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OpinioNate

Geocaching.com site update May 4th 2011

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Thanks for the feedback so far everyone, including the critical comments regarding maps and the new look. We will be reviewing each carefully and making updates to the site in response. I'll make sure the changes are communicated to you as they happen.

 

The fixed page width has come up several times, so I'd like to attempt an explanation into our thought process here. The choice between a liquid (expanding) layout and fixed width is one of appearance and usability. The main disadvantage to having a liquid layout is that Internet Explorer does not support the min-width and max-width CSS properties. The lack of this control is the reason you will sometimes find the right-hand log navigation "missing" on cache pages (in fact it is just pushed far to the right of the page, usually by a large image). Without the control of fixed width layouts, lines of text in cache descriptions may also become too long, making it harder to read. To maintain a consistent experience on the site, without sacrificing the ability of users to control the content of their cache descriptions, we felt it was important to move the site in this direction. Finally, with 13 languages (and more on the way) it will become nearly impossible to control the appearance of the site without a fixed layout.

 

I hope that helps to explain where we're coming from. We're watching and reading your feedback and will do everything possible to satisfy your concerns asap. Thanks everyone.

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Premium Only caches will display for all users on Beta Maps, with coordinates slightly obscured

How slightly is "slightly"?

The PMO caches I'm looking at on the beta map appear to be showing at their *exact* listed coords when I look at it with both a PM and a non-PM account. (FF4, Win7, hard-refresh done, etc, etc).

It's fairly trivial of course to extract the coords of the map markers with Greasemonkey or something so there's nothing at this point to stop non-PM members finding the precise coords of PMO caches.

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I really DON'T like the changes. As said by many people before me, the main issues are:

- you have two maps, the old one without the personalization, the Beta one without the cache list. Therefore, both are unusable.

- size of the old maps (and size of the whole page) has shrunk too much

- transparency and background image issue - bad.

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Thanks, the pq full of all ready found caches. useless.

 

 

I must disagree with this opinion. The PQ of found caches is enormoulsy useful, and fun. You just have to know what to do with it.

When I'm looking at map and want only unfound caches and get a PQ with found caches that is a waste of server cycles and total waste of PQ's. If I want my found caches I'll run the my founds PQ.

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Thanks for the feedback so far everyone, including the critical comments regarding maps and the new look. We will be reviewing each carefully and making updates to the site in response. I'll make sure the changes are communicated to you as they happen.

 

The fixed page width has come up several times, so I'd like to attempt an explanation into our thought process here. The choice between a liquid (expanding) layout and fixed width is one of appearance and usability. The main disadvantage to having a liquid layout is that Internet Explorer does not support the min-width and max-width CSS properties. The lack of this control is the reason you will sometimes find the right-hand log navigation "missing" on cache pages (in fact it is just pushed far to the right of the page, usually by a large image). Without the control of fixed width layouts, lines of text in cache descriptions may also become too long, making it harder to read. To maintain a consistent experience on the site, without sacrificing the ability of users to control the content of their cache descriptions, we felt it was important to move the site in this direction. Finally, with 13 languages (and more on the way) it will become nearly impossible to control the appearance of the site without a fixed layout.

 

I hope that helps to explain where we're coming from. We're watching and reading your feedback and will do everything possible to satisfy your concerns asap. Thanks everyone.

 

Yet another reason to not use Internet Explorer... If the site is not friendly towards it, I bet people will migrate away... Incidentally, this is the same reason that most Spyware/Malware attacks are written specifically for IE...

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Well it's slow again...

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The fixed page width has come up several times......

 

I hope that helps to explain where we're coming from. We're watching and reading your feedback and will do everything possible to satisfy your concerns asap. Thanks everyone.

 

i have to agree with DukeOfURL01, right now doesn't look too "hot" on my monitor, way too narrow

 

also can you guys at least change the background from that blinding white to something like the color in the forums here?

