Interaction between Control Panel, Profile Manager and Sequence


#1

Hi, I have been using SGP for four months now -and I have also read the whole users manual- but I still find confusing some aspects of how the Profile Manager (PM), Control Panel (CP) and Sequence (S) interrrelate to each other.

I will put some examples:

1- If I have a sequence ready and I open the PM, change some setting, and save them (e.g. auto-focus settings) how does this affect the Sequence settings and the CP settings? I have seen the CP doesn’t change (but does it affect the current sequence?)

2- If I change settings in the CP (e.g. auto-focus settings), how does this affect the PM settings and the Sequence settings?

3- A Sequence defines the hardware (Camera, Focuser, Telescope, etc.) to be used, but doesn’t define the settings of this gear, which is specified in the PM and CP: which settings affect the hardware defined in the Sequence: those of the CP or those of the PM?

4- I have tried changing the settings (and saving them) in the PM, but these changes were not reflected in the CP. Why? Are these changes taken into account by the Sequence? How about the different Modules? (do they use these changes in settings?)

5- I have tried changing the settings CP, but these changes were not reflected in the PM. Why? Are these changes taken into account by the Sequence? How about the different Modules? (do they use these changes in settings?)

Part of the confusion is due to the fact than most tabs in the PM are similar but not identical to those of the CP, some are different, and others are completly identical (i.e. Auto Focus settings). In some cases, the same setting has different wording in the PM and CP (i.e. Auto-Focus settings), which is confusing.

In the end, who manages/directs the Sequence? The CP or the PM?

I appreciate very much if you can answer the questions above so as to understand how the PM, CP and S interrelate.

Thanks for your help!

Miguel


Control panel verses profile
#2

At that point the PM does not change the sequence AT ALL. Think of the PM like a Word template. When you create a new Word document based on a template, that new document stands on it’s own and will not be changed if you change the Word template. In the same way, when you create a new sequence based on a profile, the new sequence will stand on it’s own. Changes made to the profile will not affect current sequences. Only NEW sequences based on a profile will include changes to the profile.

Alternately, you can apply a template TO an existing sequence, but that’s another topic.

Changing something in the control panel only affects things in THAT sequence, it does not change anything in a profile.

After a sequence has been created, only the settings in the control panel will affect the equipment in that sequence.

See answer to question 1.

See answer to question 1. The modules are just representative of what’s happining in the sequence itself and provide controls for various equipment.

Again, once a sequence has been created, at that point it is just the CP that is important.


#3

Joel, thank you very much for your detailed and clear reply.

Just to make sure I understood everything correctly, I will summarize all the above:

1- A Profile is only used to CREATE a Sequence (not to MODIFY it), with specific hardware & function settings (using File/New Sequence with Profile). Once created, changes in the PM have NO effect in the current sequence.

2- Once a Sequence is created, all hardware/function settings that apply to it are ONLY those of the Control Panel. So any changes I make in the CP WILL affect the current sequence.

3- If I do File/New Sequence, this will create a sequence with NO hardware/functions settings, so the CP will have NO settings. I can then (if I wish) do File/Apply Profile to Sequence to populate the Sequence with all the settings in the Profile. These will THEN be visible in the CP.

4- Lastly, all the settings in the MODULES correspond to the settings of the Sequence (and therefore of the CP). If I change the settings of a module, these will also be automatically changed in the CP.

Please confirm if all this is correct. (If so, then I have finally understood the relationship between CP, PM & S!)

Thanks again.

Miguel


#4

Mostly, yes. I hesitate to even bring this up lest I introduce confusion, but it is possible to apply an equipment profile over an existing sequence (File -> Apply Profile to Sequence).

This is true. Like @joelshort said, sequences stand on their own, there only relationship to a profile is that they may have been created by one.

Yes

Maybe. The Equipment profile manager has a default profile option. If you choose a default, new sequence creation will use that profile for new sequences. If you do not have one selected, then yes, no equipment or equipment settings will be selected.

Yes

Yes, Modules are extensions of the control panel provided for things that are adjusted frequently (saves you the hassle of opening the CP and finding the right tab for every action). A change made to the CP will affect a module and vice-e-versa.

None of you assumptions above are wrong, I just added a little bit of color…

Thanks @joelshort


#5

Should stick that post…


#6

I’ve stubbed my toe on settings in SGP in the past and wanted to add my input to this thread. To the defenders that will undoubtedly fly out of the woodwork, please first be aware that I am just as big of a SGP fan as you are - my goal with this post is to simply open a dialog and maybe propose a possible alternative to how settings are handled.

