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Fun and Easy Cache Page Design


acetech09
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Back to the drawing board... I can't read any of your example pages. The entire left side is cut off. Looks like about 1/3 of the page is missing.

 

I'm currently viewing with IE 6.0 under WinXP (work machine, I can't change it). I wish programmers would consider the fact that there are a lot of older systems still out here before going with the latest and greatest HTML tricks.

 

Keep it simple.

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Back to the drawing board... I can't read any of your example pages. The entire left side is cut off. Looks like about 1/3 of the page is missing.

 

I'm currently viewing with IE 6.0 under WinXP (work machine, I can't change it). I wish programmers would consider the fact that there are a lot of older systems still out here before going with the latest and greatest HTML tricks.

 

Keep it simple.

Another thing to remember is those accessing the page with phones might not render correctly.

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Hmmm.

 

I've been a web designer for 15 years now. The first rule is usability. People need to be able to read what you've written.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. After all, there's a reason we no longer have marquee text, or blink, or invisible 1X1px images, or table layouts. (Yes, I remember Netscape 2)

check out Jakob Nielsen http://www.useit.com/alertbox/

 

FYI. A person who makes web pages is a coder, not a programmer.

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Hmmm.

 

I've been a web designer for 15 years now. The first rule is usability. People need to be able to read what you've written.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. After all, there's a reason we no longer have marquee text, or blink, or invisible 1X1px images, or table layouts. (Yes, I remember Netscape 2)

check out Jakob Nielsen http://www.useit.com/alertbox/

 

FYI. A person who makes web pages is a coder, not a programmer.

 

I know a number of web developers, and have done web development myself. No one calls himself or herself a "coder". That is actually a pejorative term among software developers of any persuasion.

 

Here in Rochester NY we are fortunate to have some excellent colleges and universities that teach software development, and we have a large population of software engineers working locally. Many of our most active geocachers are software people. Web pages such as yours are not at all uncommon in this area. I think your pages look great. If someone can't read them on their ancient browsers, they are free to upgrade or hunt another cache.

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Hmmm.

 

I've been a web designer for 15 years now. The first rule is usability. People need to be able to read what you've written.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. After all, there's a reason we no longer have marquee text, or blink, or invisible 1X1px images, or table layouts. (Yes, I remember Netscape 2)

check out Jakob Nielsen http://www.useit.com/alertbox/

 

FYI. A person who makes web pages is a coder, not a programmer.

 

Not always. Pretty much any web page which contains dynamic content (and even some that don't) is produced using a programming language such as perl, php, java, etc. I understand what you're getting at though. Web pages, essentially are just content structured or formatted using html, a markup language. However, that markup can also be produced using a programming language.

 

I started working as a programmer long before the web existed.

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Back to the drawing board... I can't read any of your example pages. The entire left side is cut off. Looks like about 1/3 of the page is missing.

 

I'm currently viewing with IE 6.0 under WinXP (work machine, I can't change it). I wish programmers would consider the fact that there are a lot of older systems still out here before going with the latest and greatest HTML tricks.

 

Keep it simple.

 

Pretty sure this is due to issues with this website and IE6, not just because you, like me, are using an out-dated, unsupported browser at your workplace. I really don't see any "latest and greatest HTML tricks" that would be an issue for IE6 all by itself.

 

Oddly enough, the left side is rendering just fine for me.

 

Kudos to the OP for attempting something new and different.

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Have to ask ........ Why

 

but then all I'm seeing a little different is coloured various sized text and the ftf thing

I don't pick caches to find based on how pretty the page is, more on how much info is provided about the area and the cache

 

Personaly I find coloured text hard to concerntrate on enough to absorb the information provided most of my local cache pages have quite a bit of information in them with pictures historical photos etc included which wouldn't look as good with the extra colours included

Edited by Beebeejaybee
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..not really a fan of the different fonts - but to each their own. I prefer the clean, simple and easy to read default cache page. The one thing that bugs me about most web designs is when the page has multiple different fonts across it- it always hurts my eyes. Maybe a different font in the logo, but the page should remain consistent (imo) - otherwise you end up with something looking like it belongs on myspace.

 

If these fonts were to transfer to my GPS in the cache description, that would be the hurt.

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The only thing I will suggest is to be careful when specifying fonts or font families. If the user's computer does not happen to have the font you specify, the results will be undefined. If the font is important to the look of the page, it's generally better to create a jpg file with the content in the desired font, and then link that image to the page.

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These cache pages are completely unreadable on my GPS.

 

I prefer plain text, maybe a font size change for headings.

 

The issue with making fancy cache pages is that you have to look good on so many devices. PC web browsers, smart phones, GPS units, Palm and I-Pod devices.

