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Ferret

Misc.Ferret History

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September 13, 2013, at 09:42 PM by dbayg - Unspammed
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The government isn't tyring to detain, arrest, and put individuals on trial with the Predator drones that the CIA is employing far away from any battlefield. So, habeas corpus is the least of our worries. Persons who ought to be protected by the Geneva Conventions are routinely being targeted for assassination in Pakistan or Yemen on the basis of allegations or speculations contained in classified intelligence reports . Those reports are not subject to any legal challenge and the death sentence is not handed down by a judge or a jury.The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings has demanded that the United States and other countries end the accountability vacuum by disclosing the full legal basis for targeted killings and specifically the measures in place to ensure wrongful killings are investigated, prosecuted and punished. The ACLU has noted the alarming legal questions raised by the U.S. program of targeting and killing people including U.S. citizens sometimes far from any battlefield .
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!!!Ferret Project Wiki Page

Welcome to the Ferret Project. The Ferret Project is a an attempt to do for Mac OS-X what Otter has done for Windows users; provide a useful tool for the management of large collections of old time radio shows.

While Ferret is going to provide functions similar to those in Otter, it is not going to be a simple clone. Quite a few significant changes and additions are planned. Also, the compiler I'm using is supposed to be able to produce executables not only for the Mac, but also for Windows and Linux platforms with only minor changes to the source code. If it is possible to produce a working version for Windows machines without a great deal of extra work, I'll probably release a version for Windows.

At the moment, Ferret is in the planning stages. I'm putting together a "wish list" of functions and features that myself and other OTR collectors would like to see in an OTR management program. So if you're a Macintosh OSX user who has been frustrated by the lack of software for your computer, now is the time to come up with your ideas.

You are welcome to leave your comments, questions and ideas here, or you can email them to me at feetache@feetache.com

More information can be found here: http://www.feetache.com then click on the link to the Ferret Project.

As time permits, I'll be updating this with more information about the planning process, what is going to be included in Ferret, etc.

----

!!!!Website update

I've posted a new database specification and an updated outline of functions proposed for the Ferret project at http://www.feetache.com If you've been to the website before, you may need to click the REFRESH button on your browser to re-load your cache.
*feet_ache*

----
!!Suggestions/Comments
%green% Suggest "See" and "See Also" references. If, for example, people know a series by an incorrect name (but this name is consider in common use) you enter the name with a "See" reference pointing it to the correct title.


%green%If, for example, someone was looking for Eddie Cantor in the Chas'N Sanborn hour you could make a "See Also" reference and point them to any other series Eddie Cantor may have hosted. Or under the series "See Also" Cantor, Eddie?


%green%Another suggestion would be to code each record with a Genre field that would allow one to serach for all programs in a certain genre (Am sure exact classifying is a disputed art form).

Thanks for allowing my two bits!


Thanks

Thanks a lot for the suggestion. I've noticed a lot of files floating around with "Also Known As" or AKAs with alternative titles. The database is going to provide space for information that there isn't room for in Otter, and allowing for alternate titles would be useful. One idea we've been bouncing around linking to an external database that would provide additional information specific to a series or an episode, sort of a super log file that contains info that isn't really necessary to tracking a collection, but which real fans would like to have, like producer, director, guest stars, etc.

%green% I think the above is a great idea!!

And a genre tag would definitely be useful.

If you have any other suggestions, just let me know. It's a lot easier to define how the program should work now, before the actual coding starts, than it is to try to make modifications later on.

feet_ache

%block color=purple%Its a little thing, but an annoying one. If the Otter Log is saved with an empty space after the title of the episode, it records that space as part of the title. Therefore, when you try to rename the title, it adds an extra space before the .mp3. It is very easy to ignore whitespace at the end of a line, but you have to put it in the program.
~ [[~menachem]] February 08, 2005, at 02:11 AM

I've never noticed that before, but I haven't used the log functions of Otter much. Having that kind of thing pop up in a program is pretty common. Back when I was doing programming professionally I almost always added generic subroutines that stripped off extra spaces at the beginning or end of a data field.

%red% I have only read and heard about what Otter can do so don't know what is missing that should be added to Ferret. I have wanted Otter for the Mac since I found out about it. I like the idea of a genre tag but we need a set of standardized genre to go with it.

Jim... 2-09-05

There is always going to be some debate about genre, of course. Often it's pretty clear, sometimes not. I'd call Lum and Abner a comedy, but some people might consider it to be more of a humorous soap opera. As for Otter on the Mac, the "Frogger" version *will* run under the PC emulator. I run it on my new iMac with Ver. 7 of the emulator. The standard Defender version won't run properly at all. It crashes with memory errors constantly. Even the Frogger version will bomb out with memory errors after it's been running for some time, especially when working with folders that have large numbers of files in them. It is also very, very slow. I have the 1.8 ghz processor with 1 gig of RAM, with 512 Meg for the emulator, and it's extremely slow, especially when updating ID3 tags. *feet_ache*

%green%How feasable is a report printing function which would allow one to print out lists by series, or title or performer (that would require searchability within the data),I like to look at things by date and call up a variety of programs from one year, month and/or day (say my birthday).

Thanks.

Printer support is definitely on the list! The lack of printing capabilities was always a pet peeve of mine with Otter.

I'm planning on expanding search capabilities as well. I'm not really fond of how Otter handles searches.

I'm currently working on defining the "wish list" and getting it into final form and hope to get it up on the website at feetache.com within a week or so. I realize that it's been taking a considerable amount of time just defining what the program is going to do, but back when I was studying data processing and programming in college our systems analysis instructor really drilled that into us. Every hour spent defining exactly what the program should do can save many hours in programming and debugging time later. *feet_ache*


%note%Website had to get reverted back to last night and we lost some stuff. That includes the stuff you had added to the bottom of this page.
~ [[~menachem]] February 15, 2005, at 03:29 AM



!! Advice wanted on how collections are stored


I'm starting to look at programming considerations as I go over the list of functions and other things for Ferret, and one major item is how people store their OTR collections. I was talking with my son the other night about the project and he questioned the need to have Ferret track files stored on removable media (CD/DVD, etc.). He believed that because hard drives prices are now so low, it would be reasonable to assume that collectors would have their entire collection stored on hard drives, and would use CD/DVD only for backups. Therefore there was no need for Ferret to have to deal with removable media except perhaps for copying files or restoring from archive backups.

I wonder if he may have a point there. I have my entire collection on HD, and use CD/DVD only for backup, and I know some other people who do it as well.

So does Ferret have to deal with removable media? Or do you think most collectors would store their files on HD only? It would probably save a great deal of programming time if Ferret did not have to deal with removable media. *feet_ache*

%note background-color=#ccffcc%In my opinion, both hard drives and cds suck for long term storage. I've seen too many people lose everything when their hard drives give up the ghost. `CDs aren't a permanent storage solution either, as they have a limited life span.
That being said, theoretically `CDs should have a smaller chance of dying if used and stored properly (on the other hand, they may have a shorter lifespan). Since the data is written into the disc, a powersurge (for example) won't kill the `CD. If I were getting distros by mail, I may want to keep the `CDs just in case my hard drive died. It would be nice for the program to keep track of the files you have on `CDs.
Also, people may want to move series to `CDs after they finish with them.
With all of the above in mind, I don't think that removable media support is needed in the first release. One thing you should do, once you figure out what is needed in the progam, is create a roadmap, indicating when you would be adding certain features and functionality. Put removable media support lower down on the roadmap.
In general, a roadmap will let people know what to expect from the program as each release comes out. They can then decide when the program is functional enough to start using it.
~ [[~menachem]] February 17, 2005, at 03:13 PM


Thanks for the advice, menachem. I really like that idea; do an HD only version first just to get a working version going faster and add CD support after the first is debugged.

I hope people are backing up their stuff on a regular basis. I generally have at least 2 copies of everything on CD, and I try to remember to burn new copies of all my archive CDs/DVDs once a year because I've learned not to trust the things. When I switched to the Macintosh, I had to restore my collection from CD to the Mac's external HDs, and I found problems with a small number of discs, perhaps 5 or 10 out of several hundred. Fortunately I had other copies of the material, but if I hadn't been paranoid about backups, I would have lost some files on those discs. Interestingly enough, all of the failed discs were expensive, brand name discs, while I had no trouble with the generic, off-brand ones.

I've also learned the hard way to never, NEVER put a paste on label on a CD or DVD. The CDs I labeled are still readable, but they don't work in the iMac's slot drive! The tolerances on the drive are so tight that something rubs inside when I insert a CD with a label and the disc won't spin up. When I run across an old CD I did label, I have to copy it using my wife's old PC and burn a new copy

My biggest problem right now is time. I work 40+ hours a week, plus I build custom furniture and I'm in the middle of designing and building a complete suit of mission style furniture, so free time to work on Ferret is limited.

Thanks again. *feet_ache*


%note%One thing in otter that could use a huge improvement is the importing and exporting of logs (to and from text files). The otter way is convoluted and kludgy, you have to highlight the log file in order to import it. You should be able to import and export log files, just be clicking on an option|icon|etc. \\\
Say for example you want to export a log. Just click the export button and then chose the series you want to export from a list. If you want to import a log file, it should also be just as easy. \\
~ [[~menachem]] February 25, 2005, at 12:58 AM

That's a good point. There are a few things in Otter that are unnecessarily awkward to work with, and the log files are one of them.
*feet_ache*


%note% In conversations with Ben Kibbler, an interesting thing came up. There are some episodes where the time period is known, even if the exact date is unknown. Like if you know that a certain star or sponsor was only on the show for a certain time period.\\\
It would be cool if there was a way to mark the episode as (for example) airing between 2/5/43 and 5/7/49. Then even if the date was xx/xx/xx it would show up after the last episode with a known date in that time period.
~ [[~menachem]]

Now that's an interesting point. I hadn't thought of that, but now that you mention it, I have a few series and individual episodes where the actual date is unknown, and I hadn't given any thought to how Ferret would handle shows that kind of situation. THat can be a problem with some syndicated shows that didn't have a specific broadcast date. I'm going to have to give some thought on how to handle that kind of thing.

In the extended log file (i.e. the master database that contains the series/episode data, not the user DB that tracks the user's collection) I'd planned on putting a date range in the listing such as broadcast between Jan 5, 1940 to June 6, 1943, with exact dates given for the episodes, but I hadn't given any thought on how to deal with episodes without 'hard' broadcast dates.

* Other notes: I've reached the point where I'm going to start doing some preliminary programming work. There are still some issues that I'm not sure about yet, but I'll get those worked out fairly soon, I hope.

I'd toyed with the idea of using Java, but abandoned that and am going to stick with the original plan of using RealBasic for a variety of reasons. RB seems to be more stable, and it should be easier to port the program to other platforms. Since RB is relatively inexpensive as well, that means other people can tinker with the program more easily once the source code is made available.

And yes, the source code is going to be made available without charge. I don't want the program's users to end up stuck with something that doesn't grow and change to meet their needs if I lose interest in the thing and decide not to work with it any longer.

