Technical Issues - FilmStar News 2010

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January 4

1. DESIGN 2.61.0100 adds the ability to edit and view (%R and %T) optimization targets in the Interactor. In addition, an imported spectrum (blue line) is retained in memory when closing and reopening the Interactor. Click Spectra...Clear Data to delete the line. (To test this function, click Spectra Copy followed by Paste. Modify the design to expose the blue line hidden under the red line.)

2. Advanced users: A Workbook menu command and toolbar icon have been added to the Interactor. To prevent unwanted results, only a few Workbook BASIC functions are available in Interactor mode: WbCopy, WbGetNum, WbGetText, WbRecalc. In the Interactor Options box, enable Workbook.. Auto-Update to automatically evaluate in the Workbook. Calculations occur before any BASIC macro runs, making it possible to utilize Workbook values in macros.

3. FTG-style file dialogs, an optional holdover from Windows 3.1 when only 8-character file names were allowed, have been eliminated in favor of standard Windows common dialogs. If you miss the 50-character descriptions that were part of FTG-style dialogs, check the following box

in File.. Configuration.. Preferences. Users can also utilize NTFS File Properties.

January 18    Importing Index Tables from RefractiveIndex.INFO

January 21    Importing Index Tables from

March 2    Designs with Many Materials

March 22    RGB Comparator

March 29    RGB Boost for AR Coatings

April 5    Report Generator BASRUN

DESIGN 2.61.0300 and MEASURE (Scantraq) 2.61.0200 add Report Generator action command BASRUN. This makes it possible to run a BASIC macro while printing a report.  Consider the following sample macro:

Sub Main   ' Program PrtStrings.bas
    BasText$(0) = "FilmStar Automation"
    BasText$(1) = "Automation with FilmStar BASIC is the key to" & _
                vbCrLf & "increased productivity and profitability."
End Sub

The macro is then referenced in the Report Generator template with BASTEXT and BASBLOCK as follows:

<<Name Arial>><<Size 18>><<Align 1>><<Bold 1>>
FTG Software Associates
<<Name Courier New>><<Size 10>><<Bold 0>>
<<Review>><<BasRun c:\Winfilm\Basic32\PrtStrings.bas>>
<<Bold 1>><<Italic 1>>
<<BasText 0>>

<<BasBlock 1>>

The BASRUN command is placed before BASTEXT and BASBLOCK. The following appears at the bottom of the report:

FilmStar Automation

Automation with FilmStar BASIC is the key to
increased productivity and profitability.

DESIGN and MEASURE FilmStar BASIC include ReportPrint and ReportShow commands. Attempting to run a macro, from the BASIC editor or from a macro key, which subsequently triggers a Report Generator macro leads to an error message. Macros must have .bas or .bse (encrypted) extensions.

Similar capabilities are provided in MONITOR 2.52.0200. Run-sheet commands BASTEXT/BASBLOCK, and BASIC Property BasText$ are new in MONITOR. Although identical results can be obtained by separately running a macro assigning BasText$ values, including the macro in the run-sheet template eliminates an easily forgotten step. Finally, MONITOR 2.52.0200 adds BASIC Sub WsCopyAll, a subroutine which should prove especially useful for integrating Excel calculations into run-sheets.

April 26    Popup Menu Example

1. In a previous FilmStar News we illustrated how popup menus can replace list boxes in assigning multiple macros to a single key.

Mselect.bas (original)

MselectPop.bas (new)

In response to a user who recently requested additional macro keys, it seemed useful to provide a new example (MselectPop.bas) in ..Winfilm\Basic32. BASIC updates are included in the most recent installer as well as in (DESIGN password required). While these examples utilize DESIGN, the same techniques work in INDEX, CRYSTAL, MONITOR, and MEASURE.

2. Isuzu Glass has a line of optical filter glasses which are popular in Japan. Mr. M. Kobiyama has kindly measured the filters and provided FTG Software with INDEX n,k data. Tables have been added to the FilmStar installer. When updating FilmStar, select 'Complete FilmStar installation' and check DESIGN/INDEX in the 'Select FilmStar Components' dialog. You will then have the option to install Isuzu filter glass.

