[Loadstone] Loadstone enhancements

Alex Jurgensen asquared21 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 12 03:57:36 BST 2009


If I can contribute code for a location texting system I will. I see  
it as a feature where you can send you current location via text to  
somone else.


Alex Jurgensen,
AWEBSIGHT Administrator,
ICE Customer Care,
VoiceOver Trainer,
ASquared21 at visionmail.uni.cc			

Visit us on the web at: http://www.visionmail.uni.cc/

On 2009-10-11, at 3:37 PM, Przemysław Rogalski wrote:

> Hi Shawn,
> Thanks a lot for your patient, full, and thorough reply for such a  
> long list of suggestions.
> I'll refer to it soon.
> ----- Wiadomość oryginalna -----
> Od: "Shawn Kirkpatrick" <shawn at loadstone-gps.com>
> Do: "LoadStone Lista" <loadstone at loadstone-gps.com>
> Wysłano: 8 października 2009 02:07
> Temat: Re: [Loadstone] Loadstone enhancements
> Hello, This is a rather large list of suggestions so I'll try to  
> address
> them as best I can.
> *clock check hang problem. This isn't a problem with the clock check  
> code,
> this is a function of the bluetooth stack. If you just turn off the  
> gps
> receiver rather than disconnecting it then the program has no way of  
> knowing
> what happened to the connection. When loadstone tries to disconnect a
> bluetooth connection a disconnect packet is sent to the connected  
> device. If
> the device is turned off then the bluetooth stack waits until the  
> send times
> out before reporting back. This is why you sometimes will get a lag  
> before
> loadstone exits. This is all under control of the phone's bluetooth  
> stack
> and as far as I know this timeout isn't configurable. Even if it  
> were it
> might not be a good idea to start playing around with these  
> timeouts, it
> might just lead to more problems.
> *cables for knaughtical display units. A cable is simply too large  
> to be
> practical. The only way this would be of much use is if you have  
> something
> smaller than a cable. There must be, yards? metres? feet? Is this  
> really a
> consern anyway? Does anyone else want this functionallity? If you're  
> the
> only one then I'm afraid it's just not going in. If there's any  
> demand then
> it might be worth a look.
> *Accuracy display. It would be possible to have a setting for  
> accuracy to be
> displayed as a distance or just the hdop value. The hdop value isn't  
> very
> meaningfull thoe.
> *accuracy display unit. It would be possible to put in a setting to  
> toggle
> the display unit from metric to imperial. I'll put this on the todo  
> list.
> *Check all points of a search. This could be done but might result  
> in too
> many points being checked for the program to handle depending on how  
> many
> results were being displayed. The other problem would be just how many
> points were checked. The search is done incrementally so you don't  
> know the
> final results until you get to the search complete item.
> *auto announce interval. This has been configurable for quite a  
> while now,
> just look in settings if you want to change it.
> *String needing translation. The maximum value allowed string isn't  
> coming
> from loadstone itself, this must be coming from the symbian  
> framework so it
> should be in whatever language your phone is set to. If not then  
> it's a bug
> with the phone.
> *Repeat last command at time interval. This is on the todo list. I'm  
> not
> sure when it'll be put in yet.
> *locked point the same as checkpoint. I've been thinking of this and  
> maybe
> some other features to do with locked point as well. It'll go on the  
> todo
> list.
> *locked point as last point. The locked point options have been  
> moved in to
> the point menu for the next version.
> *Remap speed and heading. This is why you can edit the key map.  
> These are
> two separate functions that by default are assigned to the same key.  
> We're
> never going to come up with a default key map that'll please everyone.
> *double comma in search string. This could probably be fixed. How  
> often are
> there commas at the beginning or end of point names?
> *Search using database not in menus. This can probably be fixed, it  
> might be
> a matter of what to call it that'll fit in the menu item.
> *select what loaded database to search in. This is on the todo list.  
> It's
> more a matter of how to propperly implement this than anything else.
> *Stop logging when there's no signal. This kind of defeats the  
> purpose of
> the nmea log. The intent of the log is mainly for debugging  
> purposes. The
> fact that people are using this for other things is more of an  
> unintended
> side effect than anything else. Even for log playback you'd probably  
> want to
> know when the signal was lost if you wanted an accurate playback of  
> a trip.
> *Travel time for trip metre. This could probably be done but since the
> program saves the trip metre distance accross stops and starts it  
> might not
> be very accurate as far as real time goes.
> *Log sending. We need a way to do this. We also need this for key  
> map files
> and settings files. I think what'll happen eventually is there'll be  
> a basic
> file browser so that some basic file opperations (sending, renaming,
> deleting) can be performed. I'm not sure what form this is going to  
> take
> yet.
