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[Feature Request] ASCII patch export/import

Discussion in 'wysiwyg' started by Floriaan, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Floriaan

    Floriaan Active Member

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    Could you add a patch export and import in the ASCII format. This could be extremely time saving. Now that there are fewer and fewer light board manufacturers that bother to implement auto patch it has to come from your side I guess...
     
    mldekker likes this.
  2. Dany

    Dany Super Moderator

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    Hi Floriaan,

    You can already export an ASCII-encoded file from WYSIWYG, by exporting a Worksheet to .CSV format. To export a Spreadsheet from DATA mode as such, simply export it to a Worksheet (DATA mode File menu > Export to Worksheet), then go to PRES mode's Worksheets tab, access the Worksheet you just created and export from there (File menu > Export > Worksheet > select the .CSV format from the dropdown below).

    For a future version of WYSIWYG, we will try to add the option to export ASCII-encoded files directly from DATA mode. Another option you have, of course, is to export to .CSV from DATA, import the resulting file into Excel, and then export from there to any format and encoding you like.

    May I ask what you require this for, though--what you intend to do with the resulting ASCII-encoded file, and why you specifically need a file encoded as such? Having that information will help us determine how we can make WYSIWYG's export functionality more useful.. naturally, if it was possible, we'd like to be able to offer a solution to export to the required format and encoding directly, without having to go any of the above-mentioned workarounds.

    (We can continue this discussion here, or you can just email me @cast-soft.com, as usual.)


    Thanks,

    Dany
     
  3. Floriaan

    Floriaan Active Member

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    Hi, ASCII light cues are actually a standard for exchanging light cues including patch and submasters between light desks of different brands. It would be possible to just import a patch into your desk in a very easy way.
     
  4. Dany

    Dany Super Moderator

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    Hi again Floriaan,

    Are you, by chance, referring to adding the "ASCII Text Representation for Lighting Console Data" Protocol, http://moicestpilou.free.fr/export/ASCII-protocol.pdf, defined by USITT twenty-four years ago, in 1992? If so, this is something completely different than your initial request (or at least what I believed* was your request), and much more involved. To my recollection, we have never had a request for this, and, to be perfectly honest, this is the first time many of us here at CAST have ever heard of this Protocol... given its age, is it something that's still in use and current? Can you tell me which modern consoles support this Protocol?

    * My interpretation of your request was that you were simply asking for the addition of ASCII text encoding to files that WYSIWYG exports in text format from DATA mode's Spreadsheets (i.e. .CSV files), because for some reason, the current UNICODE encoding was not compatible with the spreadsheet application that you were using (or whatever other purpose you had for exporting from WYSIWYG).

    Was the reason for your request (of implementing this Protocol) to simply eliminate the need to create the patch on the console in addition to having to do it in WYSIWYG? If so, please note that all console manufacturers who are "connected to WYSIWYG" via our Registered WYSIWYG Developer Program have--and have always had, since the year 2003--the ability to implement our AutoPatch Protocol, which essentially enables users to upload the patch from a .WYG file to the connected console. A few such manufacturers (Compulite and ChamSys among them) have implemented this Protocol, but others (such as MA Lighting and High End Systems) have not. CAST Software does not enforce the implementation of this Protocol--the implementation of features beyond basic connectivity is left entirely at the manufacturer's discretion. However, perhaps if those who don't yet support AutoPatch receive enough requests for it from their customers, they will go ahead and add it. (Adding AutoPatch to an existing driver is a simple matter, requiring a couple of hours of development/coding, at most.)


    Looking forward to your reply,

    Dany
     
  5. Floriaan

    Floriaan Active Member

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    Hi, I am indeed referring to this protocol. It is supported by almost every light desk in the world and therefore very useful for translating information from one platform to another.
    As almost no major lighting desk manufacturer supports your proprietary patch import system, you can, in my opinion, either choose to open source the protocol so others can write the missing link or make an effort yourselves.
    I don't like to do things twice, and patching a whole show is such a thing.
     
  6. Dany

    Dany Super Moderator

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    Thanks Floriaan,

    We will discuss this further at CAST and let you know what our decision is regarding all this.

    In the meantime, a question--and please excuse my ignorance here: are you saying that I can take a grandMA showfile, complete with patch, cue structure, palettes, and absolutely everything else it contains, and, via this protocol, convert it into a Hog or MagicQ or Vector or whatever showfile?
     
  7. Floriaan

    Floriaan Active Member

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    Thank you very much.
    At least the basic cue structure (cue numbers, up/down fade times, labels, etc) is preserved as well as the patch and submasters. The success of show import varies widely when movers and scrollers are involved.
    In the past I've had good experience with at least ETC, strand, Compulite and GrandMA ASCII files.
    I also know that each brand speaks a slightly different dialect of USITT ASCII Cues. Sometimes the headers of a subcategory cause a show not to import all the way. Luckily these files are so easy to read that a correction can then be made in text editor to make it import.
     
  8. Floriaan

    Floriaan Active Member

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    Is there any improment made on a proper way to export a patch into a lighting desk? The method described above doesn’t work at all. It is a waste of time to do things twice (as is stated in one of your excellent webinars!)
     

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