Feedback from Nissim Kanekar

0. It would be useful to have a link to the relevant help file on the PST easily accessible on each page.

1. There seems to be no way to copy old proposals to new ones, which is a very useful feature as authors, setups, etc are often common between proposals

2. The Submit/Print/Edit buttons are extremely small. Similarly, Save/Delete/Cancel buttons very small and close to each in the Sources and Resources sections. And, of course, the bug report button is terrifyingly tiny.

4. Authors :

The "Add author" feature may have problems. I ran two searches for "Chengalur" and it didn't find any authors in its archive (just returned the original page after I clicked on "Search"). I then ran the search again and it found Chengalur. I then ran a search for "York" and it returned the following names, the last two of whom were apparently listed because they're from York University. It would be better to just specify a last name search (changing the button to "Add Author".

Brian York Donald York Norbert Bartel Michael Bietenholz

5. It would be useful to have a short help for each key-button (e.g. the above "Add"), describing what clicking it will do; this could appear on running the mouse over it. Some keywords seem to have this while others (e.g. on the Science Justification page) don't.

6. Science Justification :

The "Science Justification" buttons are unclear. I first uploaded a PS version of a proposal; it did not show this to me in the "File Preview" window. The only way I could view it was by clicking on the "Download" button. This seems strange, given that I had just "Uploaded" the PS file. If only PDF proposals are to be uploaded, this should be specified, perhaps in parenthesis next to the heading "Justification File". If not, acceptable file types should be specified here.

I next uploaded a PDF file; each page of this was displayed in the File Preview window, which is nice. However, clicking on each panel of the "File Preview" window did not display the page in question, rendering the Preview window somewhat irrelevant (as one can't read the text in the panels anyway). The only way to view the uploaded file seemed to be by clicking the "Download" button. This appears to convert the file to PS format, apparently using XPDF, with the fonts sometimes garbled in the resulting PS file. This is a serious problem if the plan is to request PDF files. The Adobe Acrobat Reader (which is free and public) should be used, as it doesn't have problems with font conversion.

It's also important to have a "View" button, to just view the uploaded file.

Finally, shouldn't there be a "Save" button somewhere, to save the Scientific Justification ? Or is the file automatically saved after it's uploaded ? This was unclear to me.

7. Sources :

I tried to search for TXS0311+430 (a target I've observed with the GBT before) using the NED/Simbad search and it could not find it. I immediately went to the NED page and looked up the source (also to check if the NED and Simbad were down or something) and it found the source immediately. The Simbad link was also up at the time. I later tried searches for well-known sources like 3C286 and 3C295 and kept getting messages like

"Target '3C286' not found in NED and SIMBAD."

This makes no sense. If the problem is that the link is down, the error message should say this explicitly (the link was not down, incidentally). Else there seems to be a problem with sending the source name to NED/Simbad. I also kept getting the waiting message "Waiting for", which I assume is some kind of a server. It's possible that the server was down (I pinged it and didn't get a response) but the error message should then state this, rather than claiming that the source in question wasn't found in NED and Simbad.

8. GBT Resources :

I tried entering frequencies that were above and below the frequency range of a given receiver into the Rest Frequencies box. When trying to save the resource group, it caught frequencies that were above the allowed range but did not catch the ones that were below the range. Specifically, I entered 0.600 GHz and 0.925 GHz for the PF1-800 receiver and got the warning that frequencies should be below 0.92 GHz. I then changed the 0.925 GHz to 0.855 GHz and the setup was accepted, although it contained the rest frequency of 0.600 GHz, which can't be observed with this receiver. I tried the same thing on the C-band receiver, entering frequencies of 1 GHz and 7 GHz; again, the 7 GHz received a warning while the 1 GHz passed smoothly.

Most observing programs (except for pulsar observations) use time resolutions in seconds rather than milli-seconds.

It would be useful to specify somewhere that it's 1 spectral window per polarization.

In place of asking to enter a desired frequency resolution, it would be better to have a popup window providing options for the number of channels. This would immediately let proposers know that some observing setups will not work, instead of having the proposal be rejected at the technical review stage.

I then tried to enter a Spectral Processor setup for the Q-band receiver. I was asked to choose between 128, 256 and 512 Phase bins for the SP. After choosing 512 bins and saving this, I checked the saved version of the resource and found that it had saved "Square" (the entry for the next keyword, "Polarization mode" !).

9. Sessions :

The layout of the "Sessions" dashboard is not very useful, as one can only choose between Source Groups and Spectroscopy Groups and not from sub-levels (i.e. pairing individual sources within a source group with individual resources within a spectroscopy group). This seems rather easy to set up and would be very useful; all it needs is to allow sub-levels on the "Available Sourves" and "Available Resources" entries. This should allow the selection of individual sources/resources or ALL sources/resources; the latter should be the default option (as well as the first selection in the sub-level) but one should definitely be allowed to select individual sources as well. Right now, the selection procedure for Sessions is very clunky, at best.

The entry "Repeat" should be re-labelled "Number of sessions" or something similar. Right now, entering 1 in the Repeat box produces a single session, which is not a repeat !

10. There seems to be no way to view the final proposal ! I tried to print it, with the button "Print" at the top of the cover sheet but got a response "Coming Soon" ! It's critical to have a "View Proposal" button on the cover sheet. In fact, the structure in the old PST (choices between viewing the full proposal, the science justification and the cover sheet) would be absolutely fine here.

-- DanaBalser - 02 Nov 2007
Topic revision: r1 - 2007-11-02, DanaBalser
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