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Old December 2nd, 2002, 06:54 PM   #1
Terry Woods
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Damn hat doesn't fit so good anymore!

I received this Private Mail from Jeff Breed.

I sent him a Private Reply where I asked if he had read the NEW HERE at the top of the site page. I hoped he had seen the part about fat-headed ego-maniacs that needed to have their egos fed.

Prior to that Private Mail I tried to send another Private Mail. The site choked and puked it back at me. As is my usual style, it was too long.

So I told him I would post his Mail and my reply on-board (Yes, I told him we like to keep everything on-board - as much as is reasonable, anyway)

<hr size="2" color="#000000" align="center" width="100%">

OUTSTANDING!
Hello Terry,
I've just finished reading your posts to "tlvaun". I just wanted to say that you are amazing. I've been reading posts here for about a year and half, and you are by far, the most generous, and knowledgeable contributor to this forum.

I ask myself how in the world do you come up with answers to often vague, and complex queries. Just how long have you been in automation? Is there really only one of you? :-)

Anyway, thanks for your contributions, and the effort you take in sharing your expertise.

Best Regards,

Jeff Breed

<hr size="2" color="#000000" align="center" width="100%">

Jeff,

Thanks for saying those things. I appreciate them.

As far as being "...the most knowledgable contributor..." I can only say, NO F'N WAY! There are at least a dozen guys here that blow me out of the water! But thanks for saying it.

As far as being "...the most generous...", well, sometimes I have a little time on my hands. Sometimes I think I need to get a life!

hmmmmm.... I didn't see anything about being most handsome.

You said...
I ask myself how in the world do you come up with answers to often vague, and complex queries. Just how long have you been in automation?

Well, let's just say... I remember laying in my backyard waiting to see Sputnik sail by in the night-sky.

I've been around the block a couple of times. I'm gettin' a little long in the tooth as well. Experience provides an awful lot of support when I pull an answer out of my a$$.

The "EDGE" that I have over a lot of programmers was developed in an unusual manner. I learned PLC's in my youth as an Electrician (when they were kinda new). In fact, I was weened on Allen-Bradley. I could make them work... but, something was missing.

A short time later I went to college for Electrical Engineering. It was there that I learned how computers REALLY worked. And it was there that I learned how lacking the AB PLC was in terms of compute power. (You might be able to find this whole story in the archives.)

I then worked in the REAL COMPUTER WORLD for several years. I did Programming, Digital Design, Technical Writing and Illustrating.

Then High-Tech took a big crash.

I got back into using my Electrical License and got back into some PLC's. Now I'm the Plant Process Control Engineer (BIG TITLE, TWICE THE WORK & NO BUCKS!)

Is there really only one of you? :-)

I HOPE TO HELL THERE'S ONLY ONE! I couldn't stand to run up against another arrogant a$$hole like me!

Anyway, thanks for your contributions, and the effort you take in sharing your expertise.

Jeff, I can honestly say, this is FUN! Believe it or not, I'm learning as much from my posts as others might be! Just the exercise of developing a post is enlightening!

However, it's not nearly as fun as it used to be on this site when we had free-running tangents. THOSE WERE REALLY FUN!

If you were to do some searching through the archives I know you could find some pretty interesting threads -- don't be put off by the thread names.

You could search using my name as a target (use "Terry" only). You might search on "Pierre", "Lefty", "Nelson" (that would be Allen, Eric and his other brother Eric - or was it cousin John?) as well. There are others as well -- you'll find them in the archives. There's a lot of Gold in those old threads! (That is, if they're still around... we seem to be losing more and more all the time.)

Terry

<hr size="2" color="#000000" align="center" width="100%">

Hey Phil,
Regarding the archives, how about, instead of losing them, maybe some of us could keep them on our machines? Kinda like, share the Library-Load, as it were.

I don't know about Available-on-Demand, but certainly, Available-on-Request could work.

Then maybe you could just maintain something like a reference file.
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 07:11 PM   #2
rsdoran
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Quote:
Hey Phil,
Regarding the archives, how about, instead of losing them, maybe some of us could keep them on our machines? Kinda like, share the Library-Load, as it were.

I don't know about Available-on-Demand, but certainly, Available-on-Request could work.

Then maybe you could just maintain something like a reference file.
I too have alot of time on my hands that I want to do more with. For many years I have owned a website (patchn.com) that has lain dormant since I closed my computer business.

Recently I have started developing a website dedicated to Industrial "whatever"...ie electrical, mechanics, hydraulics etc al. I have the ability and time to design the web but need things to help get it started.


