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Geocaching.com site update August 18th 2011


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Please reset ALL the changes that you did yesterday!!!

 

Most important: we want to get the log dates back; they are very important in all cases: when did a friend log? when did a trackable disappear? when did the last one find the cache unmuggled ? etc etc.

 

Nobody needs "about information"!!!!

 

I wonder who's idea that was. I can't imagine any reason to do this; it's just to confuse the CIA, isn't it?

 

Unhappy happy hunter, Montego51

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Three hours a go I got an e-mail update, from Bryan,(apparently because I voted on the Bring log date back, please idea) which said "This will be fixed today". It hasn't happened yet but it's only about 2PM PDT.

 

So I won't moan about the dates. Yet.

 

The choice of title for the new activity was unfortunate. I see much confusion with Challenge Caches which are a whole different species. And except for the NOOBs (and they are learning fast) the cachers I know certainly know all about Challenge Caches.

 

I am approaching a major caches found milestone and I don't want the count contaminated by addition of "Challenges" completed so I will be careful not to do any. If I do decided to complete a few sometime in the future I will open a new account just for this purpose.

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I've never posted in the forums before, but this last set of updates needs to be fixed. I agree with everyone on the dates and avatars. The challenges are even worse, especially if they add to your total cache count. Just looking at the challenges people have done so far makes me wonder how difficult these challenges really are and what they have to do with geocaching? If people want to do challenges, keep it on a separate site, but don't mix it with true caching. No new Virtual caches but Challenges?

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Just my $.02 worth on the latest round of changes...

 

Treat Challenges like benchmarks. Track them but don't include them in the total of caches found (they aren't caches).

 

Remove the "vote up/vote down" vote on challenges (or anything for that matter). This isn't facebook. Cachers vote in the words of their log after they've gone after the cache. If they really like it they make it one of their favorites and others can see that. Seems to me if you don't go after the cache or accept/complete the challenge you should have no vote.

 

Please consider removing all the avatars from the logs. If I want to look at avatars I'll go to this forum. its a a waste of space especially when the most some cachers can muster for a log is a simple acronym. Can't wait to see how that mucks up the view in the browser on my Droid.

 

Go back to exact dates of when a cache was found. "About a month ago" tells me nothing useful. We deal with coordinates down to 10 feet. That's pretty exact. You should get back to doing the same thing in the online logs.

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Please change that fact that Challenges count towards my finds total. I think they could be a fun side game to Geocaching. But when you start messing with my find totals I will not take part or support this new game. Make them like Benchmarks. Thanks.

Benchmarks and waymarks are much closer to the true intent of geocaching than these challenges are, yet neither of those count towards your find total while challenges do? Really makes no sense to me...

 

After release we could see a lot of confusion around what is a valid challenge, so we'll be addressing this early in the activity and encouraging the community to help us guide the activity in a place that fits in the realm of geocaching, mirroring virtuals.

 

For clarity, we'll be introducing the idea of "Challenge Worthy" to help guide people in creating new challenges and reporting on them when they don't fit the definition. We'll also be readdressing Worldwide challenges to reflect these 4 pillars of challenges, so we'll be archiving the "kiss a frog" challenge from the site.

 

What is Challenge-worthy?

 

Location-specific

 

The location of a challenge should be directly related to the action. "Take a picture of yourself with the Eiffel Tower" is location-specific, while "Take pictures of the night sky in Seattle" or "Find this/a geocache" are not. The goal of Challenges, and Geocaching, is to explore the world around you.

 

There should only be one location where you can complete the challenge. Worldwide Challenges are only issued by Groundspeak, but you can recommend new Worldwide Challenges on our feedback site.

 

Straightforward

 

The Challenge should be easy to understand and not too complicated to do.

 

Appropriate

 

Keep Challenges clean so it reflects the family-friendliness of Geocaching.

 

Fun!

 

Like geocaching, Challenges should be a light and fun activity. Create Challenges that reflect this.