*feet_ache*



----


!! Another idea


I got an email from otrWalter the other day with an interesting idea. He's been working on developing a massive on-line database that has the potential for containing enormous amounts of detailed information about OTR series and episodes. He thought it might be a good idea for Ferret to be able to link to this database. He envisions a system that would work like some music oriented MP3 management programs do which link to on-line databases to provide the user with additional information music, only in this case it would be OTR oriented.

I don't think I would include this in the version of Ferret that is currently under development (this first version is going to be difficult enough to code and debug), but I think it could be useful, even though Ferret's expanded database would contain a lot of the info the on-line db would have.

any comments?

feet_ache March 28, 2005

%note%Would chosing to include it or not affect you in any way? If not, I don't think you should even worry about it. Since the on-line database isn't even in existence now, it would be tough to write it into the program.
Hence I say forget about it until it becomes a reality.
~ [[~menachem]] March 29, 2005, at 01:00 AM

This is all very speculative at the moment, and would definitely be for a future version of the program. It would require some modifications to the datastructure to include a unique ID code to link to the external data source and, of course, code necessary to retrieve and display the data. This would be entirely optional, though.

It sounds like a good idea, but I have some serious questions about it. There's no guarantee that the database will ever come on-line, and even if it does, there is no guarantee it will continue to exist. Who's going to host it? who's going to update it? There are a whole host of questions here. It could also have a great deal of potential. Something to think about, anyway.

At the moment I'm struggling with the ID3 tags. I thought I could just pick up a module to do it, but all of the ones I've tested so far are questionable at best, so I'm cobbling together routines to handle that.

I wanted to include a function to play mp3 files from inside of Ferret and thought that was going to be difficult. Turns out to be one of the easiest parts of the program. RealBasic's methods for dealing with files includes a function that passes off mp3s to the QuickTime routines that actually play the file, so it's only taking a few lines of code to to do that, which pleased me enormously :)

feet_ache 4/1/05

%note%there are many open source ID3 tagging programs. For one, check out
[[http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=12349|libid3tag]]. I found it on this page: http://www.underbit.com/products/mad/
For that matter, there is a great mp3 program called [[http://madman.sourceforge.net/|madman]] that does mass mp3 tagging. you may want to check out how they do it.
~ [[~menachem]] April 03, 2005, at 03:17 AM

Thanks for the info. I just DLed the source code for libid and some other routines that I discovered thanks to the links you gave! :)
September 04, 2013, at 09:27 AM by Hidup - Iuw5jAXzcIU1
Changed line 1 from:
You can love from afar. Actually, if you had time, you could volunteer at a sheetlr. That way you could be helpful AND get to cuddle cute ferrets. I'm sure your other animals keep you busy.
to:
The government isn't tyring to detain, arrest, and put individuals on trial with the Predator drones that the CIA is employing far away from any battlefield. So, habeas corpus is the least of our worries. Persons who ought to be protected by the Geneva Conventions are routinely being targeted for assassination in Pakistan or Yemen on the basis of allegations or speculations contained in classified intelligence reports . Those reports are not subject to any legal challenge and the death sentence is not handed down by a judge or a jury.The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings has demanded that the United States and other countries end the accountability vacuum by disclosing the full legal basis for targeted killings and specifically the measures in place to ensure wrongful killings are investigated, prosecuted and punished. The ACLU has noted the alarming legal questions raised by the U.S. program of targeting and killing people including U.S. citizens sometimes far from any battlefield .
September 04, 2013, at 06:04 AM by Robert - lRSKYYYNReAZ
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Once again the elk in the Lolo range are the losers Wolve kill their prey in cleycs once they have them at the lowest of lows wolves start to dye of staration .to where then the prey respond! These cleycs last for decades and are not part of todays wildlife management! The anti-hunters (in wolf huggers clothing like that there are no prey for the hunter). Even if the high volume of preditors kill livestock & pets this has gone on way way to long! It's time to dump the tea back into the sea!
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You can love from afar. Actually, if you had time, you could volunteer at a sheetlr. That way you could be helpful AND get to cuddle cute ferrets. I'm sure your other animals keep you busy.
September 04, 2013, at 05:14 AM by Maria - 17bHGe6N6
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While I have no problem with any nmuebr of people on the ballot I do have a problem with Democrats registering as Republicans and then putting their names on the ballot. In this month's County Central Committee meeting we found that similar feelings were had by a very many of the precinct chairmen and this agenda item was tabled as a result.While I applaud Rod's efforts to ensure that it is Republicans that are running as Republicans, narrowing a field of well intentioned, Republicans down to two is not the answer. Too many will be disenfranchised as a result.
to:
Once again the elk in the Lolo range are the losers Wolve kill their prey in cleycs once they have them at the lowest of lows wolves start to dye of staration .to where then the prey respond! These cleycs last for decades and are not part of todays wildlife management! The anti-hunters (in wolf huggers clothing like that there are no prey for the hunter). Even if the high volume of preditors kill livestock & pets this has gone on way way to long! It's time to dump the tea back into the sea!
Changed line 1 from:
Nowadays, the Knights of the Road image is tarnished at best, and there is no silgne answer to explain it. One explanation lies in the explosion of traffic volume in the last few years. It is impossible to know if someone really needs help when so many cars and trucks pull to the shoulder. In addition, insurance regulations that did not exist in the glory days now prevent truckers from picking up a motorist no matter what the circumstances. Truckers are dollar signs to lawyers, and if we pick someone up and then have an accident, our career and our freedom is over. It is a sad fact that being a Good Samaritan is often too great a risk to our own well being, and to the loads we are hauling that are often valued in excess of a million dollars.There are also many ways that truckers exacerbate their own negative image. A lack of basic personal grooming is one of the worst culprits. No one expects a trucker to look like a CEO reporting for a business meeting, but it isn't asking much to expect him to shower regularly, brush his teeth, and throw on a fresh pair of jeans and tee shirt every couple of days.Turning on the CB radio is almost certain to formulate a negative image of truckers. The excessive use of profanity, threats, bigotry, gay bashing, womanizing, and general ignorance makes truckers appear as ill-bred knuckle-draggers.The condition of many truck stops also illuminates truckers in a negative light. Some truck stops literally smell like a urinal. While a large part of truck stop cleanliness responsibility falls upon the facility management, drivers need to bear their share as well. There is no excuse for a driver haphazardly discarding trash and pee bottles at a truck stop. This is absolutely disgusting, and I make no excuse for the drivers who are too lazy to walk to a trashcan. I would like to see truck stops impose a stiff penalty to any driver caught throwing a pee bottle anywhere besides a waste receptacle. On the same note, truck stops need to be better about removing waste on a regular schedule. Nothing is more sickening than to walk across a parking lot when the wind wafts an odor of rotting food and urine directly into your face.There are things that both truckers and the motoring public can do for an image makeover. Truckers should pay heed to personal hygiene and appearance. We don't need to dress for an opera opening, but our appearance (and fragrance) should not be offensive.We are the professional drivers, and we should act accordingly. Stop tailgating, stop speeding through construction zones, and do not bully four-wheelers. Those who are unable to share the road with professionalism and respect should not be behind the wheel of a 40-ton vehicle.Finally, treating waitresses and cashiers with respect, presenting ourselves to customers and shippers in a professional manner, and cleaning up our filthy mouths on the CB would go a long way toward improving our image.The motoring public could also use an education on sharing the road with trucks. A simple understanding of what trucks can and cannot do would alleviate plenty of road rage and middle fingers. Please remind yourself that the trucks annoying you are the main reason you enjoy the comfort and standard of living that you have. Point to anything you own, and know that a truck probably delivered it to the place you got it.Trucks and truckers are here to stay. Our public perception lies largely in our own hands.
to:
While I have no problem with any nmuebr of people on the ballot I do have a problem with Democrats registering as Republicans and then putting their names on the ballot. In this month's County Central Committee meeting we found that similar feelings were had by a very many of the precinct chairmen and this agenda item was tabled as a result.While I applaud Rod's efforts to ensure that it is Republicans that are running as Republicans, narrowing a field of well intentioned, Republicans down to two is not the answer. Too many will be disenfranchised as a result.
September 04, 2013, at 01:40 AM by Brayan - 4tyiGe0xHJ9
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before wolves were broghut to us in yellowstone park the elk population was estimated at 19,000. ten years later it was cut in half and now another five years later it is down to 4,700. the plus side of that according to the u.s. govt is that now the cottonwood seedlings are growing up. i wonder how many people will drive a couple thousand miles to watch the cottonwoods grow. i can assure they will not be able to watch as a pack of wolves destroy a herd of elk, it is ugly and so totally unnessary. the introduction, not re-introduction of these killers is another example of the govt meddling where it should not. what are we to do now about the diseases they were warned about but chose to ignore? shame on banks and judge malloy. between the two of them they have caused one of the worst environmental disasters in our history.
to:
Nowadays, the Knights of the Road image is tarnished at best, and there is no silgne answer to explain it. One explanation lies in the explosion of traffic volume in the last few years. It is impossible to know if someone really needs help when so many cars and trucks pull to the shoulder. In addition, insurance regulations that did not exist in the glory days now prevent truckers from picking up a motorist no matter what the circumstances. Truckers are dollar signs to lawyers, and if we pick someone up and then have an accident, our career and our freedom is over. It is a sad fact that being a Good Samaritan is often too great a risk to our own well being, and to the loads we are hauling that are often valued in excess of a million dollars.There are also many ways that truckers exacerbate their own negative image. A lack of basic personal grooming is one of the worst culprits. No one expects a trucker to look like a CEO reporting for a business meeting, but it isn't asking much to expect him to shower regularly, brush his teeth, and throw on a fresh pair of jeans and tee shirt every couple of days.Turning on the CB radio is almost certain to formulate a negative image of truckers. The excessive use of profanity, threats, bigotry, gay bashing, womanizing, and general ignorance makes truckers appear as ill-bred knuckle-draggers.The condition of many truck stops also illuminates truckers in a negative light. Some truck stops literally smell like a urinal. While a large part of truck stop cleanliness responsibility falls upon the facility management, drivers need to bear their share as well. There is no excuse for a driver haphazardly discarding trash and pee bottles at a truck stop. This is absolutely disgusting, and I make no excuse for the drivers who are too lazy to walk to a trashcan. I would like to see truck stops impose a stiff penalty to any driver caught throwing a pee bottle anywhere besides a waste receptacle. On the same note, truck stops need to be better about removing waste on a regular schedule. Nothing is more sickening than to walk across a parking lot when the wind wafts an odor of rotting food and urine directly into your face.There are things that both truckers and the motoring public can do for an image makeover. Truckers should pay heed to personal hygiene and appearance. We don't need to dress for an opera opening, but our appearance (and fragrance) should not be offensive.We are the professional drivers, and we should act accordingly. Stop tailgating, stop speeding through construction zones, and do not bully four-wheelers. Those who are unable to share the road with professionalism and respect should not be behind the wheel of a 40-ton vehicle.Finally, treating waitresses and cashiers with respect, presenting ourselves to customers and shippers in a professional manner, and cleaning up our filthy mouths on the CB would go a long way toward improving our image.The motoring public could also use an education on sharing the road with trucks. A simple understanding of what trucks can and cannot do would alleviate plenty of road rage and middle fingers. Please remind yourself that the trucks annoying you are the main reason you enjoy the comfort and standard of living that you have. Point to anything you own, and know that a truck probably delivered it to the place you got it.Trucks and truckers are here to stay. Our public perception lies largely in our own hands.
Changed lines 1-162 from:
!!!Ferret Project Wiki Page

Welcome to the Ferret Project. The Ferret Project is a an attempt to do for Mac OS-X what Otter has done for Windows users; provide a useful tool for the management of large collections of old time radio shows.

