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[RTTY] Using "DE" is not needed (and perhaps should be abandonned) for a

To: <rtty@contesting.com>
Subject: [RTTY] Using "DE" is not needed (and perhaps should be abandonned) for any software to recognize callsigns.
From: "Alex" <alex@kr1st.com>
Reply-to: alex@kr1st.com
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 09:41:26 -0500
List-post: <rtty@contesting.com">mailto:rtty@contesting.com>
There is a no need to use "DE" in front of a callsign in order to recognize
a callsign . That might have been a half decent solution in the old DOS days
when programming languages could hardly do more than some string
manipulation and a few numbers, but those days have long gone, and better
programming techniques have been developed and made available in any
programming language especially for these tasks.

If software would use Regular Expressions, which have been around for
decades, then it could find callsigns without any requirement of the "DE"
preceding a callsign or requiring a character,  like a space, to trail a
callsign. This is not some sort of advanced programming, it's a well-known
and well understood mechanism to look for patterns in a string (which all a
callsign in a text really is).

Think about it. Would you be able to recognize callsigns in a text even if
there is no "DE" preceding a callsign? Of course you can, and so can
software. And if the software can't, then it is perfectly fine to require
from the software that it can. It should be there to serve you, and not the
other way around (as you would be doing when you change a macro to make sure
a certain software package would pick up your call).

Airlink Express (which is not contesting software by any means) has two
methods to find callsigns in  received text. In the PSKReporter mode it will
look for "DE callsign callsign". This is dictated by the PSKReporter
software/site, and I cannot change that requirement, although I did use
Regular Expressions that will outperform any string manipulation routine
that just looks for the above string of characters. (think about
interference that can flip a few bits making a simple string search

The second method is used in Airlink Express when the PSKReporter mode is
turned off. It will then use Regular Expressions to find callsigs by looking
for a callsign pattern, much like you would look for callsigns as a human,
rather than using the primitive "DE " method. In this mode in it will find
many more callsigns, which you can correlate with a database if you wish.
Yes, it is also not perfect, but it will outperform the "DE" method by leaps
and bounds.

Wouldn't you much rather have the software alert you to the DX call in
"DFG.E A61BR. BR", then let it slip past you because the software didn't
recognize the callsign because of "improper formatting" and/or that it was
not in your super check database, while you really could use that multiplier
or were looking for multipliers?

Happy New Year to all.

--Alex KR1ST.com

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