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Posts posted by ClayJar

  1. So, I now have a GPX that has all *five* log types. No more need to help me, but for those others who are wondering, the five types are:

    "Found it" (a smiley find)

    "Didn't find it" (a frowny non-find)

    "Other" (a note)

    "Needs Archived" (engrish for 'archive it' icon_wink.gif)

    "Unknown" (the gods must be crazy icon_biggrin.gif)
  2. My humblest and most sincere apologies to the thread and the cachers represented in it. I have apparently gotten too attached to it, and so, I will now retire from the field until such point as I have something new and different to add.


    I hope that somehow I have managed to explain that cache attributes, implemented in one rather particular way, can become far more useful than just another page decoration, but if I have failed in that respect, at least the pretty pictures will remain. Best of luck, and I await the final result with guarded hopes.

  3. quote:
    Originally posted by Geo-Johnson's:

    Hmmm, I guess I can't find where Jeremy said that......

    On behalf of all the non-Jeremy people who have spent the time and effort to try to make this thread a very productive and not-*too*-harsh environment for discussion, I would like to thank you for considering us all worthy of ignoring for the sole fact that we are not Jeremy. Since my thoughts apparently are not worthwhile, I will refrain from replying to the rest of your post. (My ideas are quite thoroughly documented in the many previous posts; I see no need to rehash, as you apparently don't seem to care about the rest of our ideas.)


    Incidentally, no, Jeremy did not say it himself. Merry Christmas, as the case may be.

  4. Elevation is covered in the terrain rating. It wouldn't fit in a cache attribute, anyway. (Every cache has some sort of elevation, and a 25 foot elevation change that's a vertical cliff at sea level is harder than a 100 foot elevation change from the parking lot to the actual top of a tourist mountain.)


    If you had read and understood the thread, you would know that cache attributes should be things that you would use while searching, *NOT* just little pieces of pretty description. If you base your caching choices on the style of restroom facilities available at the various locations, you have issues that a professional could probably help you work out. While it may be interesting, especially to those with children, to note what type of restroom is at a particular location, I would have to agree that it not something that belongs as a cache attribute.


    (Now, on the other hand, if someone wants to start Geocaching Potty Selections, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPSI) and collect all the information about all the restrooms at or near caches, I will gladly send along a compendium of my limited knowledge, but it still doesn't belong in a cache attribute.)


    Oh, and finally, as to splitting the "Read Me" cache attribute into the "I'd very much like you to read me, if you're feeling like it, but you don't *really* have to" cache attribute and the "Yes, you really *do* have to read me, because otherwise you might get upset looking for the cache and need a time-out" cache attribute... *THAT* is what I call going too far.


    To quote Albert Einstein, "Things should be made as simple as possible -- but no simpler." You are trying to simplify life for the people who don't want to read cache pages, but in so doing, you would be actually be making the system more complex.


    I think we may be at or near the point referenced by Lewis Carroll's King speaking to Alice, "'Begin at the beginning,' the King said gravely, 'and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'"


    None of us will ever make cache attributes cover *every* possibility while still being usable. We started with a few thoughts, and we added some new ideas, but eventually we have to decide that we have covered a vast number of ideas and have taken the best of them. While there are always things left out, with the input we've had (and continue to have) has pointed out the most important things we could collectively think of. Eventually, we have to figure that we've come up with all the important ideas we can, and that being the end, we stop. (Of course, then once the cache attributes start being used, we come up with ideas left out or improvements to be made, but that's another thread.)

  5. quote:
    Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

    Without strongly encouraging owners to update their cache pages and getting the vast majority of caches updated with attributes wouldn't that severely limit the usefullness of attributes in the first place?

    No, it would not have *any* influece *at all* on the usefulness of the existing and set cache attributes. The cache attributes' value lies solely in the fact that a given cache attribute *is* set on some cache. Why a given cache may have no cache attributes set is *utterly* irrelevant.


    When you've got Super Ultra GPX Searcher 4.32 running on your computer, what does it matter if a cache doesn't have a cache attribute because of inattention, intention, or contention? When you're searching for a new favorite caving cache, you don't care if a cache isn't marked as a caving cache for reason a, b, or c. It doesn't matter *why* the caches that aren't marked as caving caches aren't marked as caving caches; you only care about the fact that there exist caches that *are* marked as caving caches.


