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Old 02-08-2018, 12:56 PM   #1
headhawg
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Any interest in this?

My interest in coding has had a resurgence lately so I have been working on a couple of things. One of them is a scratch program for Bris files. I have some of NCG's programs and as many of you know the programs don't allow the user to unscratch; you have to reload the data file and start again from...um...scratch.

Is there any interest in this? I know that a couple of years ago JustCoolGene was selling a program called Scratch Manager. It was kind of expensive, and maybe he didn't sell too many copies as it's off the market AFAIK. My program won't be that sophisticated; it will just rewrite the .drf file without the scratched horses so every time the modified file is opened there will be no need to re-scratch. I'm asking about the amount of interest as I would have to make it more user-friendly if I am going to release it to the public. The user-friendly part will take a lot more time.

It will probably be free of charge. Maybe users can donate to the PA site. I will work out the details when needed. I actually have to finish coding it first.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:19 AM   #2
jim michalak
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i would be interested.

headhawg, do you code spot plays ? my old programmer, stevan farmer who did a lot of work for me, all of it excellent informed me that due to time constraints he will no longer be doing this type of work anymore and that includes for norcal greg. i would be willing to pay for it, of course. thanks.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:26 AM   #3
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Hello Headhawg:

I would also be very interested. I have several of NCG's programs as well and to have that feature added or to be able to utilize such a thing would be excellent indeed. Same as the person that posted prior, I would of course be willing to pay for such a useful and needed development. Hope that all is well with you Headhawg?
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:57 AM   #4
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I, too, would be interested in this tool! It would make my home life a bit more pleasant:
"What are you swearing at NOW?"
"Nothing, dear."
"Did you mess up the scratches AGAIN??"
*Mumbles.*
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:54 AM   #5
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220+ views and only three takers. Now I know why JustCoolGene stopped selling Scratch Manager.

I am still working on it and will take me a little bit of time to finish, but I will have PA post it here or maybe use Dropbox or some other cloud space service. Floyd got me with his post. I have to complete it now to save his home life.

@jim michalak -- I am just a guy who codes for some enjoyment (although many times I feel like Floyd and scratches ). I am nowhere close to being a professional for hire. A guy like Stevan Farmer probably had a code shell to import data files, create a GUI, routines for loading/saving files, etc. When he was given spot plays to code most of the programming was likely done. That's why NCG's stuff and Pandy's PowerPace program looked and worked in similar ways.

So the short answer to your question is, yes I could probably code spot plays, but writing something for you would take too long at the moment. I am learning a new programming language and don't have a code shell. Once I get more skilled and create a "handicapping software template" I would take on the challenge if I have the time.

@Vinnie -- I am doing ok, thanks. How's you?

I just want to be clear about something: my little scratch utility will only change the .drf data file to eliminate scratched horses so that they are not included in the calculations. I cannot alter the vendor's software directly as I don't have access to the source code. So while it would be great to be able to unscratch in NCG's Pace View program, for example, my program won't add that ability.

Last edited by headhawg; 02-09-2018 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 02-09-2018, 01:32 PM   #6
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Coding the program should be fairly easy once you get the hang of your language. Most programs I believe use the entry field to put a code indicating the horse is scratched. At least what I do. This way the original contents are kept intact. There will be some issues with some of the fields that you should be aware of and should test quite a few days worth.
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:22 PM   #7
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@vegasone

Yes, an "S" in field 5 indicates scratches. When I was (emphasis on was) coding HHXv3 that's how I was going to handle scratched horses. Somebody had mentioned that in a thread and I thought that was a clever and efficient way to handle scratches. HHX would then only do the calculations on those horses without an "S" in that field. EZ breezy. The problem is that I don't think that is how some (most?) of these programs handle scratches. They might use some kind of internal flag to figure that out, who knows? It would probably depend on the skill of the coder.