 

I think AZTech and Team Shydog were talking about Challenges being added to the find count but Jeremy was saying:

 

“It is staying on Geocaching.com (as is). If you don't like the new activity, don't participate.”

 

Jeremy

 

Jeremy on Challenges

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We also don't like how the cache's found and challenges completed figures are combined.

Should be kept separate in out opinion.

 

Pleased to here the dates of cache found is returning.

 

Yes, the dates will be fixed in "about a little while"

 

LOL.. good one. "About Yesterday" would be better.

I had hoped the approximate date and avatar foolishness would have been fixed by now. I could not care less about challenges: it's easy to ignore them (unless they start showing up in my PQs)

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I agree with this sentiment. It seems to me that the Geocaching community has already defined what "challenges" are, and I think that we were just hoping to get a new cache type to use for such challenges. The challenge cache type would require a physical cache placement by the owner, and the owner would be allowed to dictate the rules of what qualified to log the challenge. What I think the community wanted was a fairly simple concept, and GC.com could implement it by making slightly more formal the conventions that the community already followed. But what is presented here looks very different, and seems perhaps to belong more on the locationless Waymarking site. The currently challenge implementation seems ill conceived. I had been hoping for more.

 

Here's the official statement regarding the naming of this new "cache type" (from another thread):

 

I think "Challenge Caches" is a poor choice in naming (or maybe a poor concept), so I don't really care if there is some initial confusion about the difference between the replacement for virtuals, called "Challenges," and the "challenge cache." The use of "challenge" is appropriate in the context of the replacement for virtuals, so that's what it is. It is my belief that the large majority of geocachers don't even know what a challenge cache is.

(bolded by me)

 

Well put!

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Challenges are the replacement for virtual caches.

 

If they had brought back the "old" virtual caches, albeit without counting for a smiley, everyone would be up in arms.

 

So why is everyone up in arms for the "new" virtuals counting for a smiley? :huh:

 

I cannot speak for others, but for myself, I was eagerly awaiting the return of the virtuals. What we got is not virtuals. I couldnt wait to go to a spot and learn something. Instead we go to a spot and perform a task. The old virtuals were something you owned and had some control over. The new challenges are not something you have any control over. They lack quality because of the anarchy inherent in this system. They seem cheapened. Even with a smiley, the challenge is lackluster.

 

I would rather have the old virtuals without a smiley than these challenges. Waymarking is cataloging but at least you can do something interesting, something you can learn from, instead of this poor substitute for virtuals called "challenges".

 

I dont plan on doing any of these challenges after looking it over yesterday.

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I cannot speak for others, but for myself, I was eagerly awaiting the return of the virtuals. What we got is not virtuals. I couldnt wait to go to a spot and learn something. Instead we go to a spot and perform a task.

 

So if I went and created an "action" challenge, telling you to go to some location and the task being to educate yourself from the plaques and information signs present there, would you be happy? Why not?

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I think "Challenge Caches" is a poor choice in naming (or maybe a poor concept), so I don't really care if there is some initial confusion about the difference between the replacement for virtuals, called "Challenges," and the "challenge cache." The use of "challenge" is appropriate in the context of the replacement for virtuals, so that's what it is. It is my belief that the large majority of geocachers don't even know what a challenge cache is.

 

Experience speaking? Jeremy, by the way, has 576 finds in 11 years. 576 finds in 11 YEARS! Jeremy's Profile

 

[bold added by me]

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I agree with this sentiment. It seems to me that the Geocaching community has already defined what "challenges" are, and I think that we were just hoping to get a new cache type to use for such challenges. The challenge cache type would require a physical cache placement by the owner, and the owner would be allowed to dictate the rules of what qualified to log the challenge. What I think the community wanted was a fairly simple concept, and GC.com could implement it by making slightly more formal the conventions that the community already followed. But what is presented here looks very different, and seems perhaps to belong more on the locationless Waymarking site. The currently challenge implementation seems ill conceived. I had been hoping for more.

