Tips and tricks: using filters

iCaching has a pretty powerfull filtering mechanism. You can do a single filter action by pressing the magnifier icon in the toolbar, but you can also save a filter as a so called ‘Smart Folder’.

The filter dialog uses a standard Apple interface element to create the filters, but apparently not all users are familiair with this. One of the most frequent questions for support is how to create a ‘negative’ filter. E.g. search for all caches not owned by me.  Therefore this little post to give some insight.

You can create a search based on one or multiple filters. For most properties of the geocaches there is a filter. Clicking on a ‘+’-button adds a new filter.

The real fun part begins when you add so called ‘compound filters’. There are three compound filters:

  • ‘none’, you can use this for a negative filter: all rules nested must be not true
  • ‘all’: all of the nested filters must be true
  • ‘some’: it’s enough when just one of the nested filters is true

You can add a compound filter by clicking on a ‘+’-button while holding the alt (or option) key. You can drag filters around to organize the ordering of the filters.

Tips for faster filters:

  • Start with the most discriminating filters, this way the filter function has less comparisons left for the second filter etc..
  • Also important for speed is the processing cost of a filter; a boolean comparision (eg. Available=Yes) is cheaper than a nummeric comparision, which is cheaper than a text-comparision.
  • Within text comparisions (e.g. woner, cachename etc) a ‘begins with’ filter on a textbase property is cheaper than the ‘contains’ filter, because the filter only has to look at the first characters instead of the whole text
  • And last but not least: filtering on cacheproperties is (much) faster than filtering on it’s collections: additional waypoints, logs and attributes.

Here is a screendump of the Smart Folder I use myself to fill my GPS:

SmartFolder

Just re-uploaded version 4.4

After a three week struggle with a technical issue concerning App Store approval, I just resubmitted version 4.4 for review. So when the guys of the review team don’t have another surprise, this update can be available soon.

This release is mainly a bugfix release. We managed to solve a bug in the importroutines for fetching pocketqueries through the API.

As a little surprise, we added OpenStreetMap and OpenCycleMap support to the Map window. For this version there is no visible user interface yet to use these maptypes, but by pressing ‘o’ (for OSM) or ‘p’ (for SCM) you can use these.

By the way, did you know that you can already use the keyboard shortcuts ‘r’ (roadmap), ‘s’ (satellite), ‘t’ (terrain), ‘u’ (satellite + roads) in the current version for switching maptypes?

Logging

It’s been too long since I wrote a post on the site. So you deserve a little update on the development of iCaching.

We’ve been investigating a bug some users have when downloading pocketqueries through the API. we couldn’t reproduce the issue on the development machines, so it was like searching blindfolded. But the first reports on the fixed beta from users suffering from this issue are promising.

New feature

A big new feature we’re working on is geocaching logging from iCaching through the API. Today I wrote my first log in iCaching, so we’re making progress 🙂
It will be possible to add selected caches to a log queue, or to download the geocache_visits.txt from paperless Garmin devices to load your fieldnotes from your GPSr to the log queue.
In the queue you can edit one or more logs at the same time.
The queue will show the find count and it will be possible to sort the queue by drag and drop.

Does anyone know whether Magellan has a similar fieldnote file?

As always; can’t give a timeframe for the new version (still a lot work to do), but stay tuned…

The very first log written in the new log function.

The very first log written in the new log function.

New features for next release

As explaned in the previous post, the next version of iCaching focusses on improving the underlaying code of import and export routines. But that delivers some new features too:

– You’ll get speed improvements during these background operations.
– You can import bigger GPX-files without crashes.
– All background operations are cancelable.

And beside that, we added a new screen to the preferences panel. In this screen you can define the time-period for the following Library folders: New Caches, Recently Imported and Outdated Info.

And -last but not least- you can decide whether you want to hear the ‘ping’ when a background operation is finished 🙂

Together with Apple Developer support, we also solved a nasty bug that makes iCaching crash after import for some users.

We want to send this version to Apple this week. The guys in Cupertino are on holiday next week, so I hope it can be released early next year.

The new preferencepane tab.

The new preferencepane tab.

Time for an update

It’s about time for an update on our work on iCaching. We’re still busy with the big refactoring of the applicationcode.

Last week we’ve been rewriting big parts of the import-routines. There are two main reasons for this:

– bugfixing (unfortunately some users are reporting crashes after import of pocketQueries)
– better readable and extendable code for adding new features

But of course there are also a lot of benefits for you:
– speed improvements
– queued imports (not started yet) are shown in the progress-pane (bottom left)
– importing a zipped pocketquery now only gives one progress item for import of both the cache and the waypointsfile
– correct handling of pocketquerynames with special characters

We’re approaching the beta-phase, so a little patience please…

iCaching 4.25 released

iCaching 4.25 is mostly a bug-solving-release. However, in version 4.25 we redesigned the usernote on the Info tab. Scrolling inside the note is improved and it is more easy on the eye.

And besides: the old note wasn’t sharp in the upcoming OS X 10.9 Mavericks. So iCaching is fully prepared for 10.9 now.

Redesigned note

Cleanup the code

During the summer holidays we did a little programming on iCaching. Instead of adding new features, we focussed on cleaning up the codebase. Improve, cleanup and optimalization of the code.

The result is a more stable and a little faster iCaching. And more room for adding new features in the future.

Still wanting to add new features, we redesigned the Map window and added fullscreen mode to the Map window and the main window for users of Mac OSX Lion and higher.

Also new is the ability to refresh cache-data from the API with a right mouseclick in the cachelist. Lots of users asked for this…

At the moment we are finishing the translations and hope to send version 4.2 to the App Store soon.

To be continued…

New website

Alongside the new version of iCaching, we also release our new site. The new site contains information about all the new features of iCaching.
The new site is fully responsive, so you can enjoy it on your desktop, but also on your iPad or smartphone.
We have more screenshots than ever, so you get a good impression of iCaching.
We hope you enjoy the new site!

iCaching version 4.0 released!

Finally it’s there: iCaching 4.0 with API support!

There were moments even we thought this wouldn’t happen 🙂

You’ll find a complete revamped Pocketquery window, with downloads as file or through the API. (Premium users only)

Through the API you can also query the Geocaching.com database directly. Define your criteria and download those caches.

Just before going out in the field you can refresh the cache-availability from the cachelist, so you won’t be searching for archived caches.

From the Info Tab you can add or remove Favorite points to and from Geocaches. (Premium members)

On every start of iCaching it will check your last logs to keep track of your found caches.

This is the first step in supporting the API. More functions will be added over time.

Happy (i)Caching!

 

API-support on the horizon (part III)

For those wondering whether iCaching 4.0 is still on its way, there is good news: it is nearing completion. Translations are almost done, the help files are ready and we’re ironing out the last bugs. It is also send to groundspeak for approval of the API use. So we ask for a little patience…

In the meantime we’ll demo another new feature: the Import API function. From this new dialog you can query for geocaches straight from Groundspeak.com. You may refine your search with several filters on cache-properties.

BlogAPIDialog