Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Database Wish List

When I suggested a second button at the end of the logbook entry procedure, the change was done seemingly instantaneously. Emboldened by that experience, I am now presenting the rest of my wishlist for chaser entries:
.
The Log On page opens with the cursor already flashing in the User Name window. The tab key moves the cursor to the Password window. The enter key takes one from there to the Welcome page. One stroke of the enter key then takes one to the Submit Entry page, where the association entry list has automatically dropped down. A tick of the desired association results in automatic appearance of the drop-down region list. Similarly, a tick on that list results in immediate appearance of the summit list. The next tick moves the cursor to the Date window, where either a calendar appears or entry of six numbers results in auto-insertion of slashes, or works with no slashes at all. The cursor auto advances to time, where entry of four numbers suffices without a colon. The cursor advances automatically to one’s own callsign and a tab moves the cursor to other’s callsign and then to frequency, where selection auto advances the cursor, just as it does after selection of the mode. After completion of Notes, one press of the enter key takes one to the Certification page, where a single tick of the I Agree button takes one to the aforesaid two button option page.
.
What if you are timed out and taken back to the Login page? Your partial entries are preserved and appear after a second login.
.
And now for the biggest request of all: the right column of My Log no longer says “delete”, but now says “edit”, where you are taken to a page that includes deletion as one option. That saves the tedium of having to make a written note of the current info before entering all info from scratch when one simply wants to change a single digit, such as the date.
.
Some of the wish list is already in place. Is the balance possible? Will I go from the wish list to the death list? No rush, gentlemen, no rush.

Elliott, K6ILM
Troublemaker

In reply to K6ILM:
i do like that but it also would be nice if it was with the activator log as well as the chaser log as a edit then you could delete or edit.

73 Ricky
MW6GWR

In reply to MW6GWR:

I understand that editing may appear to be something important yet missing but it really isn’t essential. Need to edit a log… download log, edit it (with your favourite tools), upload newly edited log. Takes moments.

As for Elliot’s usability suggestions (cursors starting in the right place etc. then they are something well worth looking into. Certainly worth trying to include such ideas in all new pages that appear and back porting when there’s time.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:
On the subject, Andy, I wonder if the chasing log entry at the submit stage could have the option to add more entries before the declaration so that the final declaration could cover them all? Filling in a backlog of several pages (I hate this part of the job and put it off until rainy days!), its surprising how much time that extra couple of left clicks adds up to!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

I wonder if the chasing log entry at the submit stage could have the option to
add more entries

No because it already exists.

If you want to add one entry use the web form. If you want to add lots of entries at the same time use a CSV file.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

That just adds to the work, Andy - converting a paper log to a CSV then entering the CSV! I may just as well stick to the current system.

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

It will take essentially the same number of keypresses whether you enter live or in a CSV. That’s because, somehow, some way, you have to enter the same amount of data.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:
This is circular, Andy. I prefer a paper log, but that means that every page of my SOTA log that I enter means making the declaration 25 times, which is inefficient. Still, have it your own way!

73

Brian G8ADD

A CSV upload of 25 chaser logs would involve only one declaration Brian.

Tom M1EYP

In reply to G8ADD:

I have paper logs Brian. I certainly wouldn’t trust a computer with the log, I know the people who program them!

The problem is the data has to be entered at some point. I understand that you may fill in a page or two of the log and then enter them in one go, that’s not an unreasonable process though I would enter them in smaller chunks. However, as soon as you are going to enter more than 3 or 4 chases it becomes easier to bang them into a CSV and with practice you wont (i.e. 5 or 6 bursts of log copying) have any problem remembering what to type, you’ll be able to do it blindfold. In fact, you have less typing to do as you can use the smart cloning of fields that spreadsheets can do.

