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Viper x

Plant reference data base ?

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Why is it when I enter a new plant using the new command with edit clicked the plant goes to the top of the list on the left, stays there until I enter another plant and then the first plant dissapears ? I have ckecked and it is not in the list and I have "all plants check box" ticked ?

What am I doing wrong please ?

Thanks Viper x

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I go through the exact steps as described on page 5-12 of the manual, the plant enters ok but it removes the last plant I have entered which was sitting at the top of the list on the left neither plant goes in alphabetical either ?

I have tried both saving it in the 2 ways described in the book but it still happens.

Thanks Viper x

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I have tested it numerous times and combinations and it does this :

AEC > PLANT REFERENCE DATABASE > EDIT > NEW > I THEN ENTER NEW PLANT INFO >

Next I try to save in the 2 ways described in the book,

Fist method - ie click OK

The new plant is entered in the list mostly at the top or at the bottom or sometimes anywhere but mostly at the top, If I then enter the next plant it over types the plant just entered.

Second method - ie I click on another existing plant -

It appears to enter fine and in alphabetical order, but it only stays then if I then click OK.

In summary this is a real worry as it is a Landscape package this function of entering new plants to form a plant data base is PARAMOUNT to every drawing and this function needs to work fast, well and every time.

I know another method is through the VWL Utility but this is long winded and does not have the easy access the Plant Rreference Data Base provides.

Robert could you please look into this ASAP as this is a vital function of what is a Landscape design program.

It may well be me as I am still learning but the steps in the book are simple and straight forward and I am following them to the letter, but who knows, I don't think it is me as others have confirmed the same problem.

Thanks very much for your help, it is reassuring when deep in the learning process to have such a help line as this [smile]

Viper x

[ 12-11-2002, 06:05 AM: Message edited by: Viper x ]

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Viper X -- we are looking into this dialog problem.

We actually visualize the problem somewhat differenly than you seem to -- you say "this function of entering new plants to form a plant data base is PARAMOUNT to every drawing." However, the Plant Reference Database sits outside of all your drawings (it is stored in an external datafile) and is available to any drawing. So you only need to do the editing of your database once.

Have you tried to use the VWL Plant Database Utility provided with VWL? It is what we provide to do extensive edits of your plant database, with the Plant Reference Database command in VWL used to do only "onesie-twosies". Give it a try.

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I just checked out the utility and was first prompted for a password which I dont have (do I?). Is this important to using the utility or does it just limit my ability to 'mess it up' by changing important parameters of the program?

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By the way, I made a change to one of the entries then clicked 'ok' and exited the program without seeing any other way to save the changes. When I went back to VW and checked the plant's record my changes did not show. How do I make them stick?

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The VWL Plant Database utility is supposed to be "self-documenting". Click the Help button in any screen to see a help screen. Click the 'More...' button in the help screen to see a description of the menu commands which allow you to export and import plant databases between the VWL utility and VWL.

PS: The password is not necessary to use the VWL database utility.

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(windowsXP)I clicked on 'help' at the top of the window and was returned to opening page that shows 'distributed by' 'version' 'notice' etc but no 'more' button. Just an 'ok' button.

Also, I tried using the 'export to VWL' script and it said that it created a txt file on the desktop and that I should move it to the '/plug-ins/landmark/data' folder but I founf no txt file on the desktop to drag....

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(please see previous post)I actually just found the 'help' button (as opposed to the help pull-down) and checked it out. I still can't see where the txt file that was suposedly created by the script is located so that I may drag it to the data file...

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I just found the answer to that one by doing a search. When you run the script it says that a txt file was created and placed on the desktop that should be dragged to the data folder. In reality, the file is created in the same folder as the utility. From there it can be dragged to the data folder. I think this is a bug! Should I report it?

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quote:

Originally posted by Robert Anderson:

Viper X -- we are looking into this dialog problem.

We actually visualize the problem somewhat differenly than you seem to -- you say "this function of entering new plants to form a plant data base is PARAMOUNT to every drawing." However, the Plant Reference Database sits outside of all your drawings (it is stored in an external datafile) and is available to any drawing. So you only need to do the editing of your database once.

Have you tried to use the VWL Plant Database Utility provided with VWL? It is what we provide to do extensive edits of your plant database, with the Plant Reference Database command in VWL used to do only "onesie-twosies". Give it a try.

