directly apply. Dupe checking is a must for contest
> programs. It must be VERY fast. Having to wait a considerable time for
> a database to complete an entry search is not acceptable.
> Unfortunately, some of the PC-based programs have this problem. It is
> very notable when your QSO count gets above 400 or 500 QSOs and is
> very aggravating.
> Super Check partial is something that should be included in any
> contest program at this point. It not only checks the callsign (and
> offers possible completions), but also can enter data into various
Good point - agreed!
>> - for speed, the entry should be entirely keyboard based and no
>> mouse/pointing required
> This is the cry of the PC user - but is it really valid? As an
> example, most ops keep one hand on the transceiver VFO knob in order
> to QSY for S&P. It seems that an alternative would be (and in
> practice, is) to use a Powermate for this purpose. Tapping the
> PowerMate could cause it to perform some other function, like field
> movement or window selection. Again, this is a rule that came from a
> time when the PC had very few entry solutions. That no longer applies,
> and has never applied to our platform.
Hmmm i would have to be convinced - Also although I have a PowerMate -
again many people don't. We need to make this a generally usable
program without people needing to get extra hardware - although I have
no problem with adding extras to use additional stuff later. I have
most of the AppleStore's contents here but I am not typical :) I
would go with an analogy of Don's other software ... where in
MacDoppler you can tune by using a PowerMate but there are other ways
to tune without the extra hardware.
>> - again for speed reasons, as well as ease of thought, single
>> keystrokes should be used (i.e. no sets of key combinations to learn
>> for control functions).
> In the PC World, extensive use of multi-keystroke entry is required.
> We may be saying the same thing differently here, however.
> Multi-keystroke entry should include command/option + key entries.
> There are just too few 'F' keys to support the contester's needs. I
> agree that entries that use two separate keys to be pressed in
> sequence is definitely not the way to go.
F keys are good for Keyer message stores etc. Other punctuation keys
etc which have no use in contests can be used as singles to great
effect - SD is a very good exponent of this.
> Yes, but in what format? I learned a very important lesson here - do
> NOT use a database for data storage.
Agreed again. And certainly not a Microsoft database LOL !
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