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Backwards Charlie from Austin

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Everything posted by Backwards Charlie from Austin

  1. They are called Meddlers. And we'd still be driving T Fords. There is a difference between meddling with something that works and making something new. Henry Ford came up with something new, the mass production line. He did not meddle with how the car worked. You need a better analogy.
  2. Three caches I found today needed some maintenance. So my Found It logs had the opening paragraph devoted to what the problem was and then I spent the rest of the Found It log on finding the cache. After I hit Submit two logs are created, a one-line Needs Maintenance log with almost no useful information, and my long Found It log. This forces the CO to read two logs to find out what the problem is, instead of only one log in the old logging system. I prefer to have my logs divided with the good news of finding the cache in the Found It log, and the bad news of what is wrong with the cache in the Needs Maintenance log. Has HQ polled COs on whether they prefer the new or old way of handling NMs? I ask since I do not currently own any active caches. But when I did own active caches I liked the Needs Maintenance logs to tell me what the problem was so I knew what to expect when I went to fix the problem. I did not like it when a NM log just said "See my previous log," which is basically what the new NMs say.
  3. I would like to see both "nearby" events and "nearby" new caches have some upper limit that the user can set. During the week I would probably like some limit like 30 miles while on weekends I would probably like 100 miles. I definitely do no appreciate getting new caches/events over 400 miles away showing up on the lists.
  4. Even with the old system that required me to select a log type, I would occasionally log the wrong type. For example, I logged a number of Finds on my first cache, when I intended to log Owner Maintenance. If Find is the default, then such miscategorized logs are even more likely. Yes, even under the old logging system one could make mistakes. I know I did several times and had to go back and correct logs. But the new logging system seems to encourage logging mistakes. One consequence of encouraging logging mistakes is that caching statistics become less reliable. I don't know about the rest of you, but I like my caching statistics to reflect reality.
  5. I had the same problem on a different site. Turns out the browser needed to have its cookies and its history cleared out. It's been working fine since then. Some browsers will get confused every now and then.
  6. Making "Found it" the default logging option is catering to those that only log their finds and never log their DNFs. We should not be encouraging this behavior, we should try to encourage all to log their DNFs. "Streamlining" is in this case encouraging improper behavior. I do not see any of the logging options as being a sensible default option, so I suggest going back to requiring the logger to make a selection from the options.
  7. Just an FYI that having 'challenge' in the title is not a "new" requirement - if you define "new" as being post-moratorium. It has been a requirement of CC's since at least 2011. And as far as I know, there has never been a requirement that if a cache has Challenge in the title that it must be a challenge cache. For several years the TXGA put on an event called the Texas Challenge. The "Texas Challenge" part has been grandfathered in as long as a word such as "Festival" or "Event" is added to the title of all future events in the series. I believe all reviewers are now also requiring any new cache that is not a challenge cache with the word "Challenge" in the title to either take out the word "Challenge" or add explanatory words to the title so the cache will not be confused with a challenge cache.
  8. In the podcast about it a few weeks back, the developer they interviewed said they were surprised that their test audience were either afraid to use the existing NM/NA logs or didn't understand them, and this is the result. Am I understanding you right that because a test audience did not use a feature the developers decided to delete the feature? Where I work we regularly use test audiences to see how they use our website. That information often helps us re-work features to hopefully make it easier to navigate and use the site. We re-test again after implementation. It's a continuous thing. The way I see it is they didn't get rid of the feature, just put it in a different place. It's not perfect but neither was the other method. Personally, I thought it was confusing to have two separate logs, but when explained to me, with regards to how the site worked, it made sense. This new re-work isn't perfect either, but it makes some sense. I think the bigger problem is: "their test audience were either afraid to use the existing NM/NA logs". I wonder if the new re-work makes them less afraid to use Needs Maintenance. Probably not NM, but I bet it will have no affect on the use of Needs Archive. No one wants to be 'that guy'. In a way it does, if I try to wrap myself around their line of thinking, because it takes the onus off the logger to come up with appropriate wording for an NM that won't "offend the CO"; instead they just select Container might be missing, Log is full, Container is damaged or Other and leave it at that. The fact that these convey little or no information to the CO is immaterial, since the team's job description is to produce a new logging page, not look after COs. In the old way of doing Needs Maintenance, the logger did not have to say anything useful in the log. All that was required was something as simple as a single character in the log to be accepted. But the old way did allow the logger the option of saying something useful to the CO. I have checked the new NM logs and all the logs show are one of the canned responses, nothing more. The desire not to possibly offend people is being taken to a ridiculous extreme. If you are such a snowflake that you cannot face criticism, or give constructive criticism, then you should not be participating in the game of life, much less geocaching. You should hole up in your "safe place" until you die! And that goes for the software developers at HQ also.
