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Old 10-03-2018, 05:31   #46
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
The database needs to be able to be forked by anyone at any time. Which service allows this?
Why is this the case?

Can copy-protected chart data be forked and provided to others at any time?

It seems to me that if the API is completely open (and OpenCPN support for it can be forked), then support can be added since the API won't be proprietary. What am I missing with that?

Garmin isn't going to want to have a closed API. Instead, they'll likely have a way of unlocking the data once the user has provided "credentials" like logging in. At that point, the data will be available even if it under copyright.

It just seems to me like this is the opportunity to provide real ActiveCaptain data inside OpenCPN with an open API.
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:33   #47
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect
All you're doing [by promoting one alternative] is pumping what may well be the next AC, if they get a fat offer. The solution to removing all the barriers to data use is not to pick a new repository, it is to SHARE all the data.
The database needs to be able to be forked by anyone at any time. Which service allows this?
The different "open" providers could come up with a way to exchange data without having to fork each others' dbs, if the will was there.

Remember that by doing the collecting, and by providing and hosting APIs that are free to access, Garmin and the other named providers are doing us a service. Their POI information is free to users and developers, so no I don't agree that 'forkability' is the one and only criterium for data being open.

Moreover, uncontrolled forking is not conducive to any sort of data quality or consistency. How would you know that provider X of that db has been dependably syncing with all the other forks?

From the article in Panbo, here is what Garmin are promising:
Quote:
  • Ken [Cirillo] emphatically stated that ActiveCaptain as we know it is here to stay. "We aren't limiting it, we aren't closing it down, we aren't charging for it! We're looking for ways to expand it,"
  • "We know we need AC to run on as many platforms and as many places as possible."
  • "ActiveCaptain will be free for users and developers."
Now, the AC developer/API page is empty, so that's not exactly confidence-inspiring. If the new API is supposed to be live by late May, the details of that API should be public at least a month before, so that developers can make their changes in time. A clear statement from them on what's going on wouldn't hurt, either.

They seem to be reading these fora, so maybe they'll hop to it.
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:38   #48
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

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Originally Posted by svmeanderer View Post
It just seems to me like this is the opportunity to provide real ActiveCaptain data inside OpenCPN with an open API.
Have we seen that API? Or any mention of such an API existing or being worked on? The reality is we have absolutely no idea what is going to happen and what it will take to get access to it. For the public good I just hope it won't be something similar to the "Open API" this service tried to implement last time...
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:42   #49
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

One other point...

A lot of this Garmin change has to do with the new European GDPR requirements. Those requirements are all about data rights and a casual look into it provides a lot more protection for the data per user than any of these crowd-sourced licenses provide.

As an ActiveCaptain user, I'd rather see the real, worldwide, complete database integrated with the software. I use it a lot while underway.

It seems to me that Polar View for Windows and Mac are going away with ActiveCaptain support. Giving them an OpenCPN alternative seems like a no-brainer.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:18   #50
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

un trez bon idee:
Quote:
The different "open" providers could come up with a way to exchange data without having to fork each others' dbs, if the will was there.
squiddio_pi https://Squidd.io
VFkaps_pi https://VentureFurther..com
No plugin https://www.waterwayguide.com
Others

Would find strength and value in sharing data?
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:25   #51
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

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Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
squiddio_pi https://Squidd.io
VFkaps_pi https://VentureFurther..com
No plugin https://www.waterwayguide.com
Others

Would find strength and value in sharing data?
Realistically speaking, I expect the way this is most likely to happen is for every data provider to have an open API for data calls, then a given application would pull from all available APIs, run a local filter/de-duplicator, then present all the POI points, perhaps with a little flag or symbol indicating which provider it came from.

But actual data sharing among all the "open" providers would be cool.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:26   #52
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

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Originally Posted by svmeanderer View Post
Why is this the case?
to ensure user freedom
Quote:
Can copy-protected chart data be forked and provided to others at any time?
Not without violating the copyright. Making copyright denies user freedom.
Quote:
It seems to me that if the API is completely open (and OpenCPN support for it can be forked), then support can be added since the API won't be proprietary. What am I missing with that?
It may be technically possible to implement, but it isn't very interesting to do so, as it can be swept away from under us at any moment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Remember that by doing the collecting, and by providing and hosting APIs that are free to access, Garmin and the other named providers are doing us a service. Their POI information is free to users and developers, so no I don't agree that 'forkability' is the one and only criterium for data being open.
It has nothing to do with the data being "open" and everything to do with freedom using the data.
Quote:
Moreover, uncontrolled forking is not conducive to any sort of data quality or consistency. How would you know that provider X of that db has been dependably syncing with all the other forks?
We have uncontrolled forking for opencpn. This is not a problem; it is a feature.


There is a serious problem in data quality in all of these systems. A few moderators can maybe take care of spammers, but having one person validate what appears to be actual information is not practical since no one can be everywhere all the time.

I'm not sure how exactly to handle this, but perhaps the simplest way is to allow other users to up and down vote each other's reviews. This would ensure the most upvoted appears at the top.

A more complicated approach is to determine the user's, based on how they voted, and who also voted the same way, and use those other votes to influence that user's results.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:27   #53
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
From the article in Panbo, here is what Garmin are promising:
Now, the AC developer/API page is empty, so that's not exactly confidence-inspiring. If the new API is supposed to be live by late May, the details of that API should be public at least a month before, so that developers can make their changes in time. A clear statement from them on what's going on wouldn't hurt, either.