    "No Cache Attributes" and "Unknown Cache Attributes" are both based on misunderstanding and incorrectly approaching cache attributes.

  6. quote:
    Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

    Which reminds me, what about no gas powered boats? There are places where you can use a canoe or electric powered boats, but not gas powered due to it being a drinking water reservor or sensitive area. this could be a subset of Hydrocache, but lets people know not to bring a bassboat or PWC.

    No. When people see that it's a hydrocache, they simply read the description and if it's no motors, the description will say it.


    Oh, and Jeremy, regarding the Dogs +/- Leashes cache attribute(s). Are dogs allowed at a large number of caches? If so, then flagging the specific and very select few that allow leashless operation would be very logical, no matter what some of the less thorough posters here may have commented. If few caches allow dogs at all, then it wouldn't be logical to split the cache attribute, since you'd just look in the description.


    As far as I can guess (since we don't presently have a Dogs cache attribute to key on), the availability of dog-compatible caches is quite high. Since the availability of leashless-dog-compatible caches is certainly very low indeed, it would make perfect sense that someone would want to find those few. (In other words, don't get too worried about the apparently dogless in this thread who don't understand that letting your dog run free for at least a little while is a very desirable thing.)


    (No, actually, I have a cat, but I have fond memories of letting our fmaily dog run free while we hiked when I was young. If you've never been a medium-to-large dog person, you couldn't possibly understand.)

  7. Um, first question: What is an "Unknown" log type?

            <Groundspeak:log id="808227">          <Groundspeak:date>2002-12-09T08:00:00</Groundspeak:date>          <Groundspeak:type>Unknown</Groundspeak:type>          <Groundspeak:finder id="2">iryshe</Groundspeak:finder>          <Groundspeak:text encoded="False">Owner indicated this cache has been refurbished,          and is ready to find. - Admin</Groundspeak:text>        </Groundspeak:log>

    Second question: What is the of "Cache needs to be archived"?

    (I need to handle that, too, and I don't seem to have any in my files.)


    [Edited to break the inadvertant long line.]


    [This message was edited by ClayJar on December 12, 2002 at 09:15 AM.]

  8. Okay, I've worked the afternoon and evening away, but here's a little prototype for you to play with. It doesn't have sorting or file output or anything special yet, but it should at least give you a little something to begin commenting on.


    (You can't sort yet, and nothing's linked, and the logs aren't right there, but it's just the first prototype.)


    http://clayjar.com/gc/temp/Watcher-0.1.2.exe (updated to 0.1.2 so it shows all five last logs, instead of only four... oops icon_biggrin.gif)


    [This message was edited by ClayJar on December 11, 2002 at 10:15 PM.]

  9. quote:
    Originally posted by 9Key:

    Geez, I already have something similar to this on my web site:



    Oh well!

    I try to make it a point to be kind and gentle wherever possible, so I will simply inform you that you replied to the thread-opening post, which is now approximately 56 *printed* pages old. Needless to say, while that's a nice little gadget you have there, it completely misses the point of this thread.


    Oh well! icon_wink.gif


    Seriously, though, if you'd like to catch up, you should be able to start around the cache attributes summary and read the posts from there. We've basically gone back over the important parts from there down, although the previous pages are quite useful.

  10. quote:
    Originally posted by Jiheffe:

    I categorized it as a "Multi-Cache".


    Now I am wondering if I should make it a virtual cache, as there is nothing to "find" (except the nice surroundings icon_smile.gif ).

    Well, since it *is* marked as Size: Virtual. Categorizing it as Type: Multi-Cache seems fair enough.
  11. Okay, last night I whipped into MSXML (the Microsoft built-into-IE 5+ XML library). I got a very rudimentary one-off program running, and it works well. Now I just need to go in and rewrite it well (and give it a user interface slightly better than breakpoints and debug statements. icon_wink.gif


    Anyway, I just figured I'd let you know it wasn't just idle words; I'm really making the program.

