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Sisyphus Table Text Generator - need comments please  

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(@crsolomon)
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July 14, 2019 4:04 pm  

I have written a program (in Windows Small Basic) that generates 3 lines of text and writes out a .thr file to play on any table.  I would appreciate if I can get some folks in the community to test it and give comments.  It seems pretty bulletproof at this point but the interface is very basic.   

The program has an attached data file with the character information for small and large letters as well as numbers (so it can be edited for improvement if desired)   All it needs are these 2 files to be in the same directory - the .thr file will be written to the same place.   

Space is limited and the message has limits in size on each line - it will not let you exceed the boundaries of the table.   I attached a picture of the output too.

Anyone interested in trying this out?


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(@crsolomon)
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July 14, 2019 4:17 pm  

Here is the small basic file - the other post only allows 2 files to be added

 

Maybe the moderator can help - it will not allow me to upload the small basic file. 

This post was modified 1 month ago 5 times by crsolomon

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(@bruce)
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July 14, 2019 10:18 pm  

This is fantastic - need to ask devs what we need to do to allow dl's of programs - should have it working tomorrow.

Bruce


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(@crsolomon)
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July 15, 2019 7:51 am  

To run the MS Small Basic program you either have to download Small Basic from MS (free) or install the >.NET attachment to run the .exe compiled version of the program.   For most - just installing Small Basic would be easier.

 

It was less hassle than installing Java which is why I used SB for the code.

This post was modified 1 month ago by crsolomon

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(@gregf)
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July 15, 2019 11:17 am  

Hi crsolomon,

This is great. Thanks for sharing your work.

I have enabled the file extension "SB" for upload.  You should be able to attach your Small Basic file to this forum now.

Cheers,

Greg


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(@crsolomon)
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July 15, 2019 11:46 am  

I am going to attach 2 versions of the source code.

version 1 just writes 3 lines of text you input.  This is the Beta.

version 2 does the same but writes the 2nd line backward (since the ball is on the right side at the end of the first.  It's not the "preferred" version since writing the characters backward sometimes makes them less readable, but if the effect (which is cool) is liked, I could rework the alphabet data set).  Version 1 and 2 differ in a goto statement is either on or off to control motion

Please note that the abc.txt file needs to be in the same directory as your program to make this work.  Output file is written to same directory too.


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(@crsolomon)
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July 15, 2019 11:50 am  

One other note here - the abc.txt file isn't embedded in the source code of the program since I wanted people to be able to modify the letters if they desired.  The abc.txt is just 90 character maps of cursive small letters (connecting at top or bottom), cursive Large letters and 0 - 9 numerals. 


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(@crsolomon)
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July 16, 2019 6:58 pm  

After the update today on the table firmware allowing us to load multiple files at once (thank you), I went back and added the same feature for output here - you can generate one file after the other without restarting.

Also - forget the earlier post on backward writing, the characters don't work well.

This post was modified 1 month ago by crsolomon

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(@crsolomon)
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July 21, 2019 7:54 pm  

I know you guys are very busy - but are there any comments on this text app?   Or can you put it into the dropbox if I just write an instruction file for using it?

Thanks -


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(@bruce)
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July 21, 2019 10:54 pm  

Sorry for the lack of response. I did try it, nearly a week ago. I had to dl Small Basic (which weirded me out just a little because it's a MS product and they are very interested in what users are doing). I made sure the proper files were in the proper places, but it threw an error. I appreciate your efforts, but I was hoping someone else would chime it. Truly sorry - but I don't have time to debug it with you.


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(@crsolomon)
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July 21, 2019 11:15 pm  

WOW!   Debug it?   It works just fine on my system and never had a problem.  I even posted a 2nd version that has more error checking.  The only 2 things were that the program - sb file and abc.txt file be in the same directory.  Since you had the source it didn't even matter if it was 32 or 64 bit systems.

And MS likes to see?   Dropbox was the most evasive program I ever installed.(deleted it).  Java installation is a nightmare on any system.  I used Small Basic precisely because it was simple - and free.  

Maybe if you put it into a place where someone ELSE in the community could try it I could get some comments.   I certainly feel used here since it WORKS ON MY SYSTEM EVERY TIME. 


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(@bruce)
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July 22, 2019 10:14 am  

I use the term "debug" in a much more general way, since we have several code bases involved with Sisyphus - from firmware running on the microprocessor on the SisBotBoard, to the motion control code running on the Pi, to the code behind our mobile app. A lot of stuff that works during testing here, and on our devs' machines remotely, does not always work on all machines out in the wild (over 2500 currently). Debugging, the way I mean it, includes figuring out why new code doesn't work on someone else's machine, even when they've followed your directions.

Secondly, I'm not sure where you would have us place your program. At your request, we made *.sb files possible to upload - and your program is available for download to our community here.  


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(@crsolomon)
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July 22, 2019 3:02 pm  

I didn't ask for a debug since I would not have posted it unless I had tested it for a week with no errors.  But I went back and added all kinds of prompts and warnings and error detection into it - so please put this version into the dropbox with the abc.txt file that I sent earlier.

Thank you. 


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(@crsolomon)
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July 25, 2019 11:12 am  

Feedback is great!   Small error when a space character was used after the b, v , o or w letters.   Fixed!


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(@crsolomon)
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July 25, 2019 2:00 pm  
I realized that the same could happen for numbers or Capital letters following the b,o,v or w letters the minute after I posted the 1.2 revision .   So I fixed it all and that is version 1.3 (attached) 
 

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(@pjhaynes)
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August 4, 2019 10:23 am  

If you haven't already, you might try looking at single line engraving fonts. They are specially made for engraving or CNC machines. The Hershey Text extension for Inkscape is a nice example to play with for free.


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(@crsolomon)
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August 4, 2019 5:03 pm  

The Hersey cursive set is beautiful - but the sisyphus ball is fat and many of the touches similar to the Hershey had to be rejected due to muddy cross over paths as well as making sure the characters could connect as in cursive.   It was a struggle to try to come up with the smallest size that allowed for a short message versus a larger, flowing letter that only allowed a few characters on a line.

That said, I will look over the characters and see if I can smooth some more based on the Hershey shapes,  but it's not a pretty task.  

 

Thank you for the reference. 


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