While Ferret is going to provide functions similar to those in Otter, it is not going to be a simple clone. Quite a few significant changes and additions are planned. Also, the compiler I'm using is supposed to be able to produce executables not only for the Mac, but also for Windows and Linux platforms with only minor changes to the source code. If it is possible to produce a working version for Windows machines without a great deal of extra work, I'll probably release a version for Windows.

At the moment, Ferret is in the planning stages. I'm putting together a "wish list" of functions and features that myself and other OTR collectors would like to see in an OTR management program. So if you're a Macintosh OSX user who has been frustrated by the lack of software for your computer, now is the time to come up with your ideas.

You are welcome to leave your comments, questions and ideas here, or you can email them to me at feetache@feetache.com

More information can be found here: http://www.feetache.com then click on the link to the Ferret Project.

As time permits, I'll be updating this with more information about the planning process, what is going to be included in Ferret, etc.

----

!!!!Website update

I've posted a new database specification and an updated outline of functions proposed for the Ferret project at http://www.feetache.com If you've been to the website before, you may need to click the REFRESH button on your browser to re-load your cache.
*feet_ache*

----
!!Suggestions/Comments
%green% Suggest "See" and "See Also" references. If, for example, people know a series by an incorrect name (but this name is consider in common use) you enter the name with a "See" reference pointing it to the correct title.


%green%If, for example, someone was looking for Eddie Cantor in the Chas'N Sanborn hour you could make a "See Also" reference and point them to any other series Eddie Cantor may have hosted. Or under the series "See Also" Cantor, Eddie?


%green%Another suggestion would be to code each record with a Genre field that would allow one to serach for all programs in a certain genre (Am sure exact classifying is a disputed art form).

Thanks for allowing my two bits!


Thanks

Thanks a lot for the suggestion. I've noticed a lot of files floating around with "Also Known As" or AKAs with alternative titles. The database is going to provide space for information that there isn't room for in Otter, and allowing for alternate titles would be useful. One idea we've been bouncing around linking to an external database that would provide additional information specific to a series or an episode, sort of a super log file that contains info that isn't really necessary to tracking a collection, but which real fans would like to have, like producer, director, guest stars, etc.

%green% I think the above is a great idea!!

And a genre tag would definitely be useful.

If you have any other suggestions, just let me know. It's a lot easier to define how the program should work now, before the actual coding starts, than it is to try to make modifications later on.

feet_ache

%block color=purple%Its a little thing, but an annoying one. If the Otter Log is saved with an empty space after the title of the episode, it records that space as part of the title. Therefore, when you try to rename the title, it adds an extra space before the .mp3. It is very easy to ignore whitespace at the end of a line, but you have to put it in the program.
~ [[~menachem]] February 08, 2005, at 02:11 AM

I've never noticed that before, but I haven't used the log functions of Otter much. Having that kind of thing pop up in a program is pretty common. Back when I was doing programming professionally I almost always added generic subroutines that stripped off extra spaces at the beginning or end of a data field.

%red% I have only read and heard about what Otter can do so don't know what is missing that should be added to Ferret. I have wanted Otter for the Mac since I found out about it. I like the idea of a genre tag but we need a set of standardized genre to go with it.

Jim... 2-09-05

There is always going to be some debate about genre, of course. Often it's pretty clear, sometimes not. I'd call Lum and Abner a comedy, but some people might consider it to be more of a humorous soap opera. As for Otter on the Mac, the "Frogger" version *will* run under the PC emulator. I run it on my new iMac with Ver. 7 of the emulator. The standard Defender version won't run properly at all. It crashes with memory errors constantly. Even the Frogger version will bomb out with memory errors after it's been running for some time, especially when working with folders that have large numbers of files in them. It is also very, very slow. I have the 1.8 ghz processor with 1 gig of RAM, with 512 Meg for the emulator, and it's extremely slow, especially when updating ID3 tags. *feet_ache*

%green%How feasable is a report printing function which would allow one to print out lists by series, or title or performer (that would require searchability within the data),I like to look at things by date and call up a variety of programs from one year, month and/or day (say my birthday).

Thanks.

Printer support is definitely on the list! The lack of printing capabilities was always a pet peeve of mine with Otter.

I'm planning on expanding search capabilities as well. I'm not really fond of how Otter handles searches.

I'm currently working on defining the "wish list" and getting it into final form and hope to get it up on the website at feetache.com within a week or so. I realize that it's been taking a considerable amount of time just defining what the program is going to do, but back when I was studying data processing and programming in college our systems analysis instructor really drilled that into us. Every hour spent defining exactly what the program should do can save many hours in programming and debugging time later. *feet_ache*


%note%Website had to get reverted back to last night and we lost some stuff. That includes the stuff you had added to the bottom of this page.
~ [[~menachem]] February 15, 2005, at 03:29 AM



!! Advice wanted on how collections are stored


I'm starting to look at programming considerations as I go over the list of functions and other things for Ferret, and one major item is how people store their OTR collections. I was talking with my son the other night about the project and he questioned the need to have Ferret track files stored on removable media (CD/DVD, etc.). He believed that because hard drives prices are now so low, it would be reasonable to assume that collectors would have their entire collection stored on hard drives, and would use CD/DVD only for backups. Therefore there was no need for Ferret to have to deal with removable media except perhaps for copying files or restoring from archive backups.

I wonder if he may have a point there. I have my entire collection on HD, and use CD/DVD only for backup, and I know some other people who do it as well.

So does Ferret have to deal with removable media? Or do you think most collectors would store their files on HD only? It would probably save a great deal of programming time if Ferret did not have to deal with removable media. *feet_ache*

%note background-color=#ccffcc%In my opinion, both hard drives and cds suck for long term storage. I've seen too many people lose everything when their hard drives give up the ghost. `CDs aren't a permanent storage solution either, as they have a limited life span.
That being said, theoretically `CDs should have a smaller chance of dying if used and stored properly (on the other hand, they may have a shorter lifespan). Since the data is written into the disc, a powersurge (for example) won't kill the `CD. If I were getting distros by mail, I may want to keep the `CDs just in case my hard drive died. It would be nice for the program to keep track of the files you have on `CDs.
Also, people may want to move series to `CDs after they finish with them.
With all of the above in mind, I don't think that removable media support is needed in the first release. One thing you should do, once you figure out what is needed in the progam, is create a roadmap, indicating when you would be adding certain features and functionality. Put removable media support lower down on the roadmap.
In general, a roadmap will let people know what to expect from the program as each release comes out. They can then decide when the program is functional enough to start using it.
~ [[~menachem]] February 17, 2005, at 03:13 PM


Thanks for the advice, menachem. I really like that idea; do an HD only version first just to get a working version going faster and add CD support after the first is debugged.

I hope people are backing up their stuff on a regular basis. I generally have at least 2 copies of everything on CD, and I try to remember to burn new copies of all my archive CDs/DVDs once a year because I've learned not to trust the things. When I switched to the Macintosh, I had to restore my collection from CD to the Mac's external HDs, and I found problems with a small number of discs, perhaps 5 or 10 out of several hundred. Fortunately I had other copies of the material, but if I hadn't been paranoid about backups, I would have lost some files on those discs. Interestingly enough, all of the failed discs were expensive, brand name discs, while I had no trouble with the generic, off-brand ones.

I've also learned the hard way to never, NEVER put a paste on label on a CD or DVD. The CDs I labeled are still readable, but they don't work in the iMac's slot drive! The tolerances on the drive are so tight that something rubs inside when I insert a CD with a label and the disc won't spin up. When I run across an old CD I did label, I have to copy it using my wife's old PC and burn a new copy

My biggest problem right now is time. I work 40+ hours a week, plus I build custom furniture and I'm in the middle of designing and building a complete suit of mission style furniture, so free time to work on Ferret is limited.

Thanks again. *feet_ache*


%note%One thing in otter that could use a huge improvement is the importing and exporting of logs (to and from text files). The otter way is convoluted and kludgy, you have to highlight the log file in order to import it. You should be able to import and export log files, just be clicking on an option|icon|etc. \\\
Say for example you want to export a log. Just click the export button and then chose the series you want to export from a list. If you want to import a log file, it should also be just as easy. \\
~ [[~menachem]] February 25, 2005, at 12:58 AM

That's a good point. There are a few things in Otter that are unnecessarily awkward to work with, and the log files are one of them.
*feet_ache*


%note% In conversations with Ben Kibbler, an interesting thing came up. There are some episodes where the time period is known, even if the exact date is unknown. Like if you know that a certain star or sponsor was only on the show for a certain time period.\\\
It would be cool if there was a way to mark the episode as (for example) airing between 2/5/43 and 5/7/49. Then even if the date was xx/xx/xx it would show up after the last episode with a known date in that time period.
~ [[~menachem]]

Now that's an interesting point. I hadn't thought of that, but now that you mention it, I have a few series and individual episodes where the actual date is unknown, and I hadn't given any thought to how Ferret would handle shows that kind of situation. THat can be a problem with some syndicated shows that didn't have a specific broadcast date. I'm going to have to give some thought on how to handle that kind of thing.

In the extended log file (i.e. the master database that contains the series/episode data, not the user DB that tracks the user's collection) I'd planned on putting a date range in the listing such as broadcast between Jan 5, 1940 to June 6, 1943, with exact dates given for the episodes, but I hadn't given any thought on how to deal with episodes without 'hard' broadcast dates.

* Other notes: I've reached the point where I'm going to start doing some preliminary programming work. There are still some issues that I'm not sure about yet, but I'll get those worked out fairly soon, I hope.

I'd toyed with the idea of using Java, but abandoned that and am going to stick with the original plan of using RealBasic for a variety of reasons. RB seems to be more stable, and it should be easier to port the program to other platforms. Since RB is relatively inexpensive as well, that means other people can tinker with the program more easily once the source code is made available.

And yes, the source code is going to be made available without charge. I don't want the program's users to end up stuck with something that doesn't grow and change to meet their needs if I lose interest in the thing and decide not to work with it any longer.

