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Old 10-03-2011, 05:17   #721
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Re: track handling

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Originally Posted by claire View Post
As much as I have liked using Opencpn ... have found Opencpn very deficient for track handling...
I would like to add my voice to these excellent suggestions. While OCPN's track handling has improved considerably recently, it could still use more work. (Personally, I prefer the multiple "Layer" concept, which I'm glad to see is being worked on)

Claire, if you'd rather not add your ideas to Flyspray yourself, I will do so for you. Please let me know.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:17   #722
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Re: Feature Requests

Pavel,

I just did as you suggested.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:35   #723
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Re: tracks

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1. When I import a track of more than a few miles, opencpn immediately slows down to a crawl.
It does slow down indeed, but I live with tracks of 10000 points (3 months of sailing, not really needed underway in one piece). I am thinking now of handling the tracks as in the handheld GPS - cut 'em into a day's worth...
Quote:
2. If I import a big track that slows me down, I have no way, in Opencpn, to cut out the parts that may not be needed immediately.
True, this must be done (not too difficult) offline. Let's keep OCPN lean, but today I was playing, rather successfully, with a "split route" button, which should be easy to adapt for tracks as well. Good idea.
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3. When I want to display more than one track, It gets immediately messy if I cannot assign them a different color.
You can assign a color by choosing the right <sym> attribute in the .gpx file. In the production version it is xmred, xmblue or xmgreen. I will post a trivial patch increasing the choice to what I am using now, i.e. xmred_, xmblue_, and xmgreen_, which will be "empty" as icons, so the track drawn with them will not be so thick, also hiding in RM works better then....
Quote:
4. The way opencpn cuts my own track into tens of different files and doesn't allow me to assemble these as a single file is extremely frustrating
The Layers feature allows putting multiple files into a single directory, and handle all of them with one click - show/hide/delete etc. This should help.
Quote:
5. In the track/route manager, I cannot select more than one item to delete or export at a time, unless I delete/export all: great waste of time.
Right, the idea is to have most of historical data as layers, which are not subject to export. Then "export all..." concerns only a little amount of recent tracks/wpts/rtes.

Hope this helps.

Piotr
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:40   #724
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Re: Feature Requests

Piotr,

Thank you for the reply. However, your proposed solution to 3 (track color) is beyond my understanding. Regarding 4 and 5, I am sure that the layers are a great concept, but can you or someone point me to an explanation of what it is and whether it is available in the released version?
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:35   #725
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Re: Feature Requests

claire,
the layers are a new functionality Piotr is working on, currently not available in any released version (not even in the first 2.4 beta released today). To find out more, the thread discussing it is Organizing Nav Objects into Layers

For the colors you have to edit the GPX file currently, no support in the GUI.

The solutions for your requests will appear in the following betas (when/if someone decides to implement them ).

Pavel
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Old 13-03-2011, 01:11   #726
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Re: Feature Requests

I just had the opportunity to use OpenCPN V2.3.1 for a crossing of the Gulf of Mexico from Galveston, TX to Marathon, FL; about 800 nm overall. I am runnning OpenCPN under Windows 7 (32 bit) on a Dell E1505 laptop. The only thing connected to laptop was a DC-DC power adapter and a BU-353 hockey puck gps. The gps driver was downloaded from USGlobalsat Corporate. Must install driver and then reboot computer. Windows 7 can't find the driver by itself.

This was my first opportunity to use OpenCPN under realistic conditions for more than a day at a time. The program is spectacular and almost perfectly meets my needs. I appreciate the fact that authors have resisted the temptation to bloat the program and with this in mind, I hesitate to suggest unnecessary changes. I do, however, have a few suggestions listed below from highest to lowest priority:

1. The positive-named mark (ie, anchor watch) feature was very helpful the first night while at anchor awaiting our departure from Galveston the following morning. The negative-named mark feature, in which one names the mark with a negative value, could be even more valuable if the allowable negative value allowed was increased. It seems that currently, any value greater than 1000 meters is ignored. When passing through the region of densely populated oil platforms, this would have been very helpful to gain an early warning when approaching a wide expanse of oil platforms.

2. Allow more than one negative-named mark. Sometimes passing through the high density of oil platforms is like threading a needle. If one could put a negative-named mark on both sides of desired course, it would guard against straying too far left or right. I would say having just two would be a terrific enhancement, but 3 or 4 might satisfy other situations.

3. After running the program for many hours the arrow keys tend to stop working. This was easily fixed by exiting and restarting the program. Since tracking was enabled, the program automatically started a new track. I wonder if upon restarting, the option can be added to append to the most recent track or start a new track? I had hoped to have one continuous track for the entire passage. This option could occur when starting the program if tracking was already enabled (preferred) or as a separate option in toolbox.