So to recap the settings scheme, we have two distinct, logical groups of settings: “profile” and “current” (aka control panel). Current settings always reflect/modify the active sequence. Profile settings are only applicable when creating a new sequence (or when being applied to an existing sequence). Have I characterised this accurately?

Assuming that I have, it seems clear that this scheme works wonderfully for the use case in which I create one sequence and use that sequence for all my targets over time (targets come and go in the sequence but the sequence file remains constant). Many folks have multiple equipment profiles, so maybe we extend the “one sequence” example to “one sequence per profile” to reflect this. For this use case, the current settings scheme works very intuitively - any change made in the control panel is immediately reflected in the One sequence, life is good. I am guessing that this is how a large percentage of users actually use SGP but it’s just a guess. Let’s talk about the “other” use case for a minute.

The other use case is that the user wants to create a distinct sequence for each target/profile combo. This use case makes it easy to shoot the same target over time (maybe even over the course of several years) without having to worry about recreating the original framing (a big bonus for mosaic seqeunces in particular). To me, this a huge advantage of SGP - the ability to manage a collection of different target sequences over time. Unfortunately, the current settings scheme makes this a bit difficult. Since each sequence is it’s own “settings island”, any refinement changes made to a given setting has to be reapplied to each sequence. Sometimes you want to propagate that change to all sequences; sometimes you only want that change applied to a specific sequence and not others. The current scheme does accomodate both cases but with a big caveat: for the former case, it puts the burden on the user to remember to apply that change to all sequences that need the change. This is problematic because: 1) it’s easy to forget to apply the change to other sequences; and 2) it may be months before a given sequence that needs that change is used again and, by then, the change (plus the other n changes that you’ve made since then) is long since forgotten - see #1. For new users, this also problematic because they’re probably not aware that the sequence is a settings island.

Here’s the “what if” part of the post. What if settings in the sequence could be selectivly linked to the active profile? I’ll use AF step size as a simple example. Anytime I make a change to AF step size, I really to make that change to the profile and have that setting in effect whenever I use a sequence created against that profile. If the corresponding sequence setting could have a value of “use active profile”, that would effectively propagate that change to any sequence that is loaded while that profile is active (ideally, you would be able to set the value to “use profile x” but that creates difficulties when “profile x” is no longer available). To take another example, let’s say I need to change AF star detection params. These are changes that are likely to be very specific to the target that I’m shooting, so it makes sense for these changes to NOT come from the active profile and instead have a distinct value in the seqeunce.

As a long time dev and having worked on lots of different settings schemes over the years for various projects, I totally understand and appreciate that reworking the scheme is a med/high impact change that has to be weighed against how many users are likely to benefit from such a change. I just wanted to voice my opinion on the current scheme in the hope that profile-linked settings might be considered at some point in the future.

In the meantime, thanks for all your hard work and congrats on a great product… keep up the good work! :slight_smile:


#7

While I agree with the spirit, I cringe when I think about what the implementation would look like. Would it mean an option on each element of a sequence to use the profile value? I guess things could be lumped together.

In the mean time you have the option of applying profile settings to a previously created sequence. So if you update your profile you can push all of those settings into an existing sequence. I think this is a pretty decent “in the middle” approach. More info here:
http://mainsequencesoftware.com/Content/SGPHelp/ApplyProfiletoanExistingSequence.html

Thanks,
Jared


#8

You know the impl and would be in a much better position to assess impact of various approaches to achieve the capability. There are probably lots of ways to skin the cat (nothing against cats). One possibly lower impact way to achieve a more limited version (but maybe still good enough to solve the 99% case) might be to factor “target” out of the sequence and make it a first-class citizen that can be saved independently (it would be more like a “target framing”). With this factoring, you could then provide the ability to add targets to the sequence from persistent storage. That would make the multi-sequence folks happy because they’re mostly just creating multiple sequences for the target, not so much the settings (or, at least, that’s mostly how I use sequences). I don’t know how well that would fit into your vision for the product though and I don’t have the required visibility into the architecture to really think through all the nuances of such an approach… just throwing it out there as food for thought. :slight_smile:


#9

Here is one possibility for implementing the functionality that @qbool is looking for that would not require any changes to the current design.
I think it would not be that hard to implement since SGP has already implemented the main component that it would require, ie. Apply Profile to Sequenece.
In the Equipment Profile Manager there could be an additional tab or dialog that can be brought up that lists the Sequences associated with this Profile. When any change is made to the profile, on saving the profile, a prompt could come up asking if the new Profile should be applied to all the associated Sequences.


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