[TRLog] How the wish list works for me

Tree N6TR n6tr@teleport.com
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 10:59:22 -0700 (PDT)

Dale - KG5U writes:

> This is fascinating.  At some point (ha!) when you have time, 
> would you mind relating to me (the reflector?) as to what your
> procedures/protocols are for making changes to the software? 
> It's very intriguing, with my limited programming experience in
> BASIC, QuickBASIC, and now learning Visual BASIC, to envision
> how you are working through an issue per night.  

A good example of this was my work last night.  I determined that
160 was not "wide open" to Europe and turned off the radio, put in
a CD, and went to work on the program.  I implemented remote control
of a Orion rotator using a serial port in less than an hour.  

This item had been sitting in my e-mail in box for a couple of 
months.  Initially, I wasn't very excited about it, but, at some
point, enough of my imagination was captured to become interested
in it.  At some point, my subconscious worked out enough of the
details that implementation was a breeze.  

The main thing I had to work out was when to move the antenna.
I didn't want to do it willy nilly everytime you worked a station.
When I remembered the often overlooked Control-P command (bet you
don't know what it is off hand), things came together allowing

This process happens for each item on the wish list.  Sometimes,
it takes me a long time to come around on something.  N6AA and N6ZZ
who have worked with me on many software issues have come to 
expect a negative response when they first present new ideas.
Then they wait, and often I suddenly show up with a working 
prototype.  I try to filter most people from this initial 
reaction - but it makes it through sometimes.

However, there is no guarantee that all items on the wish list
will come together.  The nature of the program does get in the
way of some features (like editing the whole log).  Maybe, someday
an idea will sprout which will solve that problem.  

So, the wish list is the place I go to refresh my mind on all
of the things I should be thinking about.

> I'm not trying to get any 'secrets' or anything, just curious about
> the thought processes that go into your making the changes to 
> your software, and how you incorporate them into the program 
> and check them out.  

The program has about 15 different modules.  From memory, here
they are:

tree - my personal tool box
logwind - does most of the display stuff
logk1ea - CW state machine - also the low level stuff for serial ports
logdupe - the dupe and multiplier sheet
logcw - high level CW routines (sits between logk1ea and the high level)
logstuff - lots of various things
logedit - supports all of the stuff associated with editing the log
country9 - all of the country CTY.DAT related stuff.
zonecont - a partner with country9
loggrid - grid map
loghelp - online help
logcfg - crunches the logcfg.dat file
logdta - TRMASTER.DTA stuff

You get the idea.

> My assumption is that, in your Pascal programming, most 
> everything is modular and you are simply writing or rewriting
> modules.  

For a big change - yes.  When I went to the CTY.DAT file, I rewrote
the module "country" and called it "country9".  It was able to plug
into the rest of the program using the same interface!   Many of
the pieces are "objects" which allow easy substitution.

73 Tree N6TR

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