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Old 18-01-2011, 09:47   #16
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ActiveCaptain

How is it going with the ActiveCaptain-Plugin?
Any development or thoughts?

Thomas
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Old 18-01-2011, 10:08   #17
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How is it going with the ActiveCaptain-Plugin?
Any development or thoughts
I've stated in other threads and have exchanged emails with Dave. There is no way that I'd consider supporting the existing architecture for the time being. That could change in a few years depending on a variety of other things I'm involved with. I wouldn't bet on it though.

I know this will typically elicit anger. That's just silly. We can disagree - there's nothing wrong with different points of view on a topic. I definitely understand open source goals and think I see what you're after. It just doesn't fit with our designs and requirements right now and could seriously jeopardize what I've been working on for 4+ years now.

It would be very simple to provide a plugin architecture that commercial developers could work with. This could open the door to a wide variety of chart and data options along with the potential for radar and other instrument integration. I believe it's just a matter of time before radars will be more open than they are now so that's a smaller issue. The chart and data issues are just never going to go away because the intellectual property is the main value.

There's a reason I'm involved with these threads and watch this space. I think there's a good chance that a change to the architecture might happen. I sort of think it has to because of the extreme vertical nature of this market but that probably doesn't make sense to a lot of people involved with this yet. Perhaps it will someday.

Discussion is a good thing.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:02   #18
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It is soon time for a new beta development cycle. I recently picked up a few smoke signals ( or rather the electronic version ) from the outer Bahamas and Dave. It seems like he always comes up with some major development down there. The indication is that a new beta is more or less ready to be published, and that one of the major features will be a BSB4 plugin!!! As soon as he gets a decent wifi connection, things will get underway. This is likely to happen "maņana", which is fast, considering that Island Time prevails while cruising.
Thomas
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Old 07-07-2011, 00:26   #19
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Re: Widespread Adoption of OpenCPN

I'm with petermoree, I've installed it on 3 machines this week alone!! Its down to us to spread the word - the more people using it, the more support the project will receive.

I'd also HIGHLY recommend dumping win/mac and installing Ubuntu or another flavour of linux.
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Old 22-07-2011, 14:00   #20
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2.3.1 - 100,000 downloads on Source Forge

The statistic is back on SourceForge and OpenCPN version 2.3.1 will, within ~day, pass the 100,000 download mark. Note that this does not include all available versions, as some are only available on OpenCPN.org.
Thomas
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Old 22-07-2011, 15:46   #21
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Re: Widespread Adoption of OpenCPN

Great product, so sincere thanks to the many developers, testers, etc.

On your question re: what will encourage greater uptake: IMO, the availability / accessability of charts is the biggest issue outside the US. That said, CM93 works if you have a copy. Limitations of 'night-vision display' of raster charts (Land Information NZ chart series) is also an issue, but perhaps I am missing a setup trick here (if so, please PM me) ...

I suspect an Android / iPad tablet version would arouse wide interest

Re: spreading the word. Like others, I hand OpenCPN and a copy of the NZ charts to people I meet. The product is so good that word of mouth is working well ...
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Old 22-07-2011, 15:54   #22
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Re: Widespread Adoption of OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by roger.waite View Post
Great product, so sincere thanks to the many developers, testers, etc.

On your question re: what will encourage greater uptake: IMO, the availability / accessability of charts is the biggest issue outside the US. That said, CM93 works if you have a copy. Limitations of 'night-vision display' of raster charts (Land Information NZ chart series) is also an issue, but perhaps I am missing a setup trick here (if so, please PM me) ...

Re: spreading the word. Like others, I hand OpenCPN and a copy of the NZ charts to people I meet. The product is so good that word of mouth is working well ...
Regarding charts....we have just found a "treasure" ---2700 US charts, worldwide, has become available. Read more in this thread:Charts II: NGA - 2700 Charts

The night vision problem is solved in the present beta and soon to be released stable 2.5. From the documentation
Quote:
F6 General Dimming, in steps, of the entire Screen.
SHIFT + F6 reverses the dimming.
.

Thomas
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Old 22-07-2011, 16:35   #23
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Re: Widespread Adoption of OpenCPN

OpenCPN is getting more impressive with each successive build. Serious kudos are due to that handful of dedicated developers who keep it moving forward. The thing just doesn't seem to break that often anymore. The display and quilting algorithms are getting pretty smart. The interface is generally slick.

Support for additional chart formats is, IMHO, the single biggest issue facing the project at the moment. Hydrographic offices are the main offenders here, and I'm not sure if a legal, open solution the S-63 problem is possible. But if it is, that would remove a huge barrier to OpenCPN adoption. If I can't read my government's official charts with it, it'll remain an occasional supplemental tool at best.

