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SMP main page enhancement


#56

Hi Rob, I just used the new feature and thought I would suggest that you put a Red text marker Flag up also when a user makes settings changes (like you have for the FILTER)…

Additionally,
I had been looking for a way to only display the summits that I haven’t done in a region. I had several great suggestions in a thread I started a week or so ago, but I thought I’d ask you also.

Can you tie the Mapping to a call-sign and only show, the non-completed summits?

Thanks for all your efforts.

Richard.


#57

Hi Richard,

The red “Filter active” text appears when a filter is applied to the data, which has the effect of reducing the number of results returned from a query. That’s why it’s so important to notify the user that the filter is active, otherwise he/she may wonder why results differ from those in, say, the SOTA database pages. That notification consists of two words, which take up very little screen space.

The other settings in the main page Settings dialog, on the other hand, do not reduce the number of results returned, but simply affect how data are presented graphically or in the table: so they can be considered to be of lesser importance than the filter. In any application like this - and especially a web-based application - there is often too little space available to present everything to the user. That’s what dialog windows are for: presenting sets of additional information, or controls, to the user to enable certain additional tasks to be performed without cluttering the main view.

Good GUI design is all about elegant use of screen space without over-taxing the user’s eye. So: no, I’ll keep the Settings dialog - and its’ settings - just the way they are, if you don’t mind.

Ah, would that I were able to do this! At the moment, I have no way to do so, and that’s because your (and everybody else’s) activations data are locked away in the SOTA database, to which I have no direct access. Understand that the SMP is a completely independent entity from the main SOTA sites, and runs on a completely different server, etc.

It would certainly be possible to use the new SOTA API to grab such data and thereby to tailor the display of summits in the SMP: on my side, it’s no exaggeration to say that I would need just a couple of hours to create the code to make that work. Unfortunately, the person in charge of the API appears to be so snowed under with other responsibilites that he can spare no time at all to develop the necessary functions to enable such a flow of data. And that’s the state of play at the moment.

Of course, another possibility for the SMP to get relevant activations data does exist - and that is that the user him/herself upload those data to the SMP. It would then be in principle a simple matter to present “non-completed” summits, or whatever, on the map. But then I/the SMP run the risk of being inundated with streams of data, none of which can be guaranteed to be “clean”.

The API is definitely the way to go here: if you and others are concerned enough about this matter, I would suggest you contact the MT and make your thoughts known to them. Perhaps some action regarding further development of the API might ensue; but I would suggest you not hold out too many hopes on that particular front…

Best regards and 73,
Rob


#58

The recent changes you did to improve the performance have made big difference to me Rob.

I was sure there was a bug before too. When I turned off the neighbouring regions and other options leaving only the summit markers everything was fine till I swapped region from the dropdown and then the additional features I’d turned off came back and slowed things down. The new code has fixed this, options stay the way you set them.

I was a bit ‘meh’ about the region borders till I actually used the facility. I grew up during the Cold War and never thought it would be possible to drive into Eastern Europe with a radio, climb up a hill and play radio. With the UK going to leave the EU, this will only get harder so now is the time to go East. I’m off to Berlin for a work trip the 2nd week of October so I was looking to see which summits were nearby and the bordering regions feature is great for this. It’s shown me that I can bag SP/OK & OM summits for not much more than the cost of fuel. What started as I’ll take a day for SOTA after my work trip is turning into a week long tour of Central European SOTA summits. All thanks to how easy it is to see the regions! So this feature has gone from ‘meh’ to ‘yay’ :slight_smile:

I like that I get things the way like almost by default and don’t have to log in to get my UI choices selected. But there is one thing, can you disable the automatic zooming when changing region? If I zoom out to get a big picture overview I’d like the zoom level to stay as I set it. It’s not a big thing but it’s one of those would be nice options.


#59

Hi Andy, glad you like these features.

On the subject of automatic zooming, this has already annoyed me on several occasions, and I’d already thought of providing an option to enable/disable this. So that’s definitely the next user-setting to be provided…

IIRC, there’s a similar feature already in the SMP alerts or spots page(s)…

EDIT: Yes, there were some bugs, but I think I’ve got them zapped now.

Rob


#60

RR…TU de N2GBR


#61

Thanks Rob, happy with the approach of the page remembering my settings via cookies. In an earlier post you mentioned you weren’t to happy about using cookies if it could be avoided - hence my suggestion to have the additional features turned off by default.

Ed.

Update: Just tried this - disabled the “enable nearby regions display” option in settings and the neighbour regions still display as boxes (no summits in them but the region areas are still shown). I then refeshed the page and the selected rehion (TL in Austria) went from the top and no regions were then available for selection. The OE Austria was still there however. By selecting a completely different association (one of the US ones) the regions appeared again and when I changed to OE Austria, I got the regions displayed again in the pull-down menu.


#62

Ed - why try it first and THEN refresh the page? Surely it’s more sensible to refresh the page and THEN try it??

