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Database Discussion Forum - This forum is for questions about the database such as how to use it, layout or usability issues or suggestions for improvement. It is not for pointing out wrong information or getting help with programming.

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Old 08-30-2013, 11:27 PM
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Default I Would Find it Helpful if Deleted TalkGroups Were Identified Meaningfully

Over the years, I check (almost daily) RR's database to find anything that might have changed on the "map" for Virginia--specifically those counties I've programmed for my scanner--looking for an item (county) to be shaded green indicating a change that may affect my programming (or yellow if I didn't happen to catch it on the day something changed).

This is a nice feature.

What's not so nice, however, is if a TalkGroup has been DELETED. There's no row left in the TalkGroup Category table to "color", and consequently, no remaining information left behind for me to easily deduce which row out of (potentially) hundreds, is no longer present.

This need not be this way, in my opinion....

At the top part of any given database page, (e.g., Virginia Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS), the change is listed as sort of a summary (i.e., "Last Updated"), and then further down (if its an update or a new TalkGroup) one can find the yellow or green shading for the new or modified entity.

No problem, here.

But.... If it is a deletion, why not list the pertinent information in what I am calling the "Summary" (i.e., Last Updated), at the very least, the Alpha Tag or Decimal Format number (or better yet, include the Talkgroup Category Menu) of the item which was deleted.

As it is presently, the Last Updated value simply displays the following (by way of example):

"Last Updated: August 30, 2013, 8:40 pm (Deleted 1 talkgroup(s))"

If the administrator "knows" (at the time of deletion--and presumably, he does), which item has been deleted--but does not record any associated "identifier", this important, relevant information "dies" with his removal of the actual row in question.

If I knew the Alpha Tag, Decimal Value, and the Talkgroup Category Menu the deleted item belonged to, I'd have more than a fighting chance of being able to open my programming application and remove the deleted item(s) and re-sync my scanner.

As it is now, I have no real way to reconcile my programming without performing a tedious and laborious comparison between RR content and my programming application. And just "re-downloading" everything from RR is not a viable solution, either, as I customize certain Alpha Tags to suit my own "abbreviated text" sense. I'd lose that customization if I simply re-downloaded from RR every time some TalkGroup gets whacked.

It would be very nice if the RR database administrator, could summarize the pertinent information for posterity, before removing all previous trace of the said information.

Thanks in advance to any consideration afforded this notion.

Regards,

Mike Gentry
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:13 AM
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Default I Would Find it Helpful if Deleted TalkGroups Were Identified Meaningfully

Your point is valid. Most DB admins change the tag to "deprecated" instead.

However, I wonder why you go to all that trouble? If the TG is no longer used, there is absolutely no harm in still having it in your scanner. Why bother?
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Old 08-31-2013, 1:08 AM
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Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (BREW; Opera Mini/6.0.3/27.2338; U; en) Presto/2.8.119 320X240 LG VN530)

Depending on how often items are deleted or deprecated, it could be advantageous to clean it out of your scanner's memory as well, so that you can add something else if you'd like. (Some people do max out their scanner's memory capacity.) And some people just like having a clean setup, with no extraneous info they don't need
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Old 08-31-2013, 3:01 AM
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Great Idea Mike. Also I noticed that you said you "check the map".

I don't know if you are aware, if you click on "Edit MyRR" in the upper right corner of your home page you can select the counties, agencies, and trunked systems you want to track and they will be displayed at the top of your home page.

Then when a change occurs you will know at a glance as they will appear in green, and you won't have to select areas on the map or search each county to see which county, agency or system was affected.

Last edited by W8RMH; 08-31-2013 at 3:11 AM..
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:04 AM
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Thanks, W8RMH.

I actually do use MyRR to present the counties, agencies and trunked systems I track. I used to use the map exclusively, but after setting up MyRR, I only sometimes seek the map out, now.

And, my reason for purging 'defunct' talkgroup items is exactly as KB7MIB indicated: a clean setup, with no extraneous info they don't need.

Thanks again.

Mike
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Old 08-31-2013, 3:42 PM
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To be clear, we do not directly edit the Change History, nor is that capability available. Those entries are added automatically as we make changes to the database. Even if we wanted to note the frequencies/talkgroups that were deleted, we are not able to do so in the manner you're asking for. So, when you see an entry like this:

Fauquier / Culpeper / Rappahannock System Updated (Deleted 1 talkgroup(s))

That's not anything we're controlling directly, it's added by the system itself as we make changes.

In order for deleted data to be recorded in such a way that you can actually see what frequency/talkgroup was deleted, changes would need to be made behind the scenes to allow for that info to be automatically displayed when we make changes.

The suggestion to have the system automatically note what was deleted will be passed along.


In the meanwhile, I would suggest getting familiar with Google's cache feature. That will allow you to see an older version of a web page, where you can then compare it to the current version of the page and figure out what is missing. It's not ideal, especially for counties/trunked systems that are large, but it's certainly better than having no option at all.

