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Release Notes - July 23, 2014


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I really miss the distance/direction in the notifications. It was at the top and easy to spot and I could decide at a glance if I cared about the notification or not.

 

It's in the subject of the new ones, but often clipped from the right, depending upon your news reader.

 

It definitely would be a good plan to include in the body of the email.

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It's in the subject of the new ones, but often clipped from the right, depending upon your news reader.

 

It definitely would be a good plan to include in the body of the email.

 

I only seem to get bearing and distance for newly published caches, but not for any other notification types. Not sure if this information was provided in the old and better notifications prior to this "improvement" but perhaps that could be something to include going forward.

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I really miss the distance/direction in the notifications. It was at the top and easy to spot and I could decide at a glance if I cared about the notification or not.

 

Ooo...yeah. Just got one. This is something that I really want back. HTML or not, this is a piece of data that really should be included.

 

I only seem to get bearing and distance for newly published caches, but not for any other notification types. Not sure if this information was provided in the old and better notifications prior to this "improvement" but perhaps that could be something to include going forward.

 

Yeah, it was in the "classic" style.

Edited by ADKer
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I understand the changes, keep it for those, who wants them, but please for the rest of us, give us the option to have just plain text (no HTML) emails from Groundspeak (includes notifications, owner messages or PMs...)

 

Thanks :)

 

I would also like to continue seeing the name of the cacher who wrote the log, as in the old format. it did not seem to be broken to me, so please do not "fix" what we are used to seeing.

Couldn't agree more. The new style puzzled me because I didn't realise a "fix" was happening. I have received several e-mails (Watchlist/published/found it) in the new format and I really had to look twice to see what was being said - not a problem in the previous format.

 

The colour and layout below the title, e.g.:

 

Logged by: geoladie74

Log Type: Found it

Date: 7/19/2014

Location: Alaska, United States

Type: Traditional Cache

 

Is fine, but the rest is convoluted and looks rather pretentious to me (especially the "snap"). Keep it simple please!

 

:(

 

The color is not fine. It's a further insult to those of us that suffer from red/green color blindness or other vision problems. Like the grey icons, I don't expect it to change, but since I'm reading my mail in the Microsoft Live Mail client, there will be no Greasemonky script to fix it. I'm pretty much stuck with holding a magnifying glass up to my monitor in order to read my notifications. Tiny green on white just does not work for a lot of us.

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Since the switch to HTML only email, here's what I see any time I try and read a notification from Groundspeak using a text based email client. I know something similar to this was posted last month when the pocket queries were changed to HTML only, but here's a refresher.

 

html.png

 

Surely there can't be any questions as to why plain text should be available as an option?

Edited by van der Decken
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I understand that Groundspeak wants to differentiate new caches from the rest so instead of the original "[GEO] Notify: " how about "[GEO] New cache: "?

As someone else pointed out, "new" doesn't work well as a filter keyword. It's too common and would often cause false positives when it's used in a cache's name. That's why "published" worked so well. How many caches are likely to use the word "published" in their name, as compared to the word "new"?

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I understand that Groundspeak wants to differentiate new caches from the rest so instead of the original "[GEO] Notify: " how about "[GEO] New cache: "?

As someone else pointed out, "new" doesn't work well as a filter keyword. It's too common and would often cause false positives when it's used in a cache's name. That's why "published" worked so well. How many caches are likely to use the word "published" in their name, as compared to the word "new"?

Surely one would filter on the email subject starting "[GEO] New cache: ", not merely on the word "New"?

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2. The data items in the emails should appear in the same order for all notifications. At the moment the cache name for new caches is nicely structured but for all other notifications it's in a sentence with the notification name which on the published log is nicely structured at the bottom of the email. Consistency, please.

 

4. The "Created by" and "Published by" on new caches aren't links as they are on other types of notification. Please could these be added.