They seem to be reading these fora, so maybe they'll hop to it.
I guess I'd like to believe those quotes. Believe that AC will continue and grow to be what Jeff always promised it would be.

But somehow, I'm just over it. I don't really even WANT it anymore. Too much drama, too much secrecy and too many cryptic announcements with few details and no real products to back them up.

How long has it been since AC was sold? And we're still here wondering what it all means? How can that be a good sign?

I hope I'm wrong. But meanwhile, there are other options out there. The next time I invest that many hours in setting up my systems to use crowd-sourced data, and more hours entering reviews, it's going to be with something that has a more stable future.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:06   #54
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

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tWe have uncontrolled forking for opencpn. This is not a problem; it is a feature.
OpenCPN is awesome, elegant software, an application. Software is not data.

When you fork software through something like github, the forks and changes can all be tracked, and it's relatively easy to find and merge features into another branch or fork.

If you permit a database to be cloned completely by someone who's going to be independently adding or changing data, all you get is chaos. Further, there is simply no compelling reason for the average boater to want to have (or to access) an independent database; their needs are amply served by the one API, if it's been done competently and in a trustworthy manner.

I know that you're advocating for full "pure" openness, but the fact remains that the AC data has been collected and held in what is clearly a mutually beneficial relationship. All boaters still benefit from the availability and maintenance of AC data, even though Garmin "owns" it.
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:28   #55
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

It is not desirable for the data to be forked. But I don't think that is the reason to desire that the data be ALLOWED to be freely forked.

I think the point is that if it IS able to be forked, then if the entity that is in control of the data decides to shut down the availability, a saved fork could be used to start up a new freely available project.

The point is that the data being available for fork might stop someone from trying to wrest ownership from the public at some future point. The data being allowed to be freely forked means people would be more comfortable sinking time and effort into supporting that project.

-dan
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Old 10-03-2018, 11:10   #56
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

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I think the point is that if it IS able to be forked, then if the entity that is in control of the data decides to shut down the availability, a saved fork could be used to start up a new freely available project.

The point is that the data being available for fork might stop someone from trying to wrest ownership from the public at some future point. The data being allowed to be freely forked means people would be more comfortable sinking time and effort into supporting that project.
The effort to have started AC and to grow it to a size where it's undeniably useful to all boaters, and attractive to a company like Garmin is not trivial. It took 10 years. It's not unreasonable for Jeff S and company to reap benefit from that effort.

People will either have to have (or gain) enough faith in Garmin's stewardship in AC to continue making contributions... or put their efforts into another application that they think will be around and free for longer... but still risk that that other entity will themselves choose to cash in down the road.

At this point, I still think AC is pretty darn good, and I have faith that Garmin will keep AC available, but I want to see the new API and its terms ASAP.
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:33   #57
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

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It is not desirable for the data to be forked. But I don't think that is the reason to desire that the data be ALLOWED to be freely forked.
yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
The effort to have started AC and to grow it to a size where it's undeniably useful to all boaters, and attractive to a company like Garmin is not trivial. It took 10 years. It's not unreasonable for Jeff S and company to reap benefit from that effort.
By developing OpenCPN the developers reap benefit. We have a useful software.

Making something garmin considers worthwhile is a burden to us all. Just look at the AC website. It is clearly targed at powerboats. The type of boats displayed are the most inefficient power boats of all. There is a menu for "fuel" options which encourages this behavior.

Jeff doesn't sail; he wastes his income polluting the seas and killing the reefs. If he sailed instead he wouldn't need this income. The reward in creating a useful platform is enough.
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:48   #58
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

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Jeff doesn't sail; he wastes his income polluting the seas and killing the reefs. If he sailed instead he wouldn't need this income. The reward in creating a useful platform is enough.
Religious fervour or altruism are two forms of motivation for app development, yes... commercial success is another. If I'm not mistaken, Garmin is a for-profit company; profit is not yet illegal, and it is still common for a company to fill a need for a popular service and profit from it.

As you know, it would be possible for someone to develop an entirely open, unrestricted, cloneable POI database that has no restrictions. Are there volunteers out there willing to take that on?
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Old 10-03-2018, 15:07   #59
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

@boat alexandra

Regarding verification of data.
There is a road side radar detection app called "Blitzer.de" in Germany. They verify by collecting a number of positive crowd confirmations before releasing data as verified.

Why am I telling this?

Well how about a semi automatic system similar to this on boating locations.
Lets say one crowd member gives info on location xyz. That location report could show up as a red mark on the chart. If 5 others confirm the info it turns yellow. 15 confirmations and it turns green.
Maybe add the option to switch red off if you only want to see properly confirmed content.

Just some thoughts from a non coding user....
Thanks to all those clever coding buffs out there creating awesome open source applications such as OpenCPN!
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Old 10-03-2018, 15:12   #60
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Re: Active Captain Discontinued - An Opportunity?

where is all the "goodanchorage" website /plugn data?
what happens when a given source shuts down?

Maybe someone should develop such a database on github and host it on a website.
However there are some costs associated with that the website and of course a lot of time and skill. Or maybe it should just collect data & POI and be a resource and open for other websites to use? Thus ensuring that the users continue to have access to "their" data?

IE: When an OpenCPN plugin enters a POI data, it is first saved to the "common" github database, then saved to whatever website. Thus the opensource plugin ensures by its action that the data remains available to all. I am sure there are db issues to resolve with this, but it could be something that was done somehow.
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