 

those are my only two complains so far, i really like the new look :D

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Thanks for the feedback so far everyone, including the critical comments regarding maps and the new look. We will be reviewing each carefully and making updates to the site in response. I'll make sure the changes are communicated to you as they happen.

 

The fixed page width has come up several times, so I'd like to attempt an explanation into our thought process here. The choice between a liquid (expanding) layout and fixed width is one of appearance and usability. The main disadvantage to having a liquid layout is that Internet Explorer does not support the min-width and max-width CSS properties. The lack of this control is the reason you will sometimes find the right-hand log navigation "missing" on cache pages (in fact it is just pushed far to the right of the page, usually by a large image). Without the control of fixed width layouts, lines of text in cache descriptions may also become too long, making it harder to read. To maintain a consistent experience on the site, without sacrificing the ability of users to control the content of their cache descriptions, we felt it was important to move the site in this direction. Finally, with 13 languages (and more on the way) it will become nearly impossible to control the appearance of the site without a fixed layout.

 

I hope that helps to explain where we're coming from. We're watching and reading your feedback and will do everything possible to satisfy your concerns asap. Thanks everyone.

 

There are more ways to skin a cat than the one chosen. Fixed widths in today's world of wide screen 24 inch monitors is not right. At least: If IE -> fixed width, if not -> fluid!

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I generally support GS in trying to make our caching experience better. Have tried to be patient with the update coming because we use the maps all the time. Weighing in our opinion now:

 

HATE the new maps for the these reasons:

1. If you want to show finds/owned hides, you have to enable personalization EVERY TIME YOU OPEN THE MAPS. Really???? Can't we just set this as our default???

2. The difference between an unfound PMO cache (little yellow circle) and a found cache (little yellow smiley) is practically indistinguishable if you zoom the map out even one time.

3. Hovering over a cache on the map doesn't show you the name anymore :(

4. You can't zoom in as far on a particular cache as you could on the old maps unless you open the map from each cache page. What is the point of that???

5. Can't get the "street view" of a cache from the new maps like you could on the old one. To see a street view, you have to open another "old" google map from the cache page.

6. For our taste, the new map is way too "muted" in colors. On the old maps, finds and unfound caches were pretty clear. Fuzzy edges on the new map.

7. Don't have a numbered list of the caches showing on the side of the map, like before. We used these ALL the time. Would even just like this as an option???

 

Also, the background on cache pages is totally messed up. The transparency of the cache page now allow the background to show through too much and it makes the cache pages really, really hard to read.

 

Apparently, changing the way the cache page backgrounds are displayed has also allowed "hidden" text to show up on some puzzle cache pages. We were lucky because, after this got totally messed up with the last upgrade, we quit hiding stuff on the puzzle pages.

 

Just our two cents worth...I would much rather pay lots more for my GS premium membership and be assured of some positive, TIMELY, response to concerns. STOP TRYING TO FIX THINGS THAT AREN'T BROKEN. We had a number of puzzle caches that got messed up with the last release when the whole html issue came up. That didn't happen to us this time, but it has happened to others (see previous posts). We still have a ton of logs that had the "old" html in them that never got corrected after that last debacle.

 

As far as the "squished" cache pages, if I had wanted little, bitty writing on my laptop, I wouldn't have bought one with a 17" screen.

Edited by steben6

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There are more ways to skin a cat than the one chosen. Fixed widths in today's world of wide screen 24 inch monitors is not right. At least: If IE -> fixed width, if not -> fluid!

I agree. There is already several other IE-only CSS fixes in the source of the cache page. Why not do this too?

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My worst dream realized - it's the Invasion of the Gratuitous Javascripters.

 

Can we tone this javascripting thing down a bit? I really liked the old interface because it just sat there and let me get my stuff done. Too much of this whizzy stuff is a distraction and detracts from the site overall useability.

 

At this point I'd really like a GC.com Lite, stripped down and simple.