*feet_ache*



----


!! Another idea


I got an email from otrWalter the other day with an interesting idea. He's been working on developing a massive on-line database that has the potential for containing enormous amounts of detailed information about OTR series and episodes. He thought it might be a good idea for Ferret to be able to link to this database. He envisions a system that would work like some music oriented MP3 management programs do which link to on-line databases to provide the user with additional information music, only in this case it would be OTR oriented.

I don't think I would include this in the version of Ferret that is currently under development (this first version is going to be difficult enough to code and debug), but I think it could be useful, even though Ferret's expanded database would contain a lot of the info the on-line db would have.

any comments?

feet_ache March 28, 2005

%note%Would chosing to include it or not affect you in any way? If not, I don't think you should even worry about it. Since the on-line database isn't even in existence now, it would be tough to write it into the program.
Hence I say forget about it until it becomes a reality.
~ [[~menachem]] March 29, 2005, at 01:00 AM

This is all very speculative at the moment, and would definitely be for a future version of the program. It would require some modifications to the datastructure to include a unique ID code to link to the external data source and, of course, code necessary to retrieve and display the data. This would be entirely optional, though.

It sounds like a good idea, but I have some serious questions about it. There's no guarantee that the database will ever come on-line, and even if it does, there is no guarantee it will continue to exist. Who's going to host it? who's going to update it? There are a whole host of questions here. It could also have a great deal of potential. Something to think about, anyway.

At the moment I'm struggling with the ID3 tags. I thought I could just pick up a module to do it, but all of the ones I've tested so far are questionable at best, so I'm cobbling together routines to handle that.

I wanted to include a function to play mp3 files from inside of Ferret and thought that was going to be difficult. Turns out to be one of the easiest parts of the program. RealBasic's methods for dealing with files includes a function that passes off mp3s to the QuickTime routines that actually play the file, so it's only taking a few lines of code to to do that, which pleased me enormously :)

feet_ache 4/1/05

%note%there are many open source ID3 tagging programs. For one, check out
[[http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=12349|libid3tag]]. I found it on this page: http://www.underbit.com/products/mad/
For that matter, there is a great mp3 program called [[http://madman.sourceforge.net/|madman]] that does mass mp3 tagging. you may want to check out how they do it.
~ [[~menachem]] April 03, 2005, at 03:17 AM

Thanks for the info. I just DLed the source code for libid and some other routines that I discovered thanks to the links you gave! :)
to:
before wolves were broghut to us in yellowstone park the elk population was estimated at 19,000. ten years later it was cut in half and now another five years later it is down to 4,700. the plus side of that according to the u.s. govt is that now the cottonwood seedlings are growing up. i wonder how many people will drive a couple thousand miles to watch the cottonwoods grow. i can assure they will not be able to watch as a pack of wolves destroy a herd of elk, it is ugly and so totally unnessary. the introduction, not re-introduction of these killers is another example of the govt meddling where it should not. what are we to do now about the diseases they were warned about but chose to ignore? shame on banks and judge malloy. between the two of them they have caused one of the worst environmental disasters in our history.
January 25, 2010, at 08:07 AM by menachem - spam revert
Changed lines 1-162 from:
szNFFf <a href="http://jqmiphofezxw.com/">jqmiphofezxw</a>, [url=http://rawhanbejrlw.com/]rawhanbejrlw[/url], [link=http://haxkmybzntuc.com/]haxkmybzntuc[/link], http://wzfptthsioaz.com/
to:
!!!Ferret Project Wiki Page

Welcome to the Ferret Project. The Ferret Project is a an attempt to do for Mac OS-X what Otter has done for Windows users; provide a useful tool for the management of large collections of old time radio shows.

While Ferret is going to provide functions similar to those in Otter, it is not going to be a simple clone. Quite a few significant changes and additions are planned. Also, the compiler I'm using is supposed to be able to produce executables not only for the Mac, but also for Windows and Linux platforms with only minor changes to the source code. If it is possible to produce a working version for Windows machines without a great deal of extra work, I'll probably release a version for Windows.

At the moment, Ferret is in the planning stages. I'm putting together a "wish list" of functions and features that myself and other OTR collectors would like to see in an OTR management program. So if you're a Macintosh OSX user who has been frustrated by the lack of software for your computer, now is the time to come up with your ideas.

You are welcome to leave your comments, questions and ideas here, or you can email them to me at feetache@feetache.com

More information can be found here: http://www.feetache.com then click on the link to the Ferret Project.

As time permits, I'll be updating this with more information about the planning process, what is going to be included in Ferret, etc.

----

!!!!Website update

I've posted a new database specification and an updated outline of functions proposed for the Ferret project at http://www.feetache.com If you've been to the website before, you may need to click the REFRESH button on your browser to re-load your cache.
*feet_ache*

----
!!Suggestions/Comments
%green% Suggest "See" and "See Also" references. If, for example, people know a series by an incorrect name (but this name is consider in common use) you enter the name with a "See" reference pointing it to the correct title.


%green%If, for example, someone was looking for Eddie Cantor in the Chas'N Sanborn hour you could make a "See Also" reference and point them to any other series Eddie Cantor may have hosted. Or under the series "See Also" Cantor, Eddie?


%green%Another suggestion would be to code each record with a Genre field that would allow one to serach for all programs in a certain genre (Am sure exact classifying is a disputed art form).

Thanks for allowing my two bits!


Thanks

Thanks a lot for the suggestion. I've noticed a lot of files floating around with "Also Known As" or AKAs with alternative titles. The database is going to provide space for information that there isn't room for in Otter, and allowing for alternate titles would be useful. One idea we've been bouncing around linking to an external database that would provide additional information specific to a series or an episode, sort of a super log file that contains info that isn't really necessary to tracking a collection, but which real fans would like to have, like producer, director, guest stars, etc.

%green% I think the above is a great idea!!

And a genre tag would definitely be useful.

If you have any other suggestions, just let me know. It's a lot easier to define how the program should work now, before the actual coding starts, than it is to try to make modifications later on.

feet_ache

%block color=purple%Its a little thing, but an annoying one. If the Otter Log is saved with an empty space after the title of the episode, it records that space as part of the title. Therefore, when you try to rename the title, it adds an extra space before the .mp3. It is very easy to ignore whitespace at the end of a line, but you have to put it in the program.
~ [[~menachem]] February 08, 2005, at 02:11 AM

I've never noticed that before, but I haven't used the log functions of Otter much. Having that kind of thing pop up in a program is pretty common. Back when I was doing programming professionally I almost always added generic subroutines that stripped off extra spaces at the beginning or end of a data field.

%red% I have only read and heard about what Otter can do so don't know what is missing that should be added to Ferret. I have wanted Otter for the Mac since I found out about it. I like the idea of a genre tag but we need a set of standardized genre to go with it.

Jim... 2-09-05

There is always going to be some debate about genre, of course. Often it's pretty clear, sometimes not. I'd call Lum and Abner a comedy, but some people might consider it to be more of a humorous soap opera. As for Otter on the Mac, the "Frogger" version *will* run under the PC emulator. I run it on my new iMac with Ver. 7 of the emulator. The standard Defender version won't run properly at all. It crashes with memory errors constantly. Even the Frogger version will bomb out with memory errors after it's been running for some time, especially when working with folders that have large numbers of files in them. It is also very, very slow. I have the 1.8 ghz processor with 1 gig of RAM, with 512 Meg for the emulator, and it's extremely slow, especially when updating ID3 tags. *feet_ache*

%green%How feasable is a report printing function which would allow one to print out lists by series, or title or performer (that would require searchability within the data),I like to look at things by date and call up a variety of programs from one year, month and/or day (say my birthday).

Thanks.

Printer support is definitely on the list! The lack of printing capabilities was always a pet peeve of mine with Otter.

I'm planning on expanding search capabilities as well. I'm not really fond of how Otter handles searches.

I'm currently working on defining the "wish list" and getting it into final form and hope to get it up on the website at feetache.com within a week or so. I realize that it's been taking a considerable amount of time just defining what the program is going to do, but back when I was studying data processing and programming in college our systems analysis instructor really drilled that into us. Every hour spent defining exactly what the program should do can save many hours in programming and debugging time later. *feet_ache*


%note%Website had to get reverted back to last night and we lost some stuff. That includes the stuff you had added to the bottom of this page.
~ [[~menachem]] February 15, 2005, at 03:29 AM



!! Advice wanted on how collections are stored


I'm starting to look at programming considerations as I go over the list of functions and other things for Ferret, and one major item is how people store their OTR collections. I was talking with my son the other night about the project and he questioned the need to have Ferret track files stored on removable media (CD/DVD, etc.). He believed that because hard drives prices are now so low, it would be reasonable to assume that collectors would have their entire collection stored on hard drives, and would use CD/DVD only for backups. Therefore there was no need for Ferret to have to deal with removable media except perhaps for copying files or restoring from archive backups.

I wonder if he may have a point there. I have my entire collection on HD, and use CD/DVD only for backup, and I know some other people who do it as well.

So does Ferret have to deal with removable media? Or do you think most collectors would store their files on HD only? It would probably save a great deal of programming time if Ferret did not have to deal with removable media. *feet_ache*

%note background-color=#ccffcc%In my opinion, both hard drives and cds suck for long term storage. I've seen too many people lose everything when their hard drives give up the ghost. `CDs aren't a permanent storage solution either, as they have a limited life span.
That being said, theoretically `CDs should have a smaller chance of dying if used and stored properly (on the other hand, they may have a shorter lifespan). Since the data is written into the disc, a powersurge (for example) won't kill the `CD. If I were getting distros by mail, I may want to keep the `CDs just in case my hard drive died. It would be nice for the program to keep track of the files you have on `CDs.
Also, people may want to move series to `CDs after they finish with them.
With all of the above in mind, I don't think that removable media support is needed in the first release. One thing you should do, once you figure out what is needed in the progam, is create a roadmap, indicating when you would be adding certain features and functionality. Put removable media support lower down on the roadmap.
In general, a roadmap will let people know what to expect from the program as each release comes out. They can then decide when the program is functional enough to start using it.
~ [[~menachem]] February 17, 2005, at 03:13 PM


Thanks for the advice, menachem. I really like that idea; do an HD only version first just to get a working version going faster and add CD support after the first is debugged.

I hope people are backing up their stuff on a regular basis. I generally have at least 2 copies of everything on CD, and I try to remember to burn new copies of all my archive CDs/DVDs once a year because I've learned not to trust the things. When I switched to the Macintosh, I had to restore my collection from CD to the Mac's external HDs, and I found problems with a small number of discs, perhaps 5 or 10 out of several hundred. Fortunately I had other copies of the material, but if I hadn't been paranoid about backups, I would have lost some files on those discs. Interestingly enough, all of the failed discs were expensive, brand name discs, while I had no trouble with the generic, off-brand ones.