> *Changing text input language. I'm not sure if this is even  
> possible. Do you
> know of any program that can do this? This might be a part of the  
> phone we
> don't have control of.
> *Save database as... I don't think this is going to happen. When you  
> enter a
> point it's already saved to the database so there's no point in  
> resaving it.
> If you want to save several databases as one then that would be a
> database merge. This wouldn't be an easy thing to implement.
> *Overwrite if file exists. There needs to be a prompt for this.
> *Import and export results and error handling. This needs a bit of  
> work but
> I'm not sure what's going to happen with it yet. If you're importing  
> files
> with errors then there's something wrong with the creation process,  
> fix it.
> *Locked point announced as "locked". This is a good idea and  
> wouldn't be too
> hard to put in.
> *Modified checkpoint saving dialog problem. I'm not sure what to do  
> about
> this one. We're hitting the same behaviour in a couple other places  
> as well.
> Having the program not exit after this dialog wouldn't work. If you  
> hit no
> on that dialog then you'd end up with a situation where you couldn't  
> exit
> loadstone. There must be a fix for this particular problem, I hope  
> someone
> can tell me what it is.
> *Use as position in search menu. There's no need for this feature as  
> an
> option in the menu for point searches since hitting select on the  
> joystick
> will do exactly that. This isn't much different from any other type  
> of list
> box.
> *Connection lost timeout. See my explanation above.
> *Marking databases/checkpoints as default. I'm not sure what we  
> should do
> about this. It might be nice to have multiple databases load by  
> default but
> it's a question of how to implement this?
> *Remember last databases/checkpoints loaded. This could be done but  
> might
> not be what you want to have happen.
> *Astronomic add-ons. The astronomic code is one of the most  
> complicated
> peices of code in Loadstone. If people want any more functions for the
> astronomic menu then someone can send me a patch. I'm not sure I  
> could add
> much to that code without breaking something.
> *.gpx format. I don't know anything about that format, Can you give  
> more
> information? Is this format open? What does it contain? If it can be  
> used
> then it might be something worth looking at.
> *Checkpoints loading and appending confirmation messages. This has  
> been done
> and will be in the next version.
> *Ok button in find dialog. This might not be under control in the  
> situation
> you describe. We can just make it not proceed on an empty search  
> field but
> we might not be able to tell the framework not to display the button  
> at all.
> *Show area in navigation mode. This has been there for a while. You  
> need a
> gps connection to use it thoe.
> *Real time route creation. This is on the todo list but I'm not sure  
> how
> it'll work yet. There's still quite a few things to be put in before  
> this
> can be completed.
> *Point approaching announcement setting. This could be put in. I'm  
> still not
> sure why you'd want to have checkpoints with no approaching  
> announcements.
> *Save default position to a point in the database. I'm not sure what  
> this
> would do and it would be quickly overwriten by your next gps  
> position. You
> can go to a point in exploration mode with the goto function.
> *Exit search if joystick pressed on search completed item. This could
> probably be done.
> *Previous/next results in searches. This isn't needed. You already  
> have a
> continue search option and the previous results are still in the  
> list so you
> can just hit the up arrow to scroll back through the list.
> *Send location to emergency. Not a bad idea but how would this be
> implemented? Are there any emergency services that can accept some  
> sort of
> message? In what format? If so it's not the type of thing I'd really  
> want to
> test. The next version will have location sending capabilities so  
> you can
> send to another loadstone user.
> *Log playback control. This is on the todo list but might not make  
> it in to
> the next version.
> I think that was all your points, if I've missed something let me  
> know.
> On Wed, 7 Oct 2009, Przemysław Rogalski wrote:
>> Hello,
>> As the new version is near, I'd like to share some suggestions for  
>> improvements, based on constant usage of your marvelous program.
>> Unfortunately, I'm not a Symbian programmer; if it were, I would  
>> write a suitable patches;
>> But the only thing I can do now is to propose my ideas.
>> Could you please refer to them?
>> Best regards,
>> Przemyslaw
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> * Ls hangs when Clock Check enabled.
>> If you try to exit Loadstone soon after you had turned your GPS  
>> receiver off, Loadstone will hang.
>> In order to exit the program, you need to wait for the message  
>> "Connection lost".
>> * Cables for nautical.
>> Although cable is quite a small unit (1 cable = 0.1 nautical mile =  
>> 608 feet = 185.166 metres), it is required in nautical  
>> calculations. Nautical mile is divided into cables, not to yards.
>> What's more, yards are not used (and not really understandable) in  
>> most European countries.
>> Therefore I'd ask for replacing yards with cables for displaying  
>> nautical units.
>> * Accuracy value.
>> Some users prefer to have accuracy displayed as a plain HDOP than  
>> as a value in metres.
>> Choosing between those two ways of displaying accuracy would be a  
>> great option.
>> * Configurable accuracy unit.
