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                                       Using Version Control with OpenTemplot
     
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1st message | this message only posted: 16 Jun 2018 23:24
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from:
Adrian
 

 

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To help with management of the OpenTemplot source files they are now available via a version controlled repository on SourceForge.
https://sourceforge.net/p/opentemplot/code/ci/default/tree/

The version control system being used is called Mercurial and there is a windows utility for it which links into the file manager and provides a workbench for maintaining the versions.

This can be obtained from https://tortoisehg.bitbucket.io download the recommended file and run the installer. (n.b. Hg is the chemical symbol for Mercury hence mercurial commands are frequently abbreviated to hg)


Rather than run through the installation there are plenty of online guides explaining how the system works but there is very little to do just to get it running. The two following guides give a good overview of the system

http://ratfactor.com/mercurial-named-branches

https://mcmblog.azurewebsites.net/how-to-use-tortoisehg/

Once TortoiseHg is installed there are 3 options for getting the source code files for OpenTemplot.

Option 1 : Read only if you just want to grab the latest copy of files to build.
Option 2 : Read / update if you would like to contribute updates - prompted for password.
Option 3 : as option 2 but with no password prompts - using a public/private key access.

Option 1  - use this option if you just want to grab a copy of the latest version.
Open up the Hg Workbench, from either the program list or by right clicking on the desktop.  



Now to create a local copy of the files we want to clone (identical copy) the repository, this is under the file menu



Then in the popup dialog we fill out the source as http://hg.code.sf.net/p/opentemplot/code
and the destination can be set to wherever you want to save the files. I would follow Martins advice of a using a name with no spaces etc. Then hit the clone button.



So this method does not require a user account on SourceForge and will just copy the latest version of the files to your local machine. If everything has worked then you should have a list of the files with all little green ticks which shows that the files are up to date.



With this method it gives you a simple way to get any new files. Just open up the workbench and for your project there is a button to pull all incoming changes. Click this button and it will download any updates for you and replace the files in your project with the latest version.
  


If you don't want to create an account on SourceForge or don't want to upload changes directly then feel free to post any updates here and I will update the repository as required.

Option 2 - read and update source code. For this option you will need to have an account with SourceForge, so do this first.

Then we clone the repository as before but now the source repository is done using https and it uses your user account. So use the following https://apcherry@hg.code.sf.net/p/opentemplot/code but replace apcherry with your user name.



This time when you click on the clone button it will pop up a password prompt.



This is your password to logon onto your SourceForge account.

Again the files are copied to your local machine but now you will be able to pull any updates and push any of your changes back to the code base (although I think we would need to add your name to the developer list of users so please let us know if you want to push any updates). Each time you pull or put files it will prompt for your password.

Option 3 - as per option 2 but no password prompt. It is possible to setup the connection using a secure authenticated link. This is known as ssh hence when cloning the repository we use ssh://apcherry@hg.code.sf.net/p/opentemplot/code



However this does require the setting up of a public/private key. The public key is added to your SourceForge account and the private key is accessed from within Hg Workbench. However this takes a few more steps so I don't propose to cover it here. However I do have it working for my account so I'm happy to share settings if anyone else wants to access it via this method.

So please give it a go - note this is just linking the source code. If you do try it then the updates to the Lazarus setup as detailed by Martin still need to be done. However I do think it will be easier for people to update their copy of the code using this method. On the workbench the button to pull all changes will down load and replace the required files automatically.

If there are any queries then please let me know.

Regards

Adrian Cherry

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2nd message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 11:01
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Adrian,

Many thanks for taking the trouble to post all that, it makes things a lot clearer. I've installed TortoiseHg and started exploring the options.

I have some updates which I will have a go at uploading shortly.

There is a file called .hgignore which I don't understand, but I assume it would like to be ignored? :?

I'm a bit concerned about the opentemplot.lpi file (Lazarus Project Information). I'm not clear whether it should be included in the updates or not (it is included in your F-key update).