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You call this an update? Looks to me like 3 steps backwards. What was so simple now just offers more complexity. We now have go thru additional steps where before it was right there in front of you. Show finds, now have to personalize, to enter a GC code, now have to go to the seek and find and enter it. Who thinks of this stuff???? :blink:

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I just checked out the Beta Maps, Personalization..worked for me fine.. but have noticed that the mouse hover does not tell you the cache title.

 

Hovering works fine for me. Mac OS X, Firefox 4.0.1

 

gcmap.jpg

 

That is a mouse click, Used to be if you just hovered on the cache, a small box wit cache title only would appear, I can click the cache and get the depicted result, but the hover, nothing appears, click and you get the title and all basic info.

 

*Sigh*

 

No, look below the large balloon box, where my mouse is. I'm hovering over the cache and a small box has appeared with the cache name. I think we've established that the hover doesn't work for most users. It works in Firefox in OS X, though. Safari, too.

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I generally support GS in trying to make our caching experience better. Have tried to be patient with the update coming because we use the maps all the time. Weighing in our opinion now:

 

HATE the new maps for the these reasons:

1. If you want to show finds/owned hides, you have to enable personalization EVERY TIME YOU OPEN THE MAPS. Really???? Can't we just set this as our default???

2. The difference between an unfound PMO cache (little yellow circle) and a found cache (little yellow smiley) is practically indistinguishable if you zoom the map out even one time.

3. Hovering over a cache on the map doesn't show you the name anymore :(

4. You can't zoom in as far on a particular cache as you could on the old maps unless you open the map from each cache page. What is the point of that???

5. Can't get the "street view" of a cache from the new maps like you could on the old one. To see a street view, you have to open another "old" google map from the cache page.

6. For our taste, the new map is way too "muted" in colors. On the old maps, finds and unfound caches were pretty clear. Fuzzy edges on the new map.

 

Also, the background on cache pages is totally messed up. The transparency of the cache page now allow the background to show through too much and it makes the cache pages really, really hard to read.

 

Apparently, changing the way the cache page backgrounds are displayed has also allowed "hidden" text to show up on some puzzle cache pages. We were lucky because, after this got totally messed up with the last upgrade, we quit hiding stuff on the puzzle pages.

 

Just our two cents worth...I would much rather pay lots more for my GS premium membership and be assured of some positive, TIMELY, response to concerns. STOP TRYING TO FIX THINGS THAT AREN'T BROKEN. We had a number of puzzle caches that got messed up with the last release when the whole html issue came up. That didn't happen to us this time, but it has happened to others (see previous posts). We still have a ton of logs that had the "old" html in them that never got corrected after that last debacle.

 

As far as the "squished" cache pages, if I had wanted little, bitty writing on my laptop, I wouldn't have bought one with a 17" screen.

+1............HATE IT!!!

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Anyone else having trouble with the "Log your visit" page. It does not work in Chrome/Mac Snow Leopard 10.6.7, link just opens a blank page with an ad in the right corner. No problems in Firefox.

jrr

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Attended icon looks like two people that got sick at the event and their face turned green.

icon_attended.gif

 

Smaller version of this....sick%20face.jpg

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I kind of feel that GS is making excuses for IE being a poor browser. Even Microsoft doesn't even support the older versions. If GS does the same, I guess people will just have to upgrade. Can you imagine if GS sent out a mass-email in support of Firefox or Chrome? And removed all IE-specific workarounds?

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What about the width of the pages, is it me or is it narrower? No way to will a larger screen, pretty much fits on half of mine now?

 

Forums are full screen

Blog is wider than the main site

Feedback is narrower...

 

Anyone know how to make this consistent in HQ?