 

Better to just leave them plain and readable.

BTW, I am a HTML coder.

 

You can see examples of my coding prowess or lack thereof on my profile page.

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Cudos for actually spending time working up the page. With some people it is obvious that they spend no time on the cache or the page. Typos, grammar, misinformation to name a few things you see sometimes. I have to agree, however, with webscouter.

These cache pages are completely unreadable on my GPS.
Me too. For anyone using a Gamin Colorado/Oregon/Dakota, your cache page looks something like this:
<span style="font-family: Santa Fe LET; font-size: 40px; color: rgb(153, 0, 0);"><br>Everlasting Rainbow<br></span><br><br><span style="font-family: Santa Fe LET; font-size: 24px; color: rgb(153, 153, 0);"><br>Come take a look at an unlikely natural occurrence.<br></span></span></div><p></p><div class="UserSuppliedContent"><span id="ctl00_ContentBody_LongDescription"><span style="font-family: Santa Fe LET; font-size: 22px; color: rgb(51, 51, 204);">This tree is pretty cool. You'll see when you get there..</span><br><br><span style="font-family: Santa Fe LET; font-size: 30px; color: rgb(51, 0, 255);">FTF Room:</span>
<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" height="20%" width="35%"><tbody><tr>
<td align="center" valign="middle"><img src="http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/557d1a63d5.jpg" alt="http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/557d1a63d5.jpg" align="bottom"></td>
<td align="center" valign="middle"><img src="http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/673880f447.jpg" alt="http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/673880f447.jpg" align="bottom"></td>
<td align="center" valign="middle"><img src="http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/3515b92bea.jpg" alt="http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/3515b92bea.jpg" align="bottom"></td></tr><tr>
<td align="center" valign="middle"><span style="font-family: Santa Fe LET; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">littledebbie</span></td>
<td align="center" valign="middle"><span style="font-family: Santa Fe LET; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">semperfly2020</span></td>
<td align="center" valign="middle"><span style="font-family: Santa Fe LET; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">mike2find</span></td></tr></tbody></table></span></div><p></p></td>

Compared to:

Everlasting Rainbow

 

Come take a look at an unlikely natural occurrence.

 

This tree is pretty cool. You'll see when you get there..

I'm not sure what it'd look like on Cachemate or the like, but I can't imagine it is any better. Basically, all that formatting basically breaks your cache page for anyone who caches paperless.
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Me too. For anyone using a Gamin Colorado/Oregon/Dakota, your cache page looks something like this:

 

Does that happen when transferring them .gpx right on over to the Garmin using whatever software comes with the unit?

 

My paperless unit recently has become my Nuvi and I don't see these formatting issues, but that's after I've run it through GSAK and imported it as a POI file.

 

I'm looking at upgrading to one of the newer Garmin units and I'm asking as a point of reference for future purchases.

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Me too. For anyone using a Gamin Colorado/Oregon/Dakota, your cache page looks something like this:
Does that happen when transferring them .gpx right on over to the Garmin using whatever software comes with the unit?

 

My paperless unit recently has become my Nuvi and I don't see these formatting issues, but that's after I've run it through GSAK and imported it as a POI file.

 

I'm looking at upgrading to one of the newer Garmin units and I'm asking as a point of reference for future purchases.

It happened during a direct transfer. I'm not sure about GSAK.

 

FYI, it requires no software, when you connect the GPS to the computer, it shows up as a removable drive, you simply drag the gpx file directly into the proper folder on the GPS.

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I'll add my two cents here and come off sounding critical. I don't think cache pages are very good at all. In the third example, the cache name appears at the top of the page and then again in your limited description but in the cache page title, it has 3 question marks, in your description it has only one. Different size fonts in different and hard to read colors seem to be used for every sentence. The inclusion of the FTF, STF and TTF gallery merely duplicates information that can be found in the logs. I wonder if anyone actually cares who the third person to find the cache was? That information just clutters up the page. Keep it simple and clear and they will come.

 

Best regards,

 

J.X.

 

Edited to add:

 

There are no HTML programmers, only HTML coders. HTML is not a programming language. In the application and embedded development world there are software engineers, programmers, coders and code monkeys. You can chose the derogatory term from the list.

Edited by JohnX
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Cudos for actually spending time working up the page. With some people it is obvious that they spend no time on the cache or the page. Typos, grammar, misinformation to name a few things you see sometimes. I have to agree, however, with webscouter...

 

... I'm not sure what it'd look like on Cachemate or the like, but I can't imagine it is any better. Basically, all that formatting basically breaks your cache page for anyone who caches paperless.

