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Changing D/T rating of your Geocache after publication and finders logging it...


Mordenpool
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16 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:
22 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Can... worms... :lol:

Only for high rated caches. For low rated ones, makes very little difference. Changing T from 1.5 to 2.5, is unlikely to be noticed, but changing 5T to 4T is likely to be noticed.

 

Not sure what you're referencing. If you mean holes in the fizzy grid, even a mere .5 change will be noticed, as much as a whole star.

 

But I was responding to this:

On 11/30/2022 at 1:33 PM, JustFindingOurWay said:

I haven't taught it to sign my logs for me, yet ... :drama:

 

 

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17 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Not sure what you're referencing. If you mean holes in the fizzy grid, even a mere .5 change will be noticed, as much as a whole star.

I was referring to the grid. I have yet to come upon a challenge where a changed lower rating makes a difference, as by the time a geocacher gets to the stage of being able to fulfil challenges they likely have thousands of finds to be able to fulfil those challenges, and as low rated challenges are so common and easily replaced by another find, it's not a deal, unlike rarer high rated caches. The exception for low rated, might be 1D1T, as those are not always that common, as I found for a challenge. Even with over 12,000 finds I didn't have enough of that rating. However, by the time I did qualify for that, I had found more than I needed of that rating.

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17 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

I was referring to the grid. I have yet to come upon a challenge where a changed lower rating makes a difference, as by the time a geocacher gets to the stage of being able to fulfil challenges they likely have thousands of finds to be able to fulfil those challenges

Ooooh it happens. Regardless of quantity, if you just qualify, but take time to report qualifications with the find on the challenge (though that's subjective as well since it could happen the next day), if it changes then it's noticed, regardless of the star quantity. In any case, the chance of it being noticed is entirely anecdotal. I've noticed, and it's sufficiently noticed that Project-GC has a page to report those changes. Plenty of people may also not notice, as you point out. Me or you individually noticing or not really doesn't mean much. There've been enough disagreements over the years (especially pre-moratorium) that it's a known concern. And thus this thread :P 

The issue is the fundamental technical one: a change of even 0.5 stars (whether 1.0 to 1.5, or 5.0 to 4.5) can unqualify you for a challenge if you don't know where that change happened.

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26 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

The exception for low rated, might be 1D1T, as those are not always that common, as I found for a challenge.

 

Strange, even with my meagre find count I still have 41 1/1s. About half those are events, and of the remainder 5 are virtuals, 1 is an EC and the rest are traditionals. I suppose if you needed 1/1 multis or puzzles it'd be a lot tougher.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Strange, even with my meagre find count I still have 41 1/1s. About half those are events, and of the remainder 5 are virtuals, 1 is an EC and the rest are traditionals. I suppose if you needed 1/1 multis or puzzles it'd be a lot tougher.

The challenge needed several hundred of them. On a recent drive around Australia I targeted them to get enough.

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

Ooooh it happens. Regardless of quantity, if you just qualify, but take time to report qualifications with the find on the challenge (though that's subjective as well since it could happen the next day), if it changes then it's noticed, regardless of the star quantity. In any case, the chance of it being noticed is entirely anecdotal. I've noticed, and it's sufficiently noticed that Project-GC has a page to report those changes. Plenty of people may also not notice, as you point out. Me or you individually noticing or not really doesn't mean much. There've been enough disagreements over the years (especially pre-moratorium) that it's a known concern. And thus this thread :P 

The issue is the fundamental technical one: a change of even 0.5 stars (whether 1.0 to 1.5, or 5.0 to 4.5) can unqualify you for a challenge if you don't know where that change happened.

Most of my caches are traditionals. If I change the rating on a low rated one, for most people there are plenty of other traditionals to replace it. I have changed the ratings of some after they were published, as I take note of finders' comments. I like my cache ratings to be as accurate as possible.

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8 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Most of my caches are traditionals. If I change the rating on a low rated one, for most people there are plenty of other traditionals to replace it. I have changed the ratings of some after they were published, as I take note of finders' comments. I like my cache ratings to be as accurate as possible.

Yes, there's no question that common DTs are easy to replace. That's not the point. The point is a change in DT - now matter how big or small or high or low - can unqualify you for a challenge if you don't 'enough' already found to compensate (regardless of how many are required).

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17 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Yes, there's no question that common DTs are easy to replace. That's not the point. The point is a change in DT - now matter how big or small or high or low - can unqualify you for a challenge if you don't 'enough' already found to compensate (regardless of how many are required).

Very few people wouldn't be able to go find say another 1.5D/T traditional cache. 

 

Accuracy of rating trumps challenges and is more important. A bug bear of mine when people don't even try to have a correct rating. I have just DNFed a 1.5T/D cache for the second time. The last finder only found it because a previous finder gave them instructions. People have mentioned it's a hard 1.5D cache, but still the owner doesn't give a toss, or they would have corrected it.

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I may be misunderstanding, but is there a reason why a change in rating changes the stats? If the point is to update to be accurate to the current state of the cache, is the changing of the stats not ignoring that when you found the cache, it was a T5 (or whatever the rating was)? I'm absolutely in the camp that the rating should be accurate to the current reality so it's clear for current finders, but I don't get why the stats have to change if the site KNOWS you found it when it was a certain rating.