>> Even if I set display units to nautical, could I have accuracy  
>> given in metres, and not in feets, please?
>> Loadstone becomes more international application, so metres would  
>> be more clear for most users.
>> * Select all (search results / area results).
>> Thanks to this option, you could quickly check all searched points  
>> with one click.
>> You could, for instance, get automatical info about nearest pubs,  
>> crossings, etc. while passing.
>> You could quickly create a list of checkpoints from several bus  
>> stops.
>> No need for checking point by point manually.
>> * Custom auto-announce interval.
>> As for now, you can use only predefined Auto-Announce interval.
>> Entering it manually (as other LS parameters) will let adjust that  
>> option to individual needs, eg. if one wanted to set Auto-Announce  
>> to 4, 5, 8, 15 etc. seconds.
>> * String not translated.
>> If in menu Functions/Find point, you type a value greater than 50  
>> for the field "Results"
>> you'll get a message "Maximum allowed value is 50", in English,  
>> regardles of interface language.
>> This string requires translation.
>> * Repeat last command (in a user-defined time interval).
>> This function seems to be very beneficial:
>> You can make Loadstone speak nearest point every X seconds by  
>> emulating Joystick, which partially solves the problemof automatic  
>> information about passed points.
>> You can automatically check what is in front of you, with no need  
>> of constant pressing Up Arrow.
>> You can navigate your boat hands-free, as you'll be getting  
>> systematical info about your direction
>> * Approaching/arriving a locked point.
>> If a locked point was treated as checkpoint, you could get  
>> automatical info while approaching/arriving it.
>> No more need to remember, that in order to be informed of a locked  
>> point, you must check it as well.
>> * Locked point - the Last point.
>> If the locked point affected the "Last point" menu", it would be  
>> easier to check or unlock a previously locked point as easily, as  
>> it is with checked point now.
>> * Remapping speed and heading.
>> It often happens, that you need info only about your speed or only  
>> about your heading.
>> Therefore I'd suggest assigning heading to 1 and speed to Shift+1,  
>> that is not used.
>> It seems better to have one piece of information under one key.
>> Moreover, with "Repeat last command", you could be informed either  
>> of speed or heading, and not necessary of both.
>> * Double coma = coma (",," = ",").
>> While searching, ".." is treated as "."
>> Could, analogicallly, ",," be interpreted as ","?
>> That would allow for searching string with "," at the end or  
>> beginning.
>> * Invisible menu item.
>> The function "Search using database" if "Use checkpoints only" is  
>> enabled has a shortcut Shift+* , but it doesn't appear in the menu  
>> Functions. Can you add this item, please?
>> * Search in... (loaded databases)
>> It may happen, that although you have loaded several databases and  
>> plan to work on them, you suddenly need to perform one quick search  
>> on a particular database(s) only (but not in all loaded databases).
>> Therefore I suggest adding one more field in menu Functions/Find  
>> point, under "Radius",
>> namely "Search in..." (with "All" by default).
>> Then a list of loaded databases appear and you can select/check the  
>> one(s) you need.
>> In that case, user is not forced to "unmount" all databases before  
>> search and "mount" them again after search.
>> * Log not recorded if no signal.
>> Recording NMEA log only when GPS signal was acquired would decrease  
>> the sise of a log file and improved the use of log playback.
>> Alternatively, you could choose from settings if log should be  
>> recorded all the time (good for testing receiver) or only if there  
>> is satellite signal (good for creating routes).
>> * Tripmeter: Add travell time.
>> You could check not only how far is from one place to another, but  
>> also how long does it take to get there.
>> * Sending Log.
>> For the time being, we can share our checkpoints files and text  
>> database files.
>> What about sharing NMEA files (adding "Send" to a "Log" menu"?
>> It will be especially useful when log playback and (hopefully)  
>> breadcrumb generator is implemented into Loadstone.
>> * Text language.
>> Using national diacritics (Unicode) shrinks SMS from 160 to 72  
>> characters, as far as I know. As a result, you would have to pay  
>> much mor for your message, than you should.
>> That's why I set text language to English, fOr text messages.
>> However, for finding or entering points, in Loadstone, Polish  
>> characters are needed. To turn this functionality on, I must  
>> struggle through the menus of my phone to change text language into  
>> Polish.
>> Then, having entered a Polish name into Loadstone, I have to turn  
>> the text language back into English.
>> Could the functionality of changing text language be available  
>> under SoftKey1 in "Find point"/"Enter point"/"Update point" dialog  
>> box?
>> * Save database as...
>> I'd propose adding this kind of option to Database menu.
>> Imagine you have loaded multiple databases (or added some points to  
>> your current database) and want to save it as another database  
>> (under a different name).
>> Then, instead of importing text files into a database, you could  
>> just select "Save database as..." enter a new name, and perform the  
>> task much easier.