When you enter a chase on the web it is checked that it makes some sense.(Summit was valid on day you claim etc.) It’s committed when you make the declaration. If you allow multiple entries there has to be somewhere of saving all these partial entries before they are accepted and that’s a pain in the bum especially as it’s all web based and has to be resilient against the transient nature of web based apps. So we need to have a partial logs table that can recover partially entered runs of chases. Suddenly a simple request to allow more than one typed in live bursts out into a major job. When a CSV is uploaded it is sanity checked and if it fails you get the bad log shown in grey and red which you go and fix then reupload. If it’s kosher then you get to declare it then (drum roll for cleverness) the CSV is resubmitted. i.e. the temporary storage needed to save all those chases is the very medium by which it’s being uploaded. So in that case I don’t have to write out partial data to the database then when you OK it commit that and delete the partial data. I simply suck up the CSV file, write out locally, sanity check it and when you say OK I load the local version and submit it to the database deleting the local file. No need to worry about error recovery as it’s atomic in the design. If it fails for any reason you only have to reupload the file.

So allowing multiple lines of entry without having to click a box requires some considerable work to implement to save you some clicking which you can bypass by typing essentially the same data into a file and uploading that instead. The feature you want adding exists in a slightly different format. If it was as easy as when Elliot asked for quick “enter another” feature I’d do it. (That took under 30mins from reading the request to uploading the new code.)

Or you could use Stewart G0LGS’ program.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:
Andy,

Request for a much simpler addition; a summit count as well as a points total for the activator log pages, please.

73,
Rod

In reply to M0JLA:

I think you’ll find that exists. The default view is all activators in the selected association since SOTA started. Select then the year or band or mode combinations you are interested in and you get the stats for the combo. Click on a callsign to see the details for the user.

2012 all bands all modes gives this

Pos,Call,Summits, Points, Bonus Total, Avg
1, M0JLA, 44, 133, 96 ,229 ,5.20
2, M6BWA, 39, 124, 90, 214, 5.49
3, 2E0XYL, 32, 95, 72, 167, 5.22

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

Thanks, Andy. I was looking for it on my personal Activator Log and not in the Activator Results one.

It certainly shows that Vicki and I were busy during the winter; no wonder we needed a rest. Now hoping for good weather mid May.

It seems that you have enjoyed some good weather recently, so hope it continues for you.

73,
Rod

In reply to G8ADD:
Perhaps the Declaration bit could be moved to the beginning of the Chaser Log Entry process. So basically I am declaring that all the Chaser Logs I am about to enter conform to SOTA rules. Then we only need to tick the checkbox once and then enter one or more Chaser Logs.

73s
Andrew G4AFI

Andrew,

If you have a batch to enter, use the CSV file upload facility. Then you will get your wish - one single declaration to cover all entries.

Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

I somehow get the feeling that I and others like me are being herded into the use of CSV against our wishes. Its just a little irritating! I get the reason why the single declaration can’t be implimented at this time, but I see no reason to change my method of working!
73

Brian.

There is no reason Brian, it’s your choice. I merely suggest the CSV method if there is a batch of logs to enter and the multiple declarations is proving irritating.

I must admit, even for multiple chases, I tend to use the manual method. The ‘Back’ button is very useful hi! The CSV method is invaluable for multiple activation entries - especially when some of those activations are 50+ QSO contest entries for which you already have text files!

Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:
It was just a suggestion for improvement Tom. I haven’t actually used the Chaser CSV import mainly because I only tend to enter up to 10 entries in one go. If you use the CSV import route and press the Import button is there a declaration step? If not then perhaps the declaration bit can be removed altogether, if there is such a step then my suggestion aligns the two input types.

It isnt major for me just a slight irritation.

73s
Andrew G4AFI

In reply to G4AFI:

Only one way to find out Andrew - give it a go!

Tom M1EYP

In reply to G4AFI:

In reply to G8ADD:
Perhaps the Declaration bit could be moved to the beginning of the
Chaser Log Entry process. So basically I am declaring that all the
Chaser Logs I am about to enter conform to SOTA rules. Then we only
need to tick the checkbox once and then enter one or more Chaser Logs.

73s
Andrew G4AFI

That seems a good idea, Andrew: clicking on submit log opens the declaration and agreeing the declaration opens the menu. Simples! Not that anyone prepared to cheat would hesitate to agree the declaration, anyway!

73

Brian G8ADD