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Release Notes (Website: Solution Checker) - October 19, 2017

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After some discussion with Groundspeak, I have come to understand their new development model, which is to quickly publish new features and then to iterate.  That is fine for many things; we still have the option to use the older system for new pages under development.

Unfortunately, IMO, this feature is different.  If COs start using it now, then solvers are required to use the horrid multi-field input.  As a result, unlike other new but imperfect features, this one is actively making life worse for puzzle solvers.

Therefore I think it is appropriate to ask Groundspeak how long we will have to wait for the improved iteration.  You have added a feature that cachers cannot ignore and makes the site less useful.  Please fix the multi-field entry problem now.

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1 hour ago, fizzymagic said:

You have added a feature that cachers cannot ignore and makes the site less useful.

This is all so negative.  Yes, there are issues with the implementation, but for some COs this is very useful - a simple to add checker for their puzzles.

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8 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

This is all so negative.

Well, yes. There are significant usability issues with Groundspeak's built-in checker. When I recently added a checker to my own puzzle cache, I chose Certitude rather than impose those usability issues on others. But other puzzle cache owners may take the easy route and just check the checkbox.

Making it easier to provide a worse checker is not necessarily an improvement.

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23 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

This is all so negative.  Yes, there are issues with the implementation, but for some COs this is very useful - a simple to add checker for their puzzles.

Yes.  Simple for the COs.  Not so much for the people who solve their puzzles.

To my mind, it is a step backward: by making it easy for COs to add a inferior checker to their puzzles, the availability of superior third-party checkers will diminish.  So the users lose.

Simple changes to the implementation of the Groundspeak checker would improve the usability dramatically, yet it was rolled out over a month ago and we have seen no response to the many requests.  I, for one, have become annoyed.

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25 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

Simple changes to the implementation of the Groundspeak checker would improve the usability dramatically, yet it was rolled out over a month ago and we have seen no response to the many requests.  I, for one, have become annoyed.

This is very short time to evaluate new functionality. For example it was just today when I used the checker more extensively. I wouldn't say that this is step backward.

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On 22/11/2017 at 8:49 AM, IceColdUK said:

This is all so negative. 

Actually, no it's not. It's called feedback on a feature that has gone live without proper beta testing and opportunity for input.

While I won't say it's a step backward, I won't use it yet either (for the reasons I and others have enumerated above).

Personally, I don't look for improvement any time soon. There has been no response in this topic, and developers have already implemented changes in the messaging system... which suggests to me this is a done deal and they're moving on to other things.

Cheers all.

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Personally, I'm fine with the native checker being simple. The 3rd party checkers remain valuable resources for more advanced features and options.

However, for the native checker, I'd like to see:

1) The native checker include a notification like "This cache has a Solution Checker. Open this cache in your phone's browser to confirm your coordinates." when viewing the cache description within the official app. As it stands now, there is no indication that a cache has a native checker when viewing a cache in the official app. 3rd party geocheckers, like Certitude and geocheck.org, are visible in the cache descriptions within the app.

2) The native checker be available for other cache types, like Multi caches.

3) The native checker have a single field text entry box.

4) The native checker remain 'Optional'.

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This checker has two serious negatives that prevent you from using:
1) There is no information in listing about use of checker, perhaps even an HTML comment that could be decoded by third party programs
2) In case of successful verification, it will irreparably damage the cache information (overwrite coordinates) so I'm afraid to use it. For the purpose of finding a cache there is a substantial Final Waypoint and not some modified heading coordinates.

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4 hours ago, Arne1 said:

2) In case of successful verification, it will irreparably damage the cache information (overwrite coordinates) so I'm afraid to use it. 

You can revert to original coordinates. Don't be afraid!

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On 20.10.2017 at 0:35 PM, arisoft said:

Excellent solution! And maybe the final WP could be set visible and downloadable for players who has entered the right answer.

This only works for a single stage myst. Mine are different and I not always directly send the cacher to the final but to some other stage(s) first. That's why I couldn't use the new checker at the moment.

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8 minutes ago, monsterbox said:
On 20.10.2017 at 1:35 PM, arisoft said:

Excellent solution! And maybe the final WP could be set visible and downloadable for players who has entered the right answer.