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8 minutes ago, jaysonC said:

I may be misunderstanding, but is there a reason why a change in rating changes the stats? If the point is to update to be accurate to the current state of the cache, is the changing of the stats not ignoring that when you found the cache, it was a T5 (or whatever the rating was)? I'm absolutely in the camp that the rating should be accurate to the current reality so it's clear for current finders, but I don't get why the stats have to change if the site KNOWS you found it when it was a certain rating.

 

The system doesn't store the D/T ratings (or anything else about the cache) as part of your find, nor does it store the previous D/T history of a cache, and I would imagine back-fitting such functionality to the database would be a bit of a nightmare.

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On 12/3/2022 at 3:21 AM, Goldenwattle said:
On 12/2/2022 at 9:32 AM, thebruce0 said:

Yes, there's no question that common DTs are easy to replace. That's not the point. The point is a change in DT - now matter how big or small or high or low - can unqualify you for a challenge if you don't 'enough' already found to compensate (regardless of how many are required).

Very few people wouldn't be able to go find say another 1.5D/T traditional cache. 

 

Yes. But again "The point is a change in the DT" Regardless of how many may arbitrarily be available nearby to replace it. This is about untimely unqualification, not the simplicity of requalification.  What if you've already found all of those prolific 1.5/1.5's and there is now no more replacements? That's my point - this is about the qualification that no longer applies which is noticed, regardless of how big or small or high or low the DT is.

 

On 12/3/2022 at 5:25 AM, jaysonC said:

I may be misunderstanding, but is there a reason why a change in rating changes the stats? If the point is to update to be accurate to the current state of the cache, is the changing of the stats not ignoring that when you found the cache, it was a T5 (or whatever the rating was)? I'm absolutely in the camp that the rating should be accurate to the current reality so it's clear for current finders, but I don't get why the stats have to change if the site KNOWS you found it when it was a certain rating.

 

Correct, the stats are based on the current properties of geocache listings. So if you found a cache 10 years ago and it's undergone 1 or more changes (and any property is technically a statistical point) then your current profile stats won't necessarily reflect the caches you've found over the years.  The problem is with challenge caches which verify your current statistics. So if you qualify on one day, but don't provide the proof of qualification so the CO can verify, then you go and try to log it online 2 months later, you may find that your statistics no longer reflect your qualification. The CO may call you out and disallow the find.

 

So there are two camps - cache properties should prioritize those who wish to find the cache being relevant to their experience, and cache properties are now a significant part of the game (even if for only a relatively small portion of the global community who do challenge caching) so changing properties should not be possible, or very limited, or historic stats should be recorded and referenced for challenge checking.  In a sense, both camps are valid, but accurate properties are important. So we enter this area of how much of a change is allowable before it's better to simply republish a new listing? ANY change? (favouring challenge caching) Or minimal changes (on a different matter that if an experience changes greatly it's effectively a "different" cache).

 

Challenge caching opened a can of worms because when someone has to provide evidence of qualification, and that qualification can change, even with the existence of objective checkers, it can add more work for appeals when parties disagree. In the end, HQ has to decide what's more important. And right now, it seems they're holding that accurate listings are most important (make changes if necessary), but if a change towards accuracy is too significant it should be archived and listed as a new geocache.

 

Personally, if I make any change to a published cache listing, I'll add the details in the OM log, and add an addendum to the cache description. That way anyone using the listing in a challenge has a reference to point to as evidence that it used to be a qualifier for their challenge. (and they can hope the challenge cache CO will accept that explanation)

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4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Yes. But again "The point is a change in the DT" Regardless of how many may arbitrarily be available nearby to replace it. This is about untimely unqualification, not the simplicity of requalification.  What if you've already found all of those prolific 1.5/1.5's and there is now no more replacements? That's my point - this is about the qualification that no longer applies which is noticed, regardless of how big or small or high or low the DT is.

Well, yes, but do challenge owner really take such a hard line about a missing 1.5/1.5? I would hope that most would accept the find with a reasonable explanation. I wouldn't be surprised if many just shrug their shoulders without an explanation since it's obvious what happened. Any challenge owner that insists of rejecting the find based on a minor, understandable rating doesn't really deserve to have their cache found, anyway.

4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

...or historic stats should be recorded and referenced for challenge checking.

The problem with this is that the cache might really have been rated wrong when it was found, so when the rating is changed, it's because the challenge cache seeker doesn't really deserve the rating. One hopes this is another thing challenge owners would be sympathetic to, I just bring it up because it doesn't really solve the logical problems as neatly as it seems.

4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Personally, if I make any change to a published cache listing, I'll add the details in the OM log, and add an addendum to the cache description. That way anyone using the listing in a challenge has a reference to point to as evidence that it used to be a qualifier for their challenge. (and they can hope the challenge cache CO will accept that explanation)

Yes, documenting a rating change in an OM is a very good policy, and not just because of challenges. I think documenting rating changes is as important as documenting why the coordinates were changed.

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36 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Well, yes, but do challenge owner really take such a hard line about a missing 1.5/1.5? I would hope that most would accept the find with a reasonable explanation. I wouldn't be surprised if many just shrug their shoulders without an explanation since it's obvious what happened. Any challenge owner that insists of rejecting the find based on a minor, understandable rating doesn't really deserve to have their cache found, anyway.

 

Well do cache owners really take such a hard line if your name isn't in the log book?

