You can send this message now by clicking Message Editor’s “Send” button. Save the message if you want and then quit Message Editor. The message will start to play and will display the text in your XML file, probably “Your ad hoc message text here!” if you have not changed it. Simply delete all the text in the XML field, so that that line of your XML file looks like this:
Then save the XML document. The ad hoc message will stop playing; because we used the BLANK function to evaluate its schedule, when the data field is blank the message won’t play at all, thus there won’t be an interruption of your other messages by a blank screen.
So there it is — although it may seem difficult when you look at all the typed-out steps, I am confident that anyone who has some familiarity with LightLink messages will find that is not really that difficult. Now when you want to send an ad hoc message, simply type it into the XML file using a text editor, click the “Save” button, and 10 to 15 seconds later your ad hoc message will be playing. When you are done, delete the text, click “Save,” and the message shuts down again.
Now, there are a few ‘gotchas’ to be wary of. First off, I would only use a simple text editor to edit your XML file, like Microsoft’s Wordpad or Notepad. You don’t want any extra control characters in your XML file; for example, you don’t want it to be saved as Rich Text. Secondly, this only works for text messages, more specifically, the data field in your XML file needs to evaluate to type “String” in LightLink for it to appear on your display faces. If you type just a number into the XML data field, or just a date, that won’t play. But add any text and it will start to play again.
Good luck implementing this simple, but I think pretty cool, solution to ad hoc messaging.
Stuart has been testing software at Inova Solutions since 2003. He is a Virginia boy, raised in Herndon, just outside of Washington, DC. He managed to graduate from the University of Virginia twice, and fell in love with Charlottesville in the process. In his spare time he likes listening to and playing music, going to the theater, travelling, and spending time with his wife Jeni, their friends, and their dog Copper. You can contact Stuart at email@example.com.