Thinking longer-term, IHO S-100 is on the horizon. (And along with that is S-101, all the complexity of S-100 with all the downsides of S-63...) This may be a few years out, it may be two decades out, but we'll have to adapt eventually. Is the underlying OpenCPN architecture up to it? And NGA chart support would be great too.

Performance is still a bit sluggish on low-power hardware when many charts are loaded, and having to wait for the S-57 database to rebuild when changing chart sets, or "SENC file create" when panning, seems to be a bit of a turn-off. Even if performance improvements aren't in the immediate future, an option to manually force all this background work to occur at a convenient time (rather than when you're panning around) would be welcome. Also in the "little details" category would be improvements to the route manager's filing and lookup interface, which often gets a bit cluttered.

ActiveCaptain overlays would be a huge hit, of course. For the moment, I agree with Jeff that it would be exceedingly difficult to come up with an open plugin / interface, while maintaining AC's stellar standards of quality. If the plugin's closed, there are licensing issues integrating it with OpenCPN; if it's open, some shady operator is going to fork it and wreak havoc. I've seen this happen with other projects. It gets ugly.

I do not yet understand OpenCPN's architecture well enough to offer much on this front. I do think, though, that it might be worth looking at ways to modularize it further, splitting out everything except core functionality into plugins. (Perhaps along the lines of IrfanView's architecture?) I'm not qualified to say much more, to be honest. At the very least, though, it might allow some not-quite-GPL-kosher ideas to be implemented under different licences, and still interface well with the pure FOSS core.
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Old 22-07-2011, 17:35   #24
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Re: Widespread Adoption of OpenCPN

A really good compromise could be had by allowing plugins to be closed/compiled in exchange for being available for free on the standard plugin server. That would give users what they want most (no cost) and allow proprietary technology to stay proprietary.
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Old 22-07-2011, 19:55   #25
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Re: Widespread Adoption of OpenCPN

Jeff...

Glad you are monitoring these threads. Good to hear you chime in.

We do not have a policy that OCPN PLugIns must be opensource (FOSS).

What we say is that:
1. if the PlugIn author declares a PlugIn to be FOSS, then the source must be available for free download. This is accepted, normal FOSS policy...

.and.

2. We have a policy that we will only host FOSS PlugIns on the opencpn.org site, and the related sourceforge download site.
Why? Because these hosting resources have been donated to the OpenCPN project, gratis, and we don't want to compromise their existence in any way.

What has not been clearly stated heretofore, and is relatively new, is this:

3. We now have access to a number of private hosts, from which we may serve any PlugIns or data that we (and users) may want, FOSS or closed source.

Just thought you should know, and it gives us all something new to think about.

Dave
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Old 22-07-2011, 20:57   #26
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Re: Widespread Adoption of OpenCPN

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We do not have a policy that OCPN PLugIns must be opensource (FOSS).
Could you help me understand what has changed? Is OCPN no longer GPL because if it is, then doesn't this FAQ cover this topic quite clearly?
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLAndPlugins

Or perhaps are you just re-casting the fork/exec ability that I turned down as unacceptable over a year ago?

If you were to modify the GPL license under which OCPN operates then I can see how it would be possible. Otherwise the process of integrating ActiveCaptain will have to wait until I feel the potential threats it would cause are gone. There's a lot happening in that regard next year but I think we're looking at 2013-14 as realistic time when it could be possible.
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Old 23-07-2011, 07:48   #27
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Re: Widespread Adoption of OpenCPN

Jeff...

I was referring to a modified, two stage fork/exec PlugIn process, as discussed earlier.

Such a PlugIn architecture would, I believe, satisfy GPL requirements, and provide a level of protective isolation to a proprietary auxiliary application such as Active Captain.

Dave
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Old 23-07-2011, 07:58   #28
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Re: Widespread Adoption of OpenCPN

I don't think the fork/exec process would provide much security. It would likely create a negative user-experience too because the plugin couldn't touch internal structures.

Why not create a Wikipedia and/or Panoramio fork/exec plugin as a sample and show what the experience would be like? That would give others with proprietary data a model for creating access to their databases and prove how great the experience would be. I fear that tapping on a marker to query it for more info would be a bad experience. It would also demonstrate exactly how much interface would have to be left in the open. In addition, it would give a couple of pretty useful plugins - Wikipedia and Panoramio.
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Old 26-07-2011, 18:22   #29
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Re: Widespread Adoption of OpenCPN

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Originally Posted by roger.waite View Post
...

I suspect an Android / iPad tablet version would arouse wide interest
...
I agree- enough to begin the task on my own for Android. There will need to be a few features added to make touch screens work better- like "Zoom by X amount" and "Zoom to X Scale".

I promise not to step on the original files.
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