The more I work through the changes I need to make to adapt to the new notifications the more difficulties the differences between published notifications and other types of log are causing. As well as those quoted there are also:

 

5. The log id of the published log isn't in the notification, as it used to be because all notifications were identical.

 

6. The distance and bearing of the cache are no longer in notifications, except for published caches.

 

I have to say that I get the impression that Groundspeak has put in extra work to make the two types of notification different. Surely it would have been easier to make them all the same just as they used to be?

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I love how this change is bad enough to provoke people who have never posted in here before to add their two cents.

 

This change affects communications, which many of us have found highly useful. Slight changes to the original format would have improved things, but what we have is the baby thrown out with the bathwater sort of change.

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I understand that Groundspeak wants to differentiate new caches from the rest so instead of the original "[GEO] Notify: " how about "[GEO] New cache: "?

As someone else pointed out, "new" doesn't work well as a filter keyword. It's too common and would often cause false positives when it's used in a cache's name. That's why "published" worked so well. How many caches are likely to use the word "published" in their name, as compared to the word "new"?

Surely one would filter on the email subject starting "[GEO] New cache: ", not merely on the word "New"?

Yeah, you're right. It's been so long since I set up my Outlook rules that I forgot I had them using "[GEO] {Reviewer name} published". For some reason I thought they were just using the single word.

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Since the switch to HTML only email, here's what I see any time I try and read a notification from Groundspeak using a text based email client. I know something similar to this was posted last month when the pocket queries were changed to HTML only, but here's a refresher.

 

html.png

 

Surely there can't be any questions as to why plain text should be available as an option?

 

Well, I won't respond to using telnet :unsure: but if you have lynx installed, try to add

 

text/html; lynx -force_html -dump %s; copiousoutput

 

to $HOME/.mailcap

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I knew someone would pick up on telnet! ;) Fear not, it's not accessible from outside the box.

 

I actually have tried that very same technique of using lynx to filter the HTML. It just trades one problem for another. Yes, it's now readable (more or less) but no links come through. With the old plain text message I could click on a link and bring up the cache/log/whatever.

 

Please provide the option of plain text emails. They worked. The new changes don't work. I don't know how else to say it.

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I knew someone would pick up on telnet! ;) Fear not, it's not accessible from outside the box.

 

I actually have tried that very same technique of using lynx to filter the HTML. It just trades one problem for another. Yes, it's now readable (more or less) but no links come through. With the old plain text message I could click on a link and bring up the cache/log/whatever.

 

Please provide the option of plain text emails. They worked. The new changes don't work. I don't know how else to say it.

Or just use a modern mail client... :unsure:

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I really miss the distance/direction in the notifications. It was at the top and easy to spot and I could decide at a glance if I cared about the notification or not.

 

It's in the subject of the new ones, but often clipped from the right, depending upon your news reader.

 

It definitely would be a good plan to include in the body of the email.

It is in subject of the newly published cache notification, but not in any of the others.

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I knew someone would pick up on telnet! ;) Fear not, it's not accessible from outside the box.

 

I actually have tried that very same technique of using lynx to filter the HTML. It just trades one problem for another. Yes, it's now readable (more or less) but no links come through. With the old plain text message I could click on a link and bring up the cache/log/whatever.

 

Please provide the option of plain text emails. They worked. The new changes don't work. I don't know how else to say it.

Or just use a modern mail client... :unsure:

 

I do have one. Two in fact. HTML is still unwelcome as it gives me NOTHING I need. It's a solution without a problem. And someone backing this whole move thinks it's a great idea, that's possibly what's the most galling thing of all.

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Or just use a modern mail client... :unsure:

There are times when mutt is just handier. Not everything needs a fancy GUI to be useful.

 

And we have yet to hear a peep out of Groundspeak as to why plain text emails are suddenly off the table. I find that much more disturbing than losing the plain text emails themselves.

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I knew someone would pick up on telnet! ;) Fear not, it's not accessible from outside the box.

 

I actually have tried that very same technique of using lynx to filter the HTML. It just trades one problem for another. Yes, it's now readable (more or less) but no links come through. With the old plain text message I could click on a link and bring up the cache/log/whatever.