This only works for a single stage myst. Mine are different and I not always directly send the cacher to the final but to some other stage(s) first. That's why I couldn't use the new checker at the moment.

When the integrated checker can check and disclose all hidden waypoints, this clever solution works even better than any external checker can do.

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14 minutes ago, arisoft said:

When the integrated checker can check and disclose all hidden waypoints, this clever solution works even better than any external checker can do.

That for I would need to have the option of chosing which waypoint I want to get checked. If it will be implemented that way: Great!

 

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5 minutes ago, monsterbox said:

That for I would need to have the option of chosing which waypoint I want to get checked. If it will be implemented that way: Great!

For what reason you shoud select waypoints? I think that every hidden waypoint is potential object for checking because it is hidden.

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3 hours ago, arisoft said:

For what reason you shoud select waypoints? I think that every hidden waypoint is potential object for checking because it is hidden.

For the checker! One of my mysts has a first stage and the final. So if I would like to use the checker I would need to be able to set the waypoint the checker is meant for. The default (final) wouldn't work for me and I also wouldn't use the checker for the final in this specific case. As you're solving the last calculation in the field anyways you would know pretty quick if you're right or wrong.

 

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3 hours ago, monsterbox said:

For the checker! One of my mysts has a first stage and the final. So if I would like to use the checker I would need to be able to set the waypoint the checker is meant for. The default (final) wouldn't work for me and I also wouldn't use the checker for the final in this specific case. As you're solving the last calculation in the field anyways you would know pretty quick if you're right or wrong.

 

The main and best idea of the integrated checker is that it can definitely check the final coordinates. Calculations may be easy but the player assumes that integrated checker can always check the final position - or any hidden waypoint, if this feature will be added at some day.

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Are there any plans to make this checker available for mobile apps? I just published some geo-art where we used the built-in checker to give searchers some reassurance. But I didn't realize that it doesn't display on any of the mobile apps. Searchers need to look at the checker on the web site.

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I have some issues with this checker (listed in increasing order of importance):

  1. I do not like the lay-out of it, nor the way it performs non-robot check.
  2. I like to get the number of correct/wrong answers to monitor the interest in my cache.
  3. The big problem: My cache requires some calculations, so rounding error my prevent you from getting the excact position. The checker should allow for some margin of error.

My cache was published with the buil in checker, but because of these issues I want to replace the builtin checker with a third party checker. My problem is: Even if I un-check the built in checker box on the edit page and save it, it will not go away.

My cache: https://coord.info/GC7G2TD

JarandR

 

Edited by JarandR
To clearify my problem

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This is not what I had hoped for using as a Puzzle coordinate checker, due to the fact that I can't get it to work.  Is this FALSE advertising?  

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37 minutes ago, RODFLY said:

This is not what I had hoped for using as a Puzzle coordinate checker, due to the fact that I can't get it to work.  Is this FALSE advertising?  

In what way can't you get it to work? What did you do, what did you expect to happen, and what happened instead?

I prefer a third-party solution checker, but I had no difficulty getting the built-in solution checker to work when I tried.

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I found a design error in the checker.

 

When I enter coordinates and press the check button, it is possible that the checker gives this message: " You have 0 tries left. Try again in 10 minutes. "

The problem is that the checker does not tell whether the result was negative or there was no tries left and I shoud try again after 10 minutes.

Edited by arisoft

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I take that to mean you have 0 tries, therefore this one didn't even check. Ideally it should either say before you click, or the response should be clear that your check was disallowed because you have no tries, so check back in 10 minutes.

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

I take that to mean you have 0 tries, therefore this one didn't even check. Ideally it should either say before you click, or the response should be clear that your check was disallowed because you have no tries, so check back in 10 minutes.

The same message is displayed when you have used your last try or you do not have any tries left.

.Clipboard01.jpg.d08cbc8d4bb2aec9ffb87ebb78b7f1c2.jpg

As you can see, I have fixed the missing single entry-box and timer, but you can not say from this result whether the answer is correct or not.

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The position of the message is the confusing part, I think.

