New Diving Log viewer to test...

Discussions about Diving Log 5.0 - questions and hints

New Diving Log viewer to test...

Postby divinglog » Wed Apr 16, 2008 20:48

Today I'm glad to release a new free viewer for Diving Log logbook files with many great features, including a comprehensive instant search function, a group functionality, thumbnail and photo display with exif data and zoom, and a nice way to read long comments. The profile display is not yet included but will follow with the next update.

A tutorial, the download and screenshots are available here: Diving Log Viewer

I'm interested about your opinion, comments, bug reports and questions, so please feel free to post. :)

Image
Last edited by divinglog on Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby fatuus » Thu Apr 17, 2008 14:06

Great! Now i can share it with my mom! 8)
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Postby divinglog » Fri Apr 18, 2008 13:12

Great 8)
Is everything working as expected?
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Postby fatuus » Fri Apr 18, 2008 13:18

Yes, what i could see.
I will try some more...
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Quick review of the viewer

Postby aplord » Mon Apr 21, 2008 18:17

I tested this on Win XP with .NET 3 installed, using a Lenovo X61 laptop with Intel Core2 Duo processor running at 1.6Ghz with 3Gb of RAM.

I like the viewer a lot. The real-time update of the searches works well, and I found myself digging into my dive log data to find things like deepest dives, deco dives, how many times I had dived with this/that buddy, etc. It makes the data really accessible. The sort function driven by clicking field names also works well and fast. So far so good!

Suggestions/observations etc:

1. The real-time screen updating is a little slower than the equivalent you get in, say, MS-Outlook 2007 searches. Maybe this is just the feedback on keystrokes as they are entered into the search box. Sometimes there is a delay of a second or so before the character in the search box displays correctly. It gives a slight impression of the search being slow, though in reality it isn't really.

2. Double clicking on a dive entry should display a dive log screen. I am sure this is coming in the next release with the dive profile etc, so I won't go on about this. Other than to say I agree that this will be a very welcome addition, and I am sure it will be difficult to get the usability and simplicity of this working properly given all the data to display.

3. Some prompts are in German (page count says "1 von 1"). Not so friendly for the English-only speakers (like me!) out there!

4. Drop-down field chooser box lists "Repetive". Should this be "Repetitive"?

Great stuff - it gives Diving Log users another way of sharing their data. Thanks team! :angelic:
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Postby divinglog » Mon Apr 21, 2008 19:42

Thank you for the feedback!

1. The real-time screen updating is a little slower than the equivalent you get in, say, MS-Outlook 2007 searches. Maybe this is just the feedback on keystrokes as they are entered into the search box. Sometimes there is a delay of a second or so before the character in the search box displays correctly. It gives a slight impression of the search being slow, though in reality it isn't really.

Yes, I experienced this also on a slower laptop, but I think I can solve this with multithreading.

2. Double clicking on a dive entry should display a dive log screen. I am sure this is coming in the next release with the dive profile etc, so I won't go on about this. Other than to say I agree that this will be a very welcome addition, and I am sure it will be difficult to get the usability and simplicity of this working properly given all the data to display.

Yes, some kind of dive log page is planned, but will not be included in the next update because I'm not yet sure how to arrange the items. Most of the dive data is already displayed in the grid, so this is not so high priority.

3. Some prompts are in German (page count says "1 von 1"). Not so friendly for the English-only speakers (like me!) out there!

That's interesting! I saw the German labels in the comments reader here on my development system and thought that the text came from the .NET Framework, and that on an English framework they would be in English. It seems that this is not the case and I have to translate them. Thank you for this hint! When you right click into the comments and onto a scrollbar, is the text of the context menu also German?

4. Drop-down field chooser box lists "Repetive". Should this be "Repetitive"?

You're right, I've fixed that now.
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Postby aplord » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:25

Yes, I experienced this also on a slower laptop, but I think I can solve this with multithreading.

I forgot to mention that the startup time for the software is also quite slow - less than 10 seconds but more than 5. I ended up starting it 4 times because I thought I'd not clicked it right!!

That's interesting! I saw the German labels in the comments reader here on my development system and thought that the text came from the .NET Framework, and that on an English framework they would be in English. It seems that this is not the case and I have to translate them. Thank you for this hint! When you right click into the comments and onto a scrollbar, is the text of the context menu also German?

Right-click on the scroll bar produces English, as does right-click in the comments. Also the comments and photos icons at the bottom produce English prompts when you hover over them. But the 3 icons at the bottom right hand side produce Seitenmodus, Zwei-Seiten-Modus and Blattermodus when you hover!

Cheers

Alastair
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A bit more feedback...

Postby aplord » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:37

I just found the grouping facility. This is nice also! I love this sort of data display and analysis! The multi-grouping ability is great too.

