Module Library & Module Maker - Next Generation?

Downloads, information and resources for the RackPlanner software.

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BananaPlug
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Module Library & Module Maker - Next Generation?

Post by BananaPlug » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:02 pm

Thinking about totally redoing the Module Maker and the Module Library :hmm:

The Maker & Library were started without knowing how things would go or what people would do with them. Now we have a better idea about all that. I'd like it to improve them both and I want to make it possible for other people to help maintain the collection, much like the forum has moderators. This is something I do in my spare time and I'm a web developer with my own software development projects to keep me busy. If new Maker & Library are a little more in line with my current software development projects there's some positive feedback in both directions. So I'm starting this thread to put some ideas out and fish for comments before deciding if a re-do makes sense. If it's going to happen at all I need to make a plan and to make a plan I need to hear from people like you.

It would still be free and the existing collection would be migrated to the new system.

The library would be divided up better and browsing it would be more like browsing a shopping site's online catalog. You could approach the catalog in more than one way (format or manufacturer), search for stuff by name or attribute (find all 4hp modules by a certain maker).

Moderators would be enlisted to help maintain sections they are interested in. Crowd based moderation could be done with a voting system. Often we get a Module Maker contribution for a module that exists but the image is different. We could have a voting system that would let the user's settle this.

If you just need one or two modules you could download them one at a time. Otherwise pick them as if you were putting things in a shopping cart. When you're done picking modules you could optionally add a rack of whatever size and format you want, optionally add a copy of RackPlanner and download the whole bundle as a single zip file. Doing it all together we can make sure the files point to each other.

The Maker & Library would be integrated. Go to the section of the site where that module would be and if it isn't there already click New to make it.

We could have a DIY section for each format and the ability to attach files so others can use your FPD or whatever.

I don't want to support a commenting system or poach content from the forum but I think it would be fine to allow people to add links. The system could be picky and just allow links to forum topics and the manufacturer's web site. If a manufacturer wants to add a new module and give it a link to the module description on their web site and a link to a MW forum post about it that's fine. On the other hand I don't want people linking to their order page or eBay auction. That seems spammy.

We need a more uniform strategy for zip file names. Once we have that in place we could (this seems unnecessary but...) provide backwards compatibility via a utility that could take an existing rack file, update it to use the new names and give you back a bundle with that file and the module files to go with it. A very similar tool could let you upload a rack file and tell you if there are recent updates for any of those modules.

Behind the scenes Maker & Library would store module info in a database (it's all files now) and the zip files would be generated from that. A caching system would keep the zips up to date.

Let me know what you think of these ideas and share your own ideas as well.
Thanks :banana:

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Post by exper » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:47 pm

I for one appreciate your work with this! Having Module Maker allows me to plan for things that aren't on the online module planner such as soon to be released modules and DIY like the clarke68 panels.
I'd really appreciate if there was some way to calculate some of the things that the online planner does however, like total power in mA, module depth and other info. If this is what you mean by including comments, great. I know zero about programming java apps and such so forgive me if I'm suggesting something too hard to pull off, especially pro bono!
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Post by RichyHo » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:37 am

While working on my new Rack Planner app I've found that not all module.xml files are created equal so it would be good to fully re-check them and populate with all the current requirements, depth, web links etc. I'm happy to help with the Euro section and with ongoing moderation. Feel free to PM me.

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Post by dougcl » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:29 pm

RichyHo wrote:While working on my new Rack Planner app I've found that not all module.xml files are created equal so it would be good to fully re-check them and populate with all the current requirements, depth, web links etc. I'm happy to help with the Euro section and with ongoing moderation. Feel free to PM me.
If you are referring to the properties in the stickied "Schemas" thread here, they are just suggestions, and I don't think anyone has implemented them (I think eurorackdb was working on gathering the data for euro, but as far as I know he is not putting the values into his exported module zips.)

