HTML Forms

A Note of Approval from Oregon

I have enjoyed the privilege of working with n6kzb in developing the HTML forms adopted by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management for all County EOC to State level communications when phone and internet are down. We had some specific and somewhat unusual requirements so that the new forms would generate a plain text version that exactly duplicated the templates used previously.

The new designs have been enthusiastically received, and will be the centerpiece of a large State-wide Simulated Emergency Test soon. Any other so drastic a change would probably require a long period of extensive training. These HTML Forms, with the built-in "Mouse Hover Hinting" have made training nearly unnecessary.

The other really valuable feature is the ease of keeping everyone on the same level as far as version. Mike and I were able to edit and release new versions, and the auto-update feature ensured that the changes were immediately rolled out to all the operators with the application version updates. The ease of doing manual updates to catch new features, or to repair a folder of templates damaged by inadvertent file editing or deletion is just icing on the cake.

Want to see a little feature that makes life simpler? Look at one of the several versions of "Winlink Check-in " forms. Note the odd line of text at the very bottom of the plaintext Winlink message after the Browser input form is submitted and closed. First it says "For Spreadsheet Use", and then below that is a line with all the relevant data in a single line "comma separated value" or CSV format. If you desire to collate the data during or after a drill or event, you can cut and paste this single line from each check-in form received into a NotePad text document. When all are received, you can import the plaintext CSV data into Excel and have a spreadsheet of who checked in, where, when, and what comms were used to do so. Pretty neat!

This is just a first use of the ability to pull data in from other sources such as Help files, or to collect and export data from a Form. I'm sure there will be many more.

Thomas Noel
KF7RSF

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