4. Change the tracking icon such that background color brightens when tracking is enabled and darkens when tracking disabled. I would like to see at a glance the status of tracking. I've since learned that when tracking is enabled, a track shows up bolded in the Route Manager window which helps. One can also enable tracking here. Bug: shouldn't the 'Start Track' button be greyed out when tracking is already enabled? Or even better, maybe it should be replaced with a 'Stop Track' button?

5. I am using the dashboard which, by the way, is very nice. When I activate a route I expected VMG to show a value, but it's just blank? This is not a significant concern, but was just a bit confusing that the option was there, but it didn't work. I sometimes find VMG to be helpful in trying to determine how far off the wind to point given leeway considerations. In the final analysis, I stopped using the dashboard, since filtering is not available. I recommend that it be added.

6. When at anchor, I enable a new track to keep track of position. The toolbox is set to record a new position every 60 seconds. Nothing new appears? This suggests that a certain distance traveled is actually controlling things despite the option selected. If one is able to record new points on a time basis, one will actually see an arc develop at anchor depending, of course, on how much the wind shifts. Once the arc develops one can set the anchor watch pretty exactly to allow for wind shifts, but set to alarm shortly after a drag.

7. Sometimes a track is very important to me. For example, if one eye-ball navigates through a cut and wishes to repeat it later at night, the prior track is very helpful. If the computer crashes, the track could be lost. For this reason, I would like an option that allows the track to be periodically written to disk at a user-selectable interval.

8. I like to keep a -1000 mark available on the screen and move it around as needed (to alarm if headed towards some obstruction). This works well except that the program occasionally crashes when I move it outside the area of visible chart. I do this to force the program to load a new chart, but it doesn't seem to like that.

It's probably normal that people expect certain things to happen based upon other similar programs they've become accustomed to. In my case, I've used Microsoft Streets & Trips for years as my street charting program. It has a feature whereby you can display a user settable view by dragging the mouse while pressing the right mouse button. This is handy when you wish to fill the screen with a very specific area. I realize this conflicts with the current use of the right mouse button which opens up a context menu. This would certainly be a significant change and I mention it just as a point of discussion rather than a suggestion to see if this possibility would be of interest in the future.

Thanks again for a terrific program. Wish everything aboard performed as well
Pete
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Old 13-03-2011, 04:53   #727
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Re: Feature Requests

prroots...

Nice to hear about a successful voyage

re your 1.: indeed, I set a limit on how far the anchor watch can extend. I do not remember now, but could be 1000 m. The reason for this was that in version 1.3.6, when the anchor watch appeared, there was no Route Manager yet, and no way to list and inspect all the waypoints. I wanted to avoid a situation, where there are distant and invisible waypoints around (maybe forgotten or moved by mistake or a playful visitor), with alarms set, waiting to disturb you in unspecified future... So I made the Anchor Watch really to operate within the cable limits, so to speak. Today, there is a possibility to view all the waypoints, so it is easy to see, which ones have suspicious names. Still, unless some way of structuring the display of waypoints list is built, the list may be just too long to scan conveniently. Maybe time to review this.

re 2.: I thought that setting too many alarm conditions might result in a quick growth of complexity of the situation. This is an individual feeling, of course, but I just felt that 2 is sufficient for most cases, and more might lead to someone continuously clicking the alarms rather than checking the chain... So yes, it is made as 2 points and not an array of points now. Point noted.

re 6.: I think in former versions this worked as you suggest, and as I would also wish - i.e. without minimum distance between trackpoints. It got changed somewhere in-between. I think it is not easy to have a universal mechanism for tracking, that would be very fine grained for anchor swings and coarse grained for autopilot runs - more work needed here, and more controls - I'm afraid.

re 8.: does this happen also for other marks, without -1000 enabled?

Piotr
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Old 13-03-2011, 05:29   #728
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Re: Feature Requests

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Originally Posted by PjotrC View Post
prroots...
re your 1.: indeed, I set a limit on how far the anchor watch can extend. I do not remember now, but could be 1000 m. The reason for this was that in version 1.3.6, when the anchor watch appeared, there was no Route Manager yet, and no way to list and inspect all the waypoints. I wanted to avoid a situation, where there are distant and invisible waypoints around (maybe forgotten or moved by mistake or a playful visitor), with alarms set, waiting to disturb you in unspecified future... So I made the Anchor Watch really to operate within the cable limits, so to speak. Today, there is a possibility to view all the waypoints, so it is easy to see, which ones have suspicious names. Still, unless some way of structuring the display of waypoints list is built, the list may be just too long to scan conveniently. Maybe time to review this.