The point is about the definitions and guidelines. Obviously a CO can just shrug off any technical unqualification. But they should be verifying qualifications for anyone who claims the find on a challenge cache. Whether they do or not, that's up to them. So because the exceptions can be arbitrarily any statistical property change, the point remains - if a change unqualifies you, the challenge caching aspect of the hobby is affected by adjustments; so how relatively important is that aspect of the hobby compared to legitimately accurate (which is also somewhat subjective) cache listing properties? That's where the two camps lie. I don't think properties should never change, but I do think there's a threshold of reasonability in which they can change; and being a challenge caching fan, having those changes documented in some form along with COs who are willing to accept those documentations outside of a simple green checker result, is essential, as long as the system doesn't automatically take that into account (since gc.com doesn't keep track of every listing update like a wiki page would).

 

As for challenge owners accepting "all"/"minor" changes, that can be a can of worms. On one hand, sure, something easily corrected could be shrugged off with a "but I found one a week ago and it's been changed" reason, or the CO may look at the change and see that it was perhaps a mistake and wasn't really a 1.5/1.5 but now accurately a 1.5/5, and a different experience. The CO is in their right to deny the qualification if they see fit, despite how easy the DT may be to 'replace'.  Arguing anecdotal what-ifs won't get us very far because we can always come up with an exception. 

 

Honestly, I'm not even sure what the point being debated is now :P All I'm saying is that if a DT is changed, regardless of scale, it can unqualify a person for a challenge. The logical progression is this:

1. I've seen sentiment from hq/reviewers that listings should be accurate, and that typically only accommodates small changes, so if you have a major change, often the user is recommended to relist with the new properties (and minor/major is a judgment call). 

2. That means that minor fixes to listings for finders' sake trumps challenge statistics.

3. That means that with PGC checkers, it is entirely up to the CO whether to deny the find on a red check (because there could be any number of 'excuses' from the finder depending on the challenge - easy or hard), or allow the find given an explanation for the unqualification, or they could just shrug it off and not care.  In the 3rd case you open the door for couch logging, if the CO will just let anything through without caring to check. The 1st one is a hardline stance but allowable within the guidelines, though such a CO is not likely to make any friends. The 2nd one is the most reasonable, IMO, and the one that could in theory be automated on the backend with a historic check for qualifications as of the find date (if the qualification wasn't already reported in a note) - and this is what PGC has provided for historic DT checks (but you need to manually check the records and note the changes for the challenge CO).

 

48 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Yes, documenting a rating change in an OM is a very good policy, and not just because of challenges. I think documenting rating changes is as important as documenting why the coordinates were changed.

 

Yep. I'm a bit OCD about that. :P  Years ago I ran a wiki site tracking numerous creative community-based projects, and having that history of updates, while tracking real world events chronologically and trying not to miss anything, was one heck of a task. In my employment we also had to build a history tracker, and the intent was that theoretically you could track all changes in reverse back to the initial data creation.  If that's in place in the context of geocaching, you could flash statistics for any person at any time in their career, for one cache or all.

 

I'll also add, to some degree this has been done by Project-GC. It is possible to see your own complete stats summary on PGC as of a specific date, so it's not just D/T's that are historically recorded.

Try this URL with your username and a date string: https://project-gc.com/ProfileStats/username?llh=yyyy-mm-dd

 

Maybe PGC could provide an "advanced" form field on challenge checkers to enter a date and check any challenge as of that date, instead of the default current date... If you can prove you did qualify for a challenge on a different date, I believe that's an enforceable qualification to legitimately log the challenge found, even if you don't qualify now.

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33 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Maybe PGC could provide an "advanced" form field on challenge checkers to enter a date and check any challenge as of that date, instead of the default current date... If you can prove you did qualify for a challenge on a different date, I believe that's an enforceable qualification to legitimately log the challenge found, even if you don't qualify now.

 

That sounds like a good solution to the problem :).

 

There have been a couple of my caches where I've adjusted the D/T rating by half a star after feedback from the first couple of finders (documented in OM logs) but that's unlikely to unqualify anyone from a challenge. The only one I've changed several years after publication was GC6FQN8 which originally had a 3.5 terrain rating. The trail through the national park to the waterfalls was once well-defined and even listed on some bushwalking sites, but was starting to fall into disrepair at the time of publication. Two years of almost constant la Nina rain, following years of drought, resulted in a huge increase in undergrowth and further eroded the track, so after my visit to the waypoints in January I decided I should really bump it up to a 4 (again documented in an OM). The cache had had 15 finders at the time and, on those whose stats I could see (why are basic member stats hidden?), I checked whether losing a 2/3.5 would create a hole in anyone's grid, which it didn't. There are no challenges anywhere within its catchment area that require only T3.5 caches, the closest would be one that requires T3.5 or higher so it would be unaffected by the change. To date, no-one has complained and one of the finders since then agreed with my decision to bump it up.

 

So yes, there's always an element of compromise in any change and it's not something I'd do lightly, particularly on an older cache, but we tend to have a cooperative community here and I'm sure any qualification issues that arose could be resolved amicably.

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11 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

we tend to have a cooperative community here and I'm sure any qualification issues that arose could be resolved amicably.


One can hope. But these discussions are around because there have been unamicable exchanges and disagreements. Like mentioned, I'd say there are two types of 'amicable' - COs who just generally don't care (often the ones who will let couch caching stand because "whatever, cheaters will cheat / they're only cheating themselves" and if that apathy towards good practice continues HQ may suspend their ownership abilities for shirking "cache owner responsibility", as has happened), and there are COs who are reasonable who may accept explanations or shrug off minor issues yet draw the line at blatant attempts to take advantage of loopholes (often those who, say, prefer to do their own cache maintenance but don't mind if occasionally, someone offers to fix up their cache with a fresh log or replacement container if it doesn't affect the hide).

