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"write your cartridges to the lowest common denominator" - Not


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Recently I keep reading the advice to "write your cartridges to the lowest common denominator" and then going on that since the Garmin players can't display icons, can't display sound, can't use onclick methods etc, they shouldn't be used.


This makes me sad as I think authors should make use of all the facilities available to provide an as good as possible Wherigo experience.


While it is important that the cartridges are compatible with Oregon and Colorado most shortcomings degrade gracefully or can be easily worked around:


1) icons


Icons will not be included in the Garmin version of the cartridge (I use *.bmp files for them) so they don't do any harm. On other players they provide a useful visual clue.


2) sound


While digitised sound will not be played by the Garmin units, you can provide *.fdl alternatives using the same zmedia. The website will only include the compatible soundfile, so you won't bloat the cartridge.




(Remember to not use the PlayAlertSound() function though, but use a custom sound instead.)


3) onclick actions


Typically you will not need to use them, in the rare case you do you can work around it by having an alternative button actions on the item in question which is disabled as part of the onclick event




4) no actions on zones


You can have a dummy item of the same name inside the zone to provide the actions which is only enabled for garmin players as part of the initialisation


5) limits on text length


I don't see this as a limit. Make the text concise and to the point. You are writing a Wherigo, not a novel.


6) limits on zones


This is not a limitation on the Garmin players. Many old PDAs have the same problem. If you can't want to restrict your number of zones, there are some options; usually specific to the kind of cartridge you are writing. In my current cartridge I will offer an extra "nightmare" mode that has double the zones for player with non-garmin units. You can also use the user functions provided here:




Anyway - this was just from the top of my head, there is probably more. I realise that it is a little more work, but I think it is worth the effort, especially as the Garmin units are now outdated and in the future Wherigo will be mainly played on mobile phones. Thanks for reading.

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In the cartridges I'm building (forever now, but one is almost finished) I use the full options (icons, sounds, whatever). The onClick I avoid, but my opinion is that if the Garmins can't play sounds and display icons, it's their users who are going to loose, not the PDA users...

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