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Re: The state QSO Party thread [TN QP]

From: Nate Bargmann
Subject: Re: The state QSO Party thread [TN QP]
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2021 07:16:34 -0500

* On 2021 06 Sep 22:13 -0500, Doug Smith wrote:
> > Please don't blame Tlf here.  That is totally my doing as that is the
> > data I put in for that field in my local template.
> > 
> > Looking at the relevant Cabrillo V 3 specification[1], I see that
> > Location has three categories, ARRL sections as mentioned, IOTA island
> > name, and RDA number. That's it.  Now, if Tlf can be faulted to any
> > degree it would be that it does not validate this field against those
> > lists, at a minimum ARRL sections, I would think.
> Not at all, it's not by any means TLF's fault!
> Just that sometimes you have to guide the users:)  I mean, that can go to an
> extreme, I used N1MM for the contest yesterday & the balloon help kept
> getting in the way...  (I guess there's a way to turn it off but that's too
> much work:)

I appreciate you bringing this up as it caused me to more carefully
examine that part of the Cabrillo spec that I had simply glanced over
and *assumed* I knew what I was doing.

> I'm not sure Colorado is using the same checking software.  You may not have
> a problem.

Hopefully, they'll be kind enough to let me know.  They may not have as
many logs to go through as I found far less activity and 3830 shows far
less logs than TN with a 24 hour head start.

> We use W3KM Cab Evaluator.

Ahh, apparently another single developer project with no obvious links
to SourceForge, GitHub, or GitLab to be found.  Okay, so some digging is
in order.

W3KM Cabrillo Evaluator[1]
Explicit Contest rules[2]
Cabrillo Log template[3]
Which has an embedded PDF[4] where in the Notes section at the bottom
number 4 states, " Cabrillo log filenames are urCall.log or urCall.cbr -
where urCall is your callsign."

May I humbly ask that either the software settings be checked or the
author (W3KM) be made aware of the bug of only allowing *.log?  Without
a public facing issue tracker and access to the source, it's not
possible for someone to noodle around and identify the bug for him.  A
*.cbr file should not be any problem given the examples he provides and
the official Cabrillo specification.

> (I used to use a collection of custom Perl
> scripts & a SQL database but it was a big pain to update when the rules
> changed, and when I wanted to push most of the work to someone else, getting
> Perl and SQL installed -- on a Windows box -- was more than I wanted to
> undertake...)

I can understand that as Windows is generally hostile toward open
standard software.  Windows users even more so.  ;-)

That said, I have a custom Perl script that processes the resulting .cbr
for the Kansas QP to generate some statistics and a summary for the 3830
site.  This year the script and Tlf agreed on the score.  Heh!

Unfortunately, Perl is essentially a dead language, not from the
standpoint of development as that continues, but it's not high on any
surveys that show language popularity that I've seen.  Expecting someone
to pick up the Camel Book these days is probably asking a bit much,
especially of a language that doesn't hide its Unix heritage at all.  I
don't blame you one bit for moving toward a prepackaged solution for a
Windows user.

> > That is generated by Tlf internally and can be changed.  However, WWOF
> > states either .log or .cbr is valid (bottom of the page)[2].  In that
> > light it would appear the adjudication software is overly restrictive.
> > 
> > Also, Tlf uses the .log extension for its internal log written to disk.

I need to point out that the .log extension is apparently not hard coded
in Tlf as the complete log file name is specified in its RULES file so
could conceivably be anything the user chooses.

> Again, a nit:)  I would concur the adjudication software is overly
> restrictive, and it has similar tendencies in other areas.  It is not
> exactly difficult to change a file extension:)

As above, even the author's examples allow for both extensions so I'm
inclined to look for a setting or consider such behavior a bug.

> (it's a whole lot easier than talking an entrant through sending
> something other than an ADIF file.  This year, we had someone scan a
> printout of his Cabrillo file & send us the JPEG!)

Words fail...

> I wasn't used to operating from a fixed station:), usually do this thing
> mobile where I'm signing /DAVI, /CHEA, etc..  & it's obvious I'm in
> Tennessee...

You were signing with TNQP so that was a clue.  Most ops out of state
will just call TN.  Taking a chance I unwittingly worked the K4A special
event that was not taking part in TNQP.

73, Nate


"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all
possible worlds.  The pessimist fears this is true."
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