>> * Overwrite if file exists.
>> * X invalid entries skipped.
>> This kind of message could be added to import/export result dialog.
>> You make sure that all entries were imported successfully.
>> * Errors to a text file.
>> import/export errors could be saved to a separate text file.
>> Then you didn't have to watch out the whole process or use  
>> Reprocessor, which is not always possible.
>> * "Locked" if on search/area list.
>> If you move through the list of search/area results, and a  
>> particular point is locked, this information could be announced, as  
>> it is with checked points
>> * Modified checkpoints
>> There is a known problem with Talks, that doesn't automatically  
>> announce "Exit Loadstone?", if you press SoftKey2 from dialog  
>> "Checkpoints have been modified. Save?".
>> I suggest Loadstone didn't try to exit the program in this case,  
>> but returned to the LS main screen.
>> * Use as position.
>> That could be the first option under SoftKey1 of the Search results  
>> dialog.
>> It would bring us to Exploration mode and place focus at a selected  
>> item (similarly as the center of joystick does).
>> This is another example of a function which doesn't appear in the  
>> menu.
>> * GPS Connection timeout.
>> Time needed for the message "Connection lost"/"Connection error" is  
>> quite long, especially if GPS source is set to "Phone".
>> COuld it be configurable?
>> * Database/checkpoints: Save as default.
>> With this functionality, an user could define a set of databases or  
>> checkpoints which are to be loaded at program startup.
>> It would be especially useful if multiple databases are supported.
>> It also happens, that in different city/country/circumstances  
>> different databases are more important tthan the "Default" database.
>> No more need to use such tricks as renaming database or checkpoints  
>> "Default" using Y-Browser.
>> * Remember last database(s)/checkpoints loaded.
>> This information could be saved next to as tripmetre and last  
>> position.
>> * Moon add-ons.
>> The most expected information about the sun it is sunrise and sunset.
>> The most expected information about the moon it is full moon and  
>> new moon.
>> As implementation seems not so dcomplicated, I;d like to ask to add  
>> the following to the "Astronomic menu":
>> - Previous full moon
>> (recent date when moon phase was 100%)
>> - Next full moon
>> (nearest date when moon phase will be 100%)
>> - Previous new moon
>> (recent date when moon phase was 0%)
>> - Next new moon
>> (nearest date when moon phase will be 0%)
>> * .gpx log Support.
>> A typical format of routes is .gpx.
>> Could, apart from plain NMEA, also Playback, recording and  
>> saving .gpx format be implemented into Loadstone?
>> * Load checkpoints confirmation.
>> As for now, there is feedback for loading/adding/removing database.
>> Could you please add some confirmation messages also for checkpoints?
>> I mean, for instance: "Loading checkpoints", "Checkpoints loaded",  
>> "Checkpoints appended"?
>> * "OK" in "Find point" dialog.
>> I noticed that even if you don't type anything in "Find" field, the  
>> button "OK" is available under SofktKey1, but of course it doesn't  
>> perform any action.
>> Could "OK" activate after at least one character is entered in the  
>> search field?
>> * Show Area in Navigation Mode.
>> No more need for going to Exploration Mode in order to show area.
>> * Realtime route creation.
>> The function will let you follow a previously passed route or get  
>> back if you got lost.
>> You'd activate it as you're walking and it would generate the points.
>> It should be possible to load a route and then select the direction.
>> Then the direction comments would be generated as you proceeded  
>> along the route.
>> Could ordered checkpoints and breadcrumb generator be implemented  
>> in the next version of Loadstone?
>> PC Breadcrumb Generator and Track to Route Generator seems work  
>> quite fine now.
>> Anyway, I dream of a possibility of using those functions wherever  
>> I am.
>> * Point announcement - "Off", "Approach", "Arrival", "Both".
>> Thanks to this setting, analogical to "Comment announcement" in tab  
>> "General", you could decide if you want to be informed  
>> automatically about approaching to a checked point, arriving to a  
>> checked point, or both.
>> No more need to set approach distance and time to 0.
>> * Position: Save as default.
>> It would be nice to save "Last position" with any point from the  
>> database, just for more convenient exploration of distant areas.
>> * Exit on Search completed if joystick pressed.
>> If you press joystick (or SoftKey1) on "Search completed" in the  
>> search results dialog, nothing happens.
>> Maybe the program could exit the search results window in such case?
>> * Previous/Next results.
>> What about adding such options to the search results dialog box, as  
>> it is with Wayfinder Access?
>> * Send location to emergency.
>> An user could define an emergency number, where current GPS  
>> position and nearest localization from database could be sent.
>> * Pause, speed up, slow down, rewind log playback.
>> That's for future reference only... when log playback will become  
>> reality.
>> With these functions, the usefullness of log playback will be  
>> really worthnoting.
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