Posts Tagged ‘Diving Log 5.0’

Diving Log 5.0.2 released

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Right before the end of the year you can download Diving Log 5.0.2, which brings one of the most requested features: more direct downloaders. I finally had some time to include a lot of additional dive computer downloaders across all brands, thanks to the great libdivecomputer project. Jef Driesen did a great job during the past years in analyzing several dive computer protocols and creating an open source, cross-platform library, which can be included in applications like Diving Log.

Without this project it would never be possible for me to include such a wide range of downloaders for Diving Log, because it takes really a lot of time understanding these protocols and data. So, if you like the new universal downloader, please visit the project website, scroll to the bottom and donate some money. This will help to keep this important project going on in future.

Universal Downloader

To access it, open in the sidebar the “Download” tab and click on “Downloader”. You can also put it into the “Home” tab for quick access. It supports currently the following manufacturers:

  • Aeris
  • Cressi
  • Genesis
  • HeinrichsWeikamp
  • Mares
  • Oceanic
  • ReefNet
  • Sherwood
  • Subgear
  • Suunto
  • Tusa
  • Uwatec
  • Zeagle

It is possible that you can even download your dive computer, if your manufacturer or device is not listed. Just select a computer which matches your computer closely (e.g. Seiko based computers are very similar). If you successfully downloaded a dive computer not included in the list, please let me know and I’ll add it with the next update. Please note, that these downloaders are still beta, so you might see crashes or wrong data. Please provide feedback if you see any problems.

This update contains beside the many new downloaders, a Scubase import and some bug fixes also the ability to edit the user defined field names in the logbook window:

Edit user defined fieldnames

Diving Log 5.0.1 released

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Today I’ve released Diving Log 5.0.1 which you can download on the download website. If you’ve followed this blog and installed the several beta version I’ve released during the past few weeks, you won’t notice any big changes from the previous beta, but I recommend you still update to this version as it contains minor bug fixes. If you are still running the official version 5.0.0 from March/April, I highly recommend that you update to version 5.0.1, as it contains lots of new features and many bug fixes and improvements. I will summarize here what has changed since version 5.0.0:

  • Synchronization with online logbooks (Divelogs, YourDiveBook, Dilogs, DiveLogPool)
  • Android sync function
  • Download coordinates from GPS devices
  • New coordinate panel in dive site details dialog
  • Logbook Ribbon Windows 7 Style
  • New field “Exit Time” in logbook window
  • Diving Log Viewer Update
  • Update of the Print & PDF engine
  • Update OSTC Downloader
  • Update UDCF and UDDF Import/Export
  • Subgear support in the Smart downloader and SmartTrak import
  • Import Poseidon MkVI
  • Import JDiveLog
  • Import Blackwave Dive Assistant
  • Import MacDive 2
  • Many small improvements and bug fixes
  • New GPS Tool for Windows Mobile

One remark for Dilogs users: due to changes on the Dilogs login and authentication system, the Dilogs Manager in Diving Log is unfortunately no longer working. Please use the new web sync dialog in order to upload and download your dives. Other features from the Dilogs Manager, like the dive site search, will be integrated in other windows (e.g. dive site details) in the next update, so the Dilogs Manager will then be obsolete.

– Synchronization with online logbooks (Divelogs, YourDiveBook, Dilogs, DiveLogPool)
– Android sync function
– Download coordinates from GPS devices
– New coordinate panel in dive site details dialog
– Logbook Ribbon Windows 7 Style
– New field “Exit Time” in logbook window
– Diving Log Viewer Update
– Update of the Print & PDF engine
– Update OSTC Downloader
– Update UDCF and UDDF Import/Export
– Subgear support in the Smart downloader and SmartTrak import
– Import Poseidon MkVI
– Import JDiveLog
– Import Blackwave Dive Assistant
– Import MacDive 2
– Many small improvements and bug fixes
– New GPS Tool for Windows Mobile

Diving Log 5.0 Launch Recap

Monday, April 12th, 2010

When I launched Diving Log 5.0 two weeks ago I knew that the following days will be a tough time for me, and as things turned out, I proved to be right.

During the past two weeks I had 37 GB of traffic (split onto 2 servers). On the peak April 9 – April 11 there were 18 GB of traffic. I’m really surprised that the server didn’t went down, kudos to my Hoster. Within those two weeks, I received and answered 380 emails (not including spam, notifications and forum posts). During the 3 day peak I got 160 emails and answered every single one. I still get a lot of questions which are answered in the FAQ. If you’ve lost your unlock keys, please make use of this automatic tool, even though this works not in every case: your email could have changed, some email providers block those automatic emails from the server and new keys will take up to 4 weeks to appear in the online tool. In this case, just write me an email as usual.

I didn’t have expected that everything will run smoothly, even after a half year long beta test. Overall it was not too bad – the two major problems (crashing print function and an issue with the installer) are both 3rd party components. The installer issue disappeared after I obtained the latest version. For the print crash there is a workaround by downloading this zip file and extracting it into the 5.0 program folder. You should do this only when the print function currently crashes on your computer, because the profile draw quality is not so good in this workaround.

