Freescan: FreeSCAN Open Source Project - Developers Wanted!

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K7MFC

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FreeSCAN is a popular free application for programming the Uniden SC230, BC246T, UBC3500XLT, BR330T, BCD396T, BC346XT(C), BCD396XT, BCT15X, BCD996XT, BCT15 and BCD996T, and BCD996P2 scanners. The original author, Assaf Shool/Sixpot Software, has decided to open source the project, stating he "didn't have time to maintain it anymore and feel the community could do a better job." FreeSCAN was released under the GNU General Public License, which allows anyone the freedom to run, study, share and modify the software. I have forked the original source code, and hosted it here:


As a happy user of FreeSCAN and proponent of free and open source software, I would like to help keep this project alive so I'm hosting the source code in a new public repository on GitHub in order to properly track issues and progress. I would like to invite any fellow .NET developers to participate in this open source project along with myself. As of this time there are no plans to add any new features, fix any bugs, or add support for additional scanners/communication modes. The first steps are purely exploratory - learning the code base and determining the viability of continuing down this road. I have a full-time software development job that takes most of my coding time, so this would be something purely done in my free time. Feel free to leave any feedback here, or if you are a developer, clone the repo and poke around!
 
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K7MFC

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I took the source code as I found it, built it, and published a release here:

github.com/mfcallahan/FreeSCAN/releases/tag/2.19-beta1

This release was tagged by the original author as "2.19-beta1." This is completely untested by myself and I cannot offer any support, so run at your own risk. I just wanted to make this available to anyone who may be interested in having the latest work from the original author.
 

eorange

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My thoughts exactly upon finding the source code... Maybe the first issue to open is a complete re-write in C#? :ROFLMAO:
Haha!! I'll follow your lead. :sick: In terms of re-use, the serial protocol implementations would be valuable.
 

ProScan

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My thoughts exactly upon finding the source code... Maybe the first issue to open is a complete re-write in C#? :ROFLMAO:
My recommendation is to keep it at VB. There are VB to C# translators out there but they don't always translate the code 100%. Each method will have to be retested which can add a year or more to the effort. There's nothing wrong with VB. VB & C# both transforms to the Common Language Runtime. Every thing that can be done in C# can also be done in VB(including pointers) but I don't want to get too technical here.
 

K7MFC

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Every thing that can be done in C# can also be done in VB
For the most part this is true, but there are a few syntactical things that are just much better in C#. Null coalescing, ternary operator, => lambdas, to name a few. Are those reason enough to re-write an entire application? Probably not. Will a C# project attract more volunteer developers than VB? Probably. Also, I need my curly braces!
 

ProScan

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For the most part this true, but there are a few syntactical things that are just much better in C#. Null coalescing, ternary operator, => lambdas, to name a few. Are those reason enough to re-write an entire application? Probably not. Will a C# project attract more volunteer developers than VB? Probably. Also, I need my curly braces!
I was going to leave it at that but your info is incorrect. VB has all those plus it's not case sensitive. I'm not going to go back and forth on this.
Is VB.NET Better Than C#.NET? The Top 5 Reasons
 

K7MFC

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Ok well I'll leave it at that. This thread is not the place to have the C# vs VB debate.
 

eorange

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Most of that list, from 2015, is either no longer correct or based on weak premises. Both languages have their place but VB is usually not at the top of the marketable pyramid. VB is also not supported in Azure Functions, which tells you about their strategic roadmap.
 
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K7MFC

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Haha - definitely a bit before my time as a programmer! While not quite as old, my current job still has 30+ year old AS/400 systems up and running. The "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality often applies to legacy systems.. Anyway, I'm just wanting to get a feel for what language other .NET developers on the RadioReference forums prefer working in. Obviously re-writing FreeSCAN in C# would be a significant undertaking, but if that meant it would attract more volunteers, the effort may be worth it.
 

iMONITOR

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Being a LINUX guy I'm all about open source, but other than being free I can't picture FreeSCAN ever coming close to what ProScan has become and for what ProScan brings to the table I'm happy to pay $50.00 for it to support Bob's never ending dedication to keeping it perfect!
 

K7MFC

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FreeSCAN becoming a serious competitor to ProScan is unrealistic at this point in time. There are, however, many users of FreeSCAN who would appreciate it being kept alive. This project is really for the love of FOSS, and for the learning experience of any developer who may wish to participate.
 

eorange

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I prefer C# 100% here, but rewriting FreeSCAN to C# wouldn't be a good step (assuming no mistakes were made...you'd end up with the exact same software). It would be worthwhile to see what features or bugfixes people would want first. Understanding the existing business logic before making any change would likely be more of a barrier than the language itself.
 

K7MFC

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Valid point - I'm comfortable working in VB (though it's been almost a decade since I've used it with any regularity). Bug fixes will be likely be top priority, and a completed 2.19 release will likely be the first milestone. After becoming intimately familiar with the code base, of course.
 
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