I've also learned the hard way to never, NEVER put a paste on label on a CD or DVD. The CDs I labeled are still readable, but they don't work in the iMac's slot drive! The tolerances on the drive are so tight that something rubs inside when I insert a CD with a label and the disc won't spin up. When I run across an old CD I did label, I have to copy it using my wife's old PC and burn a new copy

My biggest problem right now is time. I work 40+ hours a week, plus I build custom furniture and I'm in the middle of designing and building a complete suit of mission style furniture, so free time to work on Ferret is limited.

Thanks again. *feet_ache*


%note%One thing in otter that could use a huge improvement is the importing and exporting of logs (to and from text files). The otter way is convoluted and kludgy, you have to highlight the log file in order to import it. You should be able to import and export log files, just be clicking on an option|icon|etc. \\\
Say for example you want to export a log. Just click the export button and then chose the series you want to export from a list. If you want to import a log file, it should also be just as easy. \\
~ [[~menachem]] February 25, 2005, at 12:58 AM

That's a good point. There are a few things in Otter that are unnecessarily awkward to work with, and the log files are one of them.
*feet_ache*


%note% In conversations with Ben Kibbler, an interesting thing came up. There are some episodes where the time period is known, even if the exact date is unknown. Like if you know that a certain star or sponsor was only on the show for a certain time period.\\\
It would be cool if there was a way to mark the episode as (for example) airing between 2/5/43 and 5/7/49. Then even if the date was xx/xx/xx it would show up after the last episode with a known date in that time period.
~ [[~menachem]]

Now that's an interesting point. I hadn't thought of that, but now that you mention it, I have a few series and individual episodes where the actual date is unknown, and I hadn't given any thought to how Ferret would handle shows that kind of situation. THat can be a problem with some syndicated shows that didn't have a specific broadcast date. I'm going to have to give some thought on how to handle that kind of thing.

In the extended log file (i.e. the master database that contains the series/episode data, not the user DB that tracks the user's collection) I'd planned on putting a date range in the listing such as broadcast between Jan 5, 1940 to June 6, 1943, with exact dates given for the episodes, but I hadn't given any thought on how to deal with episodes without 'hard' broadcast dates.

* Other notes: I've reached the point where I'm going to start doing some preliminary programming work. There are still some issues that I'm not sure about yet, but I'll get those worked out fairly soon, I hope.

I'd toyed with the idea of using Java, but abandoned that and am going to stick with the original plan of using RealBasic for a variety of reasons. RB seems to be more stable, and it should be easier to port the program to other platforms. Since RB is relatively inexpensive as well, that means other people can tinker with the program more easily once the source code is made available.

And yes, the source code is going to be made available without charge. I don't want the program's users to end up stuck with something that doesn't grow and change to meet their needs if I lose interest in the thing and decide not to work with it any longer.

*feet_ache*



----


!! Another idea


I got an email from otrWalter the other day with an interesting idea. He's been working on developing a massive on-line database that has the potential for containing enormous amounts of detailed information about OTR series and episodes. He thought it might be a good idea for Ferret to be able to link to this database. He envisions a system that would work like some music oriented MP3 management programs do which link to on-line databases to provide the user with additional information music, only in this case it would be OTR oriented.

I don't think I would include this in the version of Ferret that is currently under development (this first version is going to be difficult enough to code and debug), but I think it could be useful, even though Ferret's expanded database would contain a lot of the info the on-line db would have.

any comments?

feet_ache March 28, 2005

%note%Would chosing to include it or not affect you in any way? If not, I don't think you should even worry about it. Since the on-line database isn't even in existence now, it would be tough to write it into the program.
Hence I say forget about it until it becomes a reality.
~ [[~menachem]] March 29, 2005, at 01:00 AM

This is all very speculative at the moment, and would definitely be for a future version of the program. It would require some modifications to the datastructure to include a unique ID code to link to the external data source and, of course, code necessary to retrieve and display the data. This would be entirely optional, though.

It sounds like a good idea, but I have some serious questions about it. There's no guarantee that the database will ever come on-line, and even if it does, there is no guarantee it will continue to exist. Who's going to host it? who's going to update it? There are a whole host of questions here. It could also have a great deal of potential. Something to think about, anyway.

At the moment I'm struggling with the ID3 tags. I thought I could just pick up a module to do it, but all of the ones I've tested so far are questionable at best, so I'm cobbling together routines to handle that.

I wanted to include a function to play mp3 files from inside of Ferret and thought that was going to be difficult. Turns out to be one of the easiest parts of the program. RealBasic's methods for dealing with files includes a function that passes off mp3s to the QuickTime routines that actually play the file, so it's only taking a few lines of code to to do that, which pleased me enormously :)

feet_ache 4/1/05

%note%there are many open source ID3 tagging programs. For one, check out
[[http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=12349|libid3tag]]. I found it on this page: http://www.underbit.com/products/mad/
For that matter, there is a great mp3 program called [[http://madman.sourceforge.net/|madman]] that does mass mp3 tagging. you may want to check out how they do it.
~ [[~menachem]] April 03, 2005, at 03:17 AM

Thanks for the info. I just DLed the source code for libid and some other routines that I discovered thanks to the links you gave! :)
January 24, 2010, at 07:16 AM by lvwgbxo - PmRVLkKsFGdQGbvopXu
Changed lines 1-162 from:
!!!Ferret Project Wiki Page

Welcome to the Ferret Project. The Ferret Project is a an attempt to do for Mac OS-X what Otter has done for Windows users; provide a useful tool for the management of large collections of old time radio shows.

While Ferret is going to provide functions similar to those in Otter, it is not going to be a simple clone. Quite a few significant changes and additions are planned. Also, the compiler I'm using is supposed to be able to produce executables not only for the Mac, but also for Windows and Linux platforms with only minor changes to the source code. If it is possible to produce a working version for Windows machines without a great deal of extra work, I'll probably release a version for Windows.

At the moment, Ferret is in the planning stages. I'm putting together a "wish list" of functions and features that myself and other OTR collectors would like to see in an OTR management program. So if you're a Macintosh OSX user who has been frustrated by the lack of software for your computer, now is the time to come up with your ideas.

You are welcome to leave your comments, questions and ideas here, or you can email them to me at feetache@feetache.com

More information can be found here: http://www.feetache.com then click on the link to the Ferret Project.

As time permits, I'll be updating this with more information about the planning process, what is going to be included in Ferret, etc.

----

!!!!Website update

I've posted a new database specification and an updated outline of functions proposed for the Ferret project at http://www.feetache.com If you've been to the website before, you may need to click the REFRESH button on your browser to re-load your cache.
*feet_ache*

----
!!Suggestions/Comments
%green% Suggest "See" and "See Also" references. If, for example, people know a series by an incorrect name (but this name is consider in common use) you enter the name with a "See" reference pointing it to the correct title.


%green%If, for example, someone was looking for Eddie Cantor in the Chas'N Sanborn hour you could make a "See Also" reference and point them to any other series Eddie Cantor may have hosted. Or under the series "See Also" Cantor, Eddie?


%green%Another suggestion would be to code each record with a Genre field that would allow one to serach for all programs in a certain genre (Am sure exact classifying is a disputed art form).

Thanks for allowing my two bits!


Thanks

Thanks a lot for the suggestion. I've noticed a lot of files floating around with "Also Known As" or AKAs with alternative titles. The database is going to provide space for information that there isn't room for in Otter, and allowing for alternate titles would be useful. One idea we've been bouncing around linking to an external database that would provide additional information specific to a series or an episode, sort of a super log file that contains info that isn't really necessary to tracking a collection, but which real fans would like to have, like producer, director, guest stars, etc.

%green% I think the above is a great idea!!

And a genre tag would definitely be useful.

If you have any other suggestions, just let me know. It's a lot easier to define how the program should work now, before the actual coding starts, than it is to try to make modifications later on.

feet_ache

%block color=purple%Its a little thing, but an annoying one. If the Otter Log is saved with an empty space after the title of the episode, it records that space as part of the title. Therefore, when you try to rename the title, it adds an extra space before the .mp3. It is very easy to ignore whitespace at the end of a line, but you have to put it in the program.
~ [[~menachem]] February 08, 2005, at 02:11 AM

I've never noticed that before, but I haven't used the log functions of Otter much. Having that kind of thing pop up in a program is pretty common. Back when I was doing programming professionally I almost always added generic subroutines that stripped off extra spaces at the beginning or end of a data field.

%red% I have only read and heard about what Otter can do so don't know what is missing that should be added to Ferret. I have wanted Otter for the Mac since I found out about it. I like the idea of a genre tag but we need a set of standardized genre to go with it.

Jim... 2-09-05

There is always going to be some debate about genre, of course. Often it's pretty clear, sometimes not. I'd call Lum and Abner a comedy, but some people might consider it to be more of a humorous soap opera. As for Otter on the Mac, the "Frogger" version *will* run under the PC emulator. I run it on my new iMac with Ver. 7 of the emulator. The standard Defender version won't run properly at all. It crashes with memory errors constantly. Even the Frogger version will bomb out with memory errors after it's been running for some time, especially when working with folders that have large numbers of files in them. It is also very, very slow. I have the 1.8 ghz processor with 1 gig of RAM, with 512 Meg for the emulator, and it's extremely slow, especially when updating ID3 tags. *feet_ache*

%green%How feasable is a report printing function which would allow one to print out lists by series, or title or performer (that would require searchability within the data),I like to look at things by date and call up a variety of programs from one year, month and/or day (say my birthday).

Thanks.

Printer support is definitely on the list! The lack of printing capabilities was always a pet peeve of mine with Otter.

I'm planning on expanding search capabilities as well. I'm not really fond of how Otter handles searches.

I'm currently working on defining the "wish list" and getting it into final form and hope to get it up on the website at feetache.com within a week or so. I realize that it's been taking a considerable amount of time just defining what the program is going to do, but back when I was studying data processing and programming in college our systems analysis instructor really drilled that into us. Every hour spent defining exactly what the program should do can save many hours in programming and debugging time later. *feet_ache*


%note%Website had to get reverted back to last night and we lost some stuff. That includes the stuff you had added to the bottom of this page.
~ [[~menachem]] February 15, 2005, at 03:29 AM



!! Advice wanted on how collections are stored


I'm starting to look at programming considerations as I go over the list of functions and other things for Ferret, and one major item is how people store their OTR collections. I was talking with my son the other night about the project and he questioned the need to have Ferret track files stored on removable media (CD/DVD, etc.). He believed that because hard drives prices are now so low, it would be reasonable to assume that collectors would have their entire collection stored on hard drives, and would use CD/DVD only for backups. Therefore there was no need for Ferret to have to deal with removable media except perhaps for copying files or restoring from archive backups.

I wonder if he may have a point there. I have my entire collection on HD, and use CD/DVD only for backup, and I know some other people who do it as well.

