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Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 23 April 2008, 12:21 PM  
We're trying to encourage people who are course setting and training setting etc to use condes instead of ocad. That does have a simple club license where anyone can download it from the net. Of course you can't do contour only type training but you can do whiteout and for actual course setting it's got lots of features that OCAD (8 at least) hasn't. (Like reports on what courses use which controls, splitting control descriptions into two columns, sets up relays with gaffeling easily for you so you just say where the forks are and it what the various options are between forks and it makes all the variations... And is much easier for importing graphics into. I started using it last weekend and already prefer it to ocad for course setting.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 23 April 2008, 1:43 PM  
OCAD does everything you listed

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 23 April 2008, 2:22 PM  
Has anyone tried Purle Pen?

It's open source course (free) setting software

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 23 April 2008, 9:30 PM  
Yep I had found those things in ocad but had never got them to work as easily as it worked in condes. And the importing graphics bit is way nicer (just drag them around and resize like in any normal drawing program) than the adjusting template method in ocad (which is all I've worked out how to use)
And the bit I was most happy to find was the automatic text description thing - is there a way how to do this in OCAD, all I've been told was you had to enter them all in yourself which I have done but it would have been easier just to do it in word from the start. Condes does it for you and choose your language!

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 23 April 2008, 11:42 PM  
So are you saying Jenni that CONDES is a comprehensive map layout tool, which would enable a variety of people to take say the Bottle Lake OCAD file, carve a piece out of it (or hide what they don't want), change the scale, maybe put a border and legend and fancy stuff onto it and finally stick courses and control descriptions on. And it is available on a club licence basis. Sounds like what we need - and also something with which to negotiate a better deal with Mr OCAD.

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 24 April 2008, 10:25 AM  
...sounds like a no-brainer.
Will NW please get one asap or we'll end up relying on one or two people to do all the course drawing work. To me Condes also looks more user friendly with clear and simple instructions for people like me.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 24 April 2008, 11:27 AM  
Hold your horses Paul. Wait for Jenni's answer to the question. Is it comprehensive? Will it let you eg hide selected features for training, even hide fences for normal events?

Show Profile  Marquita G Posted: 24 April 2008, 2:17 PM  
As the "one or two person" for NW club I would love to have a user friendly software package that any inexperienced person could use to do all the course layout stuff. Greg is right, OCAD does allow you to do everything Jenni mentions but it is not intuitive and straight forward. For example, the text descriptions - Jenni you select the OBJECT that is the description (usually called D1) in the object menu, and tick the "text description" box. However, this will then make ALL the descriptions text so you have to export all your course with international symbols first, then change to text, then export the yellow and white courses. Once you work it out and use it a few times so you remember all the idiosychronies, it works well.

I find that club members who are setting an event seem to forget about the OCAD stuff until the last minute, then can't work out how to do it and it's too late to teach them. I also find that most of the problems people have are as much due to lack of computer literacy as to the complexity of OCAD. I suspect that they will have problems no matter what software they use.

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 24 April 2008, 2:28 PM  
A similar statement to that of Marquita's could be made about the sportident software.

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 27 April 2008, 5:50 PM  
No Condes is not particularly good for altering the map itself. The map is just below and you don't change it all (like in OCAD course setting) so you can't do things like turning off or on features. It is fine for whiteout, that you can do on top. And adding legends, etc is great but you have to have them as OCAD files first (or a jpeg). I think it should work well for normal course setting. The planner wouldn't need to have ocad installed but would have to be given the ocad map files (one with fences on and one without if that was needed) and any other items they wanted to put on. I now have ocad files with a legend in, a scale in etc and I can just import these into ocad and then can drag them round like any graphic.

The control descriptions you just resize and if you go smaller than than its required height it automatically splits into two columns. Easy as. Control circle cutting is a dream - you click on the control and it opens up a new window with the region around the control circle and the control really large and the circle is divided into 15 degree bits (24 bits) and you can just click on each bit and it disappears or click again and it comes back. Really nice. You can set up text descriptions for each course individually and they come out nicely in a normal looking control description and you can add text like "Follow tape to fence end" really easily if you want. Text you can add whatever size without having to make up a new symbol with the text font size that you want.

For doing fancy stuff for trainings where you really want to play around with the map you need OCAD rather than just being on top of the map you need OCAD. If OCAD was as cheap with a club license that anyone could download then we would probably put the effort into teaching OCAD. But given that its not and that CONDES is easier to use for beginners for course setting then I think it's the way to go for us.

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 27 April 2008, 6:00 PM  
And a question for Marquita. I do trun the control descriptions onto text in OCAD but no words appear unless I write them in myself for each control object...? Like I'm in objects and I click on a circle and I can set the description by clicking in each control description box and selecting what I want but if I want text I have to write it in the properties box. It doesn't just automatically fill that boxe with reentrant if I've selected a reentrant symbol...? Shouldn't it do that.

Show Profile  Marquita G Posted: 27 April 2008, 6:46 PM  
You do need to type in the text descriptions for each control. I guess it would be nicer if it did it automatically.

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 27 April 2008, 7:21 PM  
Yes and that's what Condes does which made me very relieved as we prepared our maps for ANZAC day during the early morning of the 24th!
It did call man-made object special feature which if I'd had more time I might have worked out how to edit but instead I assumed the kids could accept they were looking for special features!

Show Profile  svendp Posted: 27 April 2008, 8:32 PM  
I normally use OCAD for course planning. I have tried the demo version of Condes several times over the years but have never managed to make it work, perhaps because I haven't got the registered version.
This weekend I tried the new version of PURPLE PEN. This is the program for the once-a-year course planner. If there ever was a user friendly program, this is it.
It is so easy to use that you don't need to read any instructions.
It does reports: course summary, leg lengts, control cross ref,
control and leg loads. It generate text automatically. Control description can be placed anywhere on the map to any size.
It can be used for standard events and score events but not relays.
Like condes it can use an OCAD map withour having OCAD installed on the computer and best of all - it is free. Try it!

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 27 April 2008, 10:03 PM  
The comments suggest that CONDES is NOT a comprehensive layout tool. Therefore I reiterate that we need the ability to spread a reasonably modern version of OCAD around members. Cheating on the licence terms should not be our way of doing this - I think NZOF should try to negotiate with OCAD. A first step might be to talk to OA and then try and enlist the support of the IOF.

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