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Re: [Xlog-discussion] Log as diary

From: Martin Ewing AA6E
Subject: Re: [Xlog-discussion] Log as diary
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 18:21:42 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20071115)

Joop Stakenborg wrote:
Op dinsdag 26-02-2008 om 14:44 uur [tijdzone -0500], schreef Martin
Ewing AA6E:

Conventional logging apps seem to grow out of contesting needs historically, and they're not trying to fully emulate the way I (for one) used my paper log.

Hi Leigh and Martin,

interesting topic. There are already plans to add XDIF support to a
future version of xlog, although it make take a while. XDIF would add
much more log-information such as which transceiver was used, from which
QTH did we make contacts and so on...

In the meantime, adding a general note field to the log is not such a
bad idea. But how do we display it? Would this information need to be
visible all the time or is a simple popup dialog sufficient? I am open
to ideas...

Joop PG4I


I think Leigh and I are talking about different things. XDIF is nuts & bolts, while I'm thinking of the user experience. To first order, the user doesn't care about the underlying technology.

On the user level, I can imagine a button or menu item on the xlog panel that says "Add Special Remark" (or some such). It could bring up a simple text box for you to type an arbitrary note. Then a "Save" button enters the text (with date/time) into the database. (You choose the db technology!) The "New Special Remark" pane could be an alternative to the "New QSO" pane.

Now, how does the log viewer panel look with this feature? It shows QSOs as usual, but a special remark needs to show between QSOs, if not in a separate pane for remarks. It could be a text line that crosses the usual QSO columns, and shows in a distinctive manner - italics, green color, whatever. It's probably enough to show the first text line of the note. If it is longer, you would select it for viewing bringing up the full text entry/edit dialog, which would let you read, edit, or delete the remark.

The remark entry wants to be keyed by creation date, most likely, and should be sorted along with QSOs by date. Nice, but not essential: an ability to search on contents.

As you suggest, you could use a pop-up like word processors do. You could annotate a QSO and indicate by a colored flag or asterisk. (Or possibly between QSOs.) Click on it and you can view, edit, or delete the note. The advantage is that it needs little screen space and it minimizes the violence to your current layout. However, I'm not so much interested in annotating a single QSO (although that could be useful) - I want to say that I installed a new antenna, or something like that that applies to many future QSOs.

Even though it sounds fairly simple, I know this might be some work. I just wanted to put the idea out there for consideration.

73 Martin AA6E

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