This is something we have discussed before: when new code is uploaded to the server, it won’t automagically be loaded into the browser. To be absolutely sure one gets the very latest code updates, one should do a <Ctrl>+F5 (or <Mac>+R for Apple users) - this should become second nature to browser users. You know this!

I tested and re-tested the code many times to ensure it doesn’t do what you have described, before publishing it. Please do a complete page refresh before testing new features. If it doesn’t seem to work, refresh again - if it’s still wrong, let me know, but I have to say I can’t reproduce what you describe; not with the new code at any rate…

EDIT: performing a simple F5 refresh (as opposed to a full <Ctrl>+F5) will very often (= always) result in controls like dropdowns NOT being properly initialized, thereby skewing relationships between those controls and others. Only a full <Ctrl>+F5 refresh properly loads new code AND re-initializes all controls to their startup state.

Rob


#63

Mer Culpa, I had always thought that shift+refresh symbol is the same as ctrl+F5. i.e. a full refresh. That is what I did previously, (at least I think I did). Ctrl+F5 has loaded the new code and the changes are remembered without the drop down menus being impacted.

I should have also realised that many parts of the code are browser based not server based, which explains what I saw.

All working correcty now thanks.

Ed.


#64

Implemented! …as an option which you can enable/disable, of course.

Rob


#65

Another small addition to the main SMP page. I received a question from Mark N6IV as to how to print the map in the main page and found some code online to do just that. However, since no native Google maps printing function exists, it (and others like it) is a bit of a kludge solution, depends on which browser is being used (big surprise, that!) and kind of works - at least for now.

A right click on the map brings up a small context menu “Print map” which indeed does print the map, but leaves a little to be desired. Some objects won’t print, or will only half-print, but as a stop-gap measure, it’s not too bad. I’ll work on trying to find a better solution, but at the moment, and for a one-click solution, it’s better than nothing.

Power users will, of course, grab a screenshot and use their favourite image-processing software as usual…

Rob


#66

I am puzzled by this post because I print the range derived maps for the area around our base before any SOTA holiday. I print directly from the Firefox Print in the drop-down menu.

In fact I was thinking of asking Rob if the headers could be suppressed in some way as they waste up to a third of the available page.

Thanks again for a most useful suite of tools.
73,
Rod


#67

Thanks for the new option Rob at present I use the standard “Snipping tool” (it’s actually called that) in Windows 7/8/10 and then past into a wordpad document, adjust and print as needed for my activation planning documents. That way I can easily pick what I need off the screen and “mix and match” from various sources. I think most here will be able to do this with very little computer skills.

Ed.
P.S. of course on other Operating Systems, there are different screen shot/editing programs but the principal is the same.


#68

Actually, there’s probably the answer right there - all I need to do is create a set of CSS rules for media print, which would suppress the other stuff, and just leave the map as the only thing visible to the print-job. It’s just I’ve never had occasion to do this… I’ll play around a little more and see what I can come up with.

Rob


#69

Yes, that does it. A small simple CSS file now suppresses the headers, left-hand tools bar and the footer bar when printing. All you need to do is tell the browser to print the page. Works in the main and range pages so far.

Rob


#70

Wonderful. Many thanks, Rob,

73,
Rod


#71

Suppression of all non-map objects when printing the page from the browser, now works in all SMP mapping pages.

In other words, when printing any of the SMP mapping pages from the browser, only the map area (and any dialog windows you have left open) will be printed.


#72

Another small enhancement to the SMP main page - a handy zoom tool to complement those offered by Google maps. This new tool enables the user to quickly zoom into an area of interest without having to go through the, at times tedious, process of zooming and dragging the map to get to the area one is interested in.

How does it work? - simple:

  • move the mouse to a point on the map representing one corner of the area of interest;
  • press the mouse RIGHT button and hold it down;
  • then, while still holding the right mouse button down, drag the mouse pointer to the opposite corner of the area of interest - a coloured rectangle will appear to show the area to be zoomed to;
  • release the right mouse button to initiate the zoom;
  • pressing the <Esc> button during this process will cancel the action.

That’s all there is to it… I’d be interested to know whether people find this of use, or to know if it doesn’t work as intended (hint: you may need to refresh the browser window when viewing the SMP main page).

Rob

EDIT: this new zoom tool now added to the SMP range and tracks pages…


#73

:laughing:


#74

SMP just keeps improving, great tool, thanks for the work!


#75

Great feature, especially when looking to see if I can activate a second summit in the same area.

The most valuable resource that we all have is TIME. By being able to combine summits in one trip (my closest summits are around an hours drive away from here - the more interesting ones 2 to 3 hours). It can in some cases work out that although the trek up to the first summit is 90 minutes or more, a linking track to another SOTA summit may be only 30 minutes and even allow a loop track back around to the starting point. By being able to enlarge a group of summits with this new feature - I have the chance to plan an activation of summits, which I probably would not activate if I planned each one separately.

73 Ed.