Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

For discussion of Phil Tobin's Tuner Studio software (Only about the tuning software itself, not about how to tune or firmware features)

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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby elaw » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:32 am

How about "offline - no tune loaded"?
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby LT401Vette » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:33 am

Display the firmware version only and always. Then it is far easier for the customer (or me) to find the ini file.


Again, simply not true.

The customer will likely not find the ini file and be in our support queue where we will need to figure out what the only unique key to an ini file is, the serial signature.
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:42 am

The last two support requests I've had for an ini file wouldn't have happened if the customer had been shown the firmware version.

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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby LT401Vette » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:45 am

jsmcortina wrote:The last two support requests I've had for an ini file wouldn't have happened if the customer had been shown the firmware version.

James


How is that?

Where did they get the serial signature from? It wasn't the above dialog, that wouldn't have it unless they already had the ini.

My guess would be the signature mis-match dialog. That shows both the signature and the firmwareInfo string.
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:58 am

LT401Vette wrote:
jsmcortina wrote:The last two support requests I've had for an ini file wouldn't have happened if the customer had been shown the firmware version.

James


How is that?

They didn't tell me.
My guess would be the signature mis-match dialog. That shows both the signature and the firmwareInfo string.

Probably.
But again, if that screen said "Go find trans pre-1.0.2 beta2 and get the ini from there" we wouldn't have been answering that question on Facebook last week.

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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby racingmini_mtl » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:57 am

We've had this conversation before and I thought that the conclusion was clear but obviously not. Phil, I think you're mixing up the needs of TS and those of the users (and those who support them).

Unless you start from scratch (which might be something TS forbids), an msq will always have the firmware version and the serial signature (unless TS does not save these). TS needs and uses the latter to get the correct ini but the user needs the former to get the correct file for everything (firmware, ini, default tune, ...). And a connected MS will also always have both.

So the only time TS needs to display anything other than the firmware version is when a user has created an msq from scratch and never used it on an MS. Then TS could display the serial signature _and_ the fact that this is an unidentified firmware version. At any other time, TS needs to display the firmware version for any support and it can use internally, and invisibly, the serial signature without a need for an external mapping table to a firmware version (the information is available anyway if needed).

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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:49 am

Here's what I'm thinking. I don't think it is a radical change, but I do think it would help reduce customer confusion.
proj-prop1.png
Existing project properties
proj-prop1.png (20.2 KiB) Viewed 168 times

proj-prop2.png
Proposed project properties
proj-prop2.png (36.07 KiB) Viewed 168 times
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:51 am

Part B.
mismatch1.png
Existing mismatch screen
mismatch1.png (26.52 KiB) Viewed 168 times

mismatch2.png
Proposed mismatch screen
mismatch2.png (60.52 KiB) Viewed 168 times


There probably needs to be a similar change in "Detect" so TS tells you to go look for the firmware version.

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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby LT401Vette » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:10 am

Yes we have discussed it before. I generally give up and stick another band aid on it hoping eventually the fundamental flaw of having no relational key will be understood.
It is hard to believe I even need to point this out.

Support is foremost on my mind, not only does support take my time, but I have dedicated support staff.

An MSQ did not always have the firmwareInfo, that was a band aid I added some time back to help alleviate this support issue. I continue to add these band aids until everyone is happy, then a year later it is determined that something else should be changed and never should have been this way..

Let's back up to 2010.
TunerStudio and MegaTune were in use. In both applications the ONLY place firmwareInfo was used was in the tittle bar of the application. All other locations used signature only, but the signature generally represented the firmware and version. There was little confusion.

Once signatures mutated into a new form that did not correlate to the firmware version it is used with, naturally there was a good deal of confusion among users.
Instead of realizing it was a mistake, or perhaps explaining the pros to this and how they out weigh the cons, it was just decided that TS should come up with a new way to display it again and again.

There is enough confusion for users, I don't understand the desire to fabricate more user confusion.
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Next Generation tuning software.
Supporting all MegaSquirt versions and firmwares.
http://www.TunerStudio.com
http://www.efiAnalytics.com/MegaLogViewer/
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby ashford » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:34 pm

the serial signature is unique to every firmware, firmware version is unique to every firmware. essentially you are giving 2 names to one thing.

why not use the firmware release number as the serial signature?
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby racingmini_mtl » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:58 pm

ashford wrote:the serial signature is unique to every firmware

That's not correct. The ini file can (and does) remain the same for some upgraded and bug corrected firmware versions. You can change a lot of things in the firmware without having to change the tuning parameters that the user sees.

LT401Vette wrote:There is enough confusion for users, I don't understand the desire to fabricate more user confusion.

Regardless of my own feeling about the latest serial signature naming, I think that changing the name of a serial signature associated with an otherwise unchanged ini file could introduce additional user confusion by creating unexisting incompatibility between firmware versions. Would that be greater than the current situation? I don't know but it's not as black and white as it might first seem.

James has proposed minimal changes above that would likely help without needing too much work. So that should probably be the basis of the current discussion rather than anything I have to say.

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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby cactus » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:56 pm

Here is just my recent experience. I'm going a little off of memory since it was several weeks ago and I don't know if I could simply retrace my steps but perhaps this will show part of the path of confusion for some.

