[Dxspider-support] SHOW/DX with exact match ?

Dirk Koopman djk at tobit.co.uk
Mon May 12 17:18:37 BST 2008

Robert Chalmas wrote:
> As I didn't receive any answer from Dirk about this suggestion, here is it 
> again...

Ah, sorry. I did start to craft a reply and then got distracted. It has 
been sitting hidden behind another window on my work computer since then...

NOTE TO READERS: if you don't get a reply from me in a couple of days 
then do as Robert and try again. I shan't be offended.

> Hi,
> I just tried to ask for DX spots annoncing my club station using the special
> call HB2008G, so I did a "SHOW/DX HB200G" and I got this answer:
> sh/d hb2008g
>     3513.5  HB2008GR     6-May-2008 2158Z  599 tnx                      <SQ2RH>
>     3513.5  HB2008GR     6-May-2008 2121Z  big sig                      <DO9ST>
>    10103.5  HB2008G      6-May-2008 1944Z                              <SV2CWV>
>     3770.0  HB2008GR     6-May-2008 1944Z  tnx, 73/88 de Wilma!         <DO6YL>
>    10103.5  HB2008G      6-May-2008 1941Z  tnx new own                 <DL3VZL>
>     3770.0  HB2008GR     6-May-2008 1920Z  tnx                         <IZ5JMZ>
>     3770.0  HB2008GR     6-May-2008 1918Z  CQ CQ CQ calling (Not HB2008<DE1VTM>
>     3770.0  HB2008GB     6-May-2008 1907Z  Spezial Event               <DO7JVB>
>     7009.1  HB2008GR     6-May-2008 1843Z                               <OK2ZO>
>     3775.0  HB2008GR     6-May-2008 1737Z  CQ CQ                        <F4EGG>
> HB9BZA de HB9IAC-8  7-May-2008 1205Z dxspider >
> Well, only 2 out of those 10 spots are what I want, while the 8 others are for
> other stations with a longer call starting with the same string.
> I already had the same problem in the past while searching for short calls:
> most information returned is useless.
> Unless I missed a way to do that, would it be possible to implement an
> argument to the SHOW/DX command that would instruct the system to look for
> exact matches of the call only ?

Not easily. At least I don't think so (or at least not without confusing 
a lot of people or making the whole sh/dx experience harder for the 
majority of users).

What happens at the moment is that your input is treated as a simple 
regex of the form '^HB2008G'. The way it goes about getting there is 
rather more convoluted than it really needs to be, but then there is a 
lot of cruft that builds up over 10 years of development (yes, it has 
been that long).

In perl terms we need to get to the stage where that regex looks like 
'^HB2000G$' to achieve what you want. Now how are we to get there from 
the command line in a way that is not going to confuse users (and 
thereby get me more support requests directly) - given that *mostly* 
this isn't an issue? *Mostly* people look for a prefix or else the full 
call is sufficiently regular (i.e. the same length as other calls for 
that country) for this to work as people expect.

It is really only this modern fad for inventing "relevant" and therefore 
non-callsign callsigns that is causing this to be the problem that it is.

As an aside, exactly how is a programmer supposed to validate that some 
arbitrary string like this is a callsign?

Dirk G1TLH

I would welcome

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