It is created from the settings in the Project > Project Options... menu item. That includes some settings which are purely local to the user (such as whether or not to show Hints in the compiler messages) which it would be annoying to have changed by doing an update, and some settings which are important to be in the executable (such as including DpiAware=True in the XPManifest and the version info) and do therefore need to be in updates.

And some settings which will just cause confusion, such as the build number, which I have set to auto-increment on each run > build but will jump about all over the place if it gets reset to someone else's build count every time I do an update. :?

I included the .lpi file in the original release, but I'm not sure that it necessarily represents an optimum set-up for our purposes because I'm still in learning mode for using Lazarus.

Thanks again.

Martin.

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3rd message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 11:03
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from:
Adrian
 

 

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One of the reasons I have suggested using a version control system like Mercurial is for managing updates from different people. 

This is a short illustration to show how simple it can work and I think will be the easiest route for updates. Basically if you clone a repository using option 1 above, i.e. just a simple copy with no SourceForge account required.

Then make your updates to the code to add a feature or correct something. Then apply a "commit" in the Mercurial workbench to log the changes.

If you right click on this new version there is an option to export a patch, either email or save to file.



What this does is basically create a single text file which lists all the changes made to the files. You can open it in a text editor to see the details. This is the one for my F-key print changes, it shows what has been added and deleted.



All you need to do is then post this patch file on the forum or email direct to me.

I can then apply the patch to my repository



When I select the patch I can see the details - add it to my repository and it merges all of those changes into my repository even if I have been changing files as well. If there are any conflicts it gets flagged up for me to resolve. Once that is done and I can test it and then push it up to the SourceForge repository for everyone to try.



So plenty of pictures but basically if you want to update the code it's a simple as
  • Clone the repository (option 1 above)
  • Edit the code
  • Commit codes changes in workbench
  • Export patch to the forum.

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4th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 11:25
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Shifting down a gear in the explanations, it's convenient to have a desktop icon for the TortoiseHg Workbench.

To create that, go to:

 C:\Program Files\TortoiseHg\

Right-click on the  thgw.exe  file, and then click Create shortcut.

Martin.

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5th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 12:41
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from:
Adrian
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: Hi Adrian,

There is a file called .hgignore which I don't understand, but I assume it would like to be ignored? :?

I'm a bit concerned about the opentemplot.lpi file (Lazarus Project Information). I'm not clear whether it should be included in the updates or not (it is included in your F-key update).

The .hgignore file is telling the system which files to ignore for the repository.
When you build the project and it compiles the code this is all placed under the lib directory. If you then run the workbench it would flag up all these files as "not tracked". These would all be flagged up in the file list in pink and with a ? mark.



 We can use the the .hgignore file to tell mercurial to ignore these files. The following says ignore anything in the lib/ directory and backup/ directory.



It can also include individual files, opentemplot.res in this case. Likewise I'm still learning Lazarus but I think you are probably right and removing the opentemplot.lpi file from the repository and adding to the ignore file.

Regards

Adrian  

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6th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 12:41
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Paul Boyd
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This has now all gone way over my head. I think I’ll just take OpenTemplot off and put it down as a nice idea, but not for me. I thought people would just be posting snippets of code for others to use or not.

Oh well...
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7th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 13:27
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Paul Boyd wrote: This has now all gone way over my head. I think I’ll just take OpenTemplot off and put it down as a nice idea, but not for me. I thought people would just be posting snippets of code for others to use or not.

Oh well...
Hi Paul,

That's the reaction I was afraid of. Don't abandon it yet. :(

To be honest it's a bit over my head too.

I think there are two separate intents here, and it is perhaps important to keep them apart:

1. Templot users can create their own personal versions of Templot, and add and share bits of code between themselves via this Templot Club forum. There is no actual need to take the slightest notice of:

2. The "official" version of OpenTemplot, which would replace Templot2 in the event of my inability to continue with it. Newcomers to Templot would then need to be able to download an "official" version of OpenTemplot, rather than asking an existing user for a copy of their own personal version. It obviously needs to have others (in plural) looking after it, in case the bus gets any one of them. Which in turn means they need a way to work together on a single version. 

