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Release Notes (Website: Links now point to new search results) - April 20, 2021


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Hello,

 

I don't know if it a known bug, but I don't want to read all 199 posts.:

The usernames of cachers with special characters are incorrectly encoded in the profile, so no results can be found.

e.g.:

In Profile (incorrectly): https://www.geocaching.com/play/search?owner[0]=Per %2b Marc&a=0&sort=PlaceDate&asc=False

In Cache Listing (correct): https://www.geocaching.com/play/search?owner[0]=Per + Marc&a=0&sort=PlaceDate&asc=False

It looks like the link is encoded on the profile page and then encoded in on the search page a second time.

 

I also dont like the change. The old page was much better and more usefull.

Why are most of the changes not improvements?

Stick to the phrase "Never change a running system" ;)

Edited by capoaira
Typo
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for me the biggest issue is, that the trackable are not shown on the list. Its my main interest in geocaching to search caches with trackable in, but I dont have a chance anymore.

In past I rook the nearest caches list from home coordinates, as well as nearest caches from other caches in areas I like to visit.

In the new list: nothing and that is very sad (for me)

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6 hours ago, werla said:

You can bookmark the old search with this URL:

 

Groundspeak should be keeping track of how often these old links are used.  Calculated against the uproar caused just now with making these links less visible, it should be easy to estimate the final uproar when the links actually stop working, period.

 

Likewise, effect on cash flow.

 

The feedback years ago, when the new search was introduced, would make an extra data point for extrapolation.  The current uproar could've been predicted as well.

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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On 4/24/2021 at 8:25 PM, thebruce0 said:

Basic members can only sort by distance, none of the other column headers, so I presume this means that when a basic member views the hides of another user (this is still possible) the default sort will be by hidden date for them as an exception. Basic users can only see caches found by themselves.  And Premium users can sort by any sortable column.

 

This is correct, Basic members will see their owne find and hides, as well as other players' hides sorted by date instead of distance.

 

On 4/24/2021 at 8:25 PM, thebruce0 said:

However I just tested with a dummy account and the default sort for that basic account viewing its own finds is still by Distance ascending. Hmm... @nykkole?

I can't reproduce the sorting by distance for Basic member account, when I test it consistently sorts by date (FoundDateOfFoundByUser)

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12 hours ago, ChileHead said:

I noticed now if I go to a player's profile that has an apostrophe (') in it, and click on the link to show their finds, I get an Error 500.  I verified this with 4 or 5 different players.

Thanks for reporting this! We are working on a fix.

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7 hours ago, brendan714 said:

There's also an additional line added to tell me the cache is PREMIUM

 

You bring up a good point. I would assume that most Premium members do not care if a cache is PMO — they can access it regardless. Perhaps the "tag" should only appear for basic members?

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1 hour ago, nykkole said:
On 4/24/2021 at 11:25 PM, thebruce0 said:

However I just tested with a dummy account and the default sort for that basic account viewing its own finds is still by Distance ascending. Hmm... @nykkole?

I can't reproduce the sorting by distance for Basic member account, when I test it consistently sorts by date (FoundDateOfFoundByUser)

 

Played a bit more... the URL does appear correct, and on closer look the dates do appear to be in descending order, but the sorting indicator is over the Distance column, and the Found On column can't be clicked.

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What happened with "Found by username"? Can't find any way in the new search site how to get information about a friends whereabouts in only one click.

 

The new search site doesn't work in the mobile phone - it's too wide.

 

Sorry but the new search page is not good, www.geocaching.com/seek is so much better and quicker,  I mean WHERE -  because it is now dead. 

 

 

 

 

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Why change something that works?

 

For example, I often use the function on a cache page, hidden by this user.

 

After the update, the caches this user has hidden no longer end up in chronological order from when they were hidden and on a mobile phone it is not possible to see if they have been found or not.

 

Is it meant to click multiple steps and load servers each time?

 

This was just an example.

 

Never repair anything that works!

