Smart Terminal Parameter Examples

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What/Why the Parameter File

A lot of the behaviour of the terminal is controlled by the file Different projects of mine require different parameters. There are several way to achieve this. The simplest to understand might be to have a different files for each project. You can do this if you want, starting from my parameter file. You can also use a secondary parameter file that overrides the settings in the first file. But right now I am working with a somewhat different method that seems easier to manage. This is the method in the supplied parameter file and the one that I will explain here. The parameter file is heavily commented and these comments should be read if you have questions. You can also search other files for where xxx is the name of the parameter you are investigating.

In the __init__ method after a couple of required lines that help hold the application there is a call to self.default_terminal_mode(). This subroutine sets a ton of parameters and this is enough to make the terminal run nicely. See the comments in the subroutine for more info.

I then have a call to a short ( so far ) subroutine self.computer_name_tweaks( ) This subroutine uses the already set parameter computername to tweak a few settings depending on the computer's name. this makes it easy for me to change the default parameters setting based on the computer I am using to run the program. Thus I can move the program around without changing the parameter file.

The details of each parameter are commented in the parameter files, and you may also find it helpful to search the other SmartTerminal files to find their use. If at any point you find it useful to add parameters that is ok as long as you do not use a name already in use.

A final twist in the use of the parameter file is that you can have a "second" parameter file that is run after the first. This is specified in the command line in the form: parameters=parameters_a where is another specifications of parameters. This second file need not include all values, just changes after the main file runs. It is particularly useful when running 2 instances of smart terminal and you may want different communications parameter and perhaps id color. If used its use is noted in the title for the terminal.

Basic Parameter Example

All this has been changed and simplified, write up coming.

  • This is based on the file ..../smart_terminal/example_parms/
  • The parameters are all that are needed for a basic terminal application, nothing fancy but all the basics, and much more than the arduino serial monitor.
  • Well commented read the file!

What this Parameter File Does

  • Sets part of the title of the application.
  • Sets the communications parameters. Sometimes a little confusing about port names. The arduino IDE sometimes is better at finding the name, check it. Also use the <Ports> button on the GUI. On the apple we have found from <Ports> ('/dev/tty.usbmodem1411', True) and in the parameter file using self.port = "/dev/tty.usbmodem1411" gave a good connection. Sometimes a reboot will result in a change of the port name.
  • Specifies a program for file editing.
  • Sets the size of the application.
  • Defaults data to be sent.
  • Change number of send areas.
  • More see the file.

An Intermediate Difficulty Parameter Example

  • This is based on the file ..../smart_terminal/example_parms/
  • The parameters include all the basic parameters plus ones to support a greenhouse arduino monitor.
  • You should also look at the arduino application and the SmartTerminal extension to support it GreenHouse Monitor Program as they are closely related.
  • Well commented read the file!

What thisParameter File Does

  • Everything the basic file does plus the following.
  • The SmartTerminal needs some additional code to support the GreenHouse arduino program. The code is gh_csv_processing.GHCSVProcessing. To cause this to be loaded we have the following:
        elif self.mode == "GreenHouseCSV":
            # this is the module and class name of another class that will be built to support
            # automatic processing of a anduino monitoring a greenhouse
            # this also adds buttons to the gui
            self.ext_processing_module      = "gh_csv_processing"
            self.ext_processing_class       = "GHCSVProcessing"

In the code above we use the "meta" parameter self.mode to make it easy to switch on/off these settings ( by changing self.mode ).

  • The parameter file can be used to customize the send buttons, for the GreenHouse adaptation I use a more advanced version of these settings:
     self.send_ctrls        = [ ( "Version", "v", False ),  ( "Help", "h", False ), "simple default text" ]

In this case instead of just changing the default values of the string to be sent, I have also changed the button text and the editablity of the send field. This is done by using a tuple for any given button in the form ( string_button_text, string_send_default, editablity

  • The terminal can probe the communications ports, find a port that opens, send a string to the arduino, and look for a particular response to verify that it is connected to the desired port. This takes the following settings:
        self.get_arduino_version    = "v"              # sent out port to get arduino version
        self.arduino_version        = "GreenHouse"     # should be part of the string the arduino responds with match with the arduino code

  • Another setting is required for the probe of communications ports. Here it is ( set up for automatic switching between operating systems )

        # used to probe around for ports
        if  self.os_win:
            self.port_list  =  [ "COM11", "COM12", "COM13", "COM14", "COM15", "COM16", "COM17", ]
            self.port_list  =  [ "/dev/ttyUSB0", "/dev/ttyUSB1", "/dev/ttyUSB2", "/dev/ttyACM0", "/dev/ttyACM1", "/dev/ttyACM2", ]

  • Data is saved to a csv file, but what is the file name. Here is its setting:
        # for saving csv data 
        self.csv_filename   = "csv_data.csv"

even more

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