This page is for the forms portion of JS8Spotter, for the full application & information visit the JS8Spotter page.
Forms are a way to standardize and simplify communication. Unfortunately, JS8Call doesn't lend itself well to complex and lengthy forms where the user provides detailed typed information, such as the very useful forms you find in programs like Winlink.
MCForms stands for "multiple choice forms" -- or let it stand for "micro forms" if you'd prefer. Rather than abandon the idea of forms entirely, MCForms attempts to distill forms down to a multiple choice format (with optional additional transmissions where custom information is needful.) The forms themselves aren't transmitted over the air via JS8Call, and so they can be as wordy as is helpful.
Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, an example will more rapidly explain how MCForms works compared to my endless rambling.
MCForms Example Form
Here is a validly formatted MCForms form file. It would be saved as a text file in the "forms" folder under JS8Spotter.
Sample Test Form|F!001 ? Have you heard of JS8Spotter? @1 No, I've never heard of it. @2 Maybe. Is that something about weather spotting? @3 I think someone told me to stay away from it. @4 Yes, it's my favorite program! ? Rate multiple choice forms on a scale of 1-5: @1 1 - They're totally useless @2 2 - They're just OKAY @3 3 - I don't care either way @4 4 - Hey, they're better than nothing @5 5 - Wow, they are better than sliced bread ? Should example forms be small? @Y Yes they should. @N No, make them as long as possible.
A few things to note:
- The first line should be the form title, the pipe symbol, then the form ID.
- The form ID should be F! followed by three characters (A-Z 0-9)
- Questions start with "? "
- After a question, the answers start with "@c" where "c" is a single character (A-Z 0-9)
- Your answer characters don't have to be in any particular order. I like ordinal numbers, but you can use what you want.
In addition to answering the form questions, users will be offered space for a typed message. The above form would generate a response that looks something like one of these (of course, based on the answers chosen, and the typed message):
F!001 45Y HELLO F!001 11N F!001 33Y BOB WAS HERE
Additionally, a transmitted form will include the callsign of the sender (if you have that on in JS8Call), a timestamp, and may include a CRC if transmitted as a message. Once received, the form would be decoded and converted into a readable format based on the form text file.
JS8Spotter and MCForms makes no attempt to obscure, encrypt, or encode messages or their meaning. We publish all forms included in JS8Spotter here on this website. We also allow other people to publish their JS8Spotter MCForms forms here provided they conform with published guidelines.