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I dont know if this has been brought up, but if I click to get the list of the caches that I own and then click to get a map view of them It doesn't work. It then says "No matching results" and no matter what I do I cant get a map view of just my owned caches.

image.png.af18ffb39dbbc55698220caa070cea0c.png

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I've not seen this mentioned yet and so I'll add it to the list. On the old search it was possible to click on the number of favourite points and be shown the %FP figure. I liked that feature very much and found it very useful. 

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On 4/27/2021 at 10:29 AM, Ingabo said:

It for sure looks like if a non-caching programmer together with some financial function has written the new function specification.

I'm curious what possible "financial function" you're imagining. I can't think of any money grubbing that wold lead to these particular decisions.

 

I won't support your other contention because I got banned from the forums a few years ago for suggesting something like that. Apparently suggesting that a programmer that doesn't geocache will somehow not take into account all the considerations a geocacher would is insulting beyond all reason.

On 4/27/2021 at 10:29 AM, Ingabo said:

if it aint broke don't fix it.

It's very, very important for us in this discussion to recognize that it was broken: it used old technology they don't want to support, and for good reason. I don't really know anything about what's going on under the hood, but I'm willing to adopt the assumption that the list had to be reimplemented for reasons I don't need to understand. So I think our useful input is the case that the feature is important enough to implement again. They can make a good case -- at least to themselves -- for ignoring any argument suggesting not doing anything is an option.

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On 4/26/2021 at 7:53 AM, ChileHead said:

I noticed now if I go to a player's profile that has an apostrophe (') in it, and click on the link to show their finds, I get an Error 500.  I verified this with 4 or 5 different players.

 

image.thumb.png.13715e3624e717b2c7d2a7f43d098d5d.png

This explains then why I can't click on "all finds" or "hides" and see them listed at all....in any order.  :(Will we now have to change our caching handle by which we've been known for almost 15 years?

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9 hours ago, Lynx Humble said:

Would have been better for everyone if Groundspeak asked our input before releasing this Downgrade.

Historically they've always claimed that they ask for and receive lots of input. We here in the forums just have never figured out from whom because it never seems to jive with any prevailing opinions among forum denizens.

 

And, again, my point is that it isn't a downgrade, it's a reimplementation where they made decisions, whether consciously or unconsciously, to not spend the resources to implement features that you consider required but they don't.

 

9 hours ago, Lynx Humble said:

Still wonder how they greenlight this ''project'' without beta testing.

The accurate take on this is quite different than you think. The things that people are complaining about here are not only beyond beta test, they've been deployed and active for five years. The only thing they did in this release is change some links so they point to the reimplementation instead of the ancient original list code.

 

9 hours ago, Lynx Humble said:

Following that logic Poquets Queries are going the next to be axed because regular players are only a tiny fraction of geocachers.

I don't exactly follow what you're saying here, but pocket queries are in a very similar state, technologically, and GS initially made some moves that, in my opinion, were intended to move towards getting rid of pocket queries in a similar way. That movement kinda fizzled, I'm guessing because of feedback they got.

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One way to look at it is that the underlying system has been improved, but the interface has lost functionality that many used. Ideally, they'll listen to the issues (again ideally, constructively critical ones, not raging insulting angry rants, though they have their appropriate effect) and continue to adjust and/or fix the interface.

Conceptually speaking, if the links imply 'searching' for all cache a user has found or placed, then the link makes sense.

 

But if the link/location context implies an archival list, then the loss of pagination is a very big interface loss for usability's sake. If the server-end of the functionality is in fact better/sleeker/quicker/lighter weight, then finding a way to (re-)implement paging through tens of thousands of chronological records should be on the list of projects to complete over top of the new underlying system. Not because the new code is bad, but because the interface and user experience demands it for its context.

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On 4/21/2021 at 12:36 PM, terratin said:

A question to developers: why would a dev team decide to reduce functionality and make changes completely contrary to what people need? Why add so much bloody whitespace? It's the same with every improvement of this site again and again: people lose functionality and the layout is messed, information available without scrolling reduced. I really wonder why the team doesn't learn from previous backlash.


100% agree. I used to be able to look at a list of caches hidden (ie a CO's list) and it showed what state (U.S.) they were in as well as whether they have any trackables, and if they have a needs maintenance tag. I used this functionality all the time, almost once a day. Now gone. And agree that the extra white space is just so inefficient it is almost ridiculous. Add me to the listed of displeased premium members who will actually target fewer caches without this info. The changes hurt COs more than anyone, IMHO.

