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Release Notes (Website and Geocaching® app) - April 24, 2017

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Release Notes (Geocaching® app and Geocaching.com) - April 24, 2017

With this release we have added the ability to include a photo and/or favorite point with a draft in the Geocaching® app. We've also updated Geocaching.com to allow users to complete drafts with photos and favorite points through the new logging page.

 

Website-only updates: We are introducing a new logging page with Drafts on Geocaching.com. The existing logging page is unable to support finishing a draft with photos and favorite points.

 

You can now add a photo while you are logging a cache and report a problem with a geocache without writing a separate log on Geocaching.com. For players looking for Markdown and emojis, please reference this Help Center article. Both of these features are supported in the new logging page.

 

1770cb9e-cd40-432b-8218-427745acdc6f.jpg

 

Additionally in the Geocaching® app, you can now retrieve an existing draft when logging the cache again, see which caches have drafts on the map and in lists, and access the cache details page from individual drafts in your lists of drafts.

 

In every release, we also fix bugs and make other small improvements:

 

* Improved handling of timestamps

* iPhone only: Added a Nearby Geocaches widget

* Android only:


     
  • improved accuracy of GPS position in app
  • fixed a bug that prevented Attended log option from showing on the day of the event
  • fixed a bug that made it difficult to get to the map after opening a cache from a notification email
  • fixed a bug where trackable inventory was out of sync

Also, please note it may take up to two days for some users of the Geocaching® app for Android to have access to the update that includes this functionality.

 

Ben H and Nadja from HQ’s Product Team are watching the thread to answer questions whenever possible. In addition, you can learn more about the new logging experience on the Geocaching Blog.

 

Any posts in this thread should relate to features in this release. Please direct unrelated comments to other appropriate threads. Thanks!

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How do you now add coordinates to a log? Couldn't find that feature.

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I have a few questions and some feedback:

  • Are you able to expand on what's meant by "Improved handling of timestamps"? There have been a few changes recently and more upcoming, so it would be good to know what state we're in right now.
  • As mentioned by Twinklekitkat, the "add coordinates" function appears to be missing. Was this intentionally removed and won't be coming back, overlooked, or just temporarily missing? I used the feature just this past weekend and would be disappointed to see it go permanently.
  • With the old photo upload page, I could drag a file from a folder and drop it on the "Browse" button, and it would immediately select that photo. I tried that with the new page and this doesn't seem to work. Would it be possible to make this work again? I've always found this an easier way of selecting the right photo to upload.
  • How can we add a caption to a photo we're uploading? There doesn't seem to be a facility for doing this at the time of upload. It will be very tedious to have to go back and edit every photo to add a caption (especially considering the post-log behaviour mentioned below).
  • Photos are still tagged with the current date rather than defaulting to the date of the log. This is a longstanding bug and it would be nice to sort that out while changes are actively being made to the logging process. The vast majority of photos that are being attached to logs will have been taken on the day of the log, so it would be logical for that date to be the default. If there are rare exceptions, then users can go back and change the date on the photo.
  • There isn't a link to the Markdown/smiley article on the logging page. Without that link, it makes it difficult to locate the relevant reference (and some cachers may not know such a reference even exists to look for).
  • Without the previously-available preview pane, it's now more difficult to determine the output of any Markdown/smileys. Especially considering Groundspeak is using a customized form of Markdown (IIRC), this may mean submitting and then editing the log multiple times to get the desired output, rather than just tweaking the code during the initial log creation.
  • After the log is submitted, the user is taken to the cache listing that was just logged rather than being shown the result of their log. This adds steps to editing the log (which will make the aforementioned Markdown editing very tedious), uploading additional photos/editing uploaded photos (see photo caption issue above), etc. With long cache descriptions or if your log is farther down the page (e.g. if you're backdating a log or logging a very active cache/event), there could be a significant amount of scrolling and/or clicking into the paginated logbook required just to see what your log looks like.

As for what I like about the new page, I like the cleaner look that results from hiding the trackable pane. I haven't tested whether it's sticky or not (ie. if it stays expanded for future logs if you leave it expanded), but I don't log a huge number of trackables and don't mind either way. The calendar control also seemed to work well in my brief testing on both a desktop and my iPhone.

 

I'm hoping some of the above issues were just oversights and get sorted out soon. As it sits currently, the logging process would be tedious and much less efficient for most people than it was previously.

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Very confusing / non-standard UX for Needs Maintenance. Almost makes it seem like the cache needs maint without taking any action.

 

The Drafts logging page is jarringly different from the regular logging page as if they were written by 2 different people working independently without consultation.

- Why is the Draft page not resizeable/expandable for text entry

- no formatting toolbar in Draft

- still no time displayed

- No encryted log option

- No corrected coordinate option

 

Is the Favorites --> Draft function supported in the API for 3rd party partners?