 

I'm also considering an up to date GPSr... I was wondering if your unit might have provision for selecting the option of interpreting HTML? That would be something like the cache page providing the option of interpreting the page text as HTML. I suspect it doesn't since you don't mention other peoples code causing problems. Just checking that possibility, since many browsing softwares allow things like rejecting images etc. it would seem to be a possibility. Right now I have trouble with being limited to cache GC# and coordinates only, and I do those by hand most of the time.

 

Doug

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These cache pages are completely unreadable on my GPS.

 

I prefer plain text, maybe a font size change for headings.

 

The issue with making fancy cache pages is that you have to look good on so many devices. PC web browsers, smart phones, GPS units, Palm and I-Pod devices.

 

Better to just leave them plain and readable.

BTW, I am a HTML coder.

 

You can see examples of my coding prowess or lack thereof on my profile page.

 

I'm with Scouter here. With paperless caching becoming more and more popular due to support from multiple hand held GPSr manufactures, fancy HTML, linked images, etc. make cache pages unreadable in the field. I don't use mobile internet on a phone, and a broken description page on my Oregon would just lead me to the next closest.

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Hmmm.

 

I've been a web designer for 15 years now. The first rule is usability. People need to be able to read what you've written.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. After all, there's a reason we no longer have marquee text, or blink, or invisible 1X1px images, or table layouts. (Yes, I remember Netscape 2)

check out Jakob Nielsen http://www.useit.com/alertbox/

 

FYI. A person who makes web pages is a coder, not a programmer.

 

Not always. Pretty much any web page which contains dynamic content (and even some that don't) is produced using a programming language such as perl, php, java, etc. I understand what you're getting at though. Web pages, essentially are just content structured or formatted using html, a markup language. However, that markup can also be produced using a programming language.

 

I started working as a programmer long before the web existed.

 

I've been a "web markup professional" for 12 years. As previously stated, HTML is not a programming language, it is a markup language. I call myself a "front-end developer" (XHTML/CSS/javascript/XML, etc) to distinguish myself from web application or database developers, and because "coder" is pejorative.

 

Now that my cred is out of the way...

 

The only thing I will suggest is to be careful when specifying fonts or font families. If the user's computer does not happen to have the font you specify, the results will be undefined. If the font is important to the look of the page, it's generally better to create a jpg file with the content in the desired font, and then link that image to the page.

Seconded.

 

I spend a good deal of my professional life unraveling the terrible table-based, WYSIWYG-generated crud that the business owner's "son's best's friend's neighbor" did, who fancies his/herself a "web developer/coder/designer" because they can use a little FrontPage, or learned a little HTML in a college elective class before CSS.

 

I, personally, would appreciate it if you didn't go around telling people that table-based layouts and embedded styles are an appropriate way to write markup.

OTOH... go right ahead, untangling this drivel pays my mortgage.

 

I agree with Crafty Turtle. Just because you can... I find Papyrus to be a terrible font to try to read a lot of text in. Best for logos or headers. I also think it looks cluttered. I'm with the folks who want plain text that is readable on Smartphones and other non-regular-computers. If you really need to break up your content, I would keep to the following tags with no styles:

<h2>

<h3>

<ul><li>

<strong>

<em>

<hr />

 

Sorry for the trial by fire, or death by 1000 paper cuts, or whatever metaphor you want to describe life on the forums by, but once you post a message purporting to be the authority on something (whether you intended to come across that way or not), you might as well jump into a tank of piranhas with bologna underwear.

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Crafty Turtle said:

Hmmm.

 

I've been a web designer for 15 years now. The first rule is usability. People need to be able to read what you've written.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. After all, there's a reason we no longer have marquee text, or blink, or invisible 1X1px images, or table layouts. (Yes, I remember Netscape 2)

check out Jakob Nielsen http://www.useit.com/alertbox/

 

FYI. A person who makes web pages is a coder, not a programmer.

 

.

Edited by acetech09
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Hmmm.

 

I've been a web designer for 15 years now. The first rule is usability. People need to be able to read what you've written.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. After all, there's a reason we no longer have marquee text, or blink, or invisible 1X1px images, or table layouts. (Yes, I remember Netscape 2)

check out Jakob Nielsen http://www.useit.com/alertbox/

 

FYI. A person who makes web pages is a coder, not a programmer.

 

Yes, but more people understand 'programmer' than 'coder'. I've told somebody I was a coder, and they thought I worked for the CIA. :laughing:

 

No, that would be a decoder, which is a skill one must often learn to solve some puzzle caches.