 

Please provide the option of plain text emails. They worked. The new changes don't work. I don't know how else to say it.

Or just use a modern mail client... :unsure:

Email clients aren't the only problem, though. There are some members for which the increased size of the emails is a problem. I believe the new HTML emails are on the order of 2-4x larger. When you multiply that difference by the number of notification emails some people receive, it starts to make a big difference.

 

We aren't getting 2-4x as much useful information in those emails, so the change simply doesn't make sense.

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I knew someone would pick up on telnet! ;) Fear not, it's not accessible from outside the box.

 

I actually have tried that very same technique of using lynx to filter the HTML. It just trades one problem for another. Yes, it's now readable (more or less) but no links come through. With the old plain text message I could click on a link and bring up the cache/log/whatever.

 

Please provide the option of plain text emails. They worked. The new changes don't work. I don't know how else to say it.

Or just use a modern mail client... :unsure:

 

I do have one. Two in fact. HTML is still unwelcome as it gives me NOTHING I need. It's a solution without a problem. And someone backing this whole move thinks it's a great idea, that's possibly what's the most galling thing of all.

Well, it would help with the readability of html emails :blink:

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Well, it would help with the readability of html emails :blink:

 

We. Don't. Want. HTML. Emails.

 

And we certainly don't want to change our email client just because Groundspeak can't figure out that "Incremental Improvement" is better than "Change for Change's Sake".

 

(The mailcap suggestions helps a little - thanks! - but we're still nowhere near how useful the notification emails were this Monday.)

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For those who use Unix, .procmailrc and script to help with polishing the frog turd is available here: http://pastebin.com/WA5nF4tb

 

The procmail rule and script grab the base64/html emails and turn them into ascii.

 

Still ugly and work in progress (I only tested it with "found" logs so far). Let's jointly make it better.

 

Edit: Updated frogturd.sh script is here http://pastebin.com/Kz77h8kj

Edited by wesi
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Looks interesting; now I'll just have to wait for some notifications ... wait, I can just log my own caches a couple of times. That should do the trick.

 

Edit to add: works fine with cache Found, DNF and Write Note logs. Top job.

 

Edit again: I'm not a Perl hacker (I value my sanity too much), but if this could be integrated I would be a happier camper:

 

s/^Date: \(\d*\)\/\(\d*\)/Date: \2\/\1/

 

(It works in vim. Caveat emptor.)

Edited by Yellow ants
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s/^Date: \(\d*\)\/\(\d*\)/Date: \2\/\1/

 

Grin. I've been living in the US for too long to still care about their a**-backwards way of writing a date. But sure, add it in. Insert it after

 

s/^\s+(\S)/$1/g;

 

and write it thusly:

 

s/^Date: (\d*)\/(\d*)/Date: $2\/$1/;

 

that should work. Thanks for testing && feedback!

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Since the switch to HTML only email, here's what I see any time I try and read a notification from Groundspeak using a text based email client. I know something similar to this was posted last month when the pocket queries were changed to HTML only, but here's a refresher.

 

html.png

 

Surely there can't be any questions as to why plain text should be available as an option?

 

I'm using a decwriter and the new HTML looks awful on it.

 

LA36a.jpg

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Well, it would help with the readability of html emails :blink:

 

We. Don't. Want. HTML. Emails.

 

And we certainly don't want to change our email client just because Groundspeak can't figure out that "Incremental Improvement" is better than "Change for Change's Sake".

 

(The mailcap suggestions helps a little - thanks! - but we're still nowhere near how useful the notification emails were this Monday.)

 

If you are reading email in a browser, most will zoom with CTRL and + ( unzoom with CTRL - ) keys, or similar keystrokes, check your Help or other documentation. One of my email clients will display characters to the size I want, a darn good thing considering how displays keep getting bigger and fixed objects (such as our icons - hint, hint) become relatively smaller.

 

The massive clutter of HTML encoded emails means they have gone from a useful to severely impaired service.

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Please add an option for "Text-only E-mail".