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Here we go again. Did people complain about the old form? It worked fine, and frankly looked better.

 

1. Lost the formatting toolbar. (lost functionality)

2.a. Logging trackables requires expanding the list (extra click)

2.b. Expanding trackables list only shows five 5. Why? I expanded so clearly I want to see them all. (another extra click)

3. Form is too narrow, lots of wasted space.

4. Hiding functions behind icons is not discoverable. e.g. Favorite Point = Heart. It isn't clear that clicking it is a toggle until the user experiments by clicking around. "I wonder what this heart does if I click it?"

5. Design is inconsistent:

- Border around "log type" drop-down, none around date.

- Caption beside "Needs Maintenance", none for photo or FP.

6. Why are the functions scattered around the big text box? Log type and date at the top, photo and FP bottom left, NM on the bottom right. There is no consistency. I have to look all over for no good reason.

7. Cache title is too subtle (grey font on grey background) and outside the bounds of the "working area".

8. No visual differentiation from cache name and the CO's name, separated only with "by" in the same font. In the old form, because both were links, the "by" separated them. Imagine a CO named "River" hiding a cache named "Paddling by River" - it would look like "Paddling by River by River". The old form would look like "Paddling by River by River"

9. The title of the form (the call to action) is below the title of the cache, opposite of the old design, which was clear.

 

The new functionality (combining NM logs with Found or DNF logs) could have easily been done with a simple change to the old form (add a checkbox and a new textbox appears when checked).

 

Stop trying to make the website look like a phone app!!! Seriously!! This is just change for the sake of change. Read all the feedback you got on the map changes. Just stop it!

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Things I miss:


  •  
  • I don't see the number of favourite points I have left and how many logs till my next fav. As I never have enough favourite points, I always have to juggle and manage them. So displaying this information like before would be very helpful for me.
  • Markdown formatting: Personally, I have no idea of the code for markdown formatting, I just used to click the respective buttons. Of course I could look up/ learn the code, but still...

 

Things I like:


  •  
  • that the field with the log text expands automatically as the text gets longer
  • that the distance a travel bug has travelled is now visible
  • only one log process for logging and posting "needs maintenance" seems reasonable, but I have not tried it yet

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In this thread, I had listed 6 deficiencies of the new logging window. None(!) of these points were addressed the now released version. I still fail to see why omission of many useful features for no good reasons whatsoever is sold as a "new feature" :mad: . Sorry, I simply don't get it! E.g. can anybody explain why it is a good thing not to have the markdown formatting options ready at hand? Not being able to add a set of coordinates? Not being able click on a link which refers to the cache listing? I mean, you didn't have to use these features in the old logging page. But for those who used markdown, or occasionally posted a set of coordinates for a traditional which seems way off, it were useful features. Why were they dropped? And yes, this is a serious question.

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Trackables are no longer linked to their TB listing page, which was also quite useful.

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Posted (edited)

By the way, logging just now this little flyout appeared - spot the problem:

 

web-noticeflyout.png

 

(eta: I miss being able to include attachments =P)

Edited by thebruce0
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Posted (edited)

I have a few questions and some feedback:

  • Are you able to expand on what's meant by "Improved handling of timestamps"? There have been a few changes recently and more upcoming, so it would be good to know what state we're in right now.
  • As mentioned by Twinklekitkat, the "add coordinates" function appears to be missing. Was this intentionally removed and won't be coming back, overlooked, or just temporarily missing? I used the feature just this past weekend and would be disappointed to see it go permanently.
  • With the old photo upload page, I could drag a file from a folder and drop it on the "Browse" button, and it would immediately select that photo. I tried that with the new page and this doesn't seem to work. Would it be possible to make this work again? I've always found this an easier way of selecting the right photo to upload.
  • How can we add a caption to a photo we're uploading? There doesn't seem to be a facility for doing this at the time of upload. It will be very tedious to have to go back and edit every photo to add a caption (especially considering the post-log behaviour mentioned below).
  • Photos are still tagged with the current date rather than defaulting to the date of the log. This is a longstanding bug and it would be nice to sort that out while changes are actively being made to the logging process. The vast majority of photos that are being attached to logs will have been taken on the day of the log, so it would be logical for that date to be the default. If there are rare exceptions, then users can go back and change the date on the photo.
  • There isn't a link to the Markdown/smiley article on the logging page. Without that link, it makes it difficult to locate the relevant reference (and some cachers may not know such a reference even exists to look for).
  • Without the previously-available preview pane, it's now more difficult to determine the output of any Markdown/smileys. Especially considering Groundspeak is using a customized form of Markdown (IIRC), this may mean submitting and then editing the log multiple times to get the desired output, rather than just tweaking the code during the initial log creation.
  • After the log is submitted, the user is taken to the cache listing that was just logged rather than being shown the result of their log. This adds steps to editing the log (which will make the aforementioned Markdown editing very tedious), uploading additional photos/editing uploaded photos (see photo caption issue above), etc. With long cache descriptions or if your log is farther down the page (e.g. if you're backdating a log or logging a very active cache/event), there could be a significant amount of scrolling and/or clicking into the paginated logbook required just to see what your log looks like.