Possibly these two things need different names. "OpenTemplot" is now the name of the published combined project, it would now be a nuisance to change it. But we could have a "MyTemplot" (or whatever) posted here only, which goes nowhere near the project on Sourceforge, for users to customise as they wish for their own use.

cheers,

Martin.

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8th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 14:46
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from:
Martin Wynne
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Hi Paul,

Well obviously not "MyTemplot", but how about "TemplotPlus"

for a personal "improved" version of Templot?

Other names are possible. I rather like "InlandTemplot". :)

Answers on a postcard.

Martin.

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9th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 14:51
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from:
Adrian
 

 

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Paul Boyd wrote: This has now all gone way over my head. I think I’ll just take OpenTemplot off and put it down as a nice idea, but not for me. I thought people would just be posting snippets of code for others to use or not.

Sorry that was not my intention at all - I have tried to explain and demonstrate a process but have obviously failed. There is still nothing stopping anyone getting a copy of the code and modifying it as they want to. I'm not trying to impose any conditions on anyone doing so - which is why I tried to explain how to get the code without having to create a SourceForge account. Please feel free to post any code snippets to this forum.
There is nothing stopping people from just posting snippets of code  - that is exactly what I have done earlier. The patches I mentioned earlier are just that a snippet of code but it's in a format that can be automatically included in your copy of the code.

Possibly these two things need different names. "OpenTemplot" is now the name of the published combined project, it would now be a nuisance to change it. But we could have a "MyTemplot" (or whatever) posted here only, which goes nowhere near the project on Sourceforge, for users to customise as they wish for their own use.
Please don't create another project - in my opinion that will only confuse things further. I still believe both camps can work from the one open source project. The SourceForge repository can include all the snippets posted on here and anyone can grab the latest version of the code just by clicking on the snapshot button.


 If there is a useful update to the code it's easy enough to post a new zip file on the forum.

Anyway it's all rather academic at the moment because so far there is only myself who has posted anything. Apart from Martin has anyone taken my snippet of code and embedded it in their project? Like many things you can spend forever and a day discussing it and some times it's easier just to give it a go and see how it works - some times it's not quite as daunting as it may first appear.

Regards

Adrian



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10th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 15:38
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from:
Martin Wynne
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Adrian wrote:Please don't create another project - in my opinion that will only confuse things further. I still believe both camps can work from the one open source project. The SourceForge repository can include all the snippets posted on here and anyone can grab the latest version of the code just by clicking on the snapshot button.


 
Hi Adrian,

I'm afraid I can't agree. Paul's reaction was exactly what I feared. It's not far from my own. I found the Sourceforge site utterly incomprehensible and clearly intended for software professionals. For example how on earth is anyone to know that "Download Snapshot" gets you a zip file of the code, when it sounds like an image file or screenshot? I originally uploaded the files under the "Files" tab -- but clearly that was the wrong place. :?

If there is a useful update to the code it's easy enough to post a new zip file on the forum.I think you are missing what Paul wants to do. No-one has a "useful update" straight off.

He wants to post a bit of code with a "this seems to work, what do you think?"

expecting a reply such as "didn't work for me, wouldn't it be better to ...?"

To which someone else says "That's a bit daft, because instead you can ...".

And so on.

After several such exchanges there might be a "useful update" to upload for everyone, or just as likely there might not. And anyone can join in without any fear that if they post something daft it will be transmitted to everyone else, or they won't get a friendly response.

But for that to be feasible, everyone needs their own personal version to experiment on, which might be significantly different from the current OpenTemplot Project version, and isn't synchronised with it in any way. Unless and until they choose to incorporate some of it. Or not.

cheers,

Martin.

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11th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 16:11
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Adrian
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote:
I think you are missing what Paul wants to do. No-one has a "useful update" straight off.

He wants to post a bit of code with a "this seems to work, what do you think?"

expecting a reply such as "didn't work for me, wouldn't it be better to ...?"

To which someone else says "That's a bit daft, because instead you can ...".