 

Essentially, there's the hard line, there's the apathetic, and there's the reasonable somewhere in between in that sweet spot. :drama: 

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7 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Yes. But again "The point is a change in the DT" Regardless of how many may arbitrarily be available nearby to replace it. This is about untimely unqualification, not the simplicity of requalification.  What if you've already found all of those prolific 1.5/1.5's and there is now no more replacements? That's my point - this is about the qualification that no longer applies which is noticed, regardless of how big or small or high or low the DT is.

As soon as you qualify, copy the qualification text in your cache page notes. Then when you are able to find and log the cache paste that preserved check pass in. Mostly though I find and sign challenges before I qualify, and then as soon as I qualify, log them. I would be very unlikely to know that something had changed with most of them.

 

Correct rating still trumps challenges though. If something changes with a cache, I will update the rating if needed. Mostly this happens though in the first few months (feedback) of a cache being published; the settling in period. Not so likely to change a rating after that.

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13 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

As soon as you qualify, copy the qualification text in your cache page notes. Then when you are able to find and log the cache paste that preserved check pass in.

Sure. That's what I recommend. I've been bitten by unqualification due to adjusted properties, and I've posted notes with evidence long before signing in because I knew the type of challenge could allow for unqualification by the time I did sign in. But again, if a checker shows red at the time of the find log, the CO is under no obligation to approve past qualifications if current stats doesn't suffice. Now if it went to appeals, I'd be willing to bet they'd consider it like if a CO deleted a find log because the finder's name wasn't explicitly on the log but under a group name - and suggest the CO loosen up a bit and accept the past evidence, to avoid unnecessary conflict. If there's blatant rule breaking, that's different; if there's a spirit of the activity that is there yet minor technicalities get in the way, well it goes back to my earlier comment about being a reasonable CO, not legalistic, nor apathetic.

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D/T ratings aren't the only qualification element that can change post-publication. Attributes can change too, as can the size and the hidden date. After publication of my Slow Cooked challenge, which requires twenty finds with the Takes more than an hour attribute, a few of the local COs added that attribute to their caches that took longer than an hour but didn't previously have it. I've added the Ticks attribute to some of my hides when discovering one of the blighters after doing a cache check, and I removed the No dogs attribute on one when a finder pointed out that dogs were in fact permitted in the reserve in question. Rather embarrassingly, I'd always assumed the hiking distance attributes were based on the distance from the parking waypoint to GZ, until someone pointed out that it's meant to be the return hike distance, so I had to bump a few <1km up to 1-10km and one from 1-10km to >10km. Potentially that could have caused qualification issues for the nearby Medium Hike Challenge, which requires 15 finds with the 1-10km attribute, but that one doesn't get many finds these days and I'm not aware of anyone being caught out.

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4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

The point is about the definitions and guidelines. Obviously a CO can just shrug off any technical unqualification. But they should be verifying qualifications for anyone who claims the find on a challenge cache.

Of course I agree challenged should be verified. I just deny that a change in rating unqualifies the find.

 

4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

All I'm saying is that if a DT is changed, regardless of scale, it can unqualify a person for a challenge.

I think the consensus in this thread is that a cache rating being changed after the cache was found does *not* unqualify the find. It's just a glitch in the checking procedure that makes it look like the challenge isn't satisfied even though it is. Are you saying that's wrong, and a legitimate find of a correctly rated cache shouldn't be accepted if CO changes the rating because something about the find changed? I'm having a hard time understanding that given that you're also suggesting an improved checking procedure that fixes the problem.

3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

One can hope. But these discussions are around because there have been unamicable exchanges and disagreements.

 

1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

But again, if a checker shows red at the time of the find log, the CO is under no obligation to approve past qualifications if current stats doesn't suffice.

Meh. The CO is free to be a hard a**. The seeker is free to forget about claiming the find if the CO is a hard a**.

 

By the way, you've brought up challenge owners that are too lazy to care. That's a different issue.

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10 hours ago, dprovan said:

Of course I agree challenged should be verified. I just deny that a change in rating unqualifies the find.

I'm speaking by the Project-GC checker.

 

10 hours ago, dprovan said:

I think the consensus in this thread is that a cache rating being changed after the cache was found does *not* unqualify the find.

Who says? The PGC checker was intended to be the arbiter instead of "but the cache was wrong before" "but it's wrong now and maybe it was right before" "I qualified before" "but your statistics don't show it" "trust me!" "edit or delete your log" "I'm taking this to appeals!"

The checker was put in place to provide a 'hard evidence'.  The CO has to make the judgment as to whether or not the finder is lying, cheating, telling the truth, trust alternative evidence (thus trusting all other factors as well), ignore the uncertainty and go by the checker, or be entirely apathetic and let anything go to avoid drama. 

I trust that you do understand that every time I said "unqualify" I was necessarily referring to the project-gc checker result.

 

11 hours ago, dprovan said:

By the way, you've brought up challenge owners that are too lazy to care. That's a different issue.

But a big one that contributes to and enables lazy cachers who complain when they don't get their way because "everyone plays their own way" and "it's just a game". Again, somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot.