"onesie-twosies". [big Grin] ! that is a classic, I like it [big Grin]

Like Shasta I too tried to use the VWL database and struck the same exact problems, in the end I saved some plants in it and it also dissapeared to the desktop but it never arrived there !

So here is my point illustrated I am sure the VWL database works but it looks like the place to import large plant data bases from other places and rightly so, but the function to enter new plants one by one is the same as the much more acessible plant reference data base located right there on the main screen menu.

The vwl database may do the job but is a long winded journey that can be avoided when you need to enter new plants one by one by using the supplied plant ref data base right there on the screen menu, it just needs to work and it will be perfect. [smile]

Now I am the first to admit I am stumbling along trying to learn this application and I am not much of a tech head at the best of times so I am in no position of knowledge, I am more an example of a complete new user of VW showing the common trips that one encounters.

Shasta have you struck the same bugs using the plant ref database as I ?

Viper x

[ 12-11-2002, 04:30 PM: Message edited by: Viper x ]

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At first I did, but I think the new plants actually did not disappear. I think they were still there but not where you were expecting to see them. Which is really just another reason to use the utility. It seems to be a more direct way of editing the database. Also, it allows you to re-sort (ie. aphabetical by Latin Name) after you have made a few entries. When you're done, just run the script to export it (find the txt file in the same folder). For convience, just keep the utility running in the background.

One caution: if you have already made a few plants from within VWL and then made more new plants inside the utility, moving the txt file that the utility created to the VWL data file will overwrite the new entries made from within the VWL program itself. In other words, it seems that making all changes from the utilty is really best. Correct me if I'm wrong, Robert.

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If you make changes to the plant database from within VWL, then you should import the VWL data file into the utility before using it. This way your datafiles will stay synchronized. You might find it best to make the data embedded in the utility the "master" as you suggest. It's easier to keep track of.

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quote:

Originally posted by shasta:

At first I did, but I think the new plants actually did not disappear. I think they were still there but not where you were expecting to see them. Which is really just another reason to use the utility. It seems to be a more direct way of editing the database. Also, it allows you to re-sort (ie. aphabetical by Latin Name) after you have made a few entries. When you're done, just run the script to export it (find the txt file in the same folder). For convience, just keep the utility running in the background.


Umm... I agree if you are planning to import large files of plant data from elsewhere the utility is good, but if the plant ref database works as it should then surely it is much more convenient as it is only one click on the screen you are looking at, whereas the utility is a journey away, besides the times entering data worked in the PRD they went in alphabetical order anyway, which I am sure they were meant to, so no sorting is needed.

The PRD is put there to enable simple and fast entering of new plants so assuming it is working well why would you not use it rather than heading off to the utility unless you were inporting lots of data from elsewhere ?

I am a complete newby to VW so little weight can be placed on my comments as yet but the PRD seems the straight forward method to me and the one that was always meant for entering new plants one by one, the problem lies in it not performing properly not that it is the wrong method, otherwise we would not have entered the nether world of the utility at all or at least at a much later date. [smile]

Viper x

[ 12-11-2002, 06:01 PM: Message edited by: Viper x ]

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The Plant Reference Database, (PRD) because it contains botanical information about plants that is unchanging, contains virtually no information that will change on a project-by-project basis. So it is something that we assume would be edited infrequently to bring it up-to-speed for your practice area. On the other hand, the Plant Catalog, which is contained wholly in the project file, is something that will change on a more frequent basis. The plant catalog combines the botanical information contained in the PRD along with information specific to the plant material, including size, graphic look, pricing, etc. etc.

See a related topic on moving plant catalogs from one project file to another.

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quote:

Originally posted by Robert Anderson:

The
Plant Reference Database
, (PRD) because it contains botanical information about plants that is unchanging, contains virtually no information that will change on a project-by-project basis. So it is something that we assume would be edited infrequently to bring it up-to-speed for your practice area.

If that is the case then it makes more sense to have this utility positioned such :

AEC > PLANTS > UTILTY right there in the screen menu rather than off in a folder elsewhere, yes ?

As a soft landscape specialist I am adding to and updating the plant data base often as I find and use new plants that I want in my data base, this can be single plant or perhaps 30 plants etc, but the key is easy access to the data base in an on screen button 1 click away as the PRD is !

I would guess once the PRD is working smoothly I would use it often to add a plant here and there but if I was to sit down and add lots of plants I might use the utility, now if the utility was " on screen " I would probably use it all the time.

ie - this is the path I am taking to get to the utility is there a shorter route ?