So does Ferret have to deal with removable media? Or do you think most collectors would store their files on HD only? It would probably save a great deal of programming time if Ferret did not have to deal with removable media. *feet_ache*

%note background-color=#ccffcc%In my opinion, both hard drives and cds suck for long term storage. I've seen too many people lose everything when their hard drives give up the ghost. `CDs aren't a permanent storage solution either, as they have a limited life span.
That being said, theoretically `CDs should have a smaller chance of dying if used and stored properly (on the other hand, they may have a shorter lifespan). Since the data is written into the disc, a powersurge (for example) won't kill the `CD. If I were getting distros by mail, I may want to keep the `CDs just in case my hard drive died. It would be nice for the program to keep track of the files you have on `CDs.
Also, people may want to move series to `CDs after they finish with them.
With all of the above in mind, I don't think that removable media support is needed in the first release. One thing you should do, once you figure out what is needed in the progam, is create a roadmap, indicating when you would be adding certain features and functionality. Put removable media support lower down on the roadmap.
In general, a roadmap will let people know what to expect from the program as each release comes out. They can then decide when the program is functional enough to start using it.
~ [[~menachem]] February 17, 2005, at 03:13 PM


Thanks for the advice, menachem. I really like that idea; do an HD only version first just to get a working version going faster and add CD support after the first is debugged.

I hope people are backing up their stuff on a regular basis. I generally have at least 2 copies of everything on CD, and I try to remember to burn new copies of all my archive CDs/DVDs once a year because I've learned not to trust the things. When I switched to the Macintosh, I had to restore my collection from CD to the Mac's external HDs, and I found problems with a small number of discs, perhaps 5 or 10 out of several hundred. Fortunately I had other copies of the material, but if I hadn't been paranoid about backups, I would have lost some files on those discs. Interestingly enough, all of the failed discs were expensive, brand name discs, while I had no trouble with the generic, off-brand ones.

I've also learned the hard way to never, NEVER put a paste on label on a CD or DVD. The CDs I labeled are still readable, but they don't work in the iMac's slot drive! The tolerances on the drive are so tight that something rubs inside when I insert a CD with a label and the disc won't spin up. When I run across an old CD I did label, I have to copy it using my wife's old PC and burn a new copy

My biggest problem right now is time. I work 40+ hours a week, plus I build custom furniture and I'm in the middle of designing and building a complete suit of mission style furniture, so free time to work on Ferret is limited.

Thanks again. *feet_ache*


%note%One thing in otter that could use a huge improvement is the importing and exporting of logs (to and from text files). The otter way is convoluted and kludgy, you have to highlight the log file in order to import it. You should be able to import and export log files, just be clicking on an option|icon|etc. \\\
Say for example you want to export a log. Just click the export button and then chose the series you want to export from a list. If you want to import a log file, it should also be just as easy. \\
~ [[~menachem]] February 25, 2005, at 12:58 AM

That's a good point. There are a few things in Otter that are unnecessarily awkward to work with, and the log files are one of them.
*feet_ache*


%note% In conversations with Ben Kibbler, an interesting thing came up. There are some episodes where the time period is known, even if the exact date is unknown. Like if you know that a certain star or sponsor was only on the show for a certain time period.\\\
It would be cool if there was a way to mark the episode as (for example) airing between 2/5/43 and 5/7/49. Then even if the date was xx/xx/xx it would show up after the last episode with a known date in that time period.
~ [[~menachem]]

Now that's an interesting point. I hadn't thought of that, but now that you mention it, I have a few series and individual episodes where the actual date is unknown, and I hadn't given any thought to how Ferret would handle shows that kind of situation. THat can be a problem with some syndicated shows that didn't have a specific broadcast date. I'm going to have to give some thought on how to handle that kind of thing.

In the extended log file (i.e. the master database that contains the series/episode data, not the user DB that tracks the user's collection) I'd planned on putting a date range in the listing such as broadcast between Jan 5, 1940 to June 6, 1943, with exact dates given for the episodes, but I hadn't given any thought on how to deal with episodes without 'hard' broadcast dates.

* Other notes: I've reached the point where I'm going to start doing some preliminary programming work. There are still some issues that I'm not sure about yet, but I'll get those worked out fairly soon, I hope.

I'd toyed with the idea of using Java, but abandoned that and am going to stick with the original plan of using RealBasic for a variety of reasons. RB seems to be more stable, and it should be easier to port the program to other platforms. Since RB is relatively inexpensive as well, that means other people can tinker with the program more easily once the source code is made available.

And yes, the source code is going to be made available without charge. I don't want the program's users to end up stuck with something that doesn't grow and change to meet their needs if I lose interest in the thing and decide not to work with it any longer.

*feet_ache*



----


!! Another idea


I got an email from otrWalter the other day with an interesting idea. He's been working on developing a massive on-line database that has the potential for containing enormous amounts of detailed information about OTR series and episodes. He thought it might be a good idea for Ferret to be able to link to this database. He envisions a system that would work like some music oriented MP3 management programs do which link to on-line databases to provide the user with additional information music, only in this case it would be OTR oriented.

I don't think I would include this in the version of Ferret that is currently under development (this first version is going to be difficult enough to code and debug), but I think it could be useful, even though Ferret's expanded database would contain a lot of the info the on-line db would have.

any comments?

feet_ache March 28, 2005

%note%Would chosing to include it or not affect you in any way? If not, I don't think you should even worry about it. Since the on-line database isn't even in existence now, it would be tough to write it into the program.
Hence I say forget about it until it becomes a reality.
~ [[~menachem]] March 29, 2005, at 01:00 AM

This is all very speculative at the moment, and would definitely be for a future version of the program. It would require some modifications to the datastructure to include a unique ID code to link to the external data source and, of course, code necessary to retrieve and display the data. This would be entirely optional, though.

It sounds like a good idea, but I have some serious questions about it. There's no guarantee that the database will ever come on-line, and even if it does, there is no guarantee it will continue to exist. Who's going to host it? who's going to update it? There are a whole host of questions here. It could also have a great deal of potential. Something to think about, anyway.

At the moment I'm struggling with the ID3 tags. I thought I could just pick up a module to do it, but all of the ones I've tested so far are questionable at best, so I'm cobbling together routines to handle that.

I wanted to include a function to play mp3 files from inside of Ferret and thought that was going to be difficult. Turns out to be one of the easiest parts of the program. RealBasic's methods for dealing with files includes a function that passes off mp3s to the QuickTime routines that actually play the file, so it's only taking a few lines of code to to do that, which pleased me enormously :)

feet_ache 4/1/05

%note%there are many open source ID3 tagging programs. For one, check out
[[http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=12349|libid3tag]]. I found it on this page: http://www.underbit.com/products/mad/
For that matter, there is a great mp3 program called [[http://madman.sourceforge.net/|madman]] that does mass mp3 tagging. you may want to check out how they do it.
~ [[~menachem]] April 03, 2005, at 03:17 AM

Thanks for the info. I just DLed the source code for libid and some other routines that I discovered thanks to the links you gave! :)
to:
szNFFf <a href="http://jqmiphofezxw.com/">jqmiphofezxw</a>, [url=http://rawhanbejrlw.com/]rawhanbejrlw[/url], [link=http://haxkmybzntuc.com/]haxkmybzntuc[/link], http://wzfptthsioaz.com/
July 28, 2009, at 11:39 AM by menachem - spam revert
Changed lines 1-162 from:
1cH8GD <a href="http://qqsjwhjspgwe.com/">qqsjwhjspgwe</a>, [url=http://kozjgzhpeinl.com/]kozjgzhpeinl[/url], [link=http://xgahdzixbjzm.com/]xgahdzixbjzm[/link], http://uznafrepqydf.com/
to:
!!!Ferret Project Wiki Page

Welcome to the Ferret Project. The Ferret Project is a an attempt to do for Mac OS-X what Otter has done for Windows users; provide a useful tool for the management of large collections of old time radio shows.

While Ferret is going to provide functions similar to those in Otter, it is not going to be a simple clone. Quite a few significant changes and additions are planned. Also, the compiler I'm using is supposed to be able to produce executables not only for the Mac, but also for Windows and Linux platforms with only minor changes to the source code. If it is possible to produce a working version for Windows machines without a great deal of extra work, I'll probably release a version for Windows.

At the moment, Ferret is in the planning stages. I'm putting together a "wish list" of functions and features that myself and other OTR collectors would like to see in an OTR management program. So if you're a Macintosh OSX user who has been frustrated by the lack of software for your computer, now is the time to come up with your ideas.

You are welcome to leave your comments, questions and ideas here, or you can email them to me at feetache@feetache.com

More information can be found here: http://www.feetache.com then click on the link to the Ferret Project.

As time permits, I'll be updating this with more information about the planning process, what is going to be included in Ferret, etc.

----

!!!!Website update

I've posted a new database specification and an updated outline of functions proposed for the Ferret project at http://www.feetache.com If you've been to the website before, you may need to click the REFRESH button on your browser to re-load your cache.
*feet_ache*

----
!!Suggestions/Comments
%green% Suggest "See" and "See Also" references. If, for example, people know a series by an incorrect name (but this name is consider in common use) you enter the name with a "See" reference pointing it to the correct title.


%green%If, for example, someone was looking for Eddie Cantor in the Chas'N Sanborn hour you could make a "See Also" reference and point them to any other series Eddie Cantor may have hosted. Or under the series "See Also" Cantor, Eddie?


%green%Another suggestion would be to code each record with a Genre field that would allow one to serach for all programs in a certain genre (Am sure exact classifying is a disputed art form).

Thanks for allowing my two bits!


Thanks

Thanks a lot for the suggestion. I've noticed a lot of files floating around with "Also Known As" or AKAs with alternative titles. The database is going to provide space for information that there isn't room for in Otter, and allowing for alternate titles would be useful. One idea we've been bouncing around linking to an external database that would provide additional information specific to a series or an episode, sort of a super log file that contains info that isn't really necessary to tracking a collection, but which real fans would like to have, like producer, director, guest stars, etc.

%green% I think the above is a great idea!!

And a genre tag would definitely be useful.

If you have any other suggestions, just let me know. It's a lot easier to define how the program should work now, before the actual coding starts, than it is to try to make modifications later on.

feet_ache

%block color=purple%Its a little thing, but an annoying one. If the Otter Log is saved with an empty space after the title of the episode, it records that space as part of the title. Therefore, when you try to rename the title, it adds an extra space before the .mp3. It is very easy to ignore whitespace at the end of a line, but you have to put it in the program.
~ [[~menachem]] February 08, 2005, at 02:11 AM

I've never noticed that before, but I haven't used the log functions of Otter much. Having that kind of thing pop up in a program is pretty common. Back when I was doing programming professionally I almost always added generic subroutines that stripped off extra spaces at the beginning or end of a data field.

%red% I have only read and heard about what Otter can do so don't know what is missing that should be added to Ferret. I have wanted Otter for the Mac since I found out about it. I like the idea of a genre tag but we need a set of standardized genre to go with it.