Suggestions:

1. You can't group by every field, which is a little frustrating. So, for example, the first test I wanted to do was to group by tank size (I vary between 12 and 15). But it isn't there! Can all the fields be made available for grouping?

2. The list of fields is long and horizontal. It's a little difficult to read across them. Might it be possible simply to drag the column headings up into the grouping area instead? I think that might be simpler (less clutter on the screen) and more intuitive (dragging the headings from directly above the relevant data values).

3. When I uncheck the "group by area" item in the top left menu, the grouping fields disappear, but the data grouping remains. I had expected it to ungroup and go back to normal display, but to do that I need to remove each grouping field manually. Would it be more intuiting for the unchecking of "group by area" to remove all grouping?

Cheers and thanks again for the software!
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Postby divinglog » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:42

OK thank you, I think now everything should be in English (with the next update).

The start-up time is one general problem with the .NET Frameworks. I can't do much here, because it's not the viewer which is slow, it is the first launch of the framework after a reboot. On Vista the application starts almost immediately, especially with SP1 installed. But I heard that this "cold startup time" should get better with future 3.5 framework service packs this summer, see this blog posting (scroll a little bit down to "Improved Working Set and Startup Improvements for .NET Client Applications").
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Postby aplord » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:47

The start-up time is one general problem with the .NET Frameworks. I can't do much here, because it's not the viewer which is slow, it is the first launch of the framework after a reboot.

Ah yes, it starts quicker second time round under XP.

Also, I forgot to mention that, with DL and the viewer both running at the same time, the viewer does not pick up data updates made in DL unless you close & open the dive log file. That's probably what I was expecting, but it would be great if it reflected changes in real time. The viewer seems a useful tool to check data quality (e.g. where I forgot to enter a weight it shows easily), so it would be great to go back to DL, update the field, and then go back to the viewer and see the results reflected immediately. Maybe a lot to ask?!

Cheers

Alastair
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Postby divinglog » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:52

1. You can't group by every field, which is a little frustrating. So, for example, the first test I wanted to do was to group by tank size (I vary between 12 and 15). But it isn't there! Can all the fields be made available for grouping?

I've experimented with grouping of numeric fields (dive time and depth) and found out that it doesn't make sense because of the slight changes in the values. So you end up with a lot of groups with only one or two dives inside. But you're right, grouping of the tank size should work, because there are not so much different tank sizes, I'll add this field, too.

2. The list of fields is long and horizontal. It's a little difficult to read across them. Might it be possible simply to drag the column headings up into the grouping area instead? I think that might be simpler (less clutter on the screen) and more intuitive (dragging the headings from directly above the relevant data values).

The data grid is a 3rd party control and the layout and behaviour of the grouping is not controlled by me. I agree that dragging the real header would be more intuitive, but this is unfortunately not supported by this grid at the moment (but maybe in future, we will see). The WPF technology is just at the beginning.

3. When I uncheck the "group by area" item in the top left menu, the grouping fields disappear, but the data grouping remains. I had expected it to ungroup and go back to normal display, but to do that I need to remove each grouping field manually. Would it be more intuiting for the unchecking of "group by area" to remove all grouping?

This is a good idea and I think it should be possible (I'll have to take a look first if the grid supports this).
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Postby divinglog » Wed Apr 23, 2008 14:27

Also, I forgot to mention that, with DL and the viewer both running at the same time, the viewer does not pick up data updates made in DL unless you close & open the dive log file.


Hi Alastair

At the moment simply enter some text in the search box and delete it, so the list will refresh and display the changes. But I've added now a FileWatcher so that changes in Diving Log will automatically refresh the Viewer (it may take 2 or 3 seconds to recognize the file change) and I've added also in the menu a new item "Refresh List", which will manually reload the list.

Sven
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Postby aplord » Wed Apr 23, 2008 18:59

I've experimented with grouping of numeric fields (dive time and depth) and found out that it doesn't make sense because of the slight changes in the values. So you end up with a lot of groups with only one or two dives inside. But you're right, grouping of the tank size should work, because there are not so much different tank sizes, I'll add this field, too.

That makes sense, ta. How about adding Weight to the groupings list while you're at it? Although this can be recorded in decimal places, it's very often the same value for obvious reasons.
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80 CF tanks showing up in log viewer as 77 on occasion.

Postby gjc999 » Wed May 14, 2008 20:01

Hi - this viewer is great. I did notice a small issue last night though. Scanning through the 90 or so dives I have in my log so far, I noticed that maybe 80% of the entries show the tank size as "77" rather than the "80" that is seen in the dive log entry. The other 20% all say "80" as they should. I cannot see a pattern than might indicate why some are 77 and others are not.
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Postby divinglog » Wed May 14, 2008 20:27

Thank you! Can you send me your logbook file so I can take a look at the problem.
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