And so on.

After several such exchanges there might be a "useful update" to upload for everyone, or just as likely there might not. And anyone can join in without any fear that if they post something daft it will be transmitted to everyone else, or they won't get a friendly response.

But for that to be feasible, everyone needs their own personal version, which might be significantly different from the current OpenTemplot Project version, and isn't synchronised with it in any way. Unless and until they choose to incorporate some of it. Or not.

Fine then work it that way if you wish - I was just trying to help. My explanation obviously failed because it does give everyone their own personal version of OpenTemplot and there is no synchronisation required at all. I was just trying to show with the patches that there was a simple way to share snippets of code. 
I'll make one last point and then leave it at that. Suppose someone gets a copy of the code and modifies it so the splash screen now said "OpenTemplot built by John Doe". I then come along with a code update for the same unit of code with a useful feature. However if John Doe compiles his copy of OpenTemplot with my new unit it now says "OpenTemplot built by Adrian Cherry", so now not only does he have to go through all the code picking out the bit for the new feature he also has to go through and apply all his changes back again so that he now has a copy of OpenTemplot with my new feature and a splash screen that once again says "OpenTemplot built by John Doe". Now you could use a file comparison tool, eg Meld but that requires the user to know and understand which bits of code do what and pick the right bit to get it to work.Wouldn't it be really useful if there was an automatic way to merge the code maintaining the changes from both bits of code. This is what Mercurial can offer.

Rather than any further discussion I suggest we wait for the first snippet of code and take it from there. We will see what develops and when this exchange produces a "useful update" I'm more than happy to add it myself to the SourceForge repository and I'll even make a zip file copy and put it on the files tab in the same way for people to download.  

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12th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 16:33
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Paul Boyd
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Hi Adrian

I'm really not getting at you!  I just feel that this is getting beyond what I thought was the original intention but I'm starting to understand why this is the case.  When I was playing with OpenTemplot, I called it PBOPenTemplot (a bit clunky!) with the idea that this would be my personalised copy.  If someone piped up and said "I've got a bit of code that does such and such" I could choose whether or not to add that to my own version. Or I could put code up, of course.  I agree with Martin that many collaborative projects assume a similar level of skill, and anyone who doesn't come up to scratch is derided.  Just look at general software forums - someone asks "How do I do this?" and often the first response is "that's a stupid thing to do, why on earth would you want to do that?" instead of just answering the question.  That seems to be a trait of software people!

I do think that having a single "official project" as such isn't a bad idea, but whatever I choose to do isn't a project, it's my version, so we're not talking about having another project.  I agree that the name ought to be split so that OpenTemplot is the Sourceforge thingy, and for us tinkerers it's referred to as something else - I do quite like Martin's suggestion of MyTemplot - but I must emphasis that the latter wouldn't be a managed project.  It's just something for individuals to play with.  There might be any number of different MyTemplots, but they're not intended for release so that doesn't matter.  They might also get broken with no support to un-break them!

I'm also concerned about the unanswered point that Rob Manchester raised a few times - that of maintaining track standard integrity.  If someone decided that actually the GWR used 62ft rails, what's to stop that getting built into a "official" release?  I've yet to understand how that level of quality control will be maintained.

Anyway, whilst Templot2 is still current I'll just play around with my version.  I'm looking forward to the next release with the file conversion utility though!  If Templot2 suddenly stops working because the internet check is failing, then I'll be incredibly grateful to those who've maintained OpenTemplot, assuming some of the missing features are reinstated (for me, that's PDF export I think)
I've also realised that somewhere in all those files are the preset track standards.  S4n2 standards might be a good thing to add to my copy! (I do have a library already, of course!)

Cheers,

Paul

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13th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 16:39
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Martin Wynne
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Adrian wrote:Fine then work it that way if you wish - I was just trying to help.Hi Adrian,

Please don't take offence. I know you are trying to help, and I'm extremely grateful. I understand what Sourceforge is for, and I'm going to put all my updates on there, including any changes in Templot2 which can be incorporated in OpenTemplot.

