Excel and VBA

As you may know, on June 1st I had to upgrade the Guild’s website for security and compatibility reasons. This was not optional. I had no choice. One of the consequences of this upgrade is that all of our old custom competition code (100,000 lines of PHP code) no longer works. If we try to use it, it will crash, hard.

I realized that it would probably take me most of the summer to try to redesign and rewrite this code to make it usable again. I was not happy about this. Joyce Chew said “why don’t we use the plugin that CAPA uses?” I said “what plugin? !!!”. Well, what I actually said was a bit more colourful. As it turns out, this plugin is very nice, it will actually work for our competition uploads, it is better and faster than our old code and my summer has been saved. Thank you Joyce.

There is, however, one little catch. Our old code was written to make ClubViewer happy. ClubViewer is the PC-only app that we use during our competition judging. It has some very specific, and rather bizarre, requirements. This new upload plugin knows nothing about ClubViewer and it can not be modified to be compliant with what ClubViewer demands.

I have written a spreadsheet text parsing function and a short AppleScript automation that can convert what the plugin provides into the format that ClubViewer requires. These functions are Mac-only. However, I am sure that Windows Excel can duplicate these functions.

So here is the point, I am looking for a Guild member who has a PC, has Excel, and is comfortable with a bit of Visual Basic programming. I don’t have a PC, I don’t have Excel and I don’t program in VBA. I suspect that my text parsing function will run as is in Excel, or nearly so. Translating my little AppleScript into VBA should be relatively easy. If you would like to give this a try please email me.

Darryl Robertson
PGNS Webmaster

Avondale Field Trip, Saturday, June 15, 2019

Our field trip to Avondale, Hants County this Saturday will include a visit to the historic home of Sherman Hines in Poplar Grove; the Avondale Trail System; and the Avondale Sky Winery.

We will meet at 10 a m at the home of Sherman Hines at 659 Avondale Road. This historic structure was originally built as a French Mission in 1699.

If you have a 5 by 7 print that you would like to donate to the Sherman Hines Museum of Photography in Liverpool, please bring one along. This is not a requirement to participate in the visit, but does afford the opportunity for one of your images to be kept in perpetuity at the Museum if you are so inclined.

Lunch options: The Avon River Heritage Society Museum at 17 Belmont Road has a café with a limited menu which opens at noon. The Museum is located at the spot where two ships with New England Planters landed in 1760. If you bring your own lunch, there is a municipal park next to the Museum which has some picnic tables. The Museum is less than a stone’s throw from the Avondale Cross Road. There is also a restaurant at the Winery.

After lunch, we will proceed at about 1 pm to the trail head behind the Avondale Community Centre at 50 Avondale Cross Road. Hiking boots, sunscreen and insect repellant are recommended.

The Trail System is primarily in the woods and consists of three interconnected trails – Westbrook, Mosher and Tunnel Quarry totalling 4.8 kms which are known for three lady slipper varieties. ( I scouted the trail last Saturday and saw a few lady slipper plants but none in bloom. Hopefully a week of better weather will bring them along.) The other trail head for the System is at the Avondale Sky Winery which is only a few hundred meters up the road from the Community Hall. So you can do as much or as little of the trail as you wish and then go to the Winery. The trail is of moderate difficulty with some steep grades and tree roots over the trail in a few areas. There are a few muddy areas but boardwalks in good repair are over the wettest areas. The trail is well marked with yellow markers and has excellent signage at all trail intersections. Here is a link to the trail website which includes a description and map.

As is the case almost everywhere on mainland Nova Scotia, there are ticks on this trail. Here is a link with information including how to dress for ticks.

Avondale Sky Winery – 80 Avondale Cross Road – The main building for the Winery has an interesting history. It was a church in another community and transported here in a creative feat of engineering. For those interested, a wine tasting will be arranged later in the afternoon.

How to get there: Take Exit 5 off the 101 Highway just east of Windsor. Off Exit 5 take Highway 14 toward Brooklyn. Go about 6 kms and just past the St. Croix River turn left toward Mantua, Poplar Grove and Avondale. Go 1 km and turn left at the stop sign toward Poplar Grove, Avondale and Newport Landing. Go about 4-5 kms and look for the Hines home on the right at 659 Avondale Road. To reach the trail head go another 2-3 kms into Newport Landing and then veer right onto the Avondale Cross Road. The Avondale Community Hall is a few hundred meters up the hill on the right side of the road. There is parking behind the Hall where the trail head is located.

Please :
Contact me if you have any questions at deanhirtle@ns.sympatico.ca or 902-422-8164.
Let me know if you plan to attend as Mr. Hines and the Winery would like some idea of the number of participants.
Bring a field trip waiver with you.

I hope you can join us on Saturday!

Dean