A Rule Set File and its associated Image files contain all of the information needed to create rally course maps, either for judging, instructions, or practice. The Rule Set File contains information about the registry and the levels of competition it offers. It also points to the Image files, so that the Designer can use them when creating courses. Using JPeg images of the signs makes professional-looking rally course maps.
Rule Set Files are specific to a set of rules and are typically associated with a particular canine registry. Most registries begin with one set of rules and signs, but later modify them to best meet the needs of their competitors. So, each Rule Set File includes the effective date for those rules.
There are three way to obtain Rule Set Files for your Rally Course Designer.
- You can download them from websites,
- you can get them from someone else (via Sharing), or
- you can create them from scratch.
Downloading Rule Set FilesWhen you first install Rally Course Designer, no Rule Set Files are included, so you probably want to start by downloading them to your computer. Do so by selecting Rule Set Files -> Download Rule Set Files... from the menu bar. When you bring up this form, it will highlight in the list any Rule Set Files that have already been downloaded. Select any of the other Rule Set Files, then press the Continue button and it will begin downloading the Rule Set File and all of the Image files it needs. The meter shows how far along the downloads have progressed.
Sharing Rule Set FilesYou may have Rule Set Files on your computer that you want share them others. By clicking Rule Set Files -> Share -> Bundle Rule Set Files, the program will bundle together each Rule Set File you select and place a copy of those bundled filesinto your copy buffer. This means you should be able to paste the bundled files into an email and send them to someone else. When they receive the email, all they need to do is to save the bundled files onto their computer, then use the Rally Course Designer to unbundle and install the files. This done by clicking on Rule Set Files -> Share -> Unbundle Rule Set Files, then navigating to and selecting the saved files. The Rally Course Designer will open the file(s), unpack the cntents and store them where they are needed.
Creating Rule Set FilesThis is a much more involved process than either of the options shown above. To create your own Rule Set File, you will not only need to understand all of the course-building rules, but you will also need a JPeg file for each of the signs used by this Rule Set File. Microsoft PowerPoint is a good tool to create signs, because it also easily exports each of its slides into JPegs. But other tools, such as Adobe Acrobat, can do the job, too. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your signs.
- The Rally Course Designer will import all of the signs in the order in which it will remember them.
- When displayed on your courses, the signs will be small, so create each sign using as much of the slide as possible. Use the biggest fonts for text as you can, too.
Removing Rule Set FilesIn general, there's no real reason to remove Rule Set Files from your computer. The Rule Set Files themselves are often under 100KB in size and the image files they use tend to be around 10MB in size. If you remove a Rule Set File because it was replaced by a newer version, you still may need the old version if you want to open up Event Files that use the old version. Still, you may remove Rule Set Files from your computer using the menu bar, Rule Set FIles -> Delete.
Rule Set Directory FilesWhen you first install the Rally Course Designer, it will point to a set of files that are stored on the SinisterLabs.com website. Other rally enthusiasts may also post Rule Set Files on other websites. To get to these files, they must also post a Rule Set Directory File that will point to one or more Rule Set Files. Use the Rule Set Files -> Rule Set Directories... menu selection to add the Rule Set Directory File, making other Rule Set Files available to you.
Rule Set Files, Rally Course Files, and Rule Set Directory Files are all defined in the Rally Markup Language specification.
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