As for what I like about the new page, I like the cleaner look that results from hiding the trackable pane. I haven't tested whether it's sticky or not (ie. if it stays expanded for future logs if you leave it expanded), but I don't log a huge number of trackables and don't mind either way. The calendar control also seemed to work well in my brief testing on both a desktop and my iPhone.

 

I'm hoping some of the above issues were just oversights and get sorted out soon. As it sits currently, the logging process would be tedious and much less efficient for most people than it was previously.

 

Thanks for the feedback -

Regarding timestamps/ time zones: We’re taking iterative steps to having logs displayed in the time zone of the cache. The Drafts page is currently displaying in UTC and in the coming weeks drafts will also be in listed in the time zone of the cache. You can see a little more about timestamps on the Drafts page here: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=343801

The “add coordinates” function was intentionally left out in an effort to streamline logging (and also due to the infrequency of its use); we encourage folks to take advantage of the other ways to share a suggested coordinate, via the log text, a message to the owner etc.

Regarding photos: we’re continuing to make improvements with photos - stay tuned for future updates.

Markdown/smileys: these continue to be supported in the new logging page; we do not currently have plans to include a preview of the post.

After posting view log: we do have a direct link to the log after posting the draft - see the blue banner at the top of the page after posting a draft.

Trackables: yes, it’s sticky :)

Edited by LivingInNarnia
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Very confusing / non-standard UX for Needs Maintenance. Almost makes it seem like the cache needs maint without taking any action.

 

The Drafts logging page is jarringly different from the regular logging page as if they were written by 2 different people working independently without consultation.

- Why is the Draft page not resizeable/expandable for text entry

- no formatting toolbar in Draft

- still no time displayed

- No encryted log option

- No corrected coordinate option

 

Is the Favorites --> Draft function supported in the API for 3rd party partners?

 

The regular logging page will be updated to the new logging page soon. You can read a little more about why changes were made in the blog post here: https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2017/04/test-a-new-logging-experience-is-coming-to-geocaching-com/

The text box is expandable, type text and the text box will automatically expand.

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By the way, logging just now this little flyout appeared - spot the problem:

 

web-noticeflyout.png

 

(eta: I miss being able to include attachments =P)

 

Thanks for pointing this out, we'll look into getting this fixed! Could you let me know what browser you're using?

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Posted (edited)

The "add coordinates" function was intentionally left out in an effort to streamline logging (and also due to the infrequency of its use); we encourage folks to take advantage of the other ways to share a suggested coordinate, via the log text, a message to the owner etc.

 

On the contrary, having additional coordinates was invaluable as a cache finder looking through logs for more accurate estimated locations. It would be exrtemely tedious to attempt to spot, copy, and tweak coordinate text into usable formats, when previously the attached coordinates were easily retrievable in a standard format by apps and tools. Attached coordinates weren't just for the CO, and trying to spot a coordinate text (which may even be typo'd) in blocks of text isn't very fun.

 

Please consider returning the attached coordinates functionality - small ratio of use doesn't itself indicate the feature should be removed. When it is used it's extremely useful bad_boy_animated.gif

 

 

By the way, logging just now this little flyout appeared - spot the problem:

 

web-noticeflyout.png

 

(eta: I miss being able to include attachments =P)

 

Thanks for pointing this out, we'll look into getting this fixed! Could you let me know what browser you're using?

 

Firefox

Edited by thebruce0
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Markdown/smileys: these continue to be supported in the new logging page; we do not currently have plans to include a preview of the post.

What about restoring the WYSIWYG feature or at least providing a link to the Help Center article? Currently, even though Markdown is still supported, it's difficult for users to actually implement it.

 

I had typed out a long paragraph about the design and development process that just kept getting longer, so I'll replace it with this summary instead:

 

Yet again, you haven't considered the needs of the users, and it looks like we're going to suffer as a result. Please, please, please consider the needs of the users (ALL users, not just those on smartphones) for future projects. If you continue to impose unnecessary and preventable burdens on your customers, they're going to vote with their feet, and I don't think you want that.

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only one log process for logging and posting "needs maintenance" seems reasonable, but I have not tried it yet

Has anyone tried this yet? I'm curious what the CO gets. Is there an additional box that's displayed on the logging form to explain the NM/NA?