I already bought the latest version of the print engine which hopefully fixes the issue completely. I’ll test this within the next few days and provide an update as soon as possible. Version 5.0.1 should be also appearing in the near future. Most localization is now also completed. Here you can download an update for Catalan, Dutch, Italian and Russian. French is in the works. For Czech, Finnish and Polish I still need translators.

Diving Log 5.0 released

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Yes, it’s finally done! After rewriting Diving Log from scratch – which was necessary but also a risk – I think the time has come to release it. After more than 1 year of development and 6 month of beta testing it should be stable enough for everyone. Sure, there are minor issues and a few things are still missing from version 4.0, but the advantages outweigh in general. After you’ve installed the final version and a 4.0 key is found, you will be asked during the first program start to open the update website and your 4.0 key will be automatically inserted.

Here are the most important links:

Diving Log 5.0 is fully localized in these languages:

  • Danish
  • English
  • German
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Turkish

The other languages are partly translated. If you want to help to complete the translation for Catalan, Czech, Dutch, Italian, Finnish, French, Polish or Russian, please contact me (Update: Strikethrough = done). As soon as new languages were completed, I’ll provide a small update zip file which you can download and extract into the 5.0 program folder. If you are using one of these languages, please follow me on Twitter, the blog or the news section to stay informed about updates.

So now after the final version is out, what’s going to happen next? I’m already planning on version 5.0.1. Depending on how stable 5.0.0 is, 5.0.1 is either a quick bug fix release or a more feature rich release. In my previous blog post I’ve also written about my plans for the Windows Mobile version.

So now please download version 5.0, update your license keys and thank you in advance for your donations if you like this update or just want to say thank you in general ๐Ÿ™‚

Diving Log 5.0 Release Candidate 2

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Today I’ve released the 2nd and last release candidate of Diving Log 5.0. This version is identical with the final release and gives some time to…

  • update the website
  • localize the languages other than English and German
  • fix possible last minute bugs
  • prepare the update process

Please download the RC 2 and test everything and report any bugs. The beta portal is no longer required and this version is available as setup only. It will run until end of April, the final version should be released in March, if everything goes well.

I’ve got a lot of questions about the update price for existing customers. I’ve thought about this for a long time and decided that this update will be for free for all existing Diving Log users who have an official license key. But I’ll ask for a PayPal donation during the update process, so you can decide yourself if you want to pay something for this updateย  and how much. And users who have bought version 4.0 recently can update for free, of course. I think this is fair for everyone.

Some things have changed in this version, most notable the location of some files. Report, template and layout files are now stored in your Windows personal folder, sub folder “Diving Log” right beside the default logbook file. This makes it easier to backup all files. The other reason is, that there is no write access into the program folder on Vista or Windows 7. You should copy your modified or downloaded report, template and layout files into the new location. I’ve also changed the location of the program settings, which means that some settings will be lost and you have to setup them again (mostly download and export settings).

Diving Log 5.0 RC2 is near

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

So, I’m a little bit behind my schedule – normally the release candidate 2 should be already released – but I’m very close. I uploaded new zip files and uploaded also an updated setup, both are almost RC 2, but I want to fine tune some more things first. German users will notice that the latest version is almost completely localized, which means that I can soon send the localization file to the other translators and those languages will be hopefully finish in the near future.

If you are still running RC1 bits, I highly recommend that you update to the latest version, because RC1 will stop running end of this month. The current build will run until end of March.

Other new features in the latest update are the update check function and the compass display in the logbook window. You must currently drag the compass from the layout toolbox, because there is no finish layout yet included in the setup. The compass will work at the moment only for Uwatec Galileo users, because you can’t yet set the course manually. Please note also that the update check does not show you every minor update during this time. It is more intended for the final release, not for the beta period.

Update Check

Compass Display

Diving Log 5.0 – Latest Updates

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I want to give you a quick overview about the recent updates of the current version 5.0:

  • Backup function added
  • External tools management added
  • UDDF Import improved for DR5 dive computer
  • UDDF Export improved for DR5 dive computer
  • Support for Mares Icon HD (Import DiveOrganizer)
  • GUI Improvements when Windows runs in classic style

The backup function has been improved a bit since version 4.0 and is able to maintain several different logbook files. The backup files can also be zipped.

Backup Function

The external tools function is now also included. With this function, you can add a shortcut to any file or program to the “Tools” menu.

External Tools

External Tools Manager

If you own a DR5 dive computer from HeinrichsWeikamp, you can use the new improved UDDF export to upload any dive from any dive computer to your DR5. Make sure to set in the export settings the “DR5 Compatibility” option to “True”. With the improved UDDF import you can select now several UDDF files and import them at once. This makes it much easier to import from the DR5 where every dive is stored in a single file.

UDDF Export

If you own a Mares Icon HD dive computer, please write me an email. I need some dive data from the Icon HD in order to test the import function a bit more (I had no real data during the development of the importer). Thank you!

Template Manager and Equipment Revision

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

In the latest update I’ve finally included the Template Manager. It enables you to quickly update several dives at once, even though this is now also possible using the new table editor. If you are not familiar with the template function, I recommend you watch this video tutorial from the support website. To access the template manager, you can click in the “Logbook” menu the “Template Manager” item, or in the logbook window, the small dialog launcher button in the Ribbon.

