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XML and CVS; was: Raw Data feed of Sat details from AMSAT Web Site. Was [ POSAT MODE -YOUR SAY]

Quoting jtowler <jtowler@xtra.co.nz>:

> Emily,
> I want to voice my full support and encouragement re providing the status
> data in a more structured form per your comments below.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-AMSAT-BB@amsat.org 
> > [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@amsat.org] On Behalf Of Emily Clarke
> > Sent: Tuesday, 9 August 2005 5:03 a.m.
> This email only contains selected portions of the original from Emily.
> > This is an area that is currently under 
> > re-development.  Currently information is in 
> > discrete HTML pages that were authored by several 
> > people over time. ...
> Yes, there is a range of styles and levels of details.
> > The redesign involved designing a database to 
> > hold the information in a consistent 
> > manner ...
> Bring it on please.
> > Once we have "blessed" the database design we 
> > will provide an RSS feed and an XML interface with DTD and XSLT.
> This is good news as others have already commented.
> Once you have the core database content and update processes in place, it
> would be great if you have a few different pages that all draw from the same
> raw database.
> Clearly, a very rich one for humans, but also a very light one too please.
> Speaking as someone that wants a really simple way to "read" it via a
> program into something else (I have yet to finish), I'd like one of the
> options to have a very condensed format. In the style of a Keps line, where
> there are defined fields.
> As someone already asked, a simple CSV, with as many fields that can be
> usefully defined re status, start date/time, end data/time, modes, freqs
> etc.

As Jim suggests, these goals aren't exclusive of each other: an XML format can
be transformed into CSV using an appropriate XSLT stylesheet. Many modern
browsers will do this client-side. If the web team puts together an XML schema
and conforming documents that express the highest possible amount of
information, the rest of us can work on 'downconverting' this to our favorite. I
have 5 years' experience with XSLT, so I'll offer to write downconverters to CSV
for Simon and others if the web team does not have plans for this already.

On the theme of constructive web concepts, I have an idea which might be well
suited to the 'Members' Only' section of the Amsat site. As a newcomer to this
field, I'm always on the search for descriptions of working stations for various
satellites. Could I hear AO-27 with a 145 MHz jpole fed by 30' of LMR-400? How
would an operator with a RHCP beam compare that on VO-52 to a vertically
polarized beam? What I'm imagining is an 'equipment and satisfaction' survey, in
which the entire receiving and transmitting system could be described and rated
in a form-fill, database-driven manner. I expect that many AMSAT'ers know the
losses, gains and noise figures of their equipment quite accurately. Searching
through this material would give newcomers a wealth of information which would
be truely unique and possibly get them on the air faster. 

I know this could be a terribly time-consuming task, but I thought I'd throw it
 out to the membership and the web team in case it is of use.

73, VE9QRP 

Bruce Robertson, 
Dept. of Classics, Mount Allison University
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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