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SOTA CSV Log Editor


#1

Hi,

Some people will be aware that I have been working on a Windows Log Editor specifically for creating and editing CSV files to upload to the SOTA Database.

The editor is suitable for both Chaser and Activator logs.

The program has been used by a couple of Beta testers who have not found any serious issues with it, so I have decided to release it for anyone else that wants to try it, however it should be understood that it is still considered BETA !

The download is in the form of a zip file, all the files should simply be extracted to a suitable folder and run from that location, there are additional notes on it’s use in the Text file included in the download.

Please make sure you read the Text file as it contains some important information regarding editing existing downloaded log files.

The latest version is at http://www.g0lgs.co.uk/soft_info.php?AppName=sotacsveditor

If you want to advise me of any problem with the program then please email via: sota (at) g0lgs (dot) co (dot) uk - with sufficient information for me to try to re-produce the fault.

Stewart G0LGS


#2

In reply to G0LGS:

Hi Stewart,

I just spent a few mins playing with the editor.

First comment - nice and easy to install and setup. But it would be more obvious if the SOTA_CSV_Editor.txt file was called README.txt or README_SOTA_CSV_Editor.txt.

So I ran it and attempted to add a new contact and immediately hit a problem - it would not let me enter the date and time! I realise that it has pre-filled the fields with the current date/time. But I suspect many people will want to use it to enter their paper log data once they return home from an activation. I did finally find the autotime option in the menu - but maybe adding a check box next to the fields would make it more obvious and also quicker to select. Something in the ReadMe/Help about it would also be good.

So I entered a qso and gave it a filename when it asked “test”. Then I closed the editor and took a look in the folder. I had test… but also two other files, one named “(” yes, the open bracket character. and another which had six small squares as it’s name (which I suspect means it was composed of non-printing characters. There also seems to be a problem with re-opening the file, or rather with selecting it.

I’m running Windows XP Pro (in VMware on an Ubuntu box).

Colin G8TMV


#3

Is it just me…

…or is anyone else bemused as to why you would need a special application for this task?

73

Richard
G3CWI


#4

In reply to G8TMV:

folder. I had test… but also two other files, one named
"(" yes, the open bracket character. and another which had
six small squares as it’s name (which I suspect means it was composed
of non-printing characters. There also seems to be a problem with
re-opening the file, or rather with selecting it.

Can’t cfm. Works fine here. W7 SP1.

73 Norby


#5

G8TMV:

Colin,

Pressing F4 toggles the Auto-Time feature on/off without having to go to the menu.

I don’t understand what you did with regard to the files.

If you save to a file called ‘test’ - the program should only ever create 2 files ‘test.csv’ and ‘test-bak.csv’ (or ‘test.tsv’ and ‘test-bak.tsv’) - it should never create any other files.

Richard (CWI):

It helps me get the format for the upload correct first time, instead of finding I got 2 QSO’s in the wrong date/time order or I typed G/NW-042 instead of GW/NW-042 etc.


#6

If you save to a file called ‘test’ - the program should only ever
create 2 files ‘test.csv’ and ‘test-bak.csv’ (or ‘test.tsv’ and
’test-bak.tsv’) - it should never create any other files.

NACK. Take a filename like “tt”, enter it in the Save/SaveAs box and it will create a file called “tt”, not tt.csv. The extensions is not added. Then, if you restart the programm, it will come up with a “SORRY: An Unknown File Type was Selected!” popup.

If you save the file as “tt.csv” in the Save/SaveAs dialog, it will be saved as tt.csv and opened correctly. I guess that’s the way you tested the application.

73 Norby


#7

A bit of further testing confirms what Norby said. The file extension is not being added if the user doesn’t specify it - which is not “normal” behaviour.

Also, if when you open the program the previous file doesn’t exist I don’t think an error message is appropriate - most people will expect the program to just start a new file rather than continue with last times one. I expect normal usage will be to have one file per activation so opening an old one would be the exception rather than the normal usage.

Colin


#8

In reply to G8TMV:

most people will expect
the program to just start a new file rather than continue with last
times one. I expect normal usage will be to have one file per
activation so opening an old one would be the exception rather than
the normal usage.

Colin

True for an activator, but for a chaser, who uploads his log at the end of the day, continuing with the last file is more convenient. Program works fine here under Windows 7.

73, William


#9

With regard to the file name issue, I had (wrongly) assumed that Windows code that displays the Save As box would only ever return a name with .csv or .tsv as the extension, I will change the code to add .csv if not specified (Windows doesn’t tell me which type was selected from file-types list so I have to make an assumption).

With regard to the program complaining when the last used file name does not exist, I agree with William, but I will change the message to be a WARNING (in the next update - perhaps later today).

I have had an email regarding the callsign validation and need to think about how to deal with that. At present certain more unusual callsigns such as HG2006GYR and SM6CMU/3/P are not accepted, whilst I can easily change the code to be less fussy about the callsign structure there comes a point when it is perhaps easier just to accept anything.