----------------------

Look in the VW folder for a folder called Extras. In there is the VWL

Plant DB Utility. This is a stand alone Filemaker Pro database that

allows you to edit the main plan database. Once you have done

editing, you use the Script menu to export the changes to a text

file, then use this to replace the existing one.

--------------

If this is the journey you can see how much easier using the PRD is, yes ?

Thanks Viper x

[ 12-11-2002, 06:44 PM: Message edited by: Viper x ]

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From my perspective, this whole discussion re: the PRD vs the Utility is now moot. In order for the PRD to be of use to me, I've had to make some significant changes to the plant attribute values. As Robert has explained, I can make those changes from within Vectorworks. As it turns out, I unfortunately now cannot synchronize the Utility with the PRD, as I do not have the capability to make the value edits unless I purchase and learn Filemaker. This means I will have to enter new plants in PRD one by one, exiting the PRD each time a new plant is entered, so as to not lose the previous entry. This is really grossly inefficient, and I hope this problem will be rectified in a new release.

As well, I still need to know how I can save and back-up my revised PRD (in case I ever have to reload Landmark).

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Jean-Marc

I have explained the location of the PRD datafile already; it is all you have to back up to preserve your edits. We do consider the "single new entry" problem a bug and will address it in a future release. I apologize for the inconvenience. In the meantime, if you own and know how to use Excel or any other worksheet or database that works with tab-delimited files, you can edit the database "en masse" as I have mentioned above.

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Thanks Robert. I just tried out some editing via Excel, and it worked.

To do mass plant entries, I will enter only the new species names via excel, to save me the trouble of opening and closing the PRD each time I want to add a new plant. I will then go to the PRD to select the appropriate attributes for each new plant, as this would be a cumbersone task in excel.

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Hold the presses! Upon closer inspection, it turns out the Excel solution isn't working, and I am now more confused than ever...

I've made some significant changes to the PRD attribute values (edited existing + added new ones). Unfortunately, it would appear that Excel doesn't support the new/edited values, or at least, has some trouble recognizing them all. All the original plants in the list show up with the old value definitions, despite the fact I edited them. When I saved back to the Database from Excel, I lost many attribute value selections I'd made prior to opening up in Excel (not to mention that now, for some reason, I've lost all the "light range" values for all the plants in the database. As well, when I added a new plant via Excel (name only, other columns left blank), it showed up in the PRD with the record of another species whose name appeared in Comments # 1; that species no longer shows up in the plant list.

At this point, I would be thrilled to just be able to input "onesies" and "twosies" via the PRD. Unfortunately, I can't seem to even do that. IF I try to add a new plant by selecting "New", I am provided only with a partially cleared plant file - pH and plant zone values for the plant that happens to be highlighted on the list when I clicked "new" sticks to the new plant file. I then make my value selections for the new listing, and click OK. When I go back into the PRD, the new listing has replaced the plant that was highlighted in the list when I clicked "new", and no longer shows up in the plant list.

Unlike Viper, the new plant name doesn't show up at the top or bottom of the list.

Any idea what gives, Robert?

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Excel (my version at least) does not offer the option of saving in Filemaker format, and in any case, it appears to me that the problems began when I went from FIlemaker to Excel (the Excel file doesn't seem to acknowledge all of the new attribute values that I created in the PRD).

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I say this with caution as I am new to VW and I am not a computer wiz, but

I must say I am dissapointed with the number of major problems I am striking in some of the main functions provided in a specific Landscape Design package.

Reading these forums clearly other people with much more knowledge of VW are also striking real problems with key areas like the PRD, the Placing Plant function and the very annoying error messages which have to be hit on the head 4 times to scare it back in its box !

Of all the very smart funtions VW can do as a Landscape Designer to 2 primary tools I need to work fast and flawlessly are the PRD and Place Plant Tool and to my horror I am having to fight tooth and nail with both as are others by the messages above.

Robert I am very thankful you are hear to help us in this confusion and I am sure you are hard at it trying to cure these bugs, but I am a bit concerned when you say these problems are to be addressed "in a future release" when clearly there is an immediate need for these important function to be fixed as we speak.

With this in mind could the landmark problems be shuffled to the top of the list please and be addressed " in the next release ". [smile]

I say again, thanks for your help. [smile]

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