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Does ST4 Visual support hyperlinks in log entries - Printable Version

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Does ST4 Visual support hyperlinks in log entries - masec - 2018-01-12

In order to make my log entries more robust, I want to enter hyperlinks to objects either in the text or somewhere in the log dialog box. Pictures, sketches, sound files, spectra, related discussions, Microsoft OneNote entries, etc.  Sometimes "A picture is worth a thousand words".

Also, I hope they will sync between ST4 installed on different machines as many other features do in ST3.

Thank you for making SkyTools so much better than all the others.


RE: Does ST4 Visual support hyperlinks in log entries - theskyhound - 2018-01-12

Hi,

As you may already be aware, SkyTools offers these capabilities through the object rather than require a log entry for them. I believe there are many advantages to doing it this way. In ST3, open the log entry and then click the Info button to open the Object Info dialog. There are tabs along the bottom to attach notes, links, and images (sketches).

I have put some effort into making these "attachments," as they will be called in ST4, less clunky to use. In addition, I am looking at ways to more easily move from the log entry to the Info, perhaps with direct links to the data in the Info tabs. But I have not yet made a decision on which way to go. I my wait for the Visual observing Beta Test and work with the testers on it.

The Sync ability will remain unchanged, except that the files fill be significantly smaller and it should be faster.


RE: Does ST4 Visual support hyperlinks in log entries - masec - 2018-01-12

Greg,
I appreciate the information readily accessible via the tabs in the Object Information dialog box. It is wonderful to have the whole story of an object available in a one-stop location.  I definitely want to see you keep that in ST4.

In the Summer of 2015, Mars made a nice close approach.  Each night's observations were somewhat unique.  In addition to log text entries, there were sketches and other memorabilia that I tried to tie together in the logging process.  Logs can chronicle once-in-a-lifetime events that I will sometimes like to revisit. I enjoy re-reading my old logs. They bring back good memories and sometimes record the moment I first understood how something in the sky works.

So, during the Summer, I made extensive use of the links and images tabs. I have many ancillary files linked there.  What I found to be tedious is  the process of linking the ancillary files to a particular night's log.  I guess I have been spoiled by the ease of tying hyperlinks of files to text in other Windows applications.  Also, there is the typing accuracy needed when trying to make an accurate link in the text of the log.  I'm a horrible typist and I think that the effort of accurate link typing sometimes discourages me from embellishing my log entry with additional files I'd someday find useful.

Also, without the memory jogger of a hyperlink or the like, and after months or years pass, I don't even remember that I saved something additional along with the account of that night for that object.  So the query for the Object Info dialog tab includes all the sketches, for example. That's extremely valuable and don't want to change that.   It's the query for the files attached to a specific log entry of a particular night that usually returns a much narrower report. Relying on my memory to remember all the files unique to a particular night's log is what I doubt that I could recall.

When I used to hand-write my logs in a paper notebook, I could include a little sketch or the like in the notebook.  So when I review the notebook log entry, I end up with a more complete picture of the situation on that particular night.  Little clues add to the experience. A notebook, in most respects, can't hold a candle to the power of the ST3 Log dialog box. The Log Entry dialog box is wonderful. It shows a wealth of data and eliminates a huge amount of repetitive detail entry. I love it.  But being a klutzy typist, I guess that I've become dependent automation and the superior memory of the machine to coordinate those ancillary files.

I know you have already ruminated about my suggestion many times and you'll come up with a great solution if you can.


RE: Does ST4 Visual support hyperlinks in log entries - theskyhound - 2018-01-13

Hello,

Thanks for your detailed explanation. To tell the truth I had forgotten that this was the core issue. But I do now recall coming up with a solution for this, at least on paper. Right now my head is still in imaging mode.

So the idea is to establish direct links from the log dialog to the data on the Object Info. The tricky part is to establish these links only for a subset of images and web links. I should be able to figure out a way to do that.

So to be clear, the Object Info would be unchanged. But on the Log dialog you would have a means of adding links and images that are related to that specific observation. These would be mirrored to the Object Info so anything added would be saved there as well.

Now, I was thinking in terms of tables for web links and images, but I suppose we could accomplish the same with hypertext. I'll have to think on that, as there are other considerations, such as sharing log entries, printing, etc.

Thoughts?


RE: Does ST4 Visual support hyperlinks in log entries - masec - 2018-01-14

Thanks  Greg

Stay with the photography project.  There's no hurry.  Solving the tagging of the products of each imaging session in SkyTools For Imaging may solve the Visual file correlation issue in a similar manner.

I don't do imaging yet.  But I have explored ST3 Pro Imaging Mode a little bit.  From what I can see, there's a wealth of information on how  and when to make the exposure(s) using a given set of equipment.  I've read that AP is often a compilation of multiple/many night's work to produce a single finished image.  Once the camera work is completed, there is a great deal of processing of the data to produce a finished photo.  The processing can be delayed for a significant amount of time.   There may be environmental factors, transparency, seeing issues and concurrent celestial/ terrestrial events ongoing, and modifications of suggested vs actual exposure factors during the exposures by experimenters and so on.  How do APers keep track of these details?  Is SkyTools intended to be a means of compiling exposure notes for complex projects via the logging dialog and trying to keep these packets of data organized somehow?  I'm not sure what's even needed since I've no experience there.  If this minutia is outside the intended scope of SkyTools For Imaging, just ignore it.

I can see myself wondering and trying to remember what was going on when I exposed a packet of data if the result was superior or inferior to what was expected. To help speed up the learning process, the convenience of connecting a data file to its associated exposure notes (analogous to log entry) might be handy. But I don't know if APers would even find something like that useful.

On the downside, I can see how syncing folders and their contents could become unwieldy and cause headaches for customers and create a lot of blow-back.  AP exposing and processing seems to require more than one computer.

My head hurts just thinking about it.  I'm glad we have someone like you who's intrepid enough to tackle the process.  If you can pull off the creation of AP tools as comprehensive and integrated as ST3 has accomplished for visual astronomy, amateur AP would become more satisfying, sooner.  I know, in my case, ST3 Pro used almost strictly for visual has catapulted me to levels of performance that I never would have thought possible.  Sincerely, the exceptional work you've accomplished already is greatly appreciated; it has made a difference.


RE: Does ST4 Visual support hyperlinks in log entries - theskyhound - 2018-01-14

It took a some time to get the right approach, but I do believe that SkyTools 4 Imaging brings the features people need to plan, track their progress, and archive their observations (including links to the images). I can see that it's going to be like when SkyTools 2 first came out. It took some time for people to get the idea, to realize that this is something that they actually need. But that's part of the fun!