Patching Issues

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JohnGrimshaw
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Patching Issues

Post by JohnGrimshaw » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:46 pm

1) Fixture 1 is patched to outputs 1 thru 5. You decide to use Fixture 2 for Output 2. When you type the command, you get the “unpatch” warning – and if you hit “Yes”, Fixture 1 is completely unpatched (rather then just repatching that one output).
2) Change Fixture type from Dimmer to Scroller Dimmer, and the existing intensity patch disappears. This can be useful in some circumstances, so maybe there should be softkeys:
- Retain Intensity Patch Information
- Use Intensity Patch for Attributes
3) Fast Enter Softpatch - Operator does not look at screen, and simply types numbers for the soft patching. If the console asks a repatch question (Are you sure???), and the operator does not notice the message, there will be errors. the warning should have a beep, or a full screen flash.
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RobertBell
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Re: Patching Issues

Post by RobertBell » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:27 am

:added: FS482
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jamesholt
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Re: Patching Issues

Post by jamesholt » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:35 am

Got some more to add to the list...

Power patch won't accept universe.address syntax in the output start field (using numbers or characters for the universe)... found that out the hard way after it repatched outputs 1.1 thru 1.50something without prompting! If you tab out of the output start field you'll see the validation routine change your input but not if you just hit enter/apply. It will also patch fixtures across universes, in fact the command line does this too in both patch by fixture and patch by output. Try [511][@][1]{S3 Fixture Type}(pick one)[*]. Does anyone set their Ethernet->DMX gear to not start at 1/513/1025/etc?

If you enable/disable output devices using the drop down boxes, the display will throw to patch by fixture if you're in patch by output regardless of if you change the (overall) number of outputs or not.

You can patch to non-enabled universes... sort of. Enable say 2 universes (just USB-DMX) and type [1][.][1][/][5][.][512][@][1][*] (useless I know but this is a hypothetical!) - the command will execute without any warnings. If you then enable 5 universes (Art-Net/ShowNet/etc) the patch you entered will stop at 2.512. Another one: patch something into universe 3 (with it enabled), then disable all but the first 2 universes. The patch by fixture screen still claims that fixture is in universe 3. Re-enable some more universes, PBF still says universe 3, but there is nothing for it in patch by output. Not sure what the best way to handle this would be - my gut feeling is that the patch data should be held intact unless explicitly wiped by the user... but on the other hand I don't think people would want to patch stuff into more universes than they have available to them.

Command line discrepancies: the placement of "Patch" differs between patch by fixture & output. e.g. PBF [1][@][50] reads "Patch Fixture 1 to Output 50" vs PBO [50][@][1] reads "Output A.50(50) Patch to Fixture 1". Personally I'd like to see the "Patch to" placed between the source & destination in both modes ala 500 series @PATCH, although the patch by fixture one is easier to read and reinforces that you're in patch mode (similar to how live commands are preceded by "Live: "). Thoughts?

Backspacing in the command line: in PBO type say [1][/][5][@] but then you change your mind and only want 1 thru 3, if you hit backspace (twice) it'll delete the entire range instead of just the 5. Or if you go [1][@][1]{S3 Fixture Type}(pick one) then realise you entered the wrong fixture number, hitting backspace twice will wipe the whole "Patch to Fixture 1" block instead of the number. This happens with other commands too such as (in live) [1][@][<bksp] will select fixture 1 instead of just wiping "At"... call me a DOS/UNIX luddite if you wish but I don't think a real command line should lock in commands until the user hits enter or triggers enter in single/two digit mode (but showing softkeys in the S/M bubbles along the way is alright). To me it just isn't intuitive typing 4 keys but then clearing what you entered with two backspaces (excluding the rapid double-backspace clear feature).
JohnGrimshaw wrote:If the console asks a repatch question (Are you sure???), and the operator does not notice the message, there will be errors. the warning should have a beep, or a full screen flash.
How about an internal computer speaker beep and a red display like this: :)
strandos-warning.gif
strandos-warning.gif (2.55 KiB) Viewed 2074 times
It may be a tad annoying but I'm sure it's saved many shows from the accidental keyboard mash! It's also good to see the command you're confirming to make sure you entered what you intended to - currently the ">> Command un-patches fixtures. Are you sure? <<" text shoves the typed command aside and IMO doesn't look quite right being tacked onto the end. Perhaps the screen real estate held by the 4 big bubbles could be trodden on for warnings like this? (or a custom MsgBox with chunky red text?)
Regards,
James Holt

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RobertBell
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Re: Patching Issues

Post by RobertBell » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:00 pm

jamesholt wrote:Does anyone set their Ethernet->DMX gear to not start at 1/513/1025/etc?
Local 58 (Toronto) often starts them on 501, 1001, 1501. There are advantages to this and you only end up wasting 11 DMX slots.
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Re: Patching Issues

