Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Small changes (and a small cat)

During the weekend I replaced the date browsing menu with a new AJAX-based one. The downside is that the new one doesn't tell you how many positions were received during a year, month or day. The upside is that it's much, much faster than the old one. The old one was generated completely when you looked up a station on the map, which in turn required scanning the whole position history of the station, which caused a lot of disk IO, which filled up the caches. The new one just quickly checks whether there are any points during the year, month or day, and does it only when needed.

The new one only shows the days when new points have been inserted. For a fixed station like a digipeater it shows the initial date when the station was first heard by - the old one showed all of the days between the initial packet and the latest packet at the same position.

I also described the date selection menu in the FAQ. It turns out a lot of people don't know about it. Would some people like to try to write a beginner's manual?

The info page now shows the latest telemetry from the station instead of the number of telemetry packets stored. It's much more useful and much quicker to look up.

Most importantly - there is now a GIF animation in a couple of places! Honestly, I never thought I'd bother with such an useless thing which takes such an enormous amount of time to produce. But I accidentally figured out how Gimp does it, so I just had to try it once. Sorry!

In case you were wondering - a new kitten arrived on Saturday evening! The photo is maybe a bit off-topic, but it sure is cuter than the computers and radios.

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