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App won't even open now with the new update, crashes immediately. Using iPhone 5s v 10.3.1.

 

What I would like to see added is to be able to access personal cache notes from the cache page with the app.

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Posted (edited)

Trackables: yes, it’s sticky :)

 

It's not actually. Only the first 5 trackables in the list are shown, unless you notice and click on the "Show More" link at the bottom. This list should show all of the trackables a user has, if they've chosen to show the list. Even the "first" five is arbitrary, they are not sorted in any particular order I can discern.

Edited by CanUSeeIT
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I too do hope that the ability to add corrected coordinates will be brought back. To those who use it, it is great to have. This game is about WHERE the cache is ultimately.

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I haven't tried it yet, but grabbed this frame from the blog video.

 

MissingCache.png

 

Odd that you can select The cache might be missing in a Found It log. A case of Found It = Didn't Find It?

 

I presume that the Log is Full and Container is Damaged options also appear for a DNF log. The mind boggles.

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It's great that you make improvements. But can you please stop removing functionality? :)

 

I would rather have the old site just like it is, without a single improvement, than loose even more functionality. You are removing stuff people use. And you have been doing that a lot lately.

 

I understand that you have to make decisions, and I understand that we can't get everything right away. But if you at least could recognize our needs, and say that it will come some time in the not to far away future (like preview of markdown). Just saying that there's no plan to make it, does make it feel like our feedback isn't that important to you.

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NA is a type of NM now? And it's called SBA instead of NA again (for the newbies: it was changed from SBA to NA in the past)?

 

Strange.

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Hi

 

I miss the option at the trackables to log all with one click - discover all/drop all

 

many thanks for your work!

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The “add coordinates” function was intentionally left out in an effort to streamline logging (and also due to the infrequency of its use); we encourage folks to take advantage of the other ways to share a suggested coordinate, via the log text, a message to the owner etc.

What?? What has removal of an optional(!) feature to do with "streamlining logging"? People could perfectly ignore the option, but those who wanted to share their cache coordinates (and there are lots of caches out there, which have really bad coordinates after publish) had an easy and standardized(!) way to do so. It might not have been the most-used feature of the site, but it was used.

 

I'm working as a software developer. Removal of an existing feature, even if it's very rarely used and/or is a real hassle to keep working through significant system upgrades, has always been an absolute no-go.

 

Markdown/smileys: these continue to be supported in the new logging page; we do not currently have plans to include a preview of the post.

Why did you cancel the preview? Why did you remove the buttons on top of the text input window? Why did you remove the link to the markdown and smiley explanation? All this makes writing logs with more than just plain text much more tedious and error-prone. Can you give a single rationale for removing these features? Please?

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[...]

What?? What has removal of an optional(!) feature to do with "streamlining logging"? People could perfectly ignore the option, but those who wanted to share their cache coordinates (and there are lots of caches out there, which have really bad coordinates after publish) had an easy and standardized(!) way to do so. It might not have been the most-used feature of the site, but it was used.

[...]

 

Totally agree. The removal of this feature is pure nonsense.

 

Hans

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Please, please, please consider the needs of the users (ALL users, not just those on smartphones) ...

All the changes look like they're "optimizing" the quick "grab & run" smartphone logging. Forget longer and more structured logs, forget any maintenance-related logs (better coordinates, NM/NA as clearly separate log types) ... forget about all those old-schoolers who like to give significant feedback in their logs beyond the usual "Quick find! TFTC" :mad:

 

I fear that the change from BB-code to markdown was only the first step, now this update is the second step, and in the end we'll have plain-text logging as the only option.

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"Please stop trying to make the website look like a phone app!!! Seriously!!"

Please!!!

 

@CanUSeeIT

Thanks for this easy and really great description of the actual situation.

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The new logging page is worse than the old one. And here are my resons why:

 

- no captions for the picture

- if i have seen it right, you only can add one picture per log

- many clicks to see all trackables and set them on "Visited" (2 Drop Downs to open, no button to set them all on visited like it was possible in the old version)

- no count of how many Fav. Points are left

- No Coordinate suggestion

- No Preview of the log (and even worse: a statement in this Forum that there is no plan of adding this preview)

- it don't fits the look of the homepage

- no seperate Needs Archive log. Thats very important to report caches to reviewers.

- have you ever heard something about UI aesthetics?

 

only improvement: the needs Maintenance option. A quick adition of Needs Maintenance options can save time. But there could be a better option like a second textfield that opens if you choss this option. So you can give further details to the owner.

 

Please don't use this log page until the mentioned problems are solved propperly.

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only one log process for logging and posting "needs maintenance" seems reasonable, but I have not tried it yet

Has anyone tried this yet? I'm curious what the CO gets. Is there an additional box that's displayed on the logging form to explain the NM/NA?