  12. quote:
    Originally posted by Buck8Point:

    Im willing to start scouting for a good place to do it if anyone is intersted.

    If so, lets start considering some dates in Late January.

    Count me in... and might I suggest having it the first weekend in February, just to be safe? I'm hoping that either my home Packers or even my adopted Saints might do well in the playoffs. icon_biggrin.gif
  13. quote:
    Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

    ...are offended when you don't go out of your way to satisfy them...

    I'm not sure that is the case.


    With all due respect, not everyone can afford a PDA nor want to fool with one. Printing out pages upon pages of cache discriptions is laborious. I'm sure there are a substantial number of cachers who would like to be able to just load up their GPS and go.

    My intended point was not that people should be required to read or print or sync the pages for all the caches they do. I have spontaneously cached several times myself, although I have since made it a point to always at least read the cache page, since I have given that advice to others many times.


    The idea I was trying to convey was that there are people who do enjoy spontaneously heading out to caches whose pages they've never read with nothing but a GPS receiver in their hand. It is impossible to simplify the whole of geocaching to a level where all caches can be done that way, as we both know and fully understand.


    My apologies if I was so unclear as to cause you to believe that I consider spontaneous cachers second-class or poor caching citizens. That was certainly not my intention.

    I strongly feel it is important to be able to differentiate caches that can be found and logged by going to the listed coordinates. This _could_ include multis where something at the start will get you to the next leg. It _could_ be a new cache-type, maybe "simple." It _could_ be an attribute the owner could set that lets people know they only _need_ their GPS.


    I know some, if not most, people prepare for a hunt, but let's not leave the spontaneous cachers behind.

    I cache differently than many other cachers. When I want to go caching, I choose one or more caches to hunt. Then I read their pages and get ready. Once I've gotten everything together, I head out and go find (try to find) the caches. If a cache isn't on my list, I might come within a few hundred feet, but usually I won't stop because it didn't interest me very much when I read the page.


    Now, other cachers are much different. They can be driving down the road and see a waypoint *right* *THERE*! They pull into a little suburban park and get out with their GPS receiver and go off to find the cache. With no preparation done, no cache page read, and nothing but a mark on their screen, they head off to try to find the cache.


    For my kind of caching, having a "Basic Cache" attribute wouldn't do one iota of good; however, for someone of the latter style, being able to have a collection of waypoints in their GPS receiver that are marked (with a special icon or name) as basic caches (i.e. you need no extra information at all) would be exceptionally useful.


    Now, since it is irrelevant to me, personally, I'm not going to advocate or oppose it, just as I am neutral on the ATV and 4WD suggestions. If it is important to you, please feel free (or even obligated) to advocate it and to explain exactly why you believe it to be worth the additional clutter. Every single one of the cache attributes is additional clutter, but those that are kept will have convinced Jeremy (and us, I'd hope) that they are worth their respective clutter.

    As for the rest of your post, I'm starting to get a little confused as to the whole reason behind these attribute are in the first place. I thought it was to be able to search the database and create a list. What is included in that list would be based on the ability to include or exclude listings with certain attributes. IMHO, being able to list all of the caches that don't require anything more than your GPS would be more useful than knowing if there's a campsite.


    Are these attributes meant to be able to be searched on/for and lists created based on certain attributes?

    My apologies for not being as clear as I may have intended to be. Yes, the whole reason for the cache attributes is to facilitate searching and filtering. They are there in order to provide a way to programmatically key on the certain things they represent. They should be flags waving at passing cachers to say, "Come look at this! I have the information you're looking!" (or even, "Run away! Run away! You don't want to come here!")


    The reason I suggested a "Camping" cache attribute is not because I want to see if there's any camping at the cache I was going to hunt. It's so that I can find and hunt the caches that have camping.


    To summarize, once you're looking at the cache page, the cache attributes are nothing but relatively pointless little icons (or whatever). It's when you don't know what cache you want to hunt that cache attributes are useful.

  14. quote:
    Originally posted by Markwell:

    You keep saying that, but I'm not convinced. I have yet to see an application (other than EasyGPS) that CORRECTLY handles the new format.

    Oh, come on! GPX only was officially released YESTERDAY, and I had to run a little chat! At least give me a week before you start complaining I'm LATE!