 

Here's the official statement regarding the naming of this new "cache type" (from another thread):

 

I think "Challenge Caches" is a poor choice in naming (or maybe a poor concept), so I don't really care if there is some initial confusion about the difference between the replacement for virtuals, called "Challenges," and the "challenge cache." The use of "challenge" is appropriate in the context of the replacement for virtuals, so that's what it is. It is my belief that the large majority of geocachers don't even know what a challenge cache is.

(bolded by me)

 

Well put!

If you put in the word "challenge" as a keyword for looking up geocaches, there are 6002 caches that come up with this word in the title. Not all of them are challenge caches, but a WHOLE LOT of them are (the majority, as a matter of fact). And they are all over the world. So, I am fairly certain that a good number of geocachers know what a challenge cache is. Everybody we cache with knows what they are. Every cacher who has ever worked on a challenge cache and logged one of that majority of the 6002 caches listed that are really challenge caches knows what they are. I'm speechless that Jeremy doesn't think the majority of cachers even know what a challenge cache is. And sad that they had to intentionally muddy up the reference to challenge caches by the ill-chosen choice of name for what used to be virtuals.

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Thanks for putting the dates back in the logs... although I was a tad surprised with the downtime (although only 5 minutes).

 

There were a few more tweaks for performance, etc. that caused a longer downtime.

 

thanks for the dates

 

is there any word on when the adoptions will be fixed?

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The addition of the Avatars on each find is neat visually... but really SLOWS the screen down when you ask for additional finds.

 

I suggest showing the Avatars on the first screen, but eliminating them when you request the total finds... which can and do total hundreds of finders.

 

I'm looking on a fast internet connection... a slow one must be totally painful. If you do keep the avatars, then page the finds in groups of a screen full, with a more button.

 

Thanks for the date "fix"

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I cannot speak for others, but for myself, I was eagerly awaiting the return of the virtuals. What we got is not virtuals. I couldnt wait to go to a spot and learn something. Instead we go to a spot and perform a task.

 

So if I went and created an "action" challenge, telling you to go to some location and the task being to educate yourself from the plaques and information signs present there, would you be happy? Why not?

 

No, that is not the same. Virtual cache pages can hold more information than is present at the site, or point out what is special that I should not miss. Personal anecdotes are also present on cache pages.

 

These are the problems I see for me. I cannot create a page which tells you more of the history than what is there to read, from what I can tell of the challenge creation page. I also lose any control over the page after it is created so I cannot add more information as I get it (which happened at one cache I owned when someone gave me first hand experience of the history there). It can be randomly archived if enough folks do not care for it. I will not have the feedback of reading cache logs later to see what folks thought of it. All of this detracts from the virtual experience.

 

Im not trying to be negative. I hope folks enjoy it. Im just disappointed by what has been offered as virtuals.

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Please just revert the logs back to the way they were. The avatars are dumb, and add zero value. Seeing the same avatars over and over and over in all the logs, becasue amazingly I live amongst a familiar gropu of geocachers will quickly get tedious. In fact for everyone that hates the avatars in logs, please eliminate your avatar so that only the avatar placeholder remain.

 

As for the dates, I see they have reverted back to their correct format, but they are way over in right field. Just revert the log format back to what it was like before.

 

As for Challenges, I don't get it. My Profile Page now shows all my finds with the Traditional Icon. Challenges are separate....theyh actually deserve their own tally???????

 

Come on guys, I know it is tough to admit this update was not thought through, but you will get a lot more respect by reverting the log format back and freezing challenges, until you can get the concept vetted out.

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To me the challenges are a irrelevant dilution to the pastime of Geocaching - take them away somewhere they don't distract. Dates have always been quite useful for building up a picture of what fellow cachers acheived in one day and have been quite useful in the past. Thanks.

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Thanks for putting the dates back in the logs... although I was a tad surprised with the downtime (although only 5 minutes).