Jim... 2-09-05

There is always going to be some debate about genre, of course. Often it's pretty clear, sometimes not. I'd call Lum and Abner a comedy, but some people might consider it to be more of a humorous soap opera. As for Otter on the Mac, the "Frogger" version *will* run under the PC emulator. I run it on my new iMac with Ver. 7 of the emulator. The standard Defender version won't run properly at all. It crashes with memory errors constantly. Even the Frogger version will bomb out with memory errors after it's been running for some time, especially when working with folders that have large numbers of files in them. It is also very, very slow. I have the 1.8 ghz processor with 1 gig of RAM, with 512 Meg for the emulator, and it's extremely slow, especially when updating ID3 tags. *feet_ache*

%green%How feasable is a report printing function which would allow one to print out lists by series, or title or performer (that would require searchability within the data),I like to look at things by date and call up a variety of programs from one year, month and/or day (say my birthday).

Thanks.

Printer support is definitely on the list! The lack of printing capabilities was always a pet peeve of mine with Otter.

I'm planning on expanding search capabilities as well. I'm not really fond of how Otter handles searches.

I'm currently working on defining the "wish list" and getting it into final form and hope to get it up on the website at feetache.com within a week or so. I realize that it's been taking a considerable amount of time just defining what the program is going to do, but back when I was studying data processing and programming in college our systems analysis instructor really drilled that into us. Every hour spent defining exactly what the program should do can save many hours in programming and debugging time later. *feet_ache*


%note%Website had to get reverted back to last night and we lost some stuff. That includes the stuff you had added to the bottom of this page.
~ [[~menachem]] February 15, 2005, at 03:29 AM



!! Advice wanted on how collections are stored


I'm starting to look at programming considerations as I go over the list of functions and other things for Ferret, and one major item is how people store their OTR collections. I was talking with my son the other night about the project and he questioned the need to have Ferret track files stored on removable media (CD/DVD, etc.). He believed that because hard drives prices are now so low, it would be reasonable to assume that collectors would have their entire collection stored on hard drives, and would use CD/DVD only for backups. Therefore there was no need for Ferret to have to deal with removable media except perhaps for copying files or restoring from archive backups.

I wonder if he may have a point there. I have my entire collection on HD, and use CD/DVD only for backup, and I know some other people who do it as well.

So does Ferret have to deal with removable media? Or do you think most collectors would store their files on HD only? It would probably save a great deal of programming time if Ferret did not have to deal with removable media. *feet_ache*

%note background-color=#ccffcc%In my opinion, both hard drives and cds suck for long term storage. I've seen too many people lose everything when their hard drives give up the ghost. `CDs aren't a permanent storage solution either, as they have a limited life span.
That being said, theoretically `CDs should have a smaller chance of dying if used and stored properly (on the other hand, they may have a shorter lifespan). Since the data is written into the disc, a powersurge (for example) won't kill the `CD. If I were getting distros by mail, I may want to keep the `CDs just in case my hard drive died. It would be nice for the program to keep track of the files you have on `CDs.
Also, people may want to move series to `CDs after they finish with them.
With all of the above in mind, I don't think that removable media support is needed in the first release. One thing you should do, once you figure out what is needed in the progam, is create a roadmap, indicating when you would be adding certain features and functionality. Put removable media support lower down on the roadmap.
In general, a roadmap will let people know what to expect from the program as each release comes out. They can then decide when the program is functional enough to start using it.
~ [[~menachem]] February 17, 2005, at 03:13 PM


Thanks for the advice, menachem. I really like that idea; do an HD only version first just to get a working version going faster and add CD support after the first is debugged.

I hope people are backing up their stuff on a regular basis. I generally have at least 2 copies of everything on CD, and I try to remember to burn new copies of all my archive CDs/DVDs once a year because I've learned not to trust the things. When I switched to the Macintosh, I had to restore my collection from CD to the Mac's external HDs, and I found problems with a small number of discs, perhaps 5 or 10 out of several hundred. Fortunately I had other copies of the material, but if I hadn't been paranoid about backups, I would have lost some files on those discs. Interestingly enough, all of the failed discs were expensive, brand name discs, while I had no trouble with the generic, off-brand ones.

I've also learned the hard way to never, NEVER put a paste on label on a CD or DVD. The CDs I labeled are still readable, but they don't work in the iMac's slot drive! The tolerances on the drive are so tight that something rubs inside when I insert a CD with a label and the disc won't spin up. When I run across an old CD I did label, I have to copy it using my wife's old PC and burn a new copy

My biggest problem right now is time. I work 40+ hours a week, plus I build custom furniture and I'm in the middle of designing and building a complete suit of mission style furniture, so free time to work on Ferret is limited.

Thanks again. *feet_ache*


%note%One thing in otter that could use a huge improvement is the importing and exporting of logs (to and from text files). The otter way is convoluted and kludgy, you have to highlight the log file in order to import it. You should be able to import and export log files, just be clicking on an option|icon|etc. \\\
Say for example you want to export a log. Just click the export button and then chose the series you want to export from a list. If you want to import a log file, it should also be just as easy. \\
~ [[~menachem]] February 25, 2005, at 12:58 AM

That's a good point. There are a few things in Otter that are unnecessarily awkward to work with, and the log files are one of them.
*feet_ache*


%note% In conversations with Ben Kibbler, an interesting thing came up. There are some episodes where the time period is known, even if the exact date is unknown. Like if you know that a certain star or sponsor was only on the show for a certain time period.\\\
It would be cool if there was a way to mark the episode as (for example) airing between 2/5/43 and 5/7/49. Then even if the date was xx/xx/xx it would show up after the last episode with a known date in that time period.
~ [[~menachem]]

Now that's an interesting point. I hadn't thought of that, but now that you mention it, I have a few series and individual episodes where the actual date is unknown, and I hadn't given any thought to how Ferret would handle shows that kind of situation. THat can be a problem with some syndicated shows that didn't have a specific broadcast date. I'm going to have to give some thought on how to handle that kind of thing.

In the extended log file (i.e. the master database that contains the series/episode data, not the user DB that tracks the user's collection) I'd planned on putting a date range in the listing such as broadcast between Jan 5, 1940 to June 6, 1943, with exact dates given for the episodes, but I hadn't given any thought on how to deal with episodes without 'hard' broadcast dates.

* Other notes: I've reached the point where I'm going to start doing some preliminary programming work. There are still some issues that I'm not sure about yet, but I'll get those worked out fairly soon, I hope.

I'd toyed with the idea of using Java, but abandoned that and am going to stick with the original plan of using RealBasic for a variety of reasons. RB seems to be more stable, and it should be easier to port the program to other platforms. Since RB is relatively inexpensive as well, that means other people can tinker with the program more easily once the source code is made available.

And yes, the source code is going to be made available without charge. I don't want the program's users to end up stuck with something that doesn't grow and change to meet their needs if I lose interest in the thing and decide not to work with it any longer.

*feet_ache*



----


!! Another idea


I got an email from otrWalter the other day with an interesting idea. He's been working on developing a massive on-line database that has the potential for containing enormous amounts of detailed information about OTR series and episodes. He thought it might be a good idea for Ferret to be able to link to this database. He envisions a system that would work like some music oriented MP3 management programs do which link to on-line databases to provide the user with additional information music, only in this case it would be OTR oriented.

I don't think I would include this in the version of Ferret that is currently under development (this first version is going to be difficult enough to code and debug), but I think it could be useful, even though Ferret's expanded database would contain a lot of the info the on-line db would have.

any comments?

feet_ache March 28, 2005

%note%Would chosing to include it or not affect you in any way? If not, I don't think you should even worry about it. Since the on-line database isn't even in existence now, it would be tough to write it into the program.
Hence I say forget about it until it becomes a reality.
~ [[~menachem]] March 29, 2005, at 01:00 AM

This is all very speculative at the moment, and would definitely be for a future version of the program. It would require some modifications to the datastructure to include a unique ID code to link to the external data source and, of course, code necessary to retrieve and display the data. This would be entirely optional, though.

It sounds like a good idea, but I have some serious questions about it. There's no guarantee that the database will ever come on-line, and even if it does, there is no guarantee it will continue to exist. Who's going to host it? who's going to update it? There are a whole host of questions here. It could also have a great deal of potential. Something to think about, anyway.

At the moment I'm struggling with the ID3 tags. I thought I could just pick up a module to do it, but all of the ones I've tested so far are questionable at best, so I'm cobbling together routines to handle that.

I wanted to include a function to play mp3 files from inside of Ferret and thought that was going to be difficult. Turns out to be one of the easiest parts of the program. RealBasic's methods for dealing with files includes a function that passes off mp3s to the QuickTime routines that actually play the file, so it's only taking a few lines of code to to do that, which pleased me enormously :)

feet_ache 4/1/05

%note%there are many open source ID3 tagging programs. For one, check out
[[http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=12349|libid3tag]]. I found it on this page: http://www.underbit.com/products/mad/
For that matter, there is a great mp3 program called [[http://madman.sourceforge.net/|madman]] that does mass mp3 tagging. you may want to check out how they do it.
~ [[~menachem]] April 03, 2005, at 03:17 AM

Thanks for the info. I just DLed the source code for libid and some other routines that I discovered thanks to the links you gave! :)
July 28, 2009, at 05:01 AM by cvirakcj - DvgCvdrJYBjwZO
Changed lines 1-162 from:
!!!Ferret Project Wiki Page

Welcome to the Ferret Project. The Ferret Project is a an attempt to do for Mac OS-X what Otter has done for Windows users; provide a useful tool for the management of large collections of old time radio shows.

While Ferret is going to provide functions similar to those in Otter, it is not going to be a simple clone. Quite a few significant changes and additions are planned. Also, the compiler I'm using is supposed to be able to produce executables not only for the Mac, but also for Windows and Linux platforms with only minor changes to the source code. If it is possible to produce a working version for Windows machines without a great deal of extra work, I'll probably release a version for Windows.

At the moment, Ferret is in the planning stages. I'm putting together a "wish list" of functions and features that myself and other OTR collectors would like to see in an OTR management program. So if you're a Macintosh OSX user who has been frustrated by the lack of software for your computer, now is the time to come up with your ideas.

You are welcome to leave your comments, questions and ideas here, or you can email them to me at feetache@feetache.com

More information can be found here: http://www.feetache.com then click on the link to the Ferret Project.

As time permits, I'll be updating this with more information about the planning process, what is going to be included in Ferret, etc.

----

!!!!Website update

I've posted a new database specification and an updated outline of functions proposed for the Ferret project at http://www.feetache.com If you've been to the website before, you may need to click the REFRESH button on your browser to re-load your cache.
*feet_ache*

----
!!Suggestions/Comments
%green% Suggest "See" and "See Also" references. If, for example, people know a series by an incorrect name (but this name is consider in common use) you enter the name with a "See" reference pointing it to the correct title.


%green%If, for example, someone was looking for Eddie Cantor in the Chas'N Sanborn hour you could make a "See Also" reference and point them to any other series Eddie Cantor may have hosted. Or under the series "See Also" Cantor, Eddie?


%green%Another suggestion would be to code each record with a Genre field that would allow one to serach for all programs in a certain genre (Am sure exact classifying is a disputed art form).

Thanks for allowing my two bits!


