[aprssig] Time stamps on FINDU pages?

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Tue Apr 26 19:56:26 CDT 2005

>>> steve at dimse.com 4/26/05 4:31:11 PM >>>
>Fresh data is not ambiguous at all. The B2V page is set 
>to auto-refresh at one minute intervals.

Yes, but unless I am SITTING at the screen and
WATCHING it refersh, I have no clue if the data is
now, 5 seconds ago. 1 minute ago, an hour ago
or yestereday.  So I have to hit REFRESH to know.

And this is just stupid.  What kind of human interface
other than a psychology experiment with rats and
a lever expects someone to have to hit REFRESH 
just to see the time of a page of data when the
simpler and human-engieered solution is to simply
put the date/time that the page was current on the
page itself!

> If there were a timestamp, you could figure 
>out if the data is 5 seconds or 55 seconds old, and having done that,

>you now know the state of things 5 seconds or 55 seconds ago. But if 
>you really care about the difference, then 99 times out of 100 what
>really care about is the state of the system now, and a refresh gives

>you that. Far more useful than an old set of data and the knowledge of

>exactly how out of date it is.

No, if i want to capture the page, bring it into a spread sheet or
otherwise process the page, I have to refer to a penciled
scribbled note to know when the file was valid.  This is just dumb.

>> 3) presentation of time-relevant data keyed to real time, but
>>     then without the time stamp of when that "time" was, is
>>     completely ambiguouus the instant it is presented.

>If you hit refresh, you know the timestamp. It is NOW. 
>There is no ambiguity.

But darn it, why do I have to write down on a sheet of paper
what time I hit REFRESH, and then have to EDIT the
capture file of a FINDU page to put the TIME in it, so
that I can analyze the file, when if you werent so stubborn
and would just put the time stamp on the page, then
every time I capture a FINDU file, I wouldnt have to do
the stupid exercise of getting the TIME and DATE onto
the FILE!!!!!

THis is just dumb.  I am a regular user of FINDU
(not the MAP pages) but the big lists of DIGIS, SYMBOLS,
ISS data, PCSAT data, PCSAT2 data, and I capture these
pages to DISK as SNAPSHOTS of activity at a date and
time..  But it is abslutley infurriating that  every
time I do this I have to edit the stupid file and keep all
kinds of notes on file names so that I can keep track of
when I hit your stupid REFRESH button.  Because without
that TIME, the snapshot page is USELESS!

>> No, I want to analyze the current data and so it is just silly
>> that in this modern age, that I have to look at the clock,
>> and write down on a  sheet of paper each time I hit the
>> refresh key, to know what time the AGE data is based on!
>> Computers are supposed to help us, not hinder us...

>Bob, are  you really doing this with the B2V page? Please 
>tell me about this analysis, I'd be fascinated.

As I said above, I do it with the PCSAT page, the ARISS page
the SYMBOLS cgi when I capture the list of digis that are
using a particular symbol, and whenever I search for what
is going on in large lists.  Also when I capture a NEAR list
of someone to see what the network looks like to Him.
These pages are SNAPSHOTs and very valuable, but it
is just so infuriating that they dont have the date and time
on them.

I have sent students to look at the ARISS page and the
PCSAT page and they come back with totally meaningless
results, because they were too  unfamiliar with the system
to know to hit REFRESH and to write down the time that
they hit REFRESH, and then to keep track of that time
in their analysis of the data.   Itrs just poor design to have
an AGE column without also showing the time that was 
used for time 0. (as you call it, "now")...

>What you seem not to realize is there are two separate 
>classes of cgis in findU.  One is meant to show things as 
>they exist now, example of this is find.cgi. 

But that is the whole point "now" is meaningless, useless
and totally ambiguous for all time, unless the instant of
"now" is recorded at the time the assessment was made.

>These are ephemeral, not meant for archive or analysis.

But I use them that way all the time as snapshots of information
at a date and a time.  They are such excellent pages, and they 
summarize exactly what I want and what I need, and they 
compute the AGE so beautifully, I just can't understand why
I can't get you over the last 5 years that I keep
asking for a time stamp, that  you refuse to add it?

>> All I ask is to just put the UTC time at the top of the page,
>> It is just one line of code and so valuable to the end user...
>> I dont understand why you so adamantly resist this simple
>> reasonable user request to time-stamp real-time pages.

>For the simple reason that it clutters up the page design, forces more

>of the interesting data down below "the fold", and adds absolutely 
>nothing to the presentation of the data.

We disagree completely.  You can add it without even adding a line.
and without it the page is useless other than the instant it was 
generated.  I'd say adding it adds a LOT to the presentation of the

> The only thing I would 
>consider adding is a javascript clock that  kept counting the age of 
>the data, for example, on the find page where it says last report "2 
>minutes and 8 seconds ago". If someone produced a script that accepts

>the timestamp of the data, the timestamp of the page, and then grabs 
>the system time when the page is loaded and displayed, I'd like to
>that time continue to count. I'm not sure such a thing is possible, I

>do not know javascript, but earlier in the thread someone mentioned
>and if it could be done it sould be cool to have it. But that is all I

>will consider...

You mean all the age times woudl continue to count down?
Again, that is just as useless as soon as the file is saved.
It still becomes a SNAPSHOT with no date and no time...
useless...   Can't you understand that these pages are so 
very valuable as SNAPSHOTS of activity at a DATE and 
TIME.  And yet you refuse to put the date and time on the 
page so that they can mean anything....

I dont what tons of archival data, I simply want to be able
to SAVE an ARISS, or PCSAT page or a NEAR page
or any number of pages as a SNAPSHOT in time for
comparison.  The pages are beautiful in that respect, but
useless without the date and time on the page., or written
in a log or edited into the file so that later when you go
to analyze the snapshots, you konw what "1 hour ago"


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