^^^ This....please...this.

 

Groundspeak, you listened to us about the subject line and for that you get much credit and thanks. This one more step would cap that off nicely.

 

Surely the code to generate the older, better text-only messages must be around somewhere.

Edited by juc_cacher
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Do you use version control?

If so, please revert all changes.

If not

Why not?

 

And if it makes you feel any better, fire the next person that walks down the hall.

 

Congratulations BTW, I haven't seen a 5-page firestorm in the Release Notes forum for a long time.

 

Slow down there, champ.unsure.gif

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We have just finished rolling out some changes to the email templates that revert the subject lines back to their previous format and make some small tweaks to the body contents.

 

Thank you for this!

Still, I don't care about how the content is formatted, it's really hard on my eyes to read a tiny green font on a white background.

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I appreciate all Groundspeak is doing to try to improve things and listen to their customers. So thank you for that and all your patience with the whining. :D:huh:

 

I don't mind the HTML. It looks nice.

 

1 request: Please make the font a wee bit bigger. Right now, I'm having to squint to read it and I'm not that old. The old font size was perfect.

 

Yes, I know I could fix that on my end, but then the fonts on my other emails would be ridiculously large.

 

Thank you!

Like the grey icons, why is the site sending me stuff that I can't see.

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Email clients aren't the only problem, though. There are some members for which the increased size of the emails is a problem. I believe the new HTML emails are on the order of 2-4x larger. When you multiply that difference by the number of notification emails some people receive, it starts to make a big difference.

 

We aren't getting 2-4x as much useful information in those emails, so the change simply doesn't make sense.

 

Not 2-4x, but 7 times - old ones came through as 2KB - New ones are 13-14 KB

We don't need this!

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<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/x
html1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
   <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
   <title>A message from EngPhil</title>
   <!--stylesheet omitted for readability-->
</head>
<body style="background:#ffffff; color:#584528;font-family:Helvetica, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size:13px;" bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#584528" yahoo="fix">
<!--lots more HTML rubbish omitted for readability-->
<strong>Logged by:</strong> <a href="http://coord.info/PR3M4MP">EngPhil</a><br/>
<strong>Reply Type:</strong> Doesn't want it<br/>
<strong>Date:</strong> Sat Sep 7634 1993<br/>
<strong>Location:</strong> Teh Internetz<br/>
<strong><a href="http://coord.info/">Log</a>:</strong><br/>
This is just horrible to read. Isn't it? This is actually easier than what I'm now forced to suffer through when I receive a notification, as posting <em>that</em> would have been <em>totally</em>unreadable.<br/><br/>This is why I feel so strongly about this change and would like to see it reverted.<br/><br/>
<!--many more lines of HTML gobbledygook removed for readability-->
</body>
</html>

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I don't think I've ever posted in the forums before but I just want GS to know that I want my emails in plain text not HTML. I don't have cheap unlimited data.

I do like that you have added the name of the cache owner in the new listing notification, but we need to keep distance and bearing for all of the notifications.

And for the love of Frog-get rid of Oh Snap! I'm irritated every time I see it! Geocaching is a game, but Groundspeak is a business and it is childish and unprofessional. I can just picture some Seattle hipster trying to be cool in an ironic sort of way saying "Hey! Lets use Oh Snap in our notifications! Everyone will love it!" I want my information to be conveyed in a simple, quick, easy to read format. With the old style I could just glance at the subject line and delete instantly if it wasn't relevant. Now I have to actually open each one to see what the notification is about. My husband is colour blind and he couldn't read it very well at all. I'm glad they have made some changes to the subject lines but it will still kill my data plan if we don't get an option for plain text.

I don't have the technical knowledge to write scripts to change the way it is viewed and I shouldn't have to. The purpose of the email is to communicate information, not brand everything as being from Groundspeak. We already know where the email came from.

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I knew someone would pick up on telnet! ;) Fear not, it's not accessible from outside the box.