If the modules had the depth and mA values populated consistently, it would be a simple matter to add their sums to RackPlanner. Hopefully bananaplug is thinking about presenting the option for users to add these values to existing modules in the library. :)

To be clear, there are five required fields in the module xml:
moduleImageFilename
manuf
format
model
HP

These fields are listed as minOccurs=1 in the schema (stickied Schema thread).

RackPlanner is able to function with only the moduleImageFilename and the HP. The other three fields are listed as required because they will be the minimum needed to identify modules for the purpose of exchanging information between databases.

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Post by RichyHo » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:21 am

Thanks dougcl - that makes perfect sense.

a scanner darkly

Post by a scanner darkly » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:39 pm

Posting here as this is probably a better place for schema discussion...
RichyHo wrote: :zombie: Patching - Interface to allow patch points of modules to be tagged and labelled - This is a biggie. Once a module's been tagged it'll allow patch cables to snap to the correct positions on the modules and also produce easy-to-follow verbal patch instructions you can step through. Think "MakeNoise Wogglebug Woggle Output -> E350 Morphing Terrarium 1V/OCT Input". allowing you to easily demonstrate/recreate any patch. Of course it would also store (and display) knob positions.
(quote is from this thread)

I've been working on a patch language / editor / visualizer and was thinking along those lines, perhaps we could discuss what should be added for patch points / knob definitions? I'll try to throw something together this weekend to quickly populate those using visual map but would be good to come up with / agree on schema definition.

What I had in mind - 3 additional tags, inputs, outputs and controls.

Inputs / Outputs:
- type? (banana / minijack etc)
- name
- description (any description, such as purpose)
- position (relative to image top left corner)
- effective voltage range
- is it DC coupled

Controls
- type (pot, switch etc)
- name
- description

Not sure yet how to handle inputs / outputs / controls that change their function depending on other controls or what is plugged into the module.

Would be also useful to specify normalization somehow.

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Post by dougcl » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:45 pm

a scanner darkly wrote:Posting here as this is probably a better place for schema discussion...
RichyHo wrote: :zombie: Patching - Interface to allow patch points of modules to be tagged and labelled - This is a biggie. Once a module's been tagged it'll allow patch cables to snap to the correct positions on the modules and also produce easy-to-follow verbal patch instructions you can step through. Think "MakeNoise Wogglebug Woggle Output -> E350 Morphing Terrarium 1V/OCT Input". allowing you to easily demonstrate/recreate any patch. Of course it would also store (and display) knob positions.
(quote is from this thread)

I've been working on a patch language / editor / visualizer and was thinking along those lines, perhaps we could discuss what should be added for patch points / knob definitions? I'll try to throw something together this weekend to quickly populate those using visual map but would be good to come up with / agree on schema definition.

What I had in mind - 3 additional tags, inputs, outputs and controls.

Inputs / Outputs:
- type? (banana / minijack etc)
- name
- description (any description, such as purpose)
- position (relative to image top left corner)
- effective voltage range
- is it DC coupled

Controls
- type (pot, switch etc)
- name
- description

Not sure yet how to handle inputs / outputs / controls that change their function depending on other controls or what is plugged into the module.

Would be also useful to specify normalization somehow.
Hi this thread is dedicated to this kind of discussion. Please have a look at what we have so far.

viewtopic.php?t=54811

a scanner darkly

Post by a scanner darkly » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:53 pm

Thanks Doug! Will post there.

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Post by John Noble » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:43 am

I should check this subforum more often--feel free to pm me or email at john }a t{ eurorackdb.com if I can be of service.
dougcl wrote:If you are referring to the properties in the stickied "Schemas" thread here, they are just suggestions, and I don't think anyone has implemented them (I think eurorackdb was working on gathering the data for euro,
I collect the data pretty aggressively on an ongoing basis. Speaking of which, Tom at Analogue Solutions was kind enough to take time from his vacation to send me data that isn't even on his own site! :party:
but as far as I know he is not putting the values into his exported module zips.)
Let me know where you guys want it and I'll put it in if I have it. AFAIK the schema additions were all proposals rather than published standards, so I've held off doing anything that would cause pain for users if you went a different direction.
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