Wouldn't it be really useful if there was an automatic way to merge the code maintaining the changes from both bits of code. This is what Mercurial can offer. But it's so damn difficult to follow. Just the need to have client software built in to Windows Explorer is a significant turn-off. Why can't it all be done on a web site? There are dozens of web applications which manipulate users files.

Anyway, let's see how it develops. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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14th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 18:30
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from:
Martin Wynne
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Paul Boyd wrote:I agree with Martin that many collaborative projects assume a similar level of skill, and anyone who doesn't come up to scratch is derided. Just look at general software forums - someone asks "How do I do this?" and often the first response is "that's a stupid thing to do, why on earth would you want to do that?" instead of just answering the question. That seems to be a trait of software people!Hi Paul,

Exactly. That's why I'm so keen that any discussion takes place on here, and not on the Sourceforge forums and mailing lists.

I do quite like Martin's suggestion of MyTemplotDoes that mean you are happy with the name "MyTemplot"? Rather than say "TemplotPlus" or "RealTemplot" or whatever? MyXyz always sounds like a child's toy to me. (It has to be all one word, otherwise there is no chance of seeing it in the top results on Google.)

I'm also concerned about the unanswered point that Rob Manchester raised a few times - that of maintaining track standard integrity. If someone decided that actually the GWR used 62ft rails, what's to stop that getting built into a "official" release? I've yet to understand how that level of quality control will be maintained. So long as it remains open-source, as soon as someone did that, hopefully someone else would remove it again. But there is no way to recall the faulty version, or to prevent anyone who downloaded it from copying it to friends, or uploading it to a web site, or whatever.

But as I understand it, only the admins on Sourceforge can post the "official" downloadable executable* (there isn't one on there yet). So to use or distribute the faulty version, someone would have to download the source code and compile it.

Adrian, what happens if someone uploads source files which happen to include the executable? Is there a setting to prevent such files being included?

More of an issue is how the open-source licence would be enforced. The only person who can do that is the copyright holder, and it's my belief that it is a tricky thing to do after being run over by a bus. For that reason I have made the usual arrangements for my rights in Templot to be transferred to someone else in that event.

It would have to be enforced, if for example someone used OpenTemplot in a closed commercial product, with or without 62ft GWR rails.

*In practice it needs to be built into an installer setup program. To create the file associations, desktop shortcut, etc. We are still very much at the beginning. Adrian, Delphi programs mostly use InnoSetup from Jordan Russell: http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php

cheers,

Martin.

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15th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 19:33
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from:
Adrian
 

 

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Just look at general software forums - someone asks "How do I do this?" and often the first response is "that's a stupid thing to do, why on earth would you want to do that?" instead of just answering the question.  That seems to be a trait of software people!

I'm sorry I don't recognise that trait at all - The software forum to use is StackOverflow and invariably the responses are very encouraging. For example of all the questions tagged to Lazarus the first one is perfectly reasonable and informative. 
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/37210621/lazarus-registerfields

Martin Wynne wrote:
Anyway, let's see how it develops. :)
Totally agree - sorry to confuse people that was not my intention. Lets just add snippets on here for people to discuss and try in their own little project. Just indulge me and let me add the useful updates to Sourceforge repository for reference - that can be my own little project which people can take a copy if they wish.
Regards

Adrian  

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16th message | this message only posted: 17 Jun 2018 23:00
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Martin Wynne
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Martin Wynne wrote:Answers on a postcard.No postcards received by midnight, so I'll take that as a no. :?

I've decided on Templotmec for the home kit version:



If you don't like the nameplate, you can of course unbolt it. :)

Maybe TemplotMEC:




I will be posting the files here shortly, not on Sourceforge. You won't need to understand Sourceforge or install any software to access the files. They will be ordinary download links on here. Likewise you can attach your own files here for others if you wish.

This is in addition to and separate from the OpenTemplot Project.

Martin.