 

There are rules and guidelines, but the game is also supposed to be fun and friendly. In the same way, there's hard evidence with the PGC checker, and there's the spirit of the challenge that may be affected by technicalities like a changed DT or attribute where the CO needs to decide if it's worth the hassle being hardline checker-only [without "shirking cache owner responsibilities"].

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6 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

I'm speaking by the Project-GC checker.

Exactly. I'm saying that the checker can be wrong.

6 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

The checker was put in place to provide a 'hard evidence'.  The CO has to make the judgment as to whether or not the finder is lying, cheating, telling the truth, trust alternative evidence (thus trusting all other factors as well), ignore the uncertainty and go by the checker, or be entirely apathetic and let anything go to avoid drama.

Sure. So the CO can always fall back to "the checker says you didn't qualify" if he's not satisfied with the evidence, and he'll be fully supported by GS. No drama. I'm only saying he shouldn't do that even when the explanation is satisfactory.

6 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

But a big one that contributes to and enables lazy cachers who complain when they don't get their way because "everyone plays their own way" and "it's just a game". Again, somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot.

OK, but nothing I'm saying should make you think I'd support lazy cachers getting away that kind of nonsense. I assume anyone reasonable agrees with that, so I don't consider it important in the context of giving reasonable leeway. We can have another thread where we all bash lazy cachers and lazy COs that enable them.

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22 hours ago, dprovan said:

By the way, you've brought up challenge owners that are too lazy to care.

That's always sad. A hard challenge and you finally find it and qualify, but the CO lets anyone log a find, and doesn't remove those who don't qualify, or even come close to qualifying. Why have they bothered to make it a challenge. Why not just a traditional!

Example: Find a cache in every Australian Territory and State in one year; plus log the cache (tricky to find). Only a few have managed this. The CO though doesn't remove logs of those who don't qualify, such as one with all of ten find; all local in one Territory. Reduces the effort of those who do qualify.

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14 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

That's always sad. A hard challenge and you finally find it and qualify, but the CO lets anyone log a find, and doesn't remove those who don't qualify, or even come close to qualifying. Why have they bothered to make it a challenge. Why not just a traditional!

He bothered so you could enjoy the challenge.

14 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Example: Find a cache in every Australian Territory and State in one year; plus log the cache (tricky to find). Only a few have managed this. The CO though doesn't remove logs of those who don't qualify, such as one with all of ten find; all local in one Territory. Reduces the effort of those who do qualify.

Have you talked to the CO? This seems more like someone not available to check qualifications rather than willfully ignoring finds so ridiculously unqualified that they're obviously mistakes. This example is so wrong I can't imagine it being someone that's intentionally trying to slip one past the CO.

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4 hours ago, dprovan said:

This example is so wrong I can't imagine it being someone that's intentionally trying to slip one past the CO.

 

One of my challenge caches, the Slow Cooked Aussie Challenge, requires finding 20 caches in Australia with the Takes more than an hour attribute. The physical cache is on Scopas Peak, a fairly remote spot along the Great North Walk about 5km from the nearest trail head. It doesn't get many finds (20 in the 5 years since publication), but I still have to deal with the occasional non-qualifier logging it. I think there's been one occasion where the logger replied with something like "Sorry, I meant to log a WN but it defaulted to Found It", but the rest go much along the lines of this one from 2018:

 

Their log just said "Tftc, completed during northbound GNW end to end", which made me suspicious, so I ran the checker on them and they only had 3 qualifying finds. I sent them this Message Centre message:

 

image.png.9874940e2579a96cba5a7ab100bc8fcd.png

 

There was no reply and no change to their log, so a few days later I followed up with an email saying much the same thing and including a link to the Help Centre page about challenge caches. Again no reply. Eventually their log was deleted, whether by the logger or me I can't remember and my paper trail doesn't show it, but dealing with this one false log was a pretty time-consuming and frustrating exercise.

 

I can only imagine that owners of challenge caches where the physical cache is much closer to civilisation would get far more of these types of logs than I do, perhaps to the point where the amount of effort needed to try to contact those finders who just ignore all attempts at contacting them forces them to either just allow such logs to stand or archive the cache.

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8 hours ago, dprovan said:

He bothered so you could enjoy the challenge.

Have you talked to the CO? This seems more like someone not available to check qualifications rather than willfully ignoring finds so ridiculously unqualified that they're obviously mistakes. This example is so wrong I can't imagine it being someone that's intentionally trying to slip one past the CO.

The challenge I referred to is about 2.5 kms off the highway, along a dirt road in the outback, going to a (still sealed) 2WW abandoned airstrip, so semi remote. A derelict building and other remains, in vegetation reclaiming it. There's one or two found logs a year since publication. Shouldn't be a huge burden for the CO. If it was going to be, they shouldn't have published a challenge cache.

I did make a comment in my note, as did the following geocacher.

It was a fun challenge cache to complete (one of the better ones) and I added more than a 1,000kms to that trip to log a cache in Western Australia, and after I got home, booked the ferry for my car and I to Tasmania to qualify for the challenge.

My car posing at the end of the airstrip near the cache. (This year the car added a 17,000 plus drive around the edge of Australia to its adventures.)

image.thumb.png.5761ed9e7f3e0085a1b33c62971fd417.png

Edited by Goldenwattle
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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

There was no reply and no change to their log, so a few days later I followed up with an email saying much the same thing and including a link to the Help Centre page about challenge caches. Again no reply. Eventually their log was deleted, whether by the logger or me I can't remember and my paper trail doesn't show it, but dealing with this one false log was a pretty time-consuming and frustrating exercise.

