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News From Groundspeak


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I recently concluded a conversation I originally started with Bryan at the time I visited Groundspeak. I was able to ask several questions and get a gist of Wherigo from Groundspeak's perspective, clearing some information for me to spread to the forum. Since I asked the questions, I wanted to deliver the answers to everyone.

 

Before I deliver the news, here's a short version of what I initially had to say. I don't have an always-open dialog and will make sure these conversations are few. If I don't have an answer for you, please accept this. I may end up asking half a year later. I am leaving out dates and timeframes. Finally, I don't intend for this to cause heated discussions as seen in other parts of the forum. If this results in moderation work, I will likely not do it again. I brag about how great a forum this is and that it's a great place for people to post.

 

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Garmin Players

This was, personally, my top question. Most of you have noticed by now: the Colorado Player acts just a little bit off from the emulator while the Oregon Player has more than a few quirks. So, what gives?

 

Groundspeak does develop the Player. However, this is the core engine. It is Garmin's responsibility to take that engine and hook it up correctly to their product and develop the UI. For instance, the UI is responsible for handling the OnClick events and passing them correctly to the engine for processing--and having hooks for the engine to call when it needs to convey the results. For me, this explains everything we have seen with the Oregon player, such as the absence of response when you click on a task and you have code that's supposed to run.

 

This information, logically, brings up another interesting point: what happens when new features are added to the engine? If process is followed, Groundspeak will provide Garmin with the updated engine. If anyone has followed the Colorado updates, the last stable firmware was released in December last year and a beta is currently available. With this and the integration seen on the Oregon, I voiced my concern.

 

Is Wherigo Dead?

This is one of my favorite threads in the forum. Not really, actually. Your concerns are heard and I understand them well. I just wish I could do something about it. I fully agree with this sentiment: I, too, want to see more features, some updates, and movement. I want to know Wherigo will be around so my effort to develop cartridges won't be wasted. If it was uncertain, I should probably put more effort into making mystery caches. So, is Wherigo dead and what's happening inside Groundspeak?

 

I was informed Wherigo was in development for many years before it was released. I was never given an exact year, but the time explained to me seemed like Wherigo was in development since at least 2004 or 2005. (That would explain the focus on Pocket PC; that was the major platform at the time.) Does anyone remember that big "?" graphic on the Groundspeak home page? I bet that was for the Wherigo logo when it was released. I remember that graphic being there since I began caching in 2006. That's some commitment.

 

Wherigo has the backing and support of all three Groundspeak founders; they are determined to see it through. Wherigo is discussed every week.

 

Where Are the/When Will We See Updates?

Wherigo is now "on the table" and more is being said about it. They want to get back to the project. Bryan agrees too much time has gone by. However, both of us agree it's best not to discuss time frames because there's a tendency for people to mistake them for commitments.

 

Wherigo is still in the R&D phase. Conceptually speaking, the next step, now that Wherigo is a reality, is where to take it from here. This is in addition to new features: marketing, business processes, spec, etc.

 

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So stick with Wherigo, people. There will be chances for feedback. Feel free to comment respectfully, as always. I'll continue to ask questions, forward errors, and help when, how, and where I can.

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Ranger Fox,

 

Thanks for posting this and thanks for all your efforts to get some news.

 

I found your post very encouraging and plan to continue promoting Wherigo's locally.

 

I am sure Groundspeak is frustrated as well. When a product is relying on two companies (sometimes with different objectives), it can make progress challenging.

 

Keep up the good work.

 

Tequila

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It is Garmin's responsibility to take that engine and hook it up correctly to their product and develop the UI

That last bit perhaps half-explains why the Colorado player can only display ISO Latin-1 accented characters whereas the PocketPC/Emulator are fully UTF-8 compliant.

 

I don't expect the Colorado to have every Chinese character, but we know that the unit can do Czech and Russian (both of which require UTF-8)because the basic system menus are available in those languages. While exploring the unit's file system I found that the translation files for the various foreign languages are in UTF-8 format.

 

My guess is that Garmin either subcontracted the Wherigo player implementation, or got a freelancer in to do it, and he wasn't very familiar with internationalisation.

 

This point is currently moot since the Groundspeak builder strips out any character above 0x7F (perhaps as a way to avoid hitting problems between the two types of player?). Earwigo generates the correct accented characters for the target platform, but that means that Czech characters like Č, or anything Cyrillic, are trashed when going to the Colorado.

Edited by sTeamTraen
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