 

I actually have tried that very same technique of using lynx to filter the HTML. It just trades one problem for another. Yes, it's now readable (more or less) but no links come through. With the old plain text message I could click on a link and bring up the cache/log/whatever.

 

Please provide the option of plain text emails. They worked. The new changes don't work. I don't know how else to say it.

 

I know, I prefer text as well (and then not the kind of text/plain that tells you that the creators forgot to do anything serious with it).

 

But well, nowadays the general attitude on fora seems to be "people only come to fora to complain so we don't need to listen since they are whiners, and all people who don't complain think it's a wonderful idea", so why bother saying you don't like it.

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I knew someone would pick up on telnet! ;) Fear not, it's not accessible from outside the box.

 

I actually have tried that very same technique of using lynx to filter the HTML. It just trades one problem for another. Yes, it's now readable (more or less) but no links come through. With the old plain text message I could click on a link and bring up the cache/log/whatever.

 

Please provide the option of plain text emails. They worked. The new changes don't work. I don't know how else to say it.

 

I know, I prefer text as well (and then not the kind of text/plain that tells you that the creators forgot to do anything serious with it).

 

But well, nowadays the general attitude on fora seems to be "people only come to fora to complain so we don't need to listen since they are whiners, and all people who don't complain think it's a wonderful idea", so why bother saying you don't like it.

 

The complaints are well stated, this isn't a smearfest. What's bothering me is the general attitude toward customers these days is, "You're just being difficult because you don't like change, but you'll see we are right and in time you'll appreciate all of our hard work."

 

That's just feckless, really.

 

This is GroundSpeaks "New Coke" moment.

Edited by DragonsWest
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I emailed GS through their Contact Us link to ask them to go back to plain text or at least make it an option we ca choose and this was my auto generated response. Kind of goes well with Oh Snap :(

 

## Reply ABOVE THIS LINE to add a note to this request ##

Request Received

Thanks for emailing Geocaching HQ.

 

Just like a delicious pizza, your email has been delivered. Unlike pizza, we won’t eat your email. That’s not even possible. Or is it?

 

Regardless, someone from Geocaching HQ will get back to you within 3 – 5 business days. Then we’ll figure out this whole “can emails be eaten?” thing.

 

Cheers,

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The complaints are well stated, this isn't a smearfest. What's bothering me is the general attitude toward customers these days is, "You're just being difficult because you don't like change, but you'll see we are right and in time you'll appreciate all of our hard work."

 

That's just feckless, really.

 

This is GroundSpeaks "New Coke" moment.

 

Not quite. Coke had viable competitors, and its market share lead had been slipping for years. At least in defense of Coke, they really did have reason to believe their 100 year old formula was broken. It was not just on an unexplained whim. A true Monopoly has little incentive to meet the demands of customers. Most of the actual needs are met, but prisoners of Monopolies are in no position to make demands as long as the service provider remains sufficiently profitable. Simple economics suggests change one or live with the other. That is not feckless, it is just fact.

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Piling-on department:

 

  • By email: HTML has arrived, making the coveted FTF easier than ever.

"Easier", hmm. How, exactly?

 

And even if it makes it somehow easier for YOU, it also makes it easier for everyone else, no? Since nobody can turn off the HTML advantage. Hence, how can this statement make sense?

 

All I can think of is, the managers and dev team were at an offsite one day, leaving only marketing in the building...

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I'm just waiting for the text/html option to appear in our profile settings, then the forum go silent save for a few people who return to say thanks... and this whole pile-on against GS complaining that they never listen to be completely forgotten the next time to they make a significant update :P

:ph34r:

 

C'mon Groundspeak, make fools out of the haters! ;)

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I'm just waiting for the text/html option to appear in our profile settings, then the forum go silent save for a few people who return to say thanks... and this whole pile-on against GS complaining that they never listen to be completely forgotten the next time to they make a significant update :P

:ph34r:

Sadly, I've seen the "never listen" scenario too many times. However, if that text/html preference does ever show up, you can bet I'll be one of the first to thank Frog for it.

:drama:

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