One thing I have found is that each user has a completely different idea of how to use OCPN. Some want things to scale, some don't, some have high res screens and want things bigger and better looking, some have touch screens and want alternatives to mouse usage, and so the list goes on. It would seem that if I restrict choice some section of the user community will feel constrained/restricted. So I made the decision to make all settings in the main config file available easily to the user for customisation, hence the size of the preferences. I tried to pick what I thought were sensible defaults, but..... So some may want zones with shading inside to be OK areas, so may make the shading green, they may want zones with shading on the outside to show it is only safe inside, so may make the shading red (think anchor
watch). I let the user select what width they want the shading outside a zone as it depends on the screen
you are using as to what you can easily see without impacting other functions/features.
The thing that needs to be remembered is that OD is a drawing tool, nothing more. Whilst I have used the words boundary, exclusion, inclusion, etc. this is just terminology that I found useful, you or others may not. But, for me, when I put the shading inside a zone I think of this as a no-go area, when I put the shading outside I think of this as a 'safe area'. But that is just me.
I think, in the next version of OD, I will make boundary points also be 'Active'/'Inactive' as it makes sense. There may be times when areas are active, i.e. at certain states of the tide, certain wind
conditions, when marine research
is being undertaken, when boats are racing
. It would be possible to make some of these 'automatically switch states', but that is definitely for the future.
Originally Posted by NAV
What I think in relation to OCPN Draw:
1. To remove one variable: automatically draw a grid inside an Exclusion area, and a narrow one (setting 15) outside an Inclusion area. The grid then indicates always whether you see an Exclusion or an Inclusion area on your screen. Remove another variable by removing the possibility to set the grid width for Inclusion areas. No grid for general areas.
2. Indicate in OCPN Draw that - for the time being - alarm interaction with WatchDog only works for straight lined areas and not for circle areas.
3. Also consider the possibility to remove a third variable, the variable that makes an area active or inactive. Once drawn, all areas are active.
I think we need to 'decouple' OD and WD a bit, i.e. focus on what each plugin does and not combine them into a 'super' plugin. When combinations are made the seeming complexity rapidly increases. So perhaps we need to be careful in our explanation. I wonder if we could not continue Gilletarom's work on the coloured table concept
. We could make a few more tables to show the interaction between OD and WD.
The WD code is only a 'proof of concept' to demonstrate that plugins could communicate and provide extra functionality to users. I was hoping that someone else would pick up the baton on this and start to further develop it. The issue here is that there are so many different ways to set/build alarms that the WD plugin could get very complex in its settings. We already have Time, Distance, Anchor
alarms some of which have boundary types and boundary states associated with them. If we now extend the 'Anchor' alarm to show when you are approaching the boundary line this becomes another setting. If we decide to have an alarm when the boat changes 'side' (inside to outside and vica versa) then this is another setting or alarm.
Boundary Points, with shaded range rings, are included in the boundary alarms as it may be easier to drop a point and have an 'exclusion' zone than make a polygon boundary. In Aus we frequently have exclusion zones set that prohibit boats within a 3nm radius of a certain lat/lon. An exclusion boundary point is very useful for this.
Again, I think this points to the need for good, simple, easily understood documentation
to explain what and how WD should be used AND the limitations. Again, Gilletarom's table may be a good starting point for this. My problem is that I am too close to the plugins and the way they work, so it is difficult for me to think like you and even more difficult to work out how to present the information as I 'know' what is happening. Having to explain it to other is helping me, but.....
Please carry on thinking and writing your messages. I am sure it is helping others understand. One thing, this is post #1290 in this thread. Perhaps we should move this sort of discussion to a new thread specifically about usage of OCPN or plugins and their interaction, what do you think?
And related to WatchDog:
1. For the alarms to be sound when approaching an area: only use distance and remove the time variant (a fourth variable removed).
2. Approaching an Exclusion area or a general area from the outside: if alarm is set ON, the alarm(s) is/are given.
3. Sailing inside an Exclusion area: if alarm is set ON, the alarm(s) is/are given. Sailing inside a general area: no alarms at all.
4. No alarms for approaching an Inclusion area form the outside.
5. Approaching an Inclusion boundary from the inside: something to be developed for the future.
6. Indicate in WatchDog that alarms cannot be set for circle areas and that presently no alarm is possible for the situation where an Inclusion boundary is approached from the inside.
These are just thoughts, that describe how things can possibly be made simpler, and certainly not requests.