 

Site Hamsters don't get to attend website development 101. First thing they teach . . . DON'T use a fixed with for web sites. But then again I only use my CGA monitor to view GC.com anyway so what I am talking about? :laughing:

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The fixed width is good for some, but my main monitor is 2048 pixels wide, and so what is there is just crazy low, and there is a TON of whitespace on either side of my profile that is artificially created by this column. I don't remember seeing any horizontal scrolling before, so how about an option for column width, in the same manner as for map height, with a simple click on an icon, you can make it one of several sizes, though eliminating the column might be nice also.

 

GCProfile.jpg

 

That's one of the funniest things I have seen!

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Haven't see this topic in the update note thread. Are e-mails to other uses now limited to seeing just one line at a time? The text entry box only allowed on character line (Twitter-esque), but the message was fine. Hopefully a reasonably sized note entry box will be available for communication.

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Fixed width is evil. But I am going to be a contrarian and note that it makes pages too darn wide. I have to go almost full screen if I want to get rid of horizontal scroll.

 

Main page: An advertisement blocked something on the right side, and I couldn't get rid of it.

 

Requiring JavaScript for navigation is also shortsighted, IMO. Why should I have to allow JavaScript to see what the site is about? Ironically, it is now easier to find a benchmark from the main page than to find a geocache, despite the benchmark link being banished to the lower corner.

 

"Browse" for a geocache not working as one might expect from the wording. I entered the first two words of a cache name. Without JavaScript, a full-page error message on a white background flashes, but then reverts back to the main page as it was, so the user has no idea what's wrong. With JavaScript, the first cache had one of the words in the name, and the rest were seemingly random caches.

 

New new smilies a step backwards because of the loss of contrast. Brown on yellow and blue on medium blue are not as easy to see as the earlier color combinations.

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Yup. The cache pages look like hell. I now have all these wide monitors that show the same narrow look that the whole rest of the world is getting away from.

 

And what is the deal with the transparent look? I thought the new TOU wording says you aren't supposed to publish a spoiler without the COs permission?

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Fixed width is evil. But I am going to be a contrarian and note that it makes pages too darn wide. I have to go almost full screen if I want to get rid of horizontal scroll.

 

Zooming in takes too much off the page.

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Attended icon looks like two people that got sick at the event and their face turned green.

icon_attended.gif

 

Smaller version of this....sick%20face.jpg

LOL!!! NOW THAT'S FUNNY! I had to boot up the ole' HP so I could see the new pukey face...........for some reason the icons still look the same on my MacBook......... :blink:

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The fixed width is good for some, but my main monitor is 2048 pixels wide, and so what is there is just crazy low, and there is a TON of whitespace on either side of my profile that is artificially created by this column. I don't remember seeing any horizontal scrolling before, so how about an option for column width, in the same manner as for map height, with a simple click on an icon, you can make it one of several sizes, though eliminating the column might be nice also.

 

GCProfile.jpg

 

That's one of the funniest things I have seen!

 

 

I hope it's all the whitespace and the page that looks like it's from 1994 that you think is funny, and not my picture. :-)

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pre update i noticed in beta maps that some caches where not appearing at all ( traditional caches ). now with the update i see they are there but the icon is round and a different color and i don't see the icon in the legend at left. anyone know why these caches would have a different icon? using firefox BTW

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Site Hamsters don't get to attend website development 101. First thing they teach . . . DON'T use a fixed with for web sites. But then again I only use my CGA monitor to view GC.com anyway so what I am talking about? :laughing:

 

And that's why I never use my web browser in maximized/full screen mode. But yeah, a web page tailored towards 1024 pixels wide screens seems kinda archaic. Even my years old laptop has better resolution than that.

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Okay I don't know if it was mentioned because I see a lot of messages to many to read. My issue right now is with my iPhone. Maybe it hasn't been fixed yet. I tried to view one of my caches on the browser and the white page is now transparent and I see through my cache page to the background image.

Plus when I was on the beta map when I try to type a location the keyboard pops up for me to type and before I can do anything it drops back down. Kept repeating and get the same response.