Aussies! They do the damnedest things! Who can understand them?

 

I would have just deleted the log right away, explained why, and left it to them to change my mind. (Frankly, explaining why is optional in a case like this, although it's a nice touch because you can include the text of the log which, if I'm remembering correctly, would otherwise be lost when the log was deleted.) Shouldn't require any time at all unless they actually present something resembling an explanation. I encourage COs to be sympathetic, but only when there's something to be sympathetic with. Obviously I don't mind you doing whatever you want to do, but in my opinion, you yourself made this a problem by asking instead of just acting.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

There's one or two found logs a year since publication. Shouldn't be a huge burden for the CO.

To be honest, I was thinking the CO might have died, which would make it an insurmountable burden. ;)

 

Anyway, the challenge sounds super cool. If I were you, I'd be so glad the CO kept it active instead of archiving it because, for whatever reasons, they weren't up to rejecting unqualified finds.

 

I, too, would definitely add a comment in the log lamenting that people that don't qualify -- which I wouldn't hesitate to name -- are being allowed to log it, but beyond that, I wouldn't really care. I'm not saying the CO is correct to allow the finds, I just don't think it matters to those that do qualify.

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41 minutes ago, dprovan said:

o be honest, I was thinking the CO might have died, which would make it an insurmountable burden. ;)

The CO is still alive and active and finding caches. If not for them that part of the world would have a dearth of caches, so despite not checking who logs this cache, they have placed a lot of caches that those like me who pass through the area occasionally, appreciate.

If the challenge cache got archived it would be disappointing.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

I would have just deleted the log right away, explained why, and left it to them to change my mind.

 

The system no longer allows you to provide an explanation when deleting a log, instead the logger just gets a terse email saying "Your log for Slow Cooked Aussie Challenge has been deleted by barefootjeff." The only way to explain your action is to then try to contact them via Message Centre or email so it's back to where I was anyway. Most new cachers now sign up through their phone and never visit the website, so expecting them to have any notion of exotic things like challenge caches is wishful thinking.

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9 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Most new cachers now sign up through their phone and never visit the website, so expecting them to have any notion of exotic things like challenge caches is wishful thinking.

 

Or tree climbs. Far too often someone logs "I saw it" but didn't climb. I explain logging in a very polite and helpful message (app users should still get notification of an unread message) but may never hear from them. Happens moreso after Earthcache logs with no answers sent after 1, 2, 3 or more weeks. Some people couldn't be bothered. Whether it was intentional or not, who knows. But I still have a line between sympathy and basic rules of the hobby - and it's for the good the community, not just personal enjoyment.

 

 

On 12/6/2022 at 3:37 PM, dprovan said:
On 12/6/2022 at 9:00 AM, thebruce0 said:

I'm speaking by the Project-GC checker.

Exactly. I'm saying that the checker can be wrong.

 

Objectively it can't be. The checker checks your statistics. At this point it only checks your current statistics. If that's all it's written to do, all it's ever described that it does, then no, it can't be wrong (assuming the script itself is accurate).  What can be wrong is the cache owner's judgement - and that could be anything from ignoring the checker's output, to strictly adhering to the checker's output. If the checker ever posted a result that implied scanning a user's entire statistical career to determine if they ever qualified, then that would open the door to the checker being objectively wrong.

If a user did qualify and doesn't any more (whether from a changed DT or a challenge concept that itself allows for unqualification), the checker is still right if it returns a non-qualification on current statistics. That's exactly what it's intended to do. As of right now.

 

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17 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Their log just said "Tftc, completed during northbound GNW end to end", which made me suspicious, so I ran the checker on them and they only had 3 qualifying finds.

 

That could even be someone who thought they qualified but misunderstood the challenge. Always good to send a message in that case. For me if it definitely sounds like they found and signed the cache, I'd shoot a message asking them to change to a note, so they have a record of the visit for now, and give them time to do it explaining that I'll check back in some time as I'm under obligation to keep an accurate log history to delete the log. If that happens they can always contact a reviewer or HQ to unarchive the log (which means they'll need to defend the Found It as valid).

 

 

In my mind, if a blatantly false find is posted even on a simple 1.5/2 trail cache, like 5 DNFs followed by a quick find, it can still mislead people so I may even do the same there. (though in that case it sounds like there may be a throwdown which would be something I'd need to check on anyway).

 

Anyway, overarching point is, valid logs are important, not just for personal fun in the game, but they can affect other people's enjoyment of the game. And not just because of 'competition'.  So that applies to challenge caches as well. A difficult challenge claimed by someone who doesn't qualify projects something different about that listing (and possibly even the CO). If I spend a year and an arm and a leg qualifying for a challenge, then someone comes along and couch claims it but the CO doesn't enforce the qualification, it does cheapen the experience - not because of competitiveness, but because I know I could have done the same, could have saved a whole lot of time & money. Sure, that's a personal thing, I completed the challenge for my own achievement.  buuuut... why do we post find logs on the website? Why do we keep track of things with the website?  We don't need to do that; we can track things on our own. The public logs are because this is a visible game. We're not necessarily bragging, but we are sharing in each other's accomplishments and achievements. Seeing someone else's accomplishments can be inspiringhumblingimpressing...  False, fake logs, 'cheating' against the very basic rules and guidelines (whether a finder or enabling as an owner) cheapens the experience.  And anyone who says otherwise is fooling themselves - they should play offline and not track anything publicly on the website at all, since other people's logs mean nothing to them.