 

There were a few more tweaks for performance, etc. that caused a longer downtime.

If the avatars stay in their current reduced size, there's ample space for the bar graph on the right side of the avatar.

This would reduce white space in "TFTC" logs.

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It's good that the dates are back though they're in such a small font and faint colour that they're almost impossible to read. I'm amused that the class is "minorDetails"; personally I regard the log date as one of the most important details <_<

 

With that in mind, could someone offer a Greasemonkey or Stylish command which will make the date bigger and bolder - the same as the log type would be perfect. I've tried but it's beyond my basic HTML. Thanks in advance.

Edited by Alan White
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Thank you for reacting so quickly and giving us the exact dates back.

Reduction of the avatars size is also good.

Removing them from logs would be better.

Thanks for respecting all the players in the world.

 

For the challenges: let's see how it will develop.

Perhaps they will disappear also :anitongue:

 

Happy hunting, Montego51

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It's good that the dates are back though they're in such a small font and faint colour that they're almost impossible to read. I'm amused that the class is "minorDetails"; personally I regard the log date as one of the most important details <_<

 

With that in mind, could someone offer a Greasemonkey or Stylish command which will make the date bigger and bolder - the same as the log type would be perfect. I've tried but it's beyond my basic HTML. Thanks in advance.

 

I agree. Date should be bigger and bold, log type is not so important and together with icon prominent enough.

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Possibly another bug? Just logged a not found, but it's not appearing right above the logs with the overview of how many founds, not founds, etc.

 

edit: with some caches the finds, not finds, etc counter doesn't seem to count at all anymore

 

edit again: ok, the counter works, it only takes a few minutes :unsure:

Edited by terratin
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It's good that the dates are back though they're in such a small font and faint colour that they're almost impossible to read.
I didn't notice. My browsers are configured to enforce a minimum font size that is just a little smaller than my normal font to preserve legibility. None of the site's microfonts affect me.
With that in mind, could someone offer a Greasemonkey or Stylish command which will make the date bigger and bolder - the same as the log type would be perfect.
What browser are you using? Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera all have minimum font size settings in the preferences menu.

 

MSIE doesn't have a minimum font size, but it does have accessibility options that allow you to completely ignore font sizes specified by the document.

 

 

Folks, you brought back only half the date! Please bring back the WHOLE date - Month,day,year - on the logs!!
The year is there for older logs. For recent logs, only the month and day are shown. So if there is no year, just assume it's the most recent day with that date.
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Adding the avatar to the cache log and removing the dates was a poorly thought through idea. I couldn't care less about someone's avatar, it's just a waste of screen space and a lot of folks don't even have one. It doesn't show well on my smartphone and even on a PC screen it is much better to see more at once without scrolling. I know this has all been said by others but if there is any strength in numbers, then add my number to the list of unsatisfied members.

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Folks, you brought back only half the date! Please bring back the WHOLE date - Month,day,year - on the logs!!
The year is there for older logs. For recent logs, only the month and day are shown. So if there is no year, just assume it's the most recent day with that date.

 

Pretty sure that's how it's always been, isn't it? Think people were just so freaked out by the date change, they forgot...

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Folks, you brought back only half the date! Please bring back the WHOLE date - Month,day,year - on the logs!!

The whole date is there. As it always has been the current year does not have the year on the month,day display. Previous years has the full month,day,year display. They did what we asked.

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Challenges are the replacement for virtual caches.

Duh ... and now what do we call that which the community calls a challenge?

Why didn't they get called Virtuals? That's what everyone has been asking for.

 

Because Jeremy doesn't like virtuals. Simple as that.

 

And, regarding the "challenges". I would really like it if they were NOT included in my cache totals. They aren't caches, according to Jeremy's definition, any more than Virtuals, Locationless, or Waymarks, since there isn't a log to sign.

 

So, Jeremy, please have that fixed.