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17th message | this message only posted: 18 Jun 2018 08:47
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from:
Paul Boyd
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Martin Wynne wrote:
Does that mean you are happy with the name "MyTemplot"? Rather than say "TemplotPlus" or "RealTemplot" or whatever? MyXyz always sounds like a child's toy to me. (It has to be all one word, otherwise there is no chance of seeing it in the top results on Google.)

Sorry I didn't send the postcard before midnight - I was out!  MyAnything does sound a bit silly and child-like, but it does describe it very nicely - it really is "My (version of) Templot".  However, I see you've already decided on Templotmec.  It should at least be TemplotMec - CamelCase is all the rage, don't ya know?!?!?!  On a slightly serious note, there aren't going to be any problems with using the Meccano reference, are there?

So, to summarise, am I right in saying that OpenTemplot is Adrian's SourceForge project and will be the official version if your bus timetables change unexpectedly causing you to step in front of a bus that wasn't due, whilst TemplotMec is the ad-hoc playing around version?  This does seem to be a good solution all round.

Cheers,

Paul

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18th message | this message only posted: 18 Jun 2018 10:41
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Paul Boyd wrote:So, to summarise, am I right in saying that OpenTemplot is Adrian's SourceForge project and will be the official version if your bus timetables change unexpectedly causing you to step in front of a bus that wasn't due, whilst TemplotMec is the ad-hoc playing around version? This does seem to be a good solution all round.Hi Paul,

Yes that's the idea. I've explained it in more detail here:

 http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=3291&forum_id=1

Don't forget to update your email settings on here accordingly.

I tried camelCase but I couldn't get the nameplate to look "nice". Capital M tends to dominate and leap out of any word it is in. That could of course just be me, for obvious subliminal reasons.

But since it's YourTemplot you can unbolt the nameplate and replace it with whatever you want. :)

How about:

       

Perhaps we have a graphic designer on here who can come up with something more stylish.

I mentioned Meccano in passing only as a source of inspiration, we are not calling it TemplotMeccano so I don't see any reason to be concerned. See for example:

 http://www.virtualmec.com/

(Great fun to play with.)

cheers,

Martin.

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19th message | this message only posted: 18 Jun 2018 12:08
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from:
Adrian
 

 

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Paul Boyd wrote: So, to summarise, am I right in saying that OpenTemplot is Adrian's SourceForge project and will be the official version if your bus timetables change unexpectedly causing you to step in front of a bus that wasn't due, whilst TemplotMec is the ad-hoc playing around version?  This does seem to be a good solution all round.I agree - it seems to allow people to get involved and contribute in which ever way they are comfortable with.

Adrian

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20th message | this message only posted: 18 Jun 2018 16:00
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from:
Jim Guthrie
United Kingdom

 

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Adrian wrote: Paul Boyd wrote: So, to summarise, am I right in saying that OpenTemplot is Adrian's SourceForge project and will be the official version if your bus timetables change unexpectedly causing you to step in front of a bus that wasn't due, whilst TemplotMec is the ad-hoc playing around version?  This does seem to be a good solution all round.I agree - it seems to allow people to get involved and contribute in which ever way they are comfortable with.Also,  if I remember correctly from using versioning software some years ago,  the software stores all previous versions so that it is easy to step back through updates if necessary.

Jim.

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from:
Trevor Walling
United Kingdom

 

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Hello,
      As a non programmer at the moment ,I think Martin has achieved the best of both worlds with OpenTemplot and Templotmec. Those that are competent programmers can add features comparable to the things that were not transferable to open source for whatever reasons with open source alternatives and bring OpenTemplot up to the capabilities of Martins Templot if they wish. Meanwhile non programmers like myself can mess around in Templotmec getting to grips without messing OpenTemplot up until sufficient competence is achieved to play with the big boys hopefully.
Regards.
Trevor.:)

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22nd message | this message only posted: 18 Jun 2018 20:59
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Adrian,

A fresh set of files for OpenTemplot just posted:

 http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=3293&forum_id=25

I'm now going to have a meal, and then try posting them the proper way as updates on SourceForge.


edit: Have now seen your other post.

cheers,

Martin.

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