Originally Posted by SethDart
Well, I see the problem behind NMEA
sentences & dial vs digital display more important, let me try to explain:
It's right that there's a a limited set of NMEA
... but a single
information may come from different sentences that must be interpreted, not something a user can choose.
True heading for example: it may come in a single
sentence or you need to compute it with magnetic + variation
When it comes to wind
, you can have it from 0-360Deg or 0-180 left/right
I still cannot see why the user shouldn't be able to choose?
Regarding your example:
In the end it doesn't matter where the information is coming from. If there is a NMEA sentence "heading" => add to/ enable "HEADING" the options to choose from.
If not and there are the NMEA sentences "magnetic" + "variation" => add/ enable "HEADING" to the options to choose from.
If all of the above isn't available => remove from/ disable "HEADING" the options to choose from.
Will say, it is not of interest for the user if an information comes directly from a NMEA sentence or is computed from other NMEA sentences. IMHO the only question is if an information is available or not. Or di I overlook something?
There's also the problem with units: some sentences provide both Feet/Meters/Fathoms, some meters only. Same for Knots/Kmh/ms. (In the future we may have something to transform any value to user selected unit to have a uniform unit display)
The latter is surely most preferable, but as long as the units are displayed this should be no problem.
And as soon as there is a NMEA sentence available which provides multiple units there should be an option (ie. radio
buttons) added to let the user decide which one to use
All that to say I don't think we should let the user go down to NMEA level, we should provide him with valid data usefull for navigation. Let the program alone do the best to compute with the sentences received.
Maybe we have a different understanding of "let the user go down to NMEA level"?
As you don't know which NMEA sentences are available and which are not you have to "scan" for them (of course only looking for the ones that the plug-in can display). And as written above this inludes also the kind of information that is not directly available by a NMEA sentence but can be computed.
Now all available options should be listed in the config settings/ options of the plug-in and offer the possibility to let the user decide which one to display (e.g. by a checkbox for each option). Additionally there should be e.g. radio
buttons for those options which offer
- different units
- different displays (dial - digital)
And maybe the NMEA scan should be done periodical (with respect to performance issues) as NMEA talkers could be switched on/ off.
For dials, there's another problem: You can have two informations in it (at least that's how I made it for now) for example the speedometer display an arrow for SOG plus digits in the middle as well as STW on the bottom-left.
There's a lot of possible combinations for these, some might ask for SOG only, some will prefer Compass with digital SOG in it. I've seen compass display with another arrow for displaying BRG when a route is active.
We must come with a (sort of) limited list of such dials.
IMHO the more the user can define the better. But I don't know what will be possible or not.
If you could arrange it that e.g. a user can select to display SOG separately (dial or digital) or
as Compass with digital SOG in it that would be close to perfect in my opinion.
Anyway - you are doing a great job!
And all of the above is just my personal opinion. I am quite sure that you'll find a good solution in the end.
BTW: Is already known how config options/ settings for plug-ins will be integrated in OCPN?
AFAIR Dave wrote somewhere here in the forum to add an additional tab for the plug-ins where all available plug-ins are listed with a checkbox to dis-/ en-able them. So one possible solution could be to add a button "Settings" for each plug-in that offers config settings. Clicking the button opens a new window with the config options of the respective plug-in.
For the dashboard plug-in this could be a list with all possible or available informations which could be displayed. All possible ones might be better as at the time of configuration there might not all NMEA talkers being switched on. Each option with a checkbox. None available options might be "grayed out" and not the checkbox disbaled. And as already written above wherever needed additionally radio buttons for the type of display (dial - digital) and units.