To see the cached version of a page, copy and paste the URL into Google search. The page will come back up as the first result, and right under the page title you will see the URL in green text. Click on the green down arrow at the end of that line and select the Cached option.

So for example, to see the cached version of the STARS system, type http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=3783 into Google search, click the arrow and select Cached, and it will take you to this page, which is how the system appeared on August 17th:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.co.../%3Fsid%3D3783
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Old 08-31-2013, 7:36 PM
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Thanks for the Google cache info. I'll give it a try.

Thanks also for passing on the suggestion of automatically noting what was deleted. I realize such a request may not be implemented as I suggested. At the time I suggested such, I did not realize what we do see is being handled by the system automatically, and is not directly under the dba's control as I had initially assumed. The automated aspect does make sense as to prevent (any) changes from being too onerous on the dba's to have to deal with.

As an aside, perhaps a new table can be added to your database (e.g., deleted_talkgroups--with Talkgroup Category, Decimal Number, and Alpha Tag columns (maybe all of the relevant columns since this info is an already known quantity)) for example, and instead of tacking on the pertinent information into the Last Updated line in the Talkgroup Category Menu as I initially suggested, instead, perhaps a running "tally" of the last 7 days of information from a new proposed 'deleted_talkgroups' table can be displayed (and configured as an "add-on") to the MyRR view. Your existing 'summarization' could remain as is, and just add the display of the new table information, as appropriate.

I don't know what the creation of a new table housing deleted rows (from all over the database) does to referential integrity, but maybe such might be doable.

And maybe a cron can be set up so that it purges any rows in this table older than <<some configurable value>> so that it is either archived, or flat out deleted--whichever you prefer. I imagine you already have some sort of backup regimen of the entire database established; adding a new table to your schema, hopefully, is doable.

While the Google cache methodology provides a potential workaround, adding something akin to what I've suggested here, I think, would be a nice enhancement to an already great site. I hope it can be accomplished.

Thanks again for the reply and for passing along the suggestion(s) to the proper folks.

Best Regards,

Mike Gentry
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Old 08-31-2013, 8:21 PM
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I don't know how talkgroups are scanned but if they are anything like frequencies, the more you have, the longer it takes to scan through them. And if you have many frequencies/talkgroups that are no longer in use, wouldn't that just make the scanner take longer to go through all those "unused" channels/frequencies/talkgroups?

I know the first time I went through through my pre-programmed frequencies in my BCT15X scanner and noted what was "hit on" and what wasn't, compared to what was in the RR database, when I set up my own systems and groups and entered the "live" frequencies and started scanning them, the speed my scanner would go through the new set-up was cut to more than half the time it was scanning through them before because there were alot less.

Wouldn't it make sense that if there were talkgroups in your scanner not in use, that after awhile, removing the dead talkgroups/frequencies would speed up the scanning process.

And we all know how much better a faster scanner is, right??!!??
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:21 PM
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Which is exactly why knowing which talkgroups have been deleted rather than merely knowing that one has, is important to me.... Right now, we're only told that a talkgroup has been deleted. We're not told which one was--and it is not straightforward on how to 'divine' that information.

If we were being told which talkgroup was deleted, then one can edit their programming software to remove the deleted talkgroup, thereby minimizing the time it takes my scanner to go through the programmed frequencies (as you aptly point out).

The whole concept behind my post was to ask RR if there were a way in which we can be told WHICH talkgroup has been deleted when one does fall-by-the-wayside. Simply being told a talkgroup has been deleted doesn't help the user know which talkgroup to remove from their scanner.

That whole 'removing the dead talkgroups/frequencies' thing isn't immediately obvious without a lot of manual comparison between RR current content and what one has programmed--short of the Google cache suggestion offered up by Chauffeur6--and by his own admittance, that's not ideal, either, (but better than nothing), as he also stated.
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Old 09-01-2013, 7:44 AM
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Perhaps the "deleted" info (and not necessarily just talkgroups) could be routed to a sort of "recycle bin" page where the deleted info could be viewed but would not be included in any reports or downloads.

The bin would have to be kept to a reasonable size over time, perhaps by "expiring" data after a reasonable but brief period of time. I would suggest 2 weeks or maybe a month.
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Old 09-08-2013, 4:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W8RMH View Post
Great Idea Mike. Also I noticed that you said you "check the map".

I don't know if you are aware, if you click on "Edit MyRR" in the upper right corner of your home page you can select the counties, agencies, and trunked systems you want to track and they will be displayed at the top of your home page.

Then when a change occurs you will know at a glance as they will appear in green, and you won't have to select areas on the map or search each county to see which county, agency or system was affected.
I know I wasn't aware of this function. Not that there are a lot of changes (at least I don't think there are) to the systems and frequencies I listen to, but this will make it a lot easier for me to know when a change does occur.

Thanks for posting this great information. This is the RR community doing what it does best!!

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