Jump to content
Zero 88 Community Support Forum
Sign in to follow this  
spencer

ASCII export, spreadsheets, ISF file format

Recommended Posts

why not publish the structure of the .isf file so that people can make import and export utilities without having to hand decode the file. This has worked in the broadcast industry to the advantage of those that publish as their file formats become de-facto standards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ISF show file format is constantly evolving as we add new functions to the desk. If we were to release it we'd have to think through carefully how we were going to support people trying to use the information. We'd also have to toughen up a lot of the checking of the show file in the desk, to guard against erroneous data. Currently the file is only ever made by the desk, so it knows exactly what to expect in it.

 

I have heard that there are some already published ASCII file formats for lighting data, but that they are unfortunately troubled with compatibility and interoperability issues between different manufacturers equipment. We have to be careful if we release our file format that we do not add to this confusion. Different desks work in different ways, and there will only ever be a small core of functions which are common throughout.

 

If we do one day produce an offline editor (and we do get a lot of requests for this), then a very useful function of this would be to be able to export and import data in a standard format that can be handled by your favourite text editor or spreadsheet. The offline editor would then handle validation of the imported data, and take care of the complexities of the file format for you. This might make life a lot easier all round!

 

Is the ISF really that easy to hand decode? Darn - we'll have to encrypt it from now on!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the reply Paul. I understand the reluctance to publish your format although surely the changing features argument applies to yourselves internally as well (I assume you make shows backwards compatible). Of course as you say you format is not easy to hand decode, I am trying but have found the block checksum at the beginning of each record has me scratching my head (some shifting or a constant table involved methinks!). Of course I will persevere as it has now become an irritation to me, If anyone has any clues to hoe this is done I would be interested. I purchased the desk (I think one of the first ten 500s) based on a demo at plasa of the original illusion (5 years ago) and because I had good experience with your other desks. I didn't even think you might have gone to any trouble to deliberately obscure the information in show files. You and the others at zero88 have made a great product in the illusion500. The change to schadow buttons and the metal case make this a desk to compete with the big boys, the lack of an offline editor is not however going to sell more desks. As for ascii show files, what about using XML, it has worked well for us in a slightly different field as it allows more or less information to be imported or exported.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There needs to be a spreadsheet function where cue are displayed on the y axis, and channels displayed on the x axis. This allows for safe range editing of channel levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is probably fairly straightforward for a memory stack which only contains scenes, but starts becoming more complex if you have chases, sound to light or multipart scene memories.

What about the delay, fade and dwell times, chase modifiers etc. etc. ?

 

Illusion Reference No 4077 - Saving show data (memories, submasters etc.) as a CSV file for use on a spreadsheet on a PC - to be reviewed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, though it would be nice to export data to MS Excel, I need the spreadsheet functionality in the console's software. Currently there is no means to track charges through cues regardless of tracking or cue only modes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to mention it again, but I cannot emphasize enough tracking changes through cues is absolutely necessary regardless of tracking or cue only modes.

 

The spreadsheet display is one way of doing this designers expect to see on a console.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the most useful addition would be an offline editor and/or the ability to import and export from Excel. Even a very simple import/export format would be a real boon since simple macros could reformat the data for our own purposes. - r.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes that would be great! It's often easier to edit lot of cues on a pc than on the stage... ! And i agree with you... a simple one would be enough.

 

Let's hope there's someone who would hear it!

 

Carl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hy

 

I agree with NPhillips.

I Spreadsheet function would be nice. This Spreadsheet function could be added to the Edit Blind mode.

 

 

K-Nine wrote:

This is probably fairly straightforward for a memory stack which only contains scenes, but starts becoming more complex if you have chases, sound to light or multipart scene memories.

What about the delay, fade and dwell times, chase modifiers etc. etc. ?

 

I think this shouldn't be a big problem because the ETC Express Console has this function and has chases and multipart scene memories as well.

The Express shows effect cues but does not display any brightness parameters for effect cues. The same it does for multipart cues.

All fade times do not have to showup in the spreadsheet, because you can edit them in the mem screen.

 

Greets stagefrog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×