    (Oops, I'd better add some smileys so people don't think Markwell and ClayJar hate each other or something... Neocachers can be impressionable. icon_biggrin.gificon_smile.gificon_wink.gificon_cool.gificon_razz.gif)


    [This message was edited by ClayJar on December 10, 2002 at 02:15 PM.]

  15. quote:
    Originally posted by webfargo:

    I love to do caches at night and do about 25% of my finds at night. Many times I pull up to do a cache and find out it is a park that closes at dark or similiar.

    If I were hiding a cache in a Baton Rouge park, I probably wouldn't add the "restricted hours" cache attribute, because all the parks are dawn-to-dusk. That, to me, is "standard hours". If the location has by-the-clock hours (no matter how long or short), I'd definitely call it "restricted hours" and throw that flag. Now, if I managed to hide one that is available 24 hours, that would be an amazing deviation from the norm. I can see how "open 24 hours" would be a very useful cache attribute.


    So, with that in mind, there are really *three* types of cache availability hours:

    Restricted Hours: The cache availability is by-the-clock, i.e. 9a-5p, 10a-10p, 3:30p-dark.

    24 Hours: The cache can legally (or safely) be hunted around the clock.

    "Normal Hours": Anything else. (Dawn to dusk would fit here, at least in Baton Rouge, as all locations are such unless specified.)

    Restricted Hours and 24 Hours could therefore be valid and useful cache attributes, using this logic, and "Normal Hours" would quite obviously not be a cache attribute (since it's what people would naturally assume).
  16. quote:
    Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

    Camping attribute: wouldn't a seperately maintained list be better? What if you need to camp, but none of the caches in you area list camping? I wouldn't rely on cache listings to find out where the camping spots are.

    A "camping available" attribute wouldn't exist to tell you where each and every campsite is. It would only exist to say, "Hey, if you want to camp+cache, here's a spot just for you!"
    About some attributes being redundant because it's covered in the difficulty rating. Not entirely. From reading some posts before, people are looking to be able to just download waypoints into their GPS and just _go._
    There is no reason to reinvent the description in attributes just to try to help those who want to just download and go. If J. Random Cacher wants to head out unprepared, that's fine. If J. Random Cacher gets in a jam or can't find the cache because he refuses to read the cache pages, that's fine as well! If it so happens that Mr. Cacher decides he hates to have so many failed hunts, he can either get a $50 (and up) PDA and download a pocket query, or he can read the pages. If he can't read them because of a learning disability, I invite him to get in touch with me and I'll get him a phone number of someone who will summarise it for him, but it is quite literally *impossible* to squeeze all the information into the waypoint or attributes.


    I know of two things that can get to me more than I'd like. The first is malicious people -- I simply do not have the capacity to understand how someone can knowingly and willingly cause harm to another. The second is exceptionally lazy people -- I cannot find it in me to spend excessive amounts of time trying to help people who don't care to try. Now, we're *all* a bit "lazy". A little "laziness" is a good thing, because it can help you to find the best way of doing something (to save effort later), but when people become *excessively* lazy to the point where they are offended when you don't go out of your way to satisfy them, that is where I cannot help but draw the line.


    I don't mind at all if people don't want to read the cache pages. I imagine it makes for all sorts of fun and interesting experiences, and probably a nice chunk of frustration. However, I do not believe that we should pay too much attention to them -- just as I don't think we should pay too much attention to the people that will have every map known to man before they hunt. (If you want to turn a 5/5 into a park-and-log, have at it! You get most of the fun out of the preparation, where I get it out of the hunt, but that's just because we're different.)

  17. quote:
    Originally posted by ApK:

    I'm heading toward a suggestion along the lines of "do whatever you want with the waypoint names, but also give those who want it access to a raw serial number that they can convert into whatever format makes their databases happy."

    Might I rather happily comment that you are quite too late to suggest that? icon_biggrin.gif


    In the GPX files, the "ID" is the raw, decimal serial number, and so anyone who wants to generate waypoint names from cache size, ID, type, or even the spelling quality of the hider can do so already! Isn't it a wonderful world!


