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timpaula

pocket query "diff"

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An idea I'd like:

 

Set an option in pocket queries to return the "diff" from the last pocket query of the same type. By "diff" (or difference), I mean:

 

1. new caches since last time

2. changed caches since last time

3. archived caches since last time

4. new log entries on watch list

 

A program like watcher could then use the new GPX file to do an update to a larger database. All cache entries would replace existing entries if found (archive entries would remove them).

 

I haven't really thought through the particulars, but I don't think this would require a change to the GPX syntax or semantics.

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I think the whole idea of the GPX format is to get away from doing much of the work on the GC.com servers. There has been talk in the past about the workload the servers have to go through and the load can be herrendous at times.

 

With pocket queries, the idea is to grab caches in a "shotgun" approach and process them client-side.

 

If the sever had to determine when your query last ran and what was in it, it'd probably add a lot to the load. People still complain about not getting their queries in a timely manner--though recently I haven't heard much, probably because of the weighting of how often the query runs.

 

There has been talk about something about plugging directly into the datadase. Something about the whole reason for going to .NET, but that is something I'm totally clueless about and the programmer here on the boards could set straight. But if that is true, that will yet again increase the functionality of the site beyond what most people have even considered. Third-party programs could massage the data into anything you can dream up.

 

No word yet to us civilians as to when the new site will be up, though.

 

CR

 

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doing diffs won't swamp the servers. It'll actually save processing time in the long run.

 

All you need is a "last modified date" field in the cache table, then a "last time you did a diff" field in user profile. Then say, "give me just the caches (archived or not) that have changed/added since my last diff datetime".

 

This is no more difficult than any other query in the pocket query. The difference is that it send JUST what you need, not all the extra gunk you don't (that hasn't changed).

 

The files generated would be smaller, which means it'd save on processing & transfer time.

 

<timpaula>

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I'd like to get the same GPX files that you get from pocket queries from the cache search pages. Right now you can only download a LOC file.

 

I'd also like the searches to retrieve more than 25 at a time. Maybe have a selection for 25, 50, 100 per page and have 25 be the default.

 

Timpaulas idea is an excellent one as well.

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quote:
Originally posted by timpaula:

...

The files generated would be smaller, which means it'd save on processing & transfer time.


 

I can see that. But to what purpose? I just download and process the complete, unarchived list of caches within a 150 miles radius every time I go out. I do this because it was pointed out to me that you always want to have the freshest data available. Because my area is so sparse, I can download the complete list and still be under the 500 cache limit. Then, because I have everything I need not worry about having stale data when it concerns my own caches or the ones I've found.

 

I can see your point if you're in a highly populated area where you can't get all of the caches in one or two queries. But wouldn't the task of trying to make sure the list completely accurate and synched be more trouble that it's worth?

 

Anyway, you can already do something similar with the queries by checking the option of getting the caches that have changed in the last 7 days.

 

I don't think you can get anything on archived caches. I don't even get those ones that I've found. The only way at the moment to know a cache has been archived to see that it's not there anymore.

 

Being able to get a list of the archived caches in your area would be an important change in the scheme if you're trying to do what I think you're trying to do.

 

CR

 

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keep in mind that I'm talking about two changes... 1) a "diff" query in pocket queries, 2) software (such as Watcher) that can interpret them. I'm not suggesting real people need to keep track of anything with these diffs. I'm saying that you open the diff gpx file in watcher as a special kind of merge, that updates your existing file with only the information that has changed, including archiving or temp hiding of caches. The archive indicator could simply be >>the fact of it having been archived<<, nothing more.

 

<timpaula>

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