I would be glad to put any of the archives on a site in categorical order and/or by brand of plc, that part will have to be developed but please allow me the opportunity to place these items on the web. It will take me a couple of weeks to get it started but with everyones advice, opinions, info, threads etc it could be a good site pertaining to plc's and OTHER industrial devices.

I would appreciate the opportunity to return something to this site.
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 08:15 PM   #3
Phil Melore
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Re: Damn hat doesn't fit so good anymore!

Quote:
Originally posted by Terry Woods
snip...
Hey Phil,
Regarding the archives, how about, instead of losing them, maybe some of us could keep them on our machines? Kinda like, share the Library-Load, as it were.

I don't know about Available-on-Demand, but certainly, Available-on-Request could work.

Then maybe you could just maintain something like a reference file.
Hi Terry,
To the best of my knowledge, they are all still there.
Heres the link from the main page archive section:
archives
Let me know if you have found otherwise.
Enjoy,
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 08:33 PM   #4
Phil Melore
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Quote:
Originally posted by rsdoran


I would be glad to put any of the archives on a site in categorical order and/or by brand of plc, that part will have to be developed but please allow me the opportunity to place these items on the web. It will take me a couple of weeks to get it started but with everyones advice, opinions, info, threads etc it could be a good site pertaining to plc's and OTHER industrial devices.

I would appreciate the opportunity to return something to this site.
Hi Ron,
In the redesign (hopefully ready by 1/1/03 ) the main site will have more areas to surf... one area will be organized by brands. (ie. info by model and manufacturer.)
If you have some example programs for specific models/brands, that would be a big help. ZIP them if you have them and they can be added.
Brand/model specific info in general will be of value. Let me know if you (or anybody...) has info to contribute.

Regarding other automation devices, I have not considered that since I didn't want to lose focus away from plc's. Perhaps down the road an external device area can be added, but not immediately.

Splitting the forum by brands is not being considered however. That was a topic long ago voted down.

Enjoy,
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 10:50 PM   #5
Phil Melore
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Hi Guys,

Maybe I mis-understood you. If you wanted the archives searchable by this forum they would have to be a part of it. So either they have to be imported (not currently possible automatically) or manually entered. (ie. cut-n-pasted one-by-one.)

If you have the time/desire to cut&paste them I can certainly dedicate the existing archive section to that. Right now it is closed to posting (since link above) but I can set you up with a special id for cutting and pasting them there. Please note however, that there are literally 1000's (10,000's??) of posts.

Enjoy,
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 07:17 AM   #6
Terry Woods
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Phil,

Are you saying that, even if you do a "forum jump" to "Archives", the archives are simply not searchable?

That certainly does seem to be the case.

I went to the Archives Forum, selected "Early 2001 - End 2001".

The first thread displayed is titled "Alfa Laval Alert 500 PLC".
I then went to the top of that page and did a search for "Alfa".

Search which Forums: Search ALL Forums
Search which Fields: ALL
Search how many days: Search ALL
Search Archive? Checked for YES

The result was 1 hit.
When I opened it and did a "Find on this Page" I found...

halfa$$

Soooo (at the risk of being redundant)....
Are you saying that, even if you do a "forum jump" to "Archives", the archives are simply not searchable?
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 05:26 PM   #7
Allen Nelson
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Know your tools

Quote:
Originally posted by Terry Woods
Phil,

I went to the Archives Forum, selected "Early 2001 - End 2001".

The first thread displayed is titled "Alfa Laval Alert 500 PLC".
I then went to the top of that page and did a search for "Alfa".

Search which Forums: Search ALL Forums
Search which Fields: ALL
Search how many days: Search ALL
Search Archive? Checked for YES
The "Archive" checkbox limits the search (despite the "Search ALL Forums") to ONLY the "Archives" section of the "*** LIVE PLC Q&A ***" forum.

Without the "Archive" checkbox checked, the Live PLC Q&A forum will be searched, but not the 40 pages of the "Archive".


Uncheck that box and the search engine comes up with that most recent post.

It's probably a bug (or Phil used the old forum software in a way that the designers didn't intend).

To do a thorough search of PLCs.net, you have to do three searches: This forum, the archive without the "Archive" checkbox, and the archive with the "Archive" checkbox.

It's a PITA, and it sure would be nice to have all of our immortal prose in one place.