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Thanks for the feedback so far everyone, including the critical comments regarding maps and the new look. We will be reviewing each carefully and making updates to the site in response. I'll make sure the changes are communicated to you as they happen.

 

The fixed page width has come up several times, ...<snip>

 

When the source validates - a valid doctype would be a start... I'll accept browser support as a good reason to cripple functionality.

As far as I can tell the properties you mention are supported by IE7+ ...

http://www.w3schools.com/css/pr_dim_min-width.asp

I'm not really sure why it's necessary though - I've always found the right combination of percentages and floats seems to work.

 

That misses the point though - you point out readability issues with text and I'll agree that for cache descriptions, logs... other things I want to read that's true but for maps, tables (of caches, pocket queries, other) and anything else that you look at rather than read it just means things are compressed, run onto multiple lines and are (you guessed it) less readable. Case in point (though this could actually be solved by different means):

http://www.geocaching.com/my/geocaches.aspx

includes such gems as GC20EYY which 'you found x' runs to 4 lines meanwhile the first (date) column is half full a is the last and there is a third column with   all the way down? More appropriate to the fixed width conversation is my list of nearest unfound. All being in 'London, United Kingdom' most of the second line (by...) run over.

 

A different point, someone earlier asked about linking to the guide... the anchor names aren't the friendliest:

http://www.geocaching.com/guide/default.aspx#ctl00_ContentBody_hlSection1dToggle

Though id and class naming seems to be universally unhelpful

 

Anyway, enough rant... given the number of people that don't bother to read a thread before repeating a question I should probably cut you some more slack.

And I am very happy to see PMO caches on the beta map (even if I can't say I particularly like the new icon set... maybe it'll improve with age)

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I thought that the site would improve the search capablilties. It still doesn't seem like you can combine search terms. Searching by name is still mostly useless . For example, if I search for Abandoned Road as a name I can't limit it to Minnesota or to only puzzles.

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I thought it was supposed to be faster? Right now it's like Sunday afternoon three weeks ago with extra time outs. I don't enjoy waiting three or four minutes for page loads to finish, WHEN they do....

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Thanks for the feedback so far everyone, including the critical comments regarding maps and the new look. We will be reviewing each carefully and making updates to the site in response. I'll make sure the changes are communicated to you as they happen.

 

The fixed page width has come up several times, so I'd like to attempt an explanation into our thought process here. The choice between a liquid (expanding) layout and fixed width is one of appearance and usability. The main disadvantage to having a liquid layout is that Internet Explorer does not support the min-width and max-width CSS properties. The lack of this control is the reason you will sometimes find the right-hand log navigation "missing" on cache pages (in fact it is just pushed far to the right of the page, usually by a large image). Without the control of fixed width layouts, lines of text in cache descriptions may also become too long, making it harder to read. To maintain a consistent experience on the site, without sacrificing the ability of users to control the content of their cache descriptions, we felt it was important to move the site in this direction. Finally, with 13 languages (and more on the way) it will become nearly impossible to control the appearance of the site without a fixed layout.

 

I hope that helps to explain where we're coming from. We're watching and reading your feedback and will do everything possible to satisfy your concerns asap. Thanks everyone.

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There should be a link to the advanced search features on the front page below the search box. It took me a while to find them.

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I appreciate your efforts to try to keep the site fresh and expand to include a wider variety of users, but I am very disappointed about the decision to used a fixed width

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The 2 bugs that are glaringly obvious that I have found are thus: when clicking the 'personalization' on the beta maps, ALL cache icons disappear...that's really not good, if seeing your personalized cache info is the whole point! 2: the personal statistics aren't available...is that coming back?

 

The look is different, but not so drastic that you can't find your way around, so that's good, but PLEASE fix the maps; that's enough off-putting to stop using the maps...and to a certain extent, caching too; major step backwards in usability.

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Lot of talk about fixed width, why not go with fixed width in the 1400-1600 range instead of 800-1000?