I recently built up an old computer with the potential of only being a tuning machine for garage use. What else can you really do with ancient Windows XP machines? I installed Linux Mint and then stumbled through the Tuner Studio install. This is my only Linux experience and I'm just looking for stages of success. Not yet even prepared to connect to the ECU. I was just hoping to get to the evidence that the program ran. Early on it wants you to start a project, before you can even get a dashboard up, correct? I move through the dialogs before even Preparing for the serial testing stage. I don't recall what firmware I had running on my MS at this point. I know I have MS2 Extra, but am then seeing the gigantic list of firmware and the serial signatures? They are all written inconsistently and a bit cryptic to even know how to guess. But I made a choice. If I chose poorly, what is the response I get when I then do detect my ECU? If I prepare to connect to an ECU but haven't when building the first project should it have even forced me to pick this to start? Would just a project folder name be enough to just get me "in".

This is one of the first steps people would have if they bought something pre built or are reviving a project on a new computer, etc. That initial list was a bit daunting, and it seems like it is only to help somebody that knows what to do with it, and I don't feel like I update the firmware often enough to know what a serial signature means or how it is used. I only see references to the latest firmware, but what IS the serial signature and how should it be telling idiots like me what it can do for me?

Should it allow more answers to simpler questions about the signature or not force a serial signature up front? Can it help define the signature with questions that are simpler to answer or guide you to where to get the answers? It is just one of the first complex choices you get with a fresh TS install and I felt a bit awkward with answering it or knowing if choosing wrong would cause difficulty or not.

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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby LT401Vette » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:34 am

cactus wrote:Here is just my recent experience. I'm going a little off of memory since it was several weeks ago and I don't know if I could simply retrace my steps but perhaps this will show part of the path of confusion for some.

I recently built up an old computer with the potential of only being a tuning machine for garage use. What else can you really do with ancient Windows XP machines? I installed Linux Mint and then stumbled through the Tuner Studio install. This is my only Linux experience and I'm just looking for stages of success. Not yet even prepared to connect to the ECU. I was just hoping to get to the evidence that the program ran. Early on it wants you to start a project, before you can even get a dashboard up, correct? I move through the dialogs before even Preparing for the serial testing stage. I don't recall what firmware I had running on my MS at this point. I know I have MS2 Extra, but am then seeing the gigantic list of firmware and the serial signatures? They are all written inconsistently and a bit cryptic to even know how to guess. But I made a choice. If I chose poorly, what is the response I get when I then do detect my ECU? If I prepare to connect to an ECU but haven't when building the first project should it have even forced me to pick this to start? Would just a project folder name be enough to just get me "in".

This is one of the first steps people would have if they bought something pre built or are reviving a project on a new computer, etc. That initial list was a bit daunting, and it seems like it is only to help somebody that knows what to do with it, and I don't feel like I update the firmware often enough to know what a serial signature means or how it is used. I only see references to the latest firmware, but what IS the serial signature and how should it be telling idiots like me what it can do for me?

Should it allow more answers to simpler questions about the signature or not force a serial signature up front? Can it help define the signature with questions that are simpler to answer or guide you to where to get the answers? It is just one of the first complex choices you get with a fresh TS install and I felt a bit awkward with answering it or knowing if choosing wrong would cause difficulty or not.

John


The ideal way to start is to connect to your MegaSquirt and click "Detect", it will then see what type of box and firmware you have along with the comm settings needed. It will then display the firmware version to you.

What you outlined was clicking "Show Advanced / Offline Setup". In that case all there is a list of serial signatures as there is nothing to show.
Perhaps the Advanced Offline setup needs to be more discouraged in the app, or hidden as a typical user should not be using that. Odds are if you do go that route you are doing good to get the right firmware family, then when you actually connect, TS will prompt you to update to the right ini file.

In the past I believe James has requested that offline option be removed. I tend to think it should at least pop up instructions for proper simple setup.
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EFI Analytics, helping to simplify EFI
Next Generation tuning software.
Supporting all MegaSquirt versions and firmwares.
http://www.TunerStudio.com
http://www.efiAnalytics.com/MegaLogViewer/
Support the firmware running your engine:
http://www.msextra.com/doc/donations.html
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby pit_celica » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:00 pm

Would it be easier if the ini filename was incremented to the same rate as the FWversion even if it's content hasn't changed? Then, only knowing the FWversion, you could get the correct ini file from the database.

Then, the customer only has to know the FWversion to get support for his MSQ or ini.

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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:12 am

pit_celica wrote:Would it be easier if the ini filename was incremented to the same rate as the FWversion even if it's content hasn't changed? Then, only knowing the FWversion, you could get the correct ini file from the database.

Don't forget that there are four different ini files for each MS3 release.
Then, the customer only has to know the FWversion to get support for his MSQ or ini.

This is my original point. Once you know the firmware version, you can go download the install zip which contains all of the applicable ini files. Showing the customer the internal serial format is causing the problem. As Phil said, the dropdown of a list of ini versions is perhaps useful for a developer, but would be best kept away from the customer.

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