 

edit--pot stirring

Edited by Shop99er
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I wish instead of giving us more ways to claim numbers, Groundspeak would give us tools to deal with the garbage already out there. I just don't get it, why cannot they give us ways to filter out the garbage like providing a cache type or attribute for numbers caches and break down the ? caches into more types so we can filter out puzzles (if I want to do puzzles, I will go to a puzzle site).

 

That being said, I like the cache and challenge finds being combined. The easier it is to get numbers, the more numbers will become meaningless. Heck I'd vote for benchmarks, waymarks, travel bugs all being added to the number. Heck, I would even go for allowing you to increase your number every time you logged onto your cache home page.

 

Can you claim a challenge more than once? If not, you should be able too. I think if you could claim a challenge more than once, it could help with all the pollution the numbers hounds cause.

 

For example, could there be a challenge to find a milemarker? Then instead of number hounds spending the day shuttling film canasters and claiming that makes them the worlds greatest cachers, they could spend the day driving down the interstate and claiming a find each times they pass a mile marker. That would make it easier for them to act like they are great cachers and we won't have to deal with filtering out the garbage placed to let them feel like great cachers. Or could a circle of challenges be set up and the numbers hounds could spend the day going in circles claiming the challenges over and over?

 

I also don't like how Groundspeak allows someone who volunteers at an event to log "finds" on a 100 or more caches they never found as a reward for volunteering. Instead of insulting cachers who play by the rules and actually find the cache before logging a find, could there be a challenge cache for volunteering at an event? Then instead of claiming finds on caches they did not find, the volunteers could claim the challenge a 100 or more times.

 

I also don't like how Groundspeak allows someone who finds something at an event competition to claim "finds" on caches they did not find as a reward for finding something else. Allowing this is an insult to those who find the cache and play by the rules before claiming a find. So could there be a find something in an event competition challenge? Then instead of insulting those who play by the rules, they could claim the challenge for each time they find something else.

 

Since the numbers hounds have made numbers a meaningless joke, I wish the logs would display the date someone started caching instead of thier numbers. I also wish the PQs would have the date you started caching with your caching name.

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Thanks for the quick fix on the dates and the overall look of our logs. As for having the avatars, I haven't had too much trouble getting cache pages to load with the new smaller avatars - if there is any lag, it's probably about the difference between cooking Minute Rice on the stove vs. the microwave. Speed aside, I'm still in the camp that thinks they're an unnecessary bit of fluff. I do like how premium members had a cool little icon next to where it says "premium member" on their logs, and us charter members get an even better little icon next to our membership status.

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What browser are you using? Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera all have minimum font size settings in the preferences menu.

 

Thanks for the suggestion but I don't want to change the size of all the text just the log date; and the suggestion wouldn't change the colour.

 

I've discovered how to fix it in Stylish. I was using the right commands but for some reason they won't work if they're all on one line. This works:

/* Next three lines set log date attributes.*/

/*For some reason they don't work all on one line*/

.minorDetails {font-weight:bold ! important }

.minorDetails {font-size:12px ! important }

.minorDetails {color:black ! important }

 

Then, while writing this post, I discovered that

.minorDetails {font-weight:bold ! important; font-size:12px ! important; color:black ! important}

also works. It shouldn't be necessary to repeat the ! important for each element (I have other commands in Stylish which don't and still work) but so long as it works...

 

However, I'm not sure - my HTML being basic - of the effect this might have in the future as the class is actually "minorDetails LogDate" and I don't know what will happen if anything else uses the same class.

 

For now I'm happy, though I'd still like to move the date closer to the log type. All suggestions gratefully received.

 

Another thing I'd like to do is to replace the combined cache+challenge find count with just the cache count. But that's waayyy beyond me.

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If you're concerned about some other element being changed by your .minorDetails rule, then you could either use

 

.LogDate { /* assuming they don't have another element with the LogDate class */ }

 

or

 

.minorDetails.LogDate { /* which selects elements with both classes; note that there is no space between .minorDetails and .LogDate */ }

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