Template Manager

Template Manager

In this update I’ve fixed also a bug which could crash the application on Windows XP, when interacting with the dive profile. The equipment service reminder is now also included. To activate it, check the box in the equipment dialog. As soon as the revision date for one or more items is within the time span you have set, the Welcome Center will pop up during startup and the equipment items were displayed. When you click an item it will be shown in the equipment dialog.


Welcome Center



Import Diving Log files

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Here you can see how to import Diving Log logbook files, which has been improved from version 4.0. Now you have more control which data will be imported, so you can use it to exchange data with logbook files from other users, e.g. you only have to enter new dive sites once, and then import them into the other logbook files.

Import Diving Log logbook files

Another new feature is the automatic backup before critical operations. Diving Log has a backup function (which is not yet included in version 5.0), and you should additionally backup your logbook file regularly to a secure location, but sometimes it can happen that you edit something and save it to the database and want to undo it. But due to the characteristic of a database, deleted records and other changes cannot be undone. In the latest version every time you delete something or sync from a device (iPhone, Windows Mobile device) back to the PC, an automatic backup file will be created before. The backup file has the same name as your logbook file, but with the extension *.bak, e.g. Logbook.bak and is stored in the same location. If you have made a mistake and want to undo it, close Diving Log, rename your logbook file (e.g. to LogbookOld.mdb), make a copy of the backup file and rename the extension to *.mdb and open this file in Diving Log.

The feedback of the Release Candidate 1 was overall positive and revealed a number of bugs which were not found during the beta period. Thank you to all testers so far!

Why “final” version 5.0 is not the correct word

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

I always talk about “final version 5.0”, but I think that’s not the correct word. Because final means finished, and that’s not the case, of course. When I say “final version 5.0” I normally mean “stable version 5.0” or “initial version 5.0” or “contains all features of version 4.0” or something like that. It’s just the version 5.0.0.

Older users already know this, but I want to write a little bit about Diving Log updates in the past. When you take a look into the changelog of version 3.0 or 4.0 you will notice that the “final” or better initial version 4.0 or 3.0 had not a lot of new major features. In the past, the initial version was always a new base for the next 4 or 5 years, a new technology to start from adding new features. And you will notice that there were “minor” updates which brought a lot more features than the “big” update 3.0 > 4.0.

Why is it so? When the big software companies release a new major update, the feature set is fixed for the next 2 or 3 years. So they have to put everything new into this update, and then they deliver only bug fixes, but no new features until the next major update. With Diving Log it’s a little bit different. Major version number updates are always fundamental changes, mostly in the background. They are a good base to deliver updates for the next years.

As I wrote in my 2nd post in this blog back in February, Diving Log 5.0 is a complete rewrite of the whole application. Version 4.0 was developed in Visual Basic 6, a now outdated technology, not further developed by Microsoft. The successor is Visual Basic .NET, a modern object oriented powerful development system and the technology behind Diving Log 5.0. The problem is (or better was), that there is no automatic upgrade path between VB6 and VB.NET. It’s not like converting a Word document from *.doc to *.docx or a JPG image to a PNG image. The best solution is to do everything again, copy and pasting parts of the code where it is possible, rewriting the remaining code completely and creating the whole user interface from scratch.

Well, Diving Log is not a small project, version 4.0 contains more than 62000 lines of code, version 5.0 more than 82000 lines. Rewriting such an application, doing everything that perfectly worked, a 2nd time is really a pain. Luckily I found this blog post from Joel on Software about the Netscape drama 10 years ago not before I started this, but when I was almost finish ๐Ÿ˜‰

Things You Should Never Do

They did it by making the single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make: They decided to rewrite the code from scratch.

Unfortunately I had no other choice than to rewrite the whole application, because of the missing upgrade path from VB 6. One of the best decisions I made was, that I’ve developed new features since January 2008 directly in .NET and integrated them into version 4.0. This helped me to keep version 4.0 up to date while porting the application to the new platform. But since beginning of 2009 I had to stop the development of version 4.0 completely to concentrate on the main part of the application. It was a long time and hard work, and you as an end user won’t notice any huge changes. But that’s a good sign, because it was my goal to keep the character of Diving Log, I don’t wanted to have something completely different.

A few things are still missing from version 4.0 and I integrate them in the next few weeks. As soon as everything is complete, translated and stable I have to update the website a bit and release the initial version 5.0. Then I can plan the required database upgrade to add new data fields and dive profiles and finally working on the really long feature request list. But I always have to be careful “not to spoil the software” like written in the coding horror blog:

In the software industry, the release of newer, better versions is part of the natural order.

But for some software packages, something goes terribly, horribly wrong during the process of natural upgrade evolution. Instead of becoming better applications over time, they become worse. They end up more bloated, more slow, more complex, more painful to use.

So with the tons of feature requests, I have to find a good balance between new useful features and bloat. I’ll try my best ๐Ÿ™‚

I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, enjoy the holiday season!