 

So, ultimately, it's a threshold to find both as finders and hiders - somewhere between being legalistic about the letter of the law and muffling the fun, and being so apathetic about what people do so that anyone's personal enjoyment could take away from others' enjoyment.  Finding that sweet spot is the key towards a healthy community and hobby that is shared by hundreds of thousands daily on a public website and mobile app.

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15 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The system no longer allows you to provide an explanation when deleting a log, instead the logger just gets a terse email saying "Your log for Slow Cooked Aussie Challenge has been deleted by barefootjeff."

Thanks for explaining. I haven't deleted a log in a long time, and I don't remember what it was like last time I did. Anyway, so sending an explicit message means a small, extra step. Not sure how that takes you back it being your responsibility to convince them to delete their log, and then arguing with them if they don't. You still can just delete the log. I think it's nice to send them an explanation along with the text of their deleted log because it's such a minor effort -- so minor, the UI should do it for you -- but, as I said before, if you think that's too much work, go ahead and forget that step with my blessing. The important thing is to just delete the log and not look for drama about it. As the bruce0 has been saying, the checker was put in play here to eliminate drama, so don't ignore the results of the checker in order to allow drama.

15 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Most new cachers now sign up through their phone and never visit the website, so expecting them to have any notion of exotic things like challenge caches is wishful thinking.

I don't consider that the CO's problem when it comes to explaining the deletion. On the other hand, newbies learn by being taught, so I'd applaud a CO mentoring someone ignorant about challenge caches if they didn't seem to understand. That's not so much being a good challenge cache owner as being a good geocacher.

 

Just as an aside, I won't question whether lots of people are signing up without visiting the website, but I don't really think that's relevant. New geocachers that use the website can be just as ignorant about challenge caches as those that don't. Challenge caches are just something newbies have to learn about. I see no point in looking down our noses at the group that uses an app instead of a web page.

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5 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Objectively it can't be. The checker checks your statistics. At this point it only checks your current statistics. If that's all it's written to do, all it's ever described that it does, then no, it can't be wrong (assuming the script itself is accurate).

Nope, sorry, that's exactly what I mean. It checks your statistics *now*. That's wrong, objectively wrong. It's just exactly as wrong as a smoke detector that goes off because someone burnt their popcorn. That doesn't mean the checker is broken or invalid or shouldn't do that. It just means that the building shouldn't be evacuated when we all understand it isn't burning down.

5 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

If a user did qualify and doesn't any more (whether from a changed DT or a challenge concept that itself allows for unqualification), the checker is still right if it returns a non-qualification on current statistics. That's exactly what it's intended to do. As of right now.

I'm not sure how we can come to an agreement about this. Yes, the checker is doing exactly what it was told to do, so, yes, in that sense it is "right". It's just coming to a conclusion any human can see is wrong about whether the challenge's criteria were met when the cache was found.

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5 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Anyway, overarching point is, valid logs are important, not just for personal fun in the game, but they can affect other people's enjoyment of the game. And not just because of 'competition'.  So that applies to challenge caches as well. A difficult challenge claimed by someone who doesn't qualify projects something different about that listing (and possibly even the CO).

I'm all for valid logs, and I certainly encourage a CO to delete challenge finds that don't meet the criteria. But the question here is, what if, for whatever reason, they don't? The argument I keep seeing here is, "Well, they should." I agree they should, but they *don't*. Now what? I think what a lot of people miss is that the choice is then between archiving the cache -- so now your year, arm, and leg were all sacrificed without any point whatsoever -- or keeping the cache active even though there are non-qualifying finds diluting your pride. I firmly prefer the latter, but if you really want to throw arms, legs, and years away for nothing, you can continue to advocate for the former.

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17 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Just as an aside, I won't question whether lots of people are signing up without visiting the website, but I don't really think that's relevant. New geocachers that use the website can be just as ignorant about challenge caches as those that don't. Challenge caches are just something newbies have to learn about. I see no point in looking down our noses at the group that uses an app instead of a web page.

 

Sure, those visiting the website can still be ignorant about challenge caches, but those who've never visited the website and whose only exposure to caching is through the app are much less likely to acquire in-depth knowledge about the game and its subtleties.

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17 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The system no longer allows you to provide an explanation when deleting a log, instead the logger just gets a terse email saying "Your log for Slow Cooked Aussie Challenge has been deleted by barefootjeff."

Has the system ever allowed the CO to provide an explanation when deleting a log?

 

I know the system allows the CO to provide an explanation when deleting an image, and I know we've asked for a similar functionality when deleting a log, but I didn't think that functionality had ever been implemented.

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29 minutes ago, niraD said:

Has the system ever allowed the CO to provide an explanation when deleting a log?

 

I know the system allows the CO to provide an explanation when deleting an image, and I know we've asked for a similar functionality when deleting a log, but I didn't think that functionality had ever been implemented.