Thanks

Thanks a lot for the suggestion. I've noticed a lot of files floating around with "Also Known As" or AKAs with alternative titles. The database is going to provide space for information that there isn't room for in Otter, and allowing for alternate titles would be useful. One idea we've been bouncing around linking to an external database that would provide additional information specific to a series or an episode, sort of a super log file that contains info that isn't really necessary to tracking a collection, but which real fans would like to have, like producer, director, guest stars, etc.

%green% I think the above is a great idea!!

And a genre tag would definitely be useful.

If you have any other suggestions, just let me know. It's a lot easier to define how the program should work now, before the actual coding starts, than it is to try to make modifications later on.

feet_ache

%block color=purple%Its a little thing, but an annoying one. If the Otter Log is saved with an empty space after the title of the episode, it records that space as part of the title. Therefore, when you try to rename the title, it adds an extra space before the .mp3. It is very easy to ignore whitespace at the end of a line, but you have to put it in the program.
~ [[~menachem]] February 08, 2005, at 02:11 AM

I've never noticed that before, but I haven't used the log functions of Otter much. Having that kind of thing pop up in a program is pretty common. Back when I was doing programming professionally I almost always added generic subroutines that stripped off extra spaces at the beginning or end of a data field.

%red% I have only read and heard about what Otter can do so don't know what is missing that should be added to Ferret. I have wanted Otter for the Mac since I found out about it. I like the idea of a genre tag but we need a set of standardized genre to go with it.

Jim... 2-09-05

There is always going to be some debate about genre, of course. Often it's pretty clear, sometimes not. I'd call Lum and Abner a comedy, but some people might consider it to be more of a humorous soap opera. As for Otter on the Mac, the "Frogger" version *will* run under the PC emulator. I run it on my new iMac with Ver. 7 of the emulator. The standard Defender version won't run properly at all. It crashes with memory errors constantly. Even the Frogger version will bomb out with memory errors after it's been running for some time, especially when working with folders that have large numbers of files in them. It is also very, very slow. I have the 1.8 ghz processor with 1 gig of RAM, with 512 Meg for the emulator, and it's extremely slow, especially when updating ID3 tags. *feet_ache*

%green%How feasable is a report printing function which would allow one to print out lists by series, or title or performer (that would require searchability within the data),I like to look at things by date and call up a variety of programs from one year, month and/or day (say my birthday).

Thanks.

Printer support is definitely on the list! The lack of printing capabilities was always a pet peeve of mine with Otter.

I'm planning on expanding search capabilities as well. I'm not really fond of how Otter handles searches.

I'm currently working on defining the "wish list" and getting it into final form and hope to get it up on the website at feetache.com within a week or so. I realize that it's been taking a considerable amount of time just defining what the program is going to do, but back when I was studying data processing and programming in college our systems analysis instructor really drilled that into us. Every hour spent defining exactly what the program should do can save many hours in programming and debugging time later. *feet_ache*


%note%Website had to get reverted back to last night and we lost some stuff. That includes the stuff you had added to the bottom of this page.
~ [[~menachem]] February 15, 2005, at 03:29 AM



!! Advice wanted on how collections are stored


I'm starting to look at programming considerations as I go over the list of functions and other things for Ferret, and one major item is how people store their OTR collections. I was talking with my son the other night about the project and he questioned the need to have Ferret track files stored on removable media (CD/DVD, etc.). He believed that because hard drives prices are now so low, it would be reasonable to assume that collectors would have their entire collection stored on hard drives, and would use CD/DVD only for backups. Therefore there was no need for Ferret to have to deal with removable media except perhaps for copying files or restoring from archive backups.

I wonder if he may have a point there. I have my entire collection on HD, and use CD/DVD only for backup, and I know some other people who do it as well.

So does Ferret have to deal with removable media? Or do you think most collectors would store their files on HD only? It would probably save a great deal of programming time if Ferret did not have to deal with removable media. *feet_ache*

%note background-color=#ccffcc%In my opinion, both hard drives and cds suck for long term storage. I've seen too many people lose everything when their hard drives give up the ghost. `CDs aren't a permanent storage solution either, as they have a limited life span.
That being said, theoretically `CDs should have a smaller chance of dying if used and stored properly (on the other hand, they may have a shorter lifespan). Since the data is written into the disc, a powersurge (for example) won't kill the `CD. If I were getting distros by mail, I may want to keep the `CDs just in case my hard drive died. It would be nice for the program to keep track of the files you have on `CDs.
Also, people may want to move series to `CDs after they finish with them.
With all of the above in mind, I don't think that removable media support is needed in the first release. One thing you should do, once you figure out what is needed in the progam, is create a roadmap, indicating when you would be adding certain features and functionality. Put removable media support lower down on the roadmap.
In general, a roadmap will let people know what to expect from the program as each release comes out. They can then decide when the program is functional enough to start using it.
~ [[~menachem]] February 17, 2005, at 03:13 PM


Thanks for the advice, menachem. I really like that idea; do an HD only version first just to get a working version going faster and add CD support after the first is debugged.

I hope people are backing up their stuff on a regular basis. I generally have at least 2 copies of everything on CD, and I try to remember to burn new copies of all my archive CDs/DVDs once a year because I've learned not to trust the things. When I switched to the Macintosh, I had to restore my collection from CD to the Mac's external HDs, and I found problems with a small number of discs, perhaps 5 or 10 out of several hundred. Fortunately I had other copies of the material, but if I hadn't been paranoid about backups, I would have lost some files on those discs. Interestingly enough, all of the failed discs were expensive, brand name discs, while I had no trouble with the generic, off-brand ones.

I've also learned the hard way to never, NEVER put a paste on label on a CD or DVD. The CDs I labeled are still readable, but they don't work in the iMac's slot drive! The tolerances on the drive are so tight that something rubs inside when I insert a CD with a label and the disc won't spin up. When I run across an old CD I did label, I have to copy it using my wife's old PC and burn a new copy

My biggest problem right now is time. I work 40+ hours a week, plus I build custom furniture and I'm in the middle of designing and building a complete suit of mission style furniture, so free time to work on Ferret is limited.

Thanks again. *feet_ache*


%note%One thing in otter that could use a huge improvement is the importing and exporting of logs (to and from text files). The otter way is convoluted and kludgy, you have to highlight the log file in order to import it. You should be able to import and export log files, just be clicking on an option|icon|etc. \\\
Say for example you want to export a log. Just click the export button and then chose the series you want to export from a list. If you want to import a log file, it should also be just as easy. \\
~ [[~menachem]] February 25, 2005, at 12:58 AM

That's a good point. There are a few things in Otter that are unnecessarily awkward to work with, and the log files are one of them.
*feet_ache*


%note% In conversations with Ben Kibbler, an interesting thing came up. There are some episodes where the time period is known, even if the exact date is unknown. Like if you know that a certain star or sponsor was only on the show for a certain time period.\\\
It would be cool if there was a way to mark the episode as (for example) airing between 2/5/43 and 5/7/49. Then even if the date was xx/xx/xx it would show up after the last episode with a known date in that time period.
~ [[~menachem]]

Now that's an interesting point. I hadn't thought of that, but now that you mention it, I have a few series and individual episodes where the actual date is unknown, and I hadn't given any thought to how Ferret would handle shows that kind of situation. THat can be a problem with some syndicated shows that didn't have a specific broadcast date. I'm going to have to give some thought on how to handle that kind of thing.

In the extended log file (i.e. the master database that contains the series/episode data, not the user DB that tracks the user's collection) I'd planned on putting a date range in the listing such as broadcast between Jan 5, 1940 to June 6, 1943, with exact dates given for the episodes, but I hadn't given any thought on how to deal with episodes without 'hard' broadcast dates.

* Other notes: I've reached the point where I'm going to start doing some preliminary programming work. There are still some issues that I'm not sure about yet, but I'll get those worked out fairly soon, I hope.

I'd toyed with the idea of using Java, but abandoned that and am going to stick with the original plan of using RealBasic for a variety of reasons. RB seems to be more stable, and it should be easier to port the program to other platforms. Since RB is relatively inexpensive as well, that means other people can tinker with the program more easily once the source code is made available.

And yes, the source code is going to be made available without charge. I don't want the program's users to end up stuck with something that doesn't grow and change to meet their needs if I lose interest in the thing and decide not to work with it any longer.

*feet_ache*



----


!! Another idea


I got an email from otrWalter the other day with an interesting idea. He's been working on developing a massive on-line database that has the potential for containing enormous amounts of detailed information about OTR series and episodes. He thought it might be a good idea for Ferret to be able to link to this database. He envisions a system that would work like some music oriented MP3 management programs do which link to on-line databases to provide the user with additional information music, only in this case it would be OTR oriented.

I don't think I would include this in the version of Ferret that is currently under development (this first version is going to be difficult enough to code and debug), but I think it could be useful, even though Ferret's expanded database would contain a lot of the info the on-line db would have.

any comments?

feet_ache March 28, 2005

%note%Would chosing to include it or not affect you in any way? If not, I don't think you should even worry about it. Since the on-line database isn't even in existence now, it would be tough to write it into the program.
Hence I say forget about it until it becomes a reality.
~ [[~menachem]] March 29, 2005, at 01:00 AM

This is all very speculative at the moment, and would definitely be for a future version of the program. It would require some modifications to the datastructure to include a unique ID code to link to the external data source and, of course, code necessary to retrieve and display the data. This would be entirely optional, though.

It sounds like a good idea, but I have some serious questions about it. There's no guarantee that the database will ever come on-line, and even if it does, there is no guarantee it will continue to exist. Who's going to host it? who's going to update it? There are a whole host of questions here. It could also have a great deal of potential. Something to think about, anyway.

At the moment I'm struggling with the ID3 tags. I thought I could just pick up a module to do it, but all of the ones I've tested so far are questionable at best, so I'm cobbling together routines to handle that.

I wanted to include a function to play mp3 files from inside of Ferret and thought that was going to be difficult. Turns out to be one of the easiest parts of the program. RealBasic's methods for dealing with files includes a function that passes off mp3s to the QuickTime routines that actually play the file, so it's only taking a few lines of code to to do that, which pleased me enormously :)

feet_ache 4/1/05

%note%there are many open source ID3 tagging programs. For one, check out
[[http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=12349|libid3tag]]. I found it on this page: http://www.underbit.com/products/mad/
For that matter, there is a great mp3 program called [[http://madman.sourceforge.net/|madman]] that does mass mp3 tagging. you may want to check out how they do it.
~ [[~menachem]] April 03, 2005, at 03:17 AM

Thanks for the info. I just DLed the source code for libid and some other routines that I discovered thanks to the links you gave! :)
to:
1cH8GD <a href="http://qqsjwhjspgwe.com/">qqsjwhjspgwe</a>, [url=http://kozjgzhpeinl.com/]kozjgzhpeinl[/url], [link=http://xgahdzixbjzm.com/]xgahdzixbjzm[/link], http://uznafrepqydf.com/

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