Thursday, March 15, 2012

aprs.fi upgrade on Monday 2012-03-19

aprs.fi will be upgraded on Monday 2012-03-19. Some downtime should be expected, starting around 9 AM local time (0700 UTC). If you can find some bugs in beta.aprs.fi, this is the time to report and get them fixed before they make their way to aprs.fi! Here's the long list of changes included in the upgrade. It's so long that, as usual, some new bugs will probably pop up. Please report them on the discussion group and I'll try to get them fixed right away.

Anchor navigation and more AJAX

Achilles (left) and Ajax (right) play a board game with
knucklebones on this late 6th-century lekythos, a type of
oil-storing vessel associated with funeral rites. Photo taken
in Musée du Louvre by Marie-Lan Nguyen, 2011
(CC by attribution, Wikipedia/Wikimedia).
The technical implementation of the navigation in the real-time map has been completely changed. In the new model the map page is not reloaded from the servers and initialized again from scratch every time an user changes the view by searching for a new callsign or an address. This AJAX magic will make callsign searches and other view modifications considerably faster, especially on slow computers and slow connections such as mobile devices. It'll also reduce load on my and Google's servers. And make the browser's bookmark functions and the back button work better than before.

All of the links used by aprs.fi to refer to specific map views have changed, but the traditional ones documented on the linking instructions page will keep working, and I encourage you to use them as before - they're not going anywhere.

Try searching for OH2K and OH2TI one by one again and again, and you'll notice both the improved loading speed, and a nice panning effect. It'll pan whenever the newly searched station is close enough to the current view.

Improved address search

Address search has been improved to make a better use of the data returned by Google's API. A marker for the result is now only shown if the result is accurate (such as a street, or a house number on a specific street).

Address search will also adjust the zoom level - "Finland" or "Pohjois-Karjala" or "USA" should actually fit the specified region in view. The zoom levels come from Google and I can not make it any smarter than that (yes, "USA" will zoom out a bit too much). But it's certainly better than it was (fixed zoom level after address search).

Improved response times

When you make changes to the real-time map view, for example by zooming out or selecting a time range, aprs.fi will now react much more quickly.

New time range back/forward buttons

When a station is tracked, there are now two new handy additional arrow buttons to jump the time range back and forward. If you have selected an arbitrary range, it will jump the same amount back (select a week, and it'll jump to the previous week). Otherwise it'll select the current whole day (UTC 00:00:00 to 23:59:59 - sorry, no local time support yet) on the first click, and the following clicks will jump by 24 hours.

Sharper map graphics on iPad/iPhone

The scaling of the web page was tuned to switch automatically so that map graphics are not blurred on the iOS devices, especially when the device switches between landscape and portrait orientation.

Other small things

Searching for "OH2RDK" will now give a proper "there are other SSIDs available although this one doesn't exist" response.

aprs.fi now uses a new version of the Google Maps API, bringing in some visual updates and speedups from Google.

An old bug which makes stations disappear after a quick zoom-in-and-back-out operation (and some other cases) has been fixed.

The "street view is off by 200 meters" bug is fixed. Also, the map should stay centered when Street View is enabled or disabled.

The ruler tool now displays distances shorter than 1 km in meters to allow measuring short distances.

When a station is tracked on a mobile device, the info balloon does not automatically pop up and block the whole view.

Raw packets view in decoded mode displays the position packet's type (compressed, mic-e...).

Tuned digipeater/igate "heard" map to collect more data and leave less gaps in the map.

Support for new major version of the database server (SQL syntax changes).

CSRF security fixes were implemented in many places.

Some rough corners have been rounded up (literally), and a few shadows have been cast (again, literally).

Does aprs.fi feel slow?

Be sure to try it with a modern, quick browser such as Google Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer 9. If you're upgrading from Firefox or an older Internet Explorer, you'll be surprised by the difference it makes.

3 comments:

db1mso said...

Thank you for the effort. Great work! Unfortunately there is no Street View in Germany. Google still waiting...
Maybe later.
Thanks again.
73 de Olli
DB1MSO

Marek Kroemeke said...

Hello,
Timerange doesn't seem to be working for me - it falls back to 1h/3600 :-/
regards,

Marek m6kro

oh7lzb said...

Marek: Please provide more details - that doesn't happen for me. What are you looking at when that happens? Can you provide a link or describe what clicks / keypresses lead to this? What browser version are you using, which operating system?