June 22    Securing Designs

A FilmStar user at OIC 2010 raised the following issue: How can a FILM Archive be protected against another user changing referenced n,k files (*.itw)?

One solution is to enable Archive n,k Data (File menu). This attaches n,k data directly to the design. Another possible solution is to assign read-only status to the FILM Archive and referenced n,k files by right-clicking on the file name in Windows Explorer and checking the read-only attribute.

FilmStar can also set read-only status in BASIC macros. FS_Secure.bas copies a FILM Archive and referenced n,k files to a new subdirectory under ..Winfilm\Secure.

Macro FA_Secure_Open.bas then opens the FILM Archive from ..Winfilm\Secure. Use DefPath.bas to reassign default directories.

Supporting these methods, INDEX 2.51.0200 adds a Read-only indicator in the toolbar reminding users about the file status. Attempting to re-save the file with the same name leads to an error message.

August 30    Designs on Multiple Substrates

October 7    The DESIGN Recorder
Revised June 1, 2011, March 19, 2013, April 28, 2014

When optimizing designs a previous superior (and unsaved) design might become lost. The possibility to go back to a previous design is very useful. DESIGN 2.61.1000 therefore added the Design Recorder.

DESIGN 2.61.2121 (1 Jun 2011) moved control buttons from the status bar to the toolbar, added commands in the Design menu (for users who prefer to hide the toolbar), and added a minimize button.

Recorder buttons in toolbar

Design menu commands

Click Design...Recorder...Options

The Recording icon (green arrow) indicates that the Design Recorder is active; click Pause (yellow bars) to halt recording. The Display button (yellow arrow, but green in Continuous mode) displays the Recorder window without adding any designs. The Recorder works silently when minimized, and if closed while minimized (by right-clicking the taskbar icon or exiting DESIGN) it will be minimized when re-opened. The Windows taskbar indicates status when the Recorder is minimized.

DESIGN 2.61.3721 (28 Apr 2015) added a FILM Archive column. As shown below, sorting only by Merit (click column header Merit) can be very confusing when the Recorder contains different designs.

Click header FILM Archive to sort by file name (primary sort) and merit (secondary sort). This change makes the Recorder far more useful.

Technical note: Design Recorder entries (Designs.txt) and associated FILM Archive files (*.faw) are saved in ..\Winfilm\DesignCache. Should Recorder rows get out-of-sync with .faw files, click File.. Clear All Rows to reset the Recorder. DESIGN 2.61.3151 (18 Mar 2013) added continuous saving, thus minimizing sync errors previously caused by computer failure while the Design Recorder window was open. Note: The Design Recorder is intended for backup during design development and is not a substitute for File...Save As (main menu).

October 26    Diabatic Transmittance Scale

December 7    Optimization in Interactor

1. DESIGN 2.61.2000 adds optimization (including CIE Color) and BASIC macros to the Interactor environment.

Since users might prefer to disregard these capabilities while in the Interactor environment, access to these features is disabled by default. To enable the new functions, specify 'Long' for Optimize Menu and Tools Menu in the Interactor Options box. Specify 'Short' for the same brief menus as previous versions.

Note that a Tools Menu macro triggers Interactor calculations while an Interactor macro (1-4) is triggered by an Interactor calculation. Interactor macros are ignored when activated by a Tools Menu macro.

A Tools Menu macro typically includes BasOpen, BasRun or BasExec. The latter is especially useful for short BASIC programs. As illustrated, "Sub Main" and "End Sub" must not be included in the BasExec command. The pipe symbol "|" separates code lines.

BasExec Dim a!|For a=0 To 45 Step 1|Angle=a|Calculate|Next a;

2. New BASIC Property Interactor provides means to set or determine Interactor status. This is useful for branching to different subroutines as follows:

If Interactor Then DoThisCode Else DoOtherCode

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