 

I've never heard the term "coder" to refer to someone that creates web pages. I've seen it used in the context of a larger software development enterprise that has the luxury of separating software design/architecture with actual programming. Once the requirements for a program/application are defined a systems analyst/architect/designer might construct the algorithm and business logic necessary and even go as far as providing pseudo code for an implementation and then "coders" would write the actual code (program). In practice, those roles are often not separate.

 

As I wrote earlier, although the syntax for a web pages is a markup language it is not uncommon at all for that markup to be produced using a programming language.

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I'm not a coder/programmer, anything. Query: Might the left-hand issue have to do with the size of the computer monitor it is viewed on? I can see the pages fine on my home computer's 21" wide screen monitor, but on my work computer 17" box, the left side of the page is chopped off.

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NYPaddleCacher said:
acetech09 said:
Crafty Turtle said:

Hmmm.

 

I've been a web designer for 15 years now. The first rule is usability. People need to be able to read what you've written.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. After all, there's a reason we no longer have marquee text, or blink, or invisible 1X1px images, or table layouts. (Yes, I remember Netscape 2)

check out Jakob Nielsen http://www.useit.com/alertbox/

 

FYI. A person who makes web pages is a coder, not a programmer.

 

Yes, but more people understand 'programmer' than 'coder'. I've told somebody I was a coder, and they thought I worked for the CIA. :laughing:

 

No, that would be a decoder, which is a skill one must often learn to solve some puzzle caches.

 

I've never heard the term "coder" to refer to someone that creates web pages. I've seen it used in the context of a larger software development enterprise that has the luxury of separating software design/architecture with actual programming. Once the requirements for a program/application are defined a systems analyst/architect/designer might construct the algorithm and business logic necessary and even go as far as providing pseudo code for an implementation and then "coders" would write the actual code (program). In practice, those roles are often not separate.

 

As I wrote earlier, although the syntax for a web pages is a markup language it is not uncommon at all for that markup to be produced using a programming language.

 

.

Edited by acetech09
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Another thing to note: not all browsers/platforms come with native support for the fonts you might choose, such as Papyrus. Your call to the font includes only that font; I'd highly recommend adding some alternatives so that if the browser doesn't recognize the font, it'll default back to something that's a little more acceptable to the design than the browser's own default font.

 

The second part about plain text on Smartphones and other lighter web browsers, I have tested my span style of coding/programming on a few limited devices, and have worked. Also, people that like plain text for phones, that is also a matter of opinion.

 

Well, I think that the point that people are trying to get across here is that it isn't just a matter of opinion but also a matter of functionality. A cache page is very difficult to read if the receiving browsing software isn't capable of rendering all of the style calls and leaves them as-is. If you have customers -- end-users -- who use equipment in the field to search for your caches, and if that equipment is not smart enough to render (or strip out) your style calls, it makes your coding impractical. The question is: what equipment works (or doesn't work, as the point may be) this way*, and how many people does this effect?

 

*Gamin Colorado/Oregon/Dakota, etc, thanks to TTJ

 

Then you weigh it with this: how important to your design is it that your text have these style calls? Is it a truly integral part of the design, or does it just "look cool"?* Does it effect enough people to outweigh the requirement for the design?

 

Is it more important that the page look cool, or that it be useable to those people who have limited equipment? (I note that this is somewhat ironic for me; I make fairly extensive use of HTML in my cache pages, though I note that I don't make a lot of css style calls because my layout has more to do with object placement and less with font calls and I'm an old code-by-Notepad HTML luddite.)

 

*SEA STORY ALERT: I am reminded of my time in college when people would get very enthusiastic about airbrushes (I went to an art & design college). It seems like people were so in love with the technique (and how "cool" it looked) that actual basic design went totally out the window. It seemed like such a waste, because what (I though) you'd really want is for it to both BE cool as well as LOOK cool. In other words, it's totally okay to use Papyrus, if you're doing it for a specific reason.

 

Anyway, my point is this: knowing that your customer base is crucial to a designer. It doesn't matter how cool it looks if your customers can't use it. It needs to be functional AND cool. A truly good design is one that covers both of these bases. My two cents, anyway...

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Query: Might the left-hand issue have to do with the size of the computer monitor it is viewed on? I can see the pages fine on my home computer's 21" wide screen monitor, but on my work computer 17" box, the left side of the page is chopped off.

 

Yes and no. I've heard that on IE6, the side will be chopped on some pages with a smallish (17') monitor but that those same pages on Firefox, Chrome, and IE8 they will not be chopped off on the same monitor. I've never tested it.

 

It has to do with a recent update to the website software, IE6, and the particulars of the HTML and/or embedded images on the cache page, if I recall correctly.

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