    (And so, once again, the virtues of the GPX files are extolled on the forum.)

  18. IIRC, I've found that if I click to "My Cache Page" before I start filling out logs, it doesn't do the re-login. I can't remember, really, as I login so much on not-my-PCs, I don't notice it anymore.

  19. quote:
    Originally posted by Dinoprophet:

    The camping addition made me think: what about "camping _required_"? Or "Overnighter" or "Back country", something along those lines.

    That should be pretty much covered by terrain ratings of maybe 4, possibly 4.5, or even 5 stars, really. (And I have yet to find one within 500 miles of me, too.)
  20. (Hehe... not every day someone quotes Shakespeare in a subject line on the forums, eh? icon_biggrin.gif)


    Okay, here it is, the current quasi-canonical list of cache attributes. This is not "official" or anything, but I've run through the 41 pages worth of thread (printed 16 pages/page -- love that HP) to try to collect the state of the thread in one post so that we can comment on it better. (I was losing track of which attributes were there.) So, here are all the current and pending (as in, not fully commented on) cache attributes:

    No dogs

    Leashed dogs

    Unleashed dogs

    Not available year round (seasonal)

    Restricted hours

    Fee area


    Easy climbing

    Skilled climbing

    Flashlight required

    Boat required


    Read Notes (information)

    Accessible area

    May be accessible

    Less than ~500ft from car to cache


    Biking (trails)



    Camping and biking are two that I would most definitely include in the "final" list, as they are both quite popular among geocachers. (I've heard cachers lament that they can't find good biking caches.) I'll let other people advocate ATV/4WD if they so choose. icon_wink.gif


    Anyway, since I had problems installing Infallibility 2003 (something about an incompatible CPU), please feel free to continue the commentary. icon_wink.gif I just wanted to pull the thread together for a moment to do a sanity check on my understanding of it. Well, sanity check complete, let the games continue.

  21. Okay, I've been prepping for a couple caching trips, and I believe I have stumbled across something important that I had forgotten. There is another attribute that would be exceedingly helpful at times, and it's something that I would definitely key on to find some caches to do. What is it? Camping Available!


    Whenever I'm on very long, multi-day+ caching trips, I camp. I've never stayed at a hotel while on a caching trip, but sometimes I've been relegated to taking a <2 hour [to be legal) nap at a rest stop because I know of no camping. If I could see caches that have camping areas, it would be the next best thing since the hydrocache was invented.


    Anyway, I guess the winter had caused me to forget about camping, but at least I remembered it before it was *too* late. icon_biggrin.gif


    (And now, on to the reply part of the show...)


    print out required, traveling cache, extra pieces required to operate cache: All these are the "read it or weep" Information attribute already covered.


    seasonal access: Already chosen.


    vista, historical site: I don't see how these need to be attributes, really. Historical sites may be nice to key on, perhaps, but vista? I think that would be too poorly-defined, and frankly, should most caches have something nice to look at or do?


    path type: That's getting a bit far into "re-describe the cache via attributes", which is going too far


    non-trading cache: If it's a micro, the size will tell. If it's a letterbox hybrid, the type will tell. If the hider is just fed up, let the hider have the respect to say it.

  22. Yet another chance to extol the virtues of GPX!


    Seriously, though, the GPX files you can now request in your Pocket Queries have the latest few logs, just like the cache pages. So, all you need now is a small utility to scour your GPX files and look for caches that don't have a listed find within the last N days.


    (Unfortunately, nobody has written this yet, however, if nobody else steps up, I'll write it myself. Do you need it for Windows?)

  23. quote:
    Originally posted by DiscoJason:

    I'd like it to be more broad, like "Difficulty changes based on weather conditions." Though something less verbose would be nice.


    How about "Weather affects difficulty" or "Difficulty is Weather Dependent?"

    But almost *all* our caches in Louisiana are highly weather-dependant. We lost several due to hurricanes and tropical storms this year, and even more were lost or rendered inaccessible for long periods of time due to flooding. Then there's the rain that makes it virtually impossible to get through the clayish mud to the cache. Anyway, not saying it's not a good idea, but I'm trying to see how being weather-dependant is anything special.
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