Yeah I will do a reasonable amount of testing. I'll release it as a beta and have the users just tell me about all of the bugs. This is mostly a coding project for fun, not some kind of commercial release.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:19 AM   #8
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5 Entry CHARACTER X 1 A- part of A entry B- part of B entry C- part of C entry F- part of FIELD S- if scratched


this is actual data structure of bris files so would mean that all software should recognize scratches


http://www.brisnet.com/cgi-bin/static.cgi?page=mcstruct
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:32 AM   #9
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I'm going to use this thread as kind of a developer's blog to keep me on task. This is a screenshot of the main screen. I'm not sure this is how I want to implement it yet but it's the working screen for now. Currently the only buttons that work are the Download Scratch File and Exit Program. Each button has a tool tip. I'm debating about using a standard menu as well, but with the user having limited options I don't think I want to complicate things.

I'm still working through learning a new language and using a new GUI creator which is a language in itself. I'm not a gifted coder so this may take a while. A long while.

It seems like you have to double-click on the attachment for a larger view without having weird colors being displayed.

Attached Images
File Type: png first_screen2.png (130.1 KB, 59 views)

Last edited by headhawg; 02-11-2018 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:46 PM   #10
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Made a mistake and lost some time having to redo some things. After that I had to step away from coding. Back to it today and working on parsing the Equibase XML file. The goal is to give the user an option to manually scratch or let the program use the XML file to do scratches and then let the user scratch/unscratch horses as needed. We'll see how that works out.

I am not sure yet how I want to display the scratch screen and the horses in each race. I will probably keep it simple for the first version and maybe work on improving it later.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:33 AM   #11
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The XML parser is done. Yay! I hate parsing; it's too easy to make stupid logic errors writing the code for it. I really need to learn MSXML which will help in the long run, but I don't think I will be reading/writing much XML overall. Another day, perhaps.

Next up is coding the manual scratch routine. I still haven't decided on how to display the horses or how the user will do the scratches. Checkboxes? Double Listview boxes with one containing running horses and the other the scratches? A single Listview with some kind of scratch indicator: a different font color (red maybe), Strikethrough text, Italics... I will probably wind up with what is easiest for me to code.

My expectation is to have a version ready for my beta testers within a week. I hope.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headhawg View Post
The XML parser is done. Yay! I hate parsing; it's too easy to make stupid logic errors writing the code for it. I really need to learn MSXML which will help in the long run, but I don't think I will be reading/writing much XML overall. Another day, perhaps.

Next up is coding the manual scratch routine. I still haven't decided on how to display the horses or how the user will do the scratches. Checkboxes? Double Listview boxes with one containing running horses and the other the scratches? A single Listview with some kind of scratch indicator: a different font color (red maybe), Strikethrough text, Italics... I will probably wind up with what is easiest for me to code.

My expectation is to have a version ready for my beta testers within a week. I hope.
Hey HH....

One thing more , will your utility work with JCP files ?
and maybe some others that P-V uses...

Thxs

Mike
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:54 AM   #13
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Good question, Mike. I think that .drf, .jcp, .eg, and .mcp files all have the same file structure so I will make sure that the users can load any of those file types. As I use Bris .drf that's what I'm testing with, but I think that one of my beta testers uses .jcp files. I might have some very old .eg and .mcp files to test on as well.
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by headhawg View Post
Good question, Mike. I think that .drf, .jcp, .eg, and .mcp files all have the same file structure so I will make sure that the users can load any of those file types. As I use Bris .drf that's what I'm testing with, but I think that one of my beta testers uses .jcp files. I might have some very old .eg and .mcp files to test on as well.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:53 PM   #15
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I ran a simple test to see if rewriting the .drf file would cause a problem. After all, that's the main job of this program. I deleted a "scratched" horse's data and then saved the modified file. I then loaded the modified file into Equisim, Pace View Platinum, Exotic Bets, Best 5, and PowerPace. The deleted horse data did not show and there didn't appear to be any problems with the programs handling the modified file. Yay -- more progress.
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