I just tested the "needs maintenance" option. It auto-generates a second log (beside the one whose type you select in the drop-down box) of type "Needs Maintenance", which has only a standard auto-generated text. E.g. when I selected "Logbook is full", the NM log said "This geocacher reported that the logbook is full". When I selected other, I didn't get the option to enter my own text. Instead, the NM log said "This geocacher reported that there is a problem with this cache".

 

So it seems that you are supposed to detail the issue in you Find/DNF/Note log, and the NM is only a short alert to the owner to actually read the preceding log. I think this is a step backwards from the old system (where NM is clearly a separate log), but I could live with the new procedure (both as cacher and CO). But I find it rather problematic with NA logs (which I didn't test, for obvious reasons :rolleyes: ). There are valid reasons to post NA without an actual visit to the cache site, and therefore no find/DNF (e.g. if the owner doesn't react on a string of NM logs). Therefore I think that the option to post stand-alone NM/NA logs should remain.

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So it seems that you are supposed to detail the issue in you Find/DNF/Note log, and the NM is only a short alert to the owner to actually read the preceding log. I think this is a step backwards from the old system (where NM is clearly a separate log), but I could live with the new procedure (both as cacher and CO). But I find it rather problematic with NA logs (which I didn't test, for obvious reasons :rolleyes: ). There are valid reasons to post NA without an actual visit to the cache site, and therefore no find/DNF (e.g. if the owner doesn't react on a string of NM logs). Therefore I think that the option to post stand-alone NM/NA logs should remain.

There are valid reasons for posting an NM without visiting the cache site, too. But the more important problem is that they're changing the system to make absolutely sure that all NMs are vacuous where before, the only ones that didn't explain the problem were the ones posted by a newbie through ignorance.

 

Have all the experienced cachers left GS or something? It's as if someone that knows nothing about geocaching bought GS to "take it to the next level" by making all the changes newbies always ask for in the first week they geocache before they understand anything. Reporting a problem by clicking a check box is one of those suggestions that only makes sense for the first few seconds before you actually think about it.

 

The weirdest -- or is it scariest? -- thing about this is that they're introducing it only in this new field note editing feature, but as far as I can tell, they're going to drop it on everyone else in the near future. I almost ignored the complaints, sympathetic that other people had to deal with it, but relieved to dodge the bullet. But then I read the blog and realized the bullet's still in flight and headed right for me. It's hard to tell, but this appears to include removing the feature that attaches coordinates to the log.

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What would be better in this setup is if by tapping the NM checkbox a new box would open (much like attaching coordinates did previously), even if pre-populated with text if desired, where the user can explain the maintenance concern in greater detail.

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Trackables: yes, it’s sticky :)

 

It's not actually. Only the first 5 trackables in the list are shown, unless you notice and click on the "Show More" link at the bottom. This list should show all of the trackables a user has, if they've chosen to show the list. Even the "first" five is arbitrary, they are not sorted in any particular order I can discern.

 

Thanks for the feedback - the sort order is by most recently used trackables.

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Oh, no. Yet another useless change nobody asked for. (-0.5 = -7.1) See all the comments above. Especially the one by CanUSeeIT is spot on. And please understand a web site is something different than a phone app.

 

And by the way. I was just on a slow connection and saw the page waiting for something while the textbox was already open, but I was unable to enter text into it. Also very frustrating.

 

The regular logging page will be updated to the new logging page soon.

 

Please don't this change only cost you half a premium membership. If I loose the ability to "just" log as I am used to. I will deduct a full membership. I don't want to pay for this kind of useless changes.

 

Tc

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Since today morning i cant open the app on iphone (6s) . Just freeze on the startscreen and than crash. Anyone having same issues?

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So it seems that you are supposed to detail the issue in you Find/DNF/Note log,

sigh

sad.gif

 

I think this is a step backwards from the old system

 

 

total agreement

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Posted (edited)

The new logging page is a HUGE step backwards. I'm disappointed that this will be the future of logging. Here are my comments:

 

  • I can only add one photo!
     
  • I can't caption the said single photo!
     
  • Why is the photo preview so small? Can't it be bigger? Or can't I expand it when I click on it at the very least?
     
  • The 'needs maintenance' box doesn't need to always appear. Won't that be confusing for newer users?
     
  • So if I want to suggest that a cache needs archiving, I need to log the cache, write a note, click needs maintenance then suggest that the cache should be archived? I'm not sure I understand what's wrong with just having a log type of "Needs archived"?
     
  • When I click the needs maintenance box, I only have a few canned responses. Can't I write my own reasons for why I believe the cache needs maintenance? When I select 'other' there's no pop up or request for extra explanation? Where do I explain my request for maintenance? Hopefully I'm not expected to write it in my 'found it' log!
     