 

I'm not sure, as deleting logs isn't something I've had cause to do until relatively recently. It'd be nice to have, though, as it would circumvent the impression of heavy-handedness the existing email conveys. For me, deleting a log is always the last resort after all attempts at contacting the logger and allowing them to address the issue have failed. On one occasion, when the logger did reply, I still had to delete their erroneous log for them as they were an app-only cacher and the app doesn't allow someone to delete (or even edit) their logs.

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7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Sure, those visiting the website can still be ignorant about challenge caches, but those who've never visited the website and whose only exposure to caching is through the app are much less likely to acquire in-depth knowledge about the game and its subtleties.

I'll have to take your word for it.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:
8 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Sure, those visiting the website can still be ignorant about challenge caches, but those who've never visited the website and whose only exposure to caching is through the app are much less likely to acquire in-depth knowledge about the game and its subtleties.

I'll have to take your word for it.

 

Can someone who only uses the app even run a challenge checker, or do they need to at least visit the website to allow Project GC to access their stats?

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20 hours ago, dprovan said:
On 12/8/2022 at 9:23 AM, thebruce0 said:

Objectively it can't be. The checker checks your statistics. At this point it only checks your current statistics. If that's all it's written to do, all it's ever described that it does, then no, it can't be wrong (assuming the script itself is accurate).

Nope, sorry, that's exactly what I mean. It checks your statistics *now*. That's wrong, objectively wrong. It's just exactly as wrong as a smoke detector that goes off because someone burnt their popcorn. That doesn't mean the checker is broken or invalid or shouldn't do that. It just means that the building shouldn't be evacuated when we all understand it isn't burning down.

On 12/8/2022 at 9:23 AM, thebruce0 said:

If a user did qualify and doesn't any more (whether from a changed DT or a challenge concept that itself allows for unqualification), the checker is still right if it returns a non-qualification on current statistics. That's exactly what it's intended to do. As of right now.

I'm not sure how we can come to an agreement about this. Yes, the checker is doing exactly what it was told to do, so, yes, in that sense it is "right". It's just coming to a conclusion any human can see is wrong about whether the challenge's criteria were met when the cache was found.

 

First, if you want to compare a statistics checker to a smoke detector, then you can't extend the analogy to crying out for evacuation. The smoke detector detects smoke. That's it. If the smoke is just from burning toast then the person in the home has to judge the situation and clear the smoke from the detector or shut it down. The smoke detector was not wrong in blaring that there was smoke. That's its job. The human decides what to do with that information.

Checker->Red->Statistics fail->Should the CO approve anyway? ~ Detector->Blaring->Smoke here!->Should the occupant call 911?

 

The checker's job is not to check if the user qualifies when the cache was found. Objectively speaking, there are plenty of other extenuating circumstances that aren't "mistaken" that can unqualify someone for a challenge, depending on the challenge. The checker checks as of now, and that's all it's ever been intended to do. If the checker says you don't qualify now, and the script is valid, then it is correct. After the checker determines that a user does not qualify now, the CO has to decide whether the user can provide an acceptable explanation as to why they should be considered as qualified, despite their current statistics not bearing that out. There could be legitimate reasons, there could be illegitimate reasons. But the checker is not wrong in doing exactly what it's supposed to do.  (unless perhaps a user's stats are checked so quickly after logging a find that the stats haven't propagated to PGC so it's still showing a fail - easy fix, wait until the needed logs have propagated)

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12 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Can someone who only uses the app even run a challenge checker, or do they need to at least visit the website to allow Project GC to access their stats?

 

The checker needs to be in the description, and to my knowledge every mobile app has to treat the description as standard html, so the checker is a link that would open in a browser of some sort. That's on PGC, so they need to authenticate their GC account (be logged in first) to use the checker.  If that's the end of it, then the only geocaching.com pages they viewed (transparently) were the login and the "Authenticate PGC?" approval page.  Not much else on those pages but the immediate functions that could look potentially like in-app screens =/

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33 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

First, if you want to compare a statistics checker to a smoke detector, then you can't extend the analogy to crying out for evacuation. The smoke detector detects smoke. That's it. If the smoke is just from burning toast then the person in the home has to judge the situation and clear the smoke from the detector or shut it down. The smoke detector was not wrong in blaring that there was smoke. That's its job. The human decides what to do with that information.

Thank you for explaining my analogy so perfectly. My job here is done.

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27 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Thank you for explaining my analogy so perfectly.

But the point: the checker is not wrong in showing non-qualification with current stats - its job - just as a smoke detector is not wrong in blaring that there's smoke from burning toast.

 

As a side note: My house with 3 apartments each had frustration from smoke detectors which also detected ionization, and were placed near the kitchen. So they always went off at the most inopportune time when cooking. They've just been replaced (downgraded?) to just smoke detectors so they won't keep going off when controlled and intentional heat rises.  Just had to get that off my chest :P

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Maybe I am wrong on this but, my opinion on the logic of this:

 

- The cache owner should just strive to keep their ratings reasonable & current. If a rating or attribute, actually needs changing (and is not just the opinion of one disgruntled finder), change it. The CO responsibility is to the cache itself, not worry about peoples' collecting of stats for challenges. Part of cache maintenance duty is making sure your cache description stays realistic. 

 

- The CO of a challenge cache should consider the "proof" of the challenge being met at the time the cacher logs it. It really only matters at the time the challenge is logged; you are not required to re-qualify for a challenge for the rest of time. If a cache found changes its ratings and messes with your stats, that is unfortunate, but if you qualified for the challenge and locked that achievement in by logging it, that is what counts. 

 

 

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