In my main log I would probably have entered SM6CMU/3/P as just SM6CMU/3 or SM6CMU/P3 either of which will be accepted by the current validation in this program, but it all leads me to wonder if structural validation of the callsigns should be included at all (or at least be optional).

Stewart G0LGS


#10

In reply to G0LGS:

If you enforce the callsign to match your view of what a well formed callsign is then you wont be able to enter callsigns which are being given (mistakenly) mal-formed.

A long time ago on a VHF contest I worked a G station who gave his callsign in an obviously wrong format and I logged it as what I thought it should be. We lost points because it wasn’t what the station gave even though that was not really their callsign.

You can’t win really. Perhaps you should allow any old gibberish and then flag it as strange. That at least lets the user enter anything but you draw their attention to the fact the callsign is maybe wrong.

Andy
MM0FMF


#11

In reply to G0LGS:

With regard to the file name issue, I had (wrongly) assumed that
Windows code that displays the Save As box would only ever return a
name with .csv or .tsv as the extension

No your assumption was correct. Try doing the same thing with a real Windows app like notepad.

I think you have found a bug in your scripting language - it looks like it’s not passing the data to and from the Windows API correctly.

Colin G8TMV


#12

Andy’s point is interesting. It is my understanding that “/QRP” should not really be part of the actual callsign. But do activators on here include the “/QRP” in their logs if a chaser sends that?

Tom M1EYP


#13

In reply to MM0FMF:

You can’t win really. Perhaps you should allow any old gibberish and
then flag it as strange. That at least lets the user enter anything
but you draw their attention to the fact the callsign is maybe wrong.

Maybe have a list of suffixes in the same way as the list of modes and bands. That way the user could add strange ones if they wanted.

Parsing callsigns is quite difficult, especially when you consider things like F/G8TMV/P and other combinations with multiple slash characters

Colin G8TMV


#14

SM6CMU/P3 either of which will be accepted by the current

Which would, normally, end up to be Cyprus …

73 Norby


#15

In reply to M1EYP:
Your right Tom /qrp is not a valid modifier. That said under most contests you will be penalised if you have not logged a callsign how the other operator has sent it. As for SOTA i only log /m and /p modifiers, if someone sent /qrp i would perhaps write so in the comments section for the qso. I have heard a few /AM’s on 14ssb of the last while!!

73

Adrian
MM0TAI


#16

In reply to MM0TAI:

In reply to M1EYP:
Your right Tom /qrp is not a valid modifier. That said under most
contests you will be penalised if you have not logged a callsign how
the other operator has sent it. As for SOTA i only log /m and /p
modifiers, if someone sent /qrp i would perhaps write so in the
comments section for the qso. I have heard a few /AM’s on 14ssb of the
last while!!

73

Adrian
MM0TAI

Whilst I agree this used to be the case the licence now gives a few examples that ‘may be used’ but fails to say that any others must not be used :wink:

Roger G4OWG

ps I log /QRP in comments - useful for FISTS and EPC awards.


#17

Colin,

No your assumption was correct. Try doing the same thing with a real
Windows app like notepad.

It is not that clear - you cannot see what the Windows API returns to notepad when you enter a file name - all you see is what Notepad does with it.

Notepad lets me save a file using almost any extension - it may not if you have windows set to hide known extensions (Daft Windows default setting IMHO).

Stewart G0LGS


#18

Norby,

SM6CMU/P3 either of which will be accepted by the current

Which would, normally, end up to be Cyprus …

Yes actually typing that in my electronic log is does put it as Cyprus.

What is really used when not in your home country seems to depend on what the licence of the callsign holder says (and perhaps the rules of the country they are operating in too).

The way I have in the past looked at the wording of a UK Licence says that the Country of operation should be as a prefix:

ON/G0LGS/P or CT7/G0LGS/P etc.

But it also is GW0LGS/P or GM0LGS/P etc and not GW/G0LGS/P or GM/G0LGS/P for other parts of the UK.

Stewart G0LGS


#19

In reply to G0LGS:

Works better but:

  1. An hourglass would be fine so that one knows that the program is still doing something, although you put Loading/Updating into the lower left corner.
    If you click too fast on another Sort by button, that is, you don’t wait until the initiated sorting is finished, the application will end up in an endless loop and you have to quit and restart.

  2. Callsigns ending in “/QRP”, “/IX1” and “/AAW” show up as “Invalid Call Detected”.

  3. Something like a row counter in front of the date column would help to find the rows faster which it did not like during import, especially since only 6 out of many rows are shown.

  4. Save/SaveAs correctly adds an extension.

  5. If I log contacts, the Summit field gets deleted everytime. Not good if you want to enter 60+ contacts, for instance.

73 Norby


#20

In reply to G0LGS:

Ver. 0.9.2.0 seems to have fixed all the problems I found before.

I have discovered one area of confusion, the buttons under the qso list window. The “Select all” “Unselect all” buttons actually “check” and “uncheck” the entries for use with the Delete Checked" button rather than the “Edit selected” button. It isn’t clear that you need to “highlight/select” an entry to edit it. Consistent usage of “Checked” and “Selected” would clear this up.

(Can you tell that part of my day job is Software QA?)

Colin G8TMV