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And what is the deal with the transparent look?

 

Really check out one of my old cache pages...make my dizzy not to mention head to read.

 

GC2CKYV

 

Would not do this in the future.

 

 

edit for...check out a friends cache page. Funny house material!!!!

http://coord.info/GC216M5

Edited by Atwell Family

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On my profile page I used lots of images inside of tables.

 

The site upgrade is adding code to my images and makes them not show up.

 

The code was written as

<img src="http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab347/jshilt/Groundspeak%20Profile/6.jpg" border="0" width="32" height="32" alt="Silent BoB's Secret Stash (Dvd exchange)" title="Silent BoB's Secret Stash (Dvd exchange)">

 

and the site is changing it to

<img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" class="InsideTable Pointer" src="http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab347/jshilt/Groundspeak%20Profile/6.jpg" alt="Silent BoB's Secret Stash (Dvd exchange)" title="Silent BoB's Secret Stash (Dvd exchange)" border="0" height="32" width="32">

 

Can you tell me how to use my images without changing them to 0 width and height?

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Lot of talk about fixed width, why not go with fixed width in the 1400-1600 range instead of 800-1000?
Because then even more people get stuck with horizontal scrolling.

 

I just noticed very nice descriptions of cache sizes on the new Guide to the Game page:

micro.gif Micro - Less than 100ml. Examples: a 35 mm film canister or a tiny storage box typically containing only a logbook or a logsheet. A nano cache is a common sub-type of a micro cache that is less than 10ml and can only hold a small logsheet.

small.gif Small - 100ml or larger, but less than 1L. Example: A sandwich-sized plastic container or similar.

regular.gif Regular - 1L or larger, but less than 20L. Examples: a plastic container or ammo can about the size of a shoebox.

large.gif Large - 20L or larger. Example: A large bucket.

other.gif Other - See the cache description for information.

Too bad they're hidden behind the JavaScript, and that searching the page for the word "size" doesn't find anything unless you've already figured out that you need to open the "What does a geocache look like?" Q&A entry.

 

As far as MSIE and the fixed-width layout goes, I was going to say that MSIE 7+ supports max-width, but apparently MSIE 8 has broken its support of max-width pretty badly. Lots of designers have given up trying to tweak their sites for MSIE 6, but it's a little harder to blow off MSIE 8. And MSIE 7 doesn't support min-width. Sigh... Maybe they'll get it right with MSIE 9.

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Tried updating my profile. Something is broken ... badly. I use FindStatGen and after running the macro I go to edit my profile page. Ctl-A to highlight, this takes a while but is not bad. Ctl-x to delete what is hightlighted. This takes long, a bit frustrating. Ctl-V to paste the new page. After about 2 and half minutes I give up. No, I'm not on a 9600 baud dial up.

 

Oh, by the way the updates really messes up the FSG html. Just another thing to put on you long list of broken stuff.

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Lot of talk about fixed width, why not go with fixed width in the 1400-1600 range instead of 800-1000?

 

 

I am truly happy that some of you can afford monitors that are larger than my television, but setting a fixed width of 1600 would effectively present me with with the left half of the page, forcing me to scroll back and forth. I don't understand all of the nuances involved, but no one seemed to have a problem yesterday. If the only reason that this was changed is because some people put too large of an image in their cache description, would the better fix be to limit the width of that we can use?

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There are three different icons representing the same type of cache depending on the zoom level. There should only be one icon for each type of cache, not three that rotate when you zoom in and out. Its very inconsistent.

I like the solid squares, the ones you see when you zoom out a lot. That should be the standard I think, no matter what zoom level you are at. Im not a fan of the new ones or the ones in a white box when up close. Thanks for all your effort Groundspeak, but please fix this.

Edited by LuckyPlan

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Many of my cache pages used HTML code to display images - such as vspace and hspace to create buffeting around the picture. These no longer work.

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