 

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On 4/28/2021 at 10:56 PM, Coland said:

I dont know if this has been brought up, but if I click to get the list of the caches that I own and then click to get a map view of them It doesn't work. It then says "No matching results" and no matter what I do I cant get a map view of just my owned caches.

Same here, on W10 / Chrome 90. Mapping the list of caches I've found works on the same machine.

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8 hours ago, jy09 said:

I haven't seen if it was reported elsewhere, but the display on pocket queries maps no longer works.

There are a few threads in the Website forum already discussing the PQ map issue.

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On 4/29/2021 at 9:45 AM, thebruce0 said:

One way to look at it is that the underlying system has been improved, but the interface has lost functionality that many used. Ideally, they'll listen to the issues (again ideally, constructively critical ones, not raging insulting angry rants, though they have their appropriate effect) and continue to adjust and/or fix the interface.

Conceptually speaking, if the links imply 'searching' for all cache a user has found or placed, then the link makes sense.

 

But if the link/location context implies an archival list, then the loss of pagination is a very big interface loss for usability's sake. If the server-end of the functionality is in fact better/sleeker/quicker/lighter weight, then finding a way to (re-)implement paging through tens of thousands of chronological records should be on the list of projects to complete over top of the new underlying system. Not because the new code is bad, but because the interface and user experience demands it for its context.

 

Or, as I said days ago: Thank you for improving the cross-platform experience. And sincere thanks for bringing back functionalities when the furor becomes too much. ?

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21 hours ago, Jimrky said:

Or, as I said days ago: Thank you for improving the cross-platform experience. And sincere thanks for bringing back functionalities when the furor becomes too much. ?

I've been trying to look up what the buzzword "cross-platform experience" means, but I didn't really get it. I'm pretty sure improving it doesn't mean messing up the experience for desktop users so it gets as bad as for mobile users though. And if I've understood the previous posts right, mobile users are not happy about the changes either.

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A, presumably, Unintended Consequence.

I was about to write a message to an relatively inexperienced cacher who has had an issue finding one of my caches - to encourage her and so on. She's so close to it.

As part of that I wanted to recommend a couple of other local caches that I thought, based on her note on my cache, she might enjoy. But I can't see which one's she's done - or tell what her find pattern might have been. So I didn't bother making any recommendations.

I did write the note because I like to add value. I guess Groundspeak might even benefit from that. But it is a shame that I'm now unable, using Groundspeak's platform, to check things like that anymore - and I suppose it would be better if I was able to continue to add value.

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9 hours ago, THE CASTOFFS said:

I'm sure it must be possible to fix the code without anybody even noticing.

As a webapp developer I can tell you that's not always the case. If rewriting the base code from the ground up to be an improved server experience, sometimes the interface simply can't be recreated to 'mimic' the old way - at least not easily, quickly, or cheaply.  What needs to be done in such a case is an use case analysis of the features and functionality people want or need the most, and prioritize the new UI design around that, and then go through the testing and release process. Designing what one might think is a UI improvement (whether or not the underlying code is improved) and releasing without heavy user testing is a VERY risky move... 

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3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

As a webapp developer I can tell you that's not always the case. If rewriting the base code from the ground up to be an improved server experience, sometimes the interface simply can't be recreated to 'mimic' the old way - at least not easily, quickly, or cheaply.  What needs to be done in such a case is an use case analysis of the features and functionality people want or need the most, and prioritize the new UI design around that, and then go through the testing and release process. Designing what one might think is a UI improvement (whether or not the underlying code is improved) and releasing without heavy user testing is a VERY risky move... 

I've never really got into that side of things so thanks for the insight.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/1/2021 at 11:30 AM, ChriBli said:

I've been trying to look up what the buzzword "cross-platform experience" means, but I didn't really get it. I'm pretty sure improving it doesn't mean messing up the experience for desktop users so it gets as bad as for mobile users though. And if I've understood the previous posts right, mobile users are not happy about the changes either.