  9. In the podcast about it a few weeks back, the developer they interviewed said they were surprised that their test audience were either afraid to use the existing NM/NA logs or didn't understand them, and this is the result. Am I understanding you right that because a test audience did not use a feature the developers decided to delete the feature? What a flimsy excuse. If that is true, then I must question what are the qualifications of the developers at HQ? It does not sound like there is an experienced, adult developer in charge. Just a bunch of snowflakes that do not know what they are doing. Heaven help us if this is a portent of the future of software development in the U.S.
  10. Funny you'd say that, now that you've finally reached 210... So ARFinders wants the ability to stick a Challenge Checker on the front of a cache description and only those that meet the requirements of the checker get to see the cache description? Is that what ARFinder is saying? Would non-qualified cachers be able to include the cache in a PQ and get it downloaded? Or would these "blocked" caches only be downloadable from the cache page after you passed the Challenge Checker? If the latter, I and many others would ignore the cache even if we qualify.
  11. Good idea. I second the suggestion of a log preview before log submission.
  12. What's more, according to the logic that forbids logging a second find, you shouldn't even be able to log a DNF on a cache you previously found. Logic? You are assuming there is some logical reason for these changes. The only reason for these changes seems to be some illogical idea called "streamlining." I wish somebody in the know would please explain what is going on and what they hope to accomplish.
  13. So far I still have not heard an answer to my basic question: Why are Need Maintenance Logs no longer available independently from all other logs? What was the perceived problem that this change was supposed to correct? Or was this change just done on a whim for no good reason?
  14. Assuming that the above reply is correct, then this change to how Needs Maintenance logs are handled is a poorly thought out solution to a non-problem. Good developers analyze the problem at hand to determine what exactly is the problem that needs to be solved. They don't just take somebody's word that this is the problem. Then they consider possible solutions to the real problem and work through the implications of each to find the one with the best cost/benefit ratio. Then they implement the winning solution. Of course you have to have the guts to say no to your boss when he wants you to do something that will not work. But then, snowflakes do not have any guts.
  15. I have tried to report a problem with a cache twice with this new interface. The first time I knew about the problem before I started logging my main cache and noticed the Needs Maintenance button on the bottom of the log form. I pressed it and after I finished my main logging that a Need Maintenance log was created with a generic message. I clicked on the new log and discovered it was editable so I could describe what the problem was. So in this respect the new interface is an improvement over the old. But in the second attempt to report a problem with a cache I did not know of the problem until after I had finished logging the cache. I discovered then that I could not create a Need Maintenance log nor go back to the already created log and add the need maintenance option. As pointed out by others in this thread, my only option in the new interface are to delete my existing log and start over logging, or to create an empty note log to use the Need Maintenance button to create a Need Maintenance log. So in this respect the new interface is a step back from the old interface and less intuitive. In my opinion this is good reason for having a Needs Maintenance log that is independent of any other log already created instead of having to create another log at the time you want to create a Needs Maintenance log. It appears that little thought was given to the consequences of this change. As a software developer for over 30 years I must remind you young whippersnappers that good developers think first, code last. Hasty changes will always come back to bite you.