re 2.: I thought that setting too many alarm conditions might result in a quick growth of complexity of the situation. This is an individual feeling, of course, but I just felt that 2 is sufficient for most cases, and more might lead to someone continuously clicking the alarms rather than checking the chain... So yes, it is made as 2 points and not an array of points now. Point noted.Piotr
Thanks for the quick feedback. Please be advised that my points 1 and 2 refer only to the negative value alarms and thus do not relate to length of chain/rode etc. I feel there is real value to the negative value alarms in addition to the positive value anchor alarm which I believe is fine as is.
Pete
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Old 13-03-2011, 05:32   #729
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Re: Feature Requests

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prroots...
re 8.: does this happen also for other marks, without -1000 enabled?
Piotr
I don't have a good answer since it happened just a few times and it wasn't reproducible. It also happened, as I recall, when trying to extend a route off the edge of the chart. Wish I could be more definitive.

By the way, this is one of the reasons I would like:
a. Option to append to track when starting (if previously enabled)
b. Option to write tracks to hard drive at user-settable interval
Pete
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Old 14-03-2011, 15:22   #730
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Re: track handling

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While OCPN's track handling has improved considerably recently, it could still use more work. (Personally, I prefer the multiple "Layer" concept, which I'm glad to see is being worked on)
Claire, Jon, Pavel...

As an experiment, I changed a couple of lines in the OCPN code (maybe 3 or 4, Pavel will know exactly...). The effect is to assure that:

1. Trackpoints and tracksegments are not mouse-selectable. To learn their properties, one has to go to the Route Manager and identify them by name.
2. Trackpoints can not have icons nor visible names. Only the lines are drawn.

Needless to say, I have now 21000 trackpoints on the screen, and do not feel it at all, well - maybe after turning on the second core... As for the functionality, I think the lines are enough, even for annotations.

Could we live with such simplifications? In this case tracks are really almost drawings, as in MaxSea...

Of course, one could assume, that only the _Layer_ tracks are such simplified beasts, and all the other tracks, including the current track, are full-function ones.

Piotr
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Old 14-03-2011, 15:31   #731
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Re: Feature Requests

Piotr,
I can certainly live with it. Can't actually remember if I ever cared about a single trackpoint when *using* the program, so probably didn't

Pavel
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Old 14-03-2011, 18:17   #732
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Re: Feature Requests

Dave,

I Found a interactive Cruzing guide. The only way it is supported away from the internet is as a plug in on navigation software. It's a great way to log info on anchorages and marina. It would make a great addition to openCPN

www.activecaptain.com

Jon
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Old 14-03-2011, 23:37   #733
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Re: Feature Requests

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Dave,

I Found a interactive Cruzing guide. The only way it is supported away from the internet is as a plug in on navigation software. It's a great way to log info on anchorages and marina. It would make a great addition to openCPN

www.activecaptain.com

Jon
This has been discussed in this thread:

--> http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ain-55563.html

And the owner of ActiveCaptain has responded in there many times.

Currently, it's not gonna happen. but maybe in the future.

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Old 15-03-2011, 08:29   #734
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Thumbs up Re: track handling

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Originally Posted by PjotrC View Post
...As an experiment, I changed a couple of lines in the OCPN code (maybe 3 or 4, Pavel will know exactly...). The effect is to assure that:
  1. Trackpoints and tracksegments are not mouse-selectable. To learn their properties, one has to go to the Route Manager and identify them by name.
  2. Trackpoints can not have icons nor visible names. Only the lines are drawn.
...I think the lines are enough, even for annotations. Could we live with such simplifications? In this case tracks are really almost drawings, as in MaxSea...
Certainly sounds good to me if it improves performance. I do wish that some tracks are editable to the extent of removing redundant points on a straight line, or where the GPS hiccuped, but that can come later.

Thanks Piotr!
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Old 15-03-2011, 12:03   #735
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Re: track handling

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Certainly sounds good to me if it improves performance. I do wish that some tracks are editable to the extent of removing redundant points on a straight line, or where the GPS hiccuped, but that can come later.
It certainly does improve performance.

I estimate that

- making all tracksegments selectable accounts for 20% of overhead
- drawing (mostly empty) trackpoint icons and texts - 80% of overhead

I would probably leave the endpoints as selectable, one can even afford icons and texts there.

And - when intelligent track smoothing/reduction will become available - one could also wish to select prominent bends in tracks... Such smoothing (keeping within a specified channel width) would ideally precede conversion of any track to route, if this is indeed allowed automatically.

Plenty of interesting and useful opportunities with tracks...

Piotr
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