 

Follow it back to the original post. I'm sure you'll get the gist. And if not...well, what's life without a little mystery? ?

Edited by Jimrky
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I was on my mobile device trying to look at my recent finds and some recent finds by one of my friends. 

Not only does the new list/search remove a ton of useful functionality, but it looks really bad on mobile too...

Check out the screenshots below to see what I mean - overflow characters in the title and CO name are pushed onto a new line.

Also, when I click the map button to map my finds, it takes me to a zoomed out map of the entire world that doesn't show any geocaches. Another bug?  I would kind of expect it to map my last 1000 finds...

 

pic1.thumb.png.a88c49b6a624502f99c91769c1b78ff6.png

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Posted (edited)

And, it looks like they removed the ability to adjust the "archived" search option that popped in with the new links.  Now the "Active and Archived" filter parameter is locked for only the Hides/Finds special search result function.

 

That's very unfortunate. Not sure why they'd remove that. The worldwide search for Archived geocaches was super fast and informative. It didn't need to plot results on the map (and it didn't). I would love to see that archived parameter make a return, even if it is a 'hidden' (url querystring only) parameter. 

Edited by thebruce0
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11 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

And, it looks like they removed the ability to adjust the "archived" search option that popped in with the new links.  Now the "Active and Archived" filter parameter is locked for only the Hides/Finds special search result function.

So I guess someone realized that there are in fact different requirements for a hides/finds list compared to general search results. I hope this will be extended to bringing back pagination/no limit to the hides/finds lists (even if that would make them non-mappable, which is of course a useless feature anyway).

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On 5/3/2021 at 1:37 AM, Jimrky said:

Follow it back to the original post. I'm sure you'll get the gist. And if not...well, what's life without a little mystery? ?

 

11 hours ago, brendan714 said:

Not only does the new list/search remove a ton of useful functionality, but it looks really bad on mobile too...

 

Maybe this is the improved cross-platform experience?

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11 hours ago, brendan714 said:

Also, when I click the map button to map my finds, it takes me to a zoomed out map of the entire world that doesn't show any geocaches. Another bug?  I would kind of expect it to map my last 1000 finds...

Me too. Not that there's ever a reason to map one's own finds (let alone someone else's), but there seems to be some limit on how many caches that are shown on the map that is different from the 1,000 limit. If I zoom in on an area, more caches start to appear.

 

When I map my 1,000 latest finds, I get a map of the world with a dot in California and one in Mauritius. Notably none in Sweden where I have the bulk of my finds. If I start zooming in on the Stockholm area, more caches start to show up, but no matter how much I zoom I don't get the finds nearest my home. Turns out that even though I had my finds list sorted on latest first, so I should have seen my latest 1,000 finds, when I map it the sorting is far - near. So the map shows my 1,000 farthest finds. Weird.

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17 hours ago, =m1ch1= said:

When can we expect to get the old list back?

Nobody wants the new one. 

They are fixing it or they are ignoring us.

An answer would be polite...

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1 hour ago, tbbiker said:

Bring back this:

632599413_Screenshot_2021-05-05GetthefreeOfficialGeocachingappandjointheworldslargesttreasurehunt.thumb.png.785893cc00f9b858756a9878fd747127.png

 

Yes, please!   Even if it looks a bit different, I could get used to that, as long as the information is all there - CO/GCCode/Location, the info column, and the Found by User and Last found comparison specifically.  I used those bits of info a LOT....

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1 hour ago, tbbiker said:

I'm still not using the new search results page to view the caches that I found and will be highly annoyed if the link to the old search stops working.  It's funny, you never realize how much you like something until it's gone. 

 

Bring back this:

632599413_Screenshot_2021-05-05GetthefreeOfficialGeocachingappandjointheworldslargesttreasurehunt.thumb.png.785893cc00f9b858756a9878fd747127.png

 

Yep.  Simple.

And notice that this format at least tells you what state you're looking at ?  This "new" one only has mileage.  A big step back IMO.

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56 minutes ago, pgavlak said:

It saddens me how Groundspeak seems to make changes against the wishes/opinions of so many very experienced/dedicated cachers

Unfortunately I don't believe that the changes are being made to accommodate this subset of cachers. 

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