If "You have 1 try left" appears after a check's result, that implies you can check one more time.
If "You have 0 tries left" appears after a check's result, that implies your next check will fail.

If "You have 1 try left" appears before a check's result, that still implies (sort of?) you can check one more time (not that the shown result was your last check)
If "You have 0 tries left" appears before a check's result, that (to me) implies the check failed.

I think the messaging could be adjusted a bit to be more clear.  Maybe on the last check, change the wording to something like "This was your last check within 10 minutes. Please wait 10 minutes and try again." And on a failed check, "Too many checks within 10 minutes. Please wait 10 minutes and try again."  Those clearly indicat a check was not performed, so no result is shown. That way anything else should come with a success/fail result.

Or, you know, just see how the other checkers do it :P

geocheck.org tells you before the check result how many checks you've made in 10 minutes (or whether the check was not performed).
geochecker.com does the same as geocheck.org but after the result is shown.

Perhaps GS should change from telling how many checks you have left (and avoid the "0 tries" confusion) to how many have been performed in the time allowance (and whether the check was performed or not).

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OK.  It's now been three months since the release of the solution checker.  There was a lot of feedback, but no changes have been made.  Is this "feature" still being worked on?  It has the feel of abandonware.  It is my opinion that in its current form it is terrible; at the very minimum it should be changed to a one-field input. 

I was under the impression that HQ has moved to a rapid-release-and-update software development cycle.  Three months to implement an essentially trivial fix does not seem to match that description.

So:  is this feature going to be updated?

If not, is there some way we could convince HQ to remove it?

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14 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

I was under the impression that HQ has moved to a rapid-release-and-update software development cycle.  Three months to implement an essentially trivial fix does not seem to match that description.

Yes, the "-and-update" portion seems to be something they've chosen not to utilize. They seemed to try it out for a while on the new dashboard development, but that project has now also ground to a halt.

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Ah shoot.  I was waiting for the fixes, especially a collapsed-by-default option, before getting around to updating all my evince breakages.

If GS has better things to do, so do I.

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The checker still does not appear in mobile apps. So someone using the mobile app does not realize that there is a checker.

Can there at least be some indicator that there is a checker?

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On 1/24/2018 at 1:52 PM, BethKatzPA said:

The checker still does not appear in mobile apps. So someone using the mobile app does not realize that there is a checker.

Can there at least be some indicator that there is a checker?

Yep, I mentioned this issue at least couple times in this thread, all the way back to page 1.

Other 3rd party checkers will show up on the app, as a clickable link from the cache description, so you may want to check into those.

Or, you could add text to your cache descriptions that says something like:  "This cache has a Solution Checker. Open this cache in your phone's browser to confirm your coordinates."   They could then run the native checker via their phone's web browser, as long as they have data service.

 

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On 1/26/2018 at 7:13 AM, noncentric said:

Yep, I mentioned this issue at least couple times in this thread, all the way back to page 1.

Other 3rd party checkers will show up on the app, as a clickable link from the cache description, so you may want to check into those.

Or, you could add text to your cache descriptions that says something like:  "This cache has a Solution Checker. Open this cache in your phone's browser to confirm your coordinates."   They could then run the native checker via their phone's web browser, as long as they have data service.

 

I mentioned it way back when, too. :D 

Not showing it is annoying. I thought it was perhaps a short-term problem, but it's looking to be a long-term one.

If I have to add a note saying a checker is available, I might as well use a more fully-featured and less spacious checker that shows up in the mobile apps.

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3 hours ago, BethKatzPA said:

If I have to add a note saying a checker is available, I might as well use a more fully-featured and less spacious checker that shows up in the mobile apps.

There's no rule that says that you have to use the built-in checker rather than a third-party checker. After the built-in checker came out, I experimented with it, and then added a third-party checker to my puzzle cache.

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I have now used this feature on several mystery caches I have solved.

I don't like the feature that it automatically updatest the co-ordinates at all. I prefer to enter them into my GPS myself and think this should be an option. I can see advantages with some caches but if you are not going out to make the find in the very near future after solving the puzzle there can be problems. Also it seems to be very sensitive and when you make one attempt it uses several attempts and you can end up with none left.

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