  • The cache title and cache owner are in dark grey text. It's not prominent in bright colours like it should be / used to be. I didn't even know I could click on the title or owner until I scrolled over it with my mouse.
     
  • The add coordinate function is lost. I just used that function the other day when a new cache had coordinates that were 15 meters off. Having my suggested coordinates bolded at the top of the log makes them clearly visible. It's inconvenient for me to have to write out the coordinates by hand in the log text. The add coordinate function gives me the coordinates then I just tweak them slightly to match my notes. It's less likely I will make a typing error this way too.
     
  • The writing space seems tiny. It expands, but it just looks tiny. The old style looks big and inviting.
     
  • When I give a favourite I'd like to know how many I have remaining.
     
  • The text format bar has disappeared! How will I add bolding, italics, links, etc? I don't remember the markdown shortcuts, nor do I care to. That's what the bolding button is for!
     
  • I just looked up and tried the markdown shortcut for bolding on some text and it didn't bold the text. Will it only appear when I submit the post? What about smileys?
     
  • Following up from above, the function that allows me to preview how the text will look when I submit it is gone.
     
  • It seems inconsistent that the "!" button says "Needs maintenance" beside it all the time while the camera and heart don't say "Add a photo" and "Add a favourite".
     
  • The page looks like it was designed from a phone app (was it?). A web page does not and should not look like a phone app page because there's a much larger screen and a more precise selection tool (mouse vs. finger). There is room to include all of the functions that have been removed!
     
  • Why is there a grey background and grey fonts? Why not black and white?

Overall it seems like many, many features are removed. Please reconsider these points and realize that this is a step backwards, not an improvement!

Edited by brendan714
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I have a few questions and some feedback:

  • Are you able to expand on what's meant by "Improved handling of timestamps"? There have been a few changes recently and more upcoming, so it would be good to know what state we're in right now.
  • As mentioned by Twinklekitkat, the "add coordinates" function appears to be missing. Was this intentionally removed and won't be coming back, overlooked, or just temporarily missing? I used the feature just this past weekend and would be disappointed to see it go permanently.
  • With the old photo upload page, I could drag a file from a folder and drop it on the "Browse" button, and it would immediately select that photo. I tried that with the new page and this doesn't seem to work. Would it be possible to make this work again? I've always found this an easier way of selecting the right photo to upload.
  • How can we add a caption to a photo we're uploading? There doesn't seem to be a facility for doing this at the time of upload. It will be very tedious to have to go back and edit every photo to add a caption (especially considering the post-log behaviour mentioned below).
  • Photos are still tagged with the current date rather than defaulting to the date of the log. This is a longstanding bug and it would be nice to sort that out while changes are actively being made to the logging process. The vast majority of photos that are being attached to logs will have been taken on the day of the log, so it would be logical for that date to be the default. If there are rare exceptions, then users can go back and change the date on the photo.
  • There isn't a link to the Markdown/smiley article on the logging page. Without that link, it makes it difficult to locate the relevant reference (and some cachers may not know such a reference even exists to look for).
  • Without the previously-available preview pane, it's now more difficult to determine the output of any Markdown/smileys. Especially considering Groundspeak is using a customized form of Markdown (IIRC), this may mean submitting and then editing the log multiple times to get the desired output, rather than just tweaking the code during the initial log creation.
  • After the log is submitted, the user is taken to the cache listing that was just logged rather than being shown the result of their log. This adds steps to editing the log (which will make the aforementioned Markdown editing very tedious), uploading additional photos/editing uploaded photos (see photo caption issue above), etc. With long cache descriptions or if your log is farther down the page (e.g. if you're backdating a log or logging a very active cache/event), there could be a significant amount of scrolling and/or clicking into the paginated logbook required just to see what your log looks like.

As for what I like about the new page, I like the cleaner look that results from hiding the trackable pane. I haven't tested whether it's sticky or not (ie. if it stays expanded for future logs if you leave it expanded), but I don't log a huge number of trackables and don't mind either way. The calendar control also seemed to work well in my brief testing on both a desktop and my iPhone.

 

I'm hoping some of the above issues were just oversights and get sorted out soon. As it sits currently, the logging process would be tedious and much less efficient for most people than it was previously.

I agree with pretty much everything stated here by The A Team. I personally really liked the preview section of the previous log page. It helped me see if the code I was putting in worked or not.

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This feels like some new guy coming in to oversee site & app delivery, saying we're going to go agile in 3 weeks sprints BUT hasn't realized that just because you finish a story in a sprint doesn't mean you deliver that functionality to the customer, especially something that is overhauling existing functionality. It's as if we're getting half developed replacement functionality because it was part of the sprint that was just completed. You can take a different approach if you're adding some new feature or function as some optional beta and it will evolve over time but you can't take the same approach when replacing core components of the site which the hobby depends on.

