Angry

Groundspeak API changes lead to broken logs download

OAngryn March 16, Groundspeak has changed some API limits without notice to developers. Unfortunately this breaks some functionality in iCaching. Loading your last logs, or logs for caches now returns an error message instead of logs.

We’ll fix this ASAP.

How about that version 5.0 you’re talking about?

That’s a good question. Let me explain.

The major features I planned for version 5.0 were a Yosemite look and feel, a geocache images tab and a location picker (to choose a location for corrected coordinates, API searches and home locations. See screenshot).

LocationPickerTo implement these features I had to make major refactorings in the existing code. For example, for the location picker I needed the Apple Maps API, which is only available for Mavericks and higher (so that will be the minimum OS for version 5.0). That made it possible to replace a lot of legacy code by more modern APIs Apple is providing. Or another example; to add the photos, I need to do a database version migration. That provided the opportunity to make the data model more efficient (loading at startup with big databases!), and prepare for new properties (user waypoints). The extra work involved was to create a migration process from the old to the new version, keeping your old data work in the new version.

These refactorings make the groundwork of the application more stable, faster and better maintainable. But they cost a lot (yes, I mean a lot!) of time. And in the meantime there is still some maintenance work on version 4.x…

To make this version ship in a not too distant future, I will cut some of the planned features (probably photos too) for the first 5.x version. But a lot of groundwork has been done, so those extra features can be added soon after the first release.

Public beta

All these changes in the foundation of the application, might introduce new issues, and that’s not what you and I want. Therefore I want to do thorough tests upfront. I also want to do a public beta within a few weeks (just like Apple does
these days).
If you want to participate, please send a mail (using the contact tab on this site) and mention ‘Public beta’ in the subject field. But keep in mind that the first beta will not work with your current database, and the final version will probably not be able to use the data from the beta version too. The main goal of the beta is to gather feedback and find bugs, not (only) to make you enjoy ‘the latest greatest’.

Export blues

While working on version 5.0 (which unfortunately takes more time than expected), I still want to do some maintenance on version 4.x. Once in a while I also like to add a few features in that version too.

Recently some users asked if it were possible to add attribute names to the cache description when exporting them, so you could see them in the field. This seemed a pretty trivial programming excersise, so I added it in version 4.97. But unfortunately, this feature has caused a lot of crashes. This week version 4.97.2 (yes, I want to reserve 5.0 for the next big thing, so coming up with a proper versionnumber becomes more difficult every time) was released, fixing the glaring main issue in the export code.

But after that update, some users still had issues. One was caused by a new attribute type (GeoTour) not yet supported in iCaching, and another for caches with an empty description. Both situations were not present in my test data, so everything went fine here.

Today version 4.97.3 is submitted to Apple for review. That one should finally fix the export issues. My apologies for the inconvenience these issues have caused. And a big thank you for the users that helped me providing crash reports and example files. This helped me to solve this quickly.