Post by RobertBell » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:10 pm

jamesholt wrote:This happens with other commands too such as (in live) [1][@][<bksp] will select fixture 1 instead of just wiping "At"... call me a DOS/UNIX luddite if you wish but I don't think a real command line should lock in commands until the user hits enter or triggers enter in single/two digit mode (but showing softkeys in the S/M bubbles along the way is alright). To me it just isn't intuitive typing 4 keys but then clearing what you entered with two backspaces (excluding the rapid double-backspace clear feature).
As you know by your comment about changing the softeky bubbles, we parse the command line before Enter. To do that, we recognise tokens and act upon them as we recognise them. For instance, [1] [+] [44] [+] [BKSP] [BKSP] first selects fixture 1, then 44, then deletes the plus, then deselects the 44. I don't think it would be right to select fixture 4 - EVEN if you did [BKSP] [BKSP] [+]. Once something is tokenized - one backspace kills it.
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jamesholt
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Re: Patching Issues

Post by jamesholt » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:15 pm

RobertBell wrote:
jamesholt wrote:Does anyone set their Ethernet->DMX gear to not start at 1/513/1025/etc?
Local 58 (Toronto) often starts them on 501, 1001, 1501. There are advantages to this and you only end up wasting 11 DMX slots.
Hmm... personally it'd drive me nuts having the console tell me a fixture is on 2.1 when it's really 2.13! :shock:

How about an option then to warn on patching across universe breaks, or in the case of power patch a "don't patch over universe breaks" checkbox?
Regards,
James Holt

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Re: Patching Issues

Post by RobertBell » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:21 pm

I don't think they used 2.1. They say 501 and know the ML should be dialed up to 1 vs. saying 513 and knowing the ML should be dialed to 1.

Agreed that generaly you wouldn't be spanning DMX universes, but we have to concider that some people work differently and last thing I want is a bunch of options for Buddy A vs. Buddy B. Anybody doing this sort of stuff is smart enough to either stay out of trouble or get themselves out of trouble.

Now we have partcial show load - I feel I can be a lot more cavalier about these sorts of things. 8-)
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jamesholt
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Re: Patching Issues

Post by jamesholt » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:30 pm

RobertBell wrote:
jamesholt wrote:This happens with other commands too such as (in live) [1][@][<bksp] will select fixture 1 instead of just wiping "At"... call me a DOS/UNIX luddite if you wish but I don't think a real command line should lock in commands until the user hits enter or triggers enter in single/two digit mode (but showing softkeys in the S/M bubbles along the way is alright). To me it just isn't intuitive typing 4 keys but then clearing what you entered with two backspaces (excluding the rapid double-backspace clear feature).
As you know by your comment about changing the softeky bubbles, we parse the command line before Enter. To do that, we recognise tokens and act upon them as we recognise them. For instance, [1] [+] [44] [+] [BKSP] [BKSP] first selects fixture 1, then 44, then deletes the plus, then deselects the 44. I don't think it would be right to select fixture 4 - EVEN if you did [BKSP] [BKSP] [+]. Once something is tokenized - one backspace kills it.
Ah, but in StrandOS/500-series land 44 won't be selected until [+] is pressed, if you then hit backspace 44 stays selected regardless of what was put in its place until the next non-numeric key changes the selection/updates the display.

Something like:
  • [1][+][44][+] = 1 and 44 selected
  • [<bksp][<bksp] = 1 and 44 still selected but command line showing "1 + 4"
  • [+] = 1 and 4 selected, command line showing "1 + 4 +"
Seems that it re-parses on every non-numeric key press.
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James Holt

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Re: Patching Issues

Post by jamesholt » Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:24 pm

RobertBell wrote:I don't think they used 2.1. They say 501 and know the ML should be dialed up to 1 vs. saying 513 and knowing the ML should be dialed to 1.
Sounds fair enough.
RobertBell wrote:Agreed that generaly you wouldn't be spanning DMX universes, but we have to concider that some people work differently and last thing I want is a bunch of options for Buddy A vs. Buddy B. Anybody doing this sort of stuff is smart enough to either stay out of trouble or get themselves out of trouble.

Now we have partcial show load - I feel I can be a lot more cavalier about these sorts of things. 8-)
Double standards there mate - you're saying that x crew do things differently so you want to accommodate them, yet you don't want to provide options for y operators. I guess a patch screen that hard-codes the address 513 as B.1 wouldn't help them much just like allowing patches to span over universes doesn't help some of us...! I wouldn't want to be making predictions about the intelligence of some Palette users either given that it's being marketed to the masses ;)

One of the things that really stands out about StrandOS/500-series is the number of configurable options available to the operator. Display formats, screen layouts, some hardware configuration... it's all up for tweaking and no two operators like to drive it exactly the same way. Sadly I feel that a lot of that user-friendly flexibility has disappeared in the new Palette software and your "Buddy A vs Buddy B" comment stands only to confirm that.

(intended as observation, not personal attack)
Regards,
James Holt

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Re: Patching Issues

Post by RobertBell » Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:07 pm

Your observation is right. It's somewhat intentional.
jamesholt wrote:One of the things that really stands out about StrandOS/500-series is the number of configurable options available to the operator. (snip) Sadly I feel that a lot of that user-friendly flexibility has disappeared in the new
A lot of the feedback we got from non-pro users was that the 500 series was way too costomizable and it only made training and maintenance (by visiting operators) very difficult. We're trying to strike a balance. BTW - your use of the term user-friendly flexibility is highly debated, at least by myself.
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