Santa Clara County PacFORMS
Revised June 18, 2014

Notice to Santa Clara County ARES/RACES Personnel:

PacFORMS is now installed using the combined Outpost/PacFORMS installer available here. You do not need to install PacFORMS separately.

About PacFORMS:

Santa Clara County ARES/RACES has developed a system called PacFORMS, which is a system where Web forms (HTML forms) can be generated from paper or other HTML forms so that the information can be entered via a computer and ultimately be transmitted by Packet radio.

This is a "stand-alone" system that does NOT use the internet, but does require that the browser being used supports JavaScript.   A PacFORMS HTML file can be run on any PC (even Apple) using a browser (but currently, Outpost will NOT run on Apple systems).   Since Packet radio is generally a slow speed link (like 1200 baud), the form is programmed, when submitted, to only send form-field IDs and the field entries as a text file.   Then once sent, the Packet operator on the receiving end can "reverse" the process and put the text back into the HTML form.   This process is accomplished by executing the program pac-read.exe either manually or through the Packet program Outpost (version 2.8.0c42 or later).   The pac-read.exe program currently only runs on a Windows PC.   The file generated by the pac-read.exe program is a stand-alone HTML file that is the same HTML Form filled out originally, but contains the information entered into it prior to sending via Packet.   This file can be transferred to any PC that has a browser that recognizes JavaScript.   Note also, that the form field information in this reversed HTML file can be edited and "submitted" again.

This PacFORMS release contains the Santa Clara County version of the ICS 213 Message form and is called Message.html. It can be used for transmitting messages by Packet Radio, as described above.   Two other city to Santa Clara County OES forms are also included:   The "City-Scan" Flash Report (to report current status of the city after an emergency has happened), file city-scan.html and Logistics Request form (to request logistics support from the county), file EOCLogisticsRequest.html.

After the user fills out the form fields in these forms, the JavaScript in these forms provides two methods of extracting the form field information by means of selecting one of the two "Submit" buttons at the end of the form.   One "Submit" button sends the form field text directly to Outpost, version 2.8.0c42 or later, available at   NOTE: It is important that you upgrade Outpost to version 2.8.0 c42 or later to work optimally with the PacFORMS update.   The other "Submit" causes a new window to open with the form field IDs and entered text in an ASCII format.   This text can then be captured and saved in a text file to be processed later in Outpost or other Packet application.

The combined Outpost/PacFORMS installer (SCCCo Packet Installer) listed on the Packet page, contains the latest Outpost as well as the latest PacFORMS.   Note that the user is free to modify the PacFORMS html files headers or other information, but modifying any of the forms or form fields could destroy the ability of the program pac-read.exe from operating correctly.   Software support for these files cannot be guaranteed for users who are outside of the Santa Clara County ARES/RACES community.

The Release Notes and Instruction files (Acrobat files) included with the combined installer provide information about the HTML and associated files.

PacFORMS author, Phil Henderson, KF6ZSQ

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