But it won't be easy for Phil to move the old forum to here (even if he's got room on this new server). All the HTML tags that you and I are so fond of need to be edited (by hand), changing square brackets to angle brackets and the like. Any links would have to be redone (by hand since there's no way to know before it's copied what the new database record number would be). And somehow each person's name would have to be set up as the author of the post, since that's part of the new forum's database structure. Plus you've got to figure out how to make sense of the old forum's indented style (where tangents could literally break off from the main text) and this forum's straight linear style.

Not easy. Probably not possible for Phil to do "in his copious spare time". Which is a darn shame 'cuz there's a lot of good stuff over there.
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 06:36 PM   #8
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correct.

Hi Guys,

Yes, Allen got it right.

The old forum was based on a flat-file database.
If you don't know, a flat-file database is basically a delimited text file. A common example would be a csv file that you might import into Excel. (data1:data2:data3:etc)

This is terribly inefficient... but was common in the Internet early days. Basically, all forum entries are stored in a text file. When you click on a thread, it opens the text file, locks it so nobody else can access it, looks for the data, then displays it. When you post something it does the same except it adds text to the bottom of the file. So, the file grows quite large.
This creates a problem because a server has a timeout value. (Like a plc watchdog timer) If you exceed the timeout the file gets closed. When this happens the chance of it getting corrupted is very high. When the old forum file was greater than 2Mb in size, a timeout would most likely happen. To prevent the timeout, I had to create archives. So, the archives are seperate flat-files (ie text files). Each is basically a piece of the forum.

So, there are actually about 6 forums within the 'old forum'. Hence, you have to search the forum and/or the archives.

The new forum is based on MySQL. This is really a true database with seperate tables. When you post, your info goes into seperate tables depending upon what the data is. Then when you visit, the code runs a few 'queries' and gets data from multiple tables. The data is then gathered together and formatted into what you see on the screen. This is based upon SQL (pronounced see-quell) like you might have in your office systems.

So, with the new forum I don't have to archive the files since it's spread out and more optimized to its purpose. A real database, if you will. Currently it's about 30Mb(?) and grows each day. If it were still the old forum there would be quite a few archives already.

To combine the old/new forums basically the old flat-files would have to be spread over multiple tables. It's probably possible to write code to do this automatically (an import script) but it's over my head(today), unfortunately.

I hope that helps explain the differences and limitations.

Enjoy,
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 06:55 PM   #9
Terry Woods
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OK, I tried a few searches and they worked.
This all came up because I couldn't find my posting on the "Bubble-Sort". I found it.


Jeezzz, I still haven't heard anything about "most handsome"!
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 07:30 PM   #10
Phil Melore
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tangents...

Hi Guys,

There is sometimes a mention about the ability to have more tangents like on the old forum. Till now I still don't truly understand what this means as far as the old layout.

In this screenshot below do you feel it's easier for tangents because the contents was in the middle?? If not, kindly point me in the right direction of what (specifically) in the layout made it easier.

I'm just curious if it can be replicated here as there is a capability to have multiple styles. And maybe (ie MAYBE) it can be replicated if the user can choose his/her own style. (ie standard layout or other layout user selectable option.)



Thx,
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 07:58 PM   #11
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To me, the indented layout told me that (in the example), ProDave's response was specifically to JustinLane's post, and RSDoran's response was to ProDave. I think it invited responses. If somebody made a smarta$$ comment, you could respond to it without feeling the need to explain which post your response was directed to.

Quite often, once a tangent got started, two or three people would keep it alive, and if you weren't interested in the direction the tangent was taking, it was easy to just ignore those posts.

Of course, sometimes people added responses to the tangent that really belonged in the main thread, so it wasn't bulletproof. And of course, if you ignored the tangents, you ran the risk of missing some good information (as well as some snappy comebacks!).
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 08:03 PM   #12
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Re: tangents...

Quote:
Originally posted by Phil Melore
...Till now I still don't truly understand what this means as far as the old layout...
The old forum had the ability to reply to an individual post rather than replying to the whole thread (and just get tagged on to the end). Those who wanted to could follow the tangent, as it was visible back then.

Using your example, here's what might be the "beginning" of a possible tangent...

[attachment]

beerchug

-Eric
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File Type: gif oldforumtangent.gif (3.1 KB, 411 views)
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 09:24 PM   #13
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The old way also kept down on the need for quoting.
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 09:34 PM   #14
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Love it

I wasn't around much for the old style forum, and I love the look and feel of this one.
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 10:21 PM   #15
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I see...

Hi Guys,

OK, I now understand completely.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like that can be done.

But at least I understand the concept.

Thx,
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