 

If my delivery teams released anything like this to customers, the product team and our customers would demand my head on a platter.

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Here we go again. Did people complain about the old form? It worked fine, and frankly looked better.

 

1. Lost the formatting toolbar. (lost functionality)

2.a. Logging trackables requires expanding the list (extra click)

2.b. Expanding trackables list only shows five 5. Why? I expanded so clearly I want to see them all. (another extra click)

3. Form is too narrow, lots of wasted space.

4. Hiding functions behind icons is not discoverable. e.g. Favorite Point = Heart. It isn't clear that clicking it is a toggle until the user experiments by clicking around. "I wonder what this heart does if I click it?"

5. Design is inconsistent:

- Border around "log type" drop-down, none around date.

- Caption beside "Needs Maintenance", none for photo or FP.

6. Why are the functions scattered around the big text box? Log type and date at the top, photo and FP bottom left, NM on the bottom right. There is no consistency. I have to look all over for no good reason.

7. Cache title is too subtle (grey font on grey background) and outside the bounds of the "working area".

8. No visual differentiation from cache name and the CO's name, separated only with "by" in the same font. In the old form, because both were links, the "by" separated them. Imagine a CO named "River" hiding a cache named "Paddling by River" - it would look like "Paddling by River by River". The old form would look like "Paddling by River by River"

9. The title of the form (the call to action) is below the title of the cache, opposite of the old design, which was clear.

 

The new functionality (combining NM logs with Found or DNF logs) could have easily been done with a simple change to the old form (add a checkbox and a new textbox appears when checked).

 

Stop trying to make the website look like a phone app!!! Seriously!! This is just change for the sake of change. Read all the feedback you got on the map changes. Just stop it!

 

Agreed 100%. Why are you making this change? There was nothing wrong with the previous logging page. How will you change the coordinates for you own cache? How will you log a Needs Archived? Needs Maintenance logs should be separate from a Found/DNF/Write Note log.. not linked together. I agree that there is absolutely no reason why the website should look, feel and act like an app. They're two totally different things.

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And canned responses for what maintenance is needed? Really? What if my situation doesn't apply to the options given??

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This feels like some new guy coming in to oversee site & app delivery, saying we're going to go agile in 3 weeks sprints BUT hasn't realized that just because you finish a story in a sprint doesn't mean you deliver that functionality to the customer, especially something that is overhauling existing functionality. It's as if we're getting half developed replacement functionality because it was part of the sprint that was just completed. You can take a different approach if you're adding some new feature or function as some optional beta and it will evolve over time but you can't take the same approach when replacing core components of the site which the hobby depends on.

 

If my delivery teams released anything like this to customers, the product team and our customers would demand my head on a platter.

That was amusing to read :lol: ! I had exactly the same thoughts 3 weeks ago when I had the (bad) luck to be one of the randomly selected "beta testers" for the new logging - see the 2nd paragraph in this post.

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only one log process for logging and posting "needs maintenance" seems reasonable, but I have not tried it yet

Has anyone tried this yet? I'm curious what the CO gets. Is there an additional box that's displayed on the logging form to explain the NM/NA?

I just tested the "needs maintenance" option. It auto-generates a second log (beside the one whose type you select in the drop-down box) of type "Needs Maintenance", which has only a standard auto-generated text. E.g. when I selected "Logbook is full", the NM log said "This geocacher reported that the logbook is full". When I selected other, I didn't get the option to enter my own text. Instead, the NM log said "This geocacher reported that there is a problem with this cache".

 

So it seems that you are supposed to detail the issue in you Find/DNF/Note log, and the NM is only a short alert to the owner to actually read the preceding log. I think this is a step backwards from the old system (where NM is clearly a separate log), but I could live with the new procedure (both as cacher and CO). But I find it rather problematic with NA logs (which I didn't test, for obvious reasons :rolleyes: ). There are valid reasons to post NA without an actual visit to the cache site, and therefore no find/DNF (e.g. if the owner doesn't react on a string of NM logs). Therefore I think that the option to post stand-alone NM/NA logs should remain.

That's an unfortunate turn of events, to say the least. So as a CO, I can expect to receive alerts that there's some unspecified problem with my cache, or even worse, being told that it has one of the canned problems when it actually has a different problem? Wasn't it only a month or two ago that the ability to submit NM and NA logs was added to the official app? Will that now be taken away again and replaced with something that mimics this new behavior?

 

After all that happened in the world in 2016, who'd have thought that the geocachers of 2017 would be pining for those good old days?

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And canned responses for what maintenance is needed? Really? What if my situation doesn't apply to the options given??

No situation is described by the options given. Even in the case where your situation fits the generic category to a T, you still have to provide details or the NM is useless.