  16. If I understand correctly, to use the new system I need to 1) delete my log and 2) create a new log and click on the Need Maintenance button, to post a Needs Maintenance log. It seems like a lot of extra work to solve a problem that did not exist before the new system. Maybe cerberus1 is right, the old system is better for those that want to have fun.
  17. Welcome to the game. I started when I was in my 60's and have been doing it now for over 14 years. As I say in my cache logs, as long as my money and my health hold out I will continue caching. I've been caching in 39 countries on 5 continents and hope to increase both of those numbers.
  18. Some people have already pointed out the ambiguity surrounding the "Needs maintenance" label and how it looks like a notice rather than an option, but I discovered today that it's even worse. When you hover over that label, the tooltip that's displayed says "This geocache needs maintenance". This would seem to further reinforce a misconception that it's a notice. The label really needs to be changed to "Report a problem" and the tooltip to "Report a problem with this geocache". Good comment. If HQ will not go back to allowing Needs Maintenance Logs that are independent of anything else you do on the cache page, then the option should indicate you want to report a problem with the cache. At least they did one thing right with the new Needs Maintenance option - you can pick one of the canned messages and then edit it to say what the problem is.
  19. I logged a DNF on a cache. When the cache page came back I notice a whole string of DNFs on the cache. I thought the CO probably is not paying too much attention to DNFs on his caches so a Needs Maintenance log might get his attention. But there is not a Needs Maintenance Log option available anymore. Once you have logged a cache the only options available to you for another log on that cache are Found, Didn't Find, and Note. It seems if you do not click on that Needs Maintenance option at the bottom of a new log, you are precluded from ever posting a Needs Maintenance log on a cache. If that is true, then WHY?
  20. I am still having this problem with Message Center. I and others have reported this problem for over two weeks and Groundspeak seems to be ignoring the problem. If Groundspeak uses modern designing and programming techniques, it should not be hard to isolate the problem and fix it. If they do not want to support Message Center, then why don't they take it down?
  21. I also am having problems with the Message Center. When I first log in and go to the message center everything works as it is supposed to. But later in the same session if I go to the message center it is blank and I cannot read or send messages. The only solution I have found is to log out of Geocaching.com and log back in, but even this sometimes does not work. This has been happening off and on for over a week. As to somebody's comment to use email instead, that would be fine if you have the email address of those messaging you. I have gotten messages in the last few days from people I have never contacted before so have not put them into my contacts list. Thus, I do not have their email addresses so I cannot reply until I can catch the message center in a good mood.
  22. I enter the GCcode for an archived cache and the search function only returns nearby caches, not the archived cache I need to see. Who broke the D*** search function?
  23. I started caching in 2003 and consider myself a veteran. I may be old so maybe I should call myself an old-timer, but there are many cachers in my area that have been caching for more years than I have and have many more finds than I do. To some of them I am still a newbie even though I have over twenty thousand finds. So it is all relative; somebody that has been caching more than you is an old-timer, and somebody that has been caching less than you is a newbie. To the original question: do I feel valued in the geocaching community? Sometimes. Do I worry about that? No. Sometimes I get on the forums and give my opinion on some subject under discussion. Some people may agree with me and some may disagree with me. That's ok. Some people like certain types of caches and others dislike those very same caches. That's ok. I think that some people forget that geocaching is a game owned by Jerermy & Co. They own the game, they set the rules, they can change the rules. Some of the changes they have made over the years I see as an improvement. Some of the changes I am not so sure that they will attract more people and money with those changes. But it is their game and their livelihood, so they can try what they think is best. Will I continue to play the game? Probably. When there are too many rules and there is only one way to play the game, then the game will get boring, and then I will look for some other game to play. In the meantime, Happy Caching!
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