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Posted (edited)

I just did some testing with the new maintenance functionality to see if "Found it but cache might be missing" is really possible. Here's what I found:

  • When the log type is "Found It", the maintenance options that are available are "Logbook is full", "Container is damaged", "Cache should be archived", and "Other"
  • When the log type is "Didn't Find It", the maintenance options that are available are "Cache might be missing", "Cache should be archived", and "Other"
  • When the log type is "Write note", all of the maintenance options are available: "Logbook is full", "Container is damaged", "Cache might be missing", "Cache should be archived", and "Other"

So, the functionality is no longer the same as when the video was created. Someone at HQ must have realized how absurd the "Found it but cache might be missing" combination would be and made the form smarter.

 

A grand total of two descriptive maintenance options when logging a find is woefully inadequate. If we can get some more common entries added as well as a text field for the Other option to explain the maintenance problem, I think I'd be able to adjust to it as a CO.

 

Edit: I should also add that when logging a disabled cache, the only maintenance option available for any of the log types is "Cache should be archived".

Edited by The A-Team
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Just when you think it can't get any worse... Well, it does. Oh my :mad:

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Please keep in topic and please use respectful language... please.

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I've been reading this page up and down, trying to figure out why I still get the old logging page on the website. It's because I'm not using Drafts, right? I just click "Log a new visit", and wahoo, a page that lets me tell a story without getting in the way.

 

I guess I'd now consider the use of the old page in the absence of drafts to be a feature, given what I've read above. Please don't remove this feature.

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I've been reading this page up and down, trying to figure out why I still get the old logging page on the website. It's because I'm not using Drafts, right? I just click "Log a new visit", and wahoo, a page that lets me tell a story without getting in the way.

 

I guess I'd now consider the use of the old page in the absence of drafts to be a feature, given what I've read above. Please don't remove this feature.

 

The page you have come to know and love WILL be changed similar to what the Drafts page currently represents. You can't hold on to happy and productive too much longer.

 

The regular logging page will be updated to the new logging page soon.

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I've been reading this page up and down, trying to figure out why I still get the old logging page on the website. It's because I'm not using Drafts, right?

I still get the old logging page as well, but you can try out the "new and improved" logging page by setting up a draft and trying to finish it on the web page. Personally I was curious so I checked it out.

All I can say is that I hope the developers and those in charge act on some of the comments on this page before it goes live for everyone for all normal website cache logging.

 

Ding!

Your logging webpage has been marked as needing maintenance for reason "other"...

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I still prefer the old web page for logging. But if we're stuck with this new form could you add a " all visited" option for the TB's. And will you add a link to the CO's name so we can send a message to them with the answers for a Earthcache.

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I must agree with everything that's been said here. In particular:

 

1. Why remove "add coordinates" simply because it isn't used all that often? It's a valuable feature when it's needed, with the bold formatting at the top of the log making it easy to scroll down looking for any updated coordinates people have posted. If such information can only be included in the text it's going to make it hard for later searchers to spot.

 

2. Why limit the number of photos to one? Not every cache is an LPC deserving just a TFTC and a photo of a signature in the log. Many adventure-style caches take the seeker through lots of stunning scenery and interesting places - each finder has a story to tell and a picture paints a thousand words, doesn't it? And why does it allow me to click on the camera icon a second time only to then say "Sorry, only one file can be uploaded at a time"? If something's not allowed, grey it out!

 

3. Why no caption on the photo? Many a time I've added a photo with a humorous element but that'd be lost without a caption.

 

4. Why the removal of stand-alone NM and NA logs? What do the reviewers think about this? Our local reviewers have said they like as much detail as possible in pre-publication Reviewer Notes and end-of-life NAs, yet now the NA will presumably just say "This geocacher requested that this cache be archived" and they'll then have to trawl down through the logs to try to figure out what the issue is. Even the NM logs won't help since they'll just say "This geocacher reported that there is a problem with this cache".

 

5. Why the removal of the number of remaining favourite points? This is frequently useful to know when FPs are scarce.

 

6. Why the unnecessarily small text entry window that just encourages short logs? My desktop isn't a phone, why all the white space either side of the tiny window? Yes, I realise the window grows vertically when I type more text, but why does it have to be so narrow?

 

7. Why the removal of the text formatting buttons? Admittedly I rarely use them, but rarely isn't never and there are times when a bit of formatting and emphasis helps tell the story.

 

This all seems to be an exercise in dumbing everything down to the level of the most inexperienced user at the expense of everyone else. I'm not just singling out Groundspeak here as this trend is apparent right across the board with so-called "modern applications", but what is gained by following this mindless trend?

 

Sorry, but I really have to give this a big thumbs down in almost every respect.

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