Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tweak! Tweak!

Yesterday afternoon, I was at the library, working on some last minute tweaks for an update I planned to do last night. I set it so AQ would take itself down at 10:00pm (Pacific time) because, while there's nothing earth shattering in the update, it would break lots of things while getting the updates uploaded.

The best laid plans.... almost didn't work out. =) I noticed it first while sitting in the library--getting unusually warm. Took off a jacket. Walking back to the apartment, I started feeling genuinely sick. By the time I arrived, I knew it was a problem. I was sick. Bleh. I laid down, feeling absolutely pitiful, and considered postponing the update.

Except for one thing--I'd already set AQ go automatically go down at 10:00pm. Unless I logged in and fixed that, nobody would be using Atlas Quest at all.

So 9:00 rolls around, and I'm still trying to decide what to do. No matter what, I needed to get online to let others onto the site after 10:00. I was spending all my effort just trying not to throw up. Bleh.

Finally, I made a decision. Remembering back to an experience at Disney World where I got motion sickness after riding one of the rides, I ended up feeling SOOOO much better when I finally upchucked. So I decided to stop trying to hold my cookies. Keep in mind, I wasn't trying to throw up my lunch--I just stopped trying NOT to. And weirdly enough, I actually did feel a heck of a lot better.

The update was on!

Oh, what a mistake that was..... *shaking head* I was about halfway through the update and darned near passed out sitting up like I was, crashing my forehead in the desk I was working on. I laid down a bit, only for a couple of minutes, until I felt like I wasn't going to pass out anymore, then got back on the computer to finish the update. Postponing it now was too late--it was already half done, and the site wouldn't work in the half-finished update.

I managed to finish the update, brought the site back up, and promptly went to sleep without even bothering to turn off the computer. You all, I decided, would have to wait until later to find out what this update includes.

I woke up again, somewhere around 2:00 in the morning, and felt good enough to check at no major errors occurred during the update (quite a shock, actually, for such a huge change to not cause any recorded errors!), and finally turned off the computer and lights around the apartment.

This morning, I'm feeling a heck of a lot better. Still not at 100%, but wow, so much better than last night, and now have time to tell you about the update. =)

Long story short:

  • Event stamps are now called event boxes. I think people felt dissuaded from using the "event stamp" moniker for their boxes unless it was THE official event stamp for the event. No more--if a box (or stamp) is specifically for an event, only the event, and nothing else, it can properly be called an event box. I don't care if it's hidden in the woods, sitting on the table tops, or it's the official event stamp. If it's only available at the event, it's an event box. (However, it IS okay to list boxes with clues as traditional boxes--just make sure you retire the box when the event is over and DON'T put anything in the clue if you aren't actually providing one. If it looks like an event box, acts like an event box, I might be inclined to change it to an event box.)
  • You can now specify specific carvers for individual boxes within a series. I tested out the feature myself with the Hog Heaven Theme Park. You can set the carvers for individual boxes within a series from the "Series Info" page while entering or editing boxes. (As a side note, I may retire the "contacts" list at some point, since it was basically a kludge to allow multiple carvers to get notifications of finds. Now that everyone can be listed as a carver, it doesn't seem quite so necessary. So be sure to update any series you own if each box has a stamp carved by a different person.)
  • There are now "traditional trackers." I don't really care what you use them for, but I have seen a couple of instances where y'all try to "force" other features to fit your needs, but essentially you wanted to keep track of a list of letterboxers and traditional boxes which is ideally suited to trackers. That's what they do--track people and/or boxes.
  • If you run a location-based search, such as this one for all boxes within 25 miles of Seattle, there's now an arrow next to the distance indicating what direction the box is in. It's kind of fun, but keep in mind that anything less than 2 miles is likely inaccurate since those boxes that don't have an address, park, street intersection, or something to indicate where in a city a box is, AQ don't really have any idea what the correct direction is. The more detailed location information a person provides with their box, the more accurate the direction arrow will point.
  • And a few minor tweaks and changes that probably aren't worth mentioning.
Woke up this morning to check for any additional errors recorded by Atlas Quest--and there were NONE! Woo-who! Which isn't to say there may not be bugs in these new features--undoubtedly, there are--but it means I'm going back to sleep now and if any problems show up, I'll fix it when I'm good and ready to. =)


Anonymous said...

get well soon fearless leader!
six stars

Anonymous said...

Jeez Ryan, haven't you ever been hung over. Throwing up always makes you feel better, kinda cleans out the system.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and don't call him that. You people need a life, he is not a fearless leader, just a webmaster and an overall nice guy, but no leader.

Anonymous said...

Hope you feel better soon Ryan!

And yes, throwing up always makes me feel better. I've been doing it at least once and perhaps twice a day for two months, with no end in sight (no.... I'm NOT bulemic, just pregnant....).......

jackbear said...

Wow, that's dedication! Thanks Ryan!

{that's kind of funny, my word verification below is "wienis."

Anonymous said...

I hope you feel better soon! I use the "Contacts" to let another boxer know where an HH en route to him is, also, I have a little used alias with a box(es) with me listed as a contact so that I don't have to check the account very often. This may not be enough reason to keep the feature, I just wanted to give you another example of what it's being used for!


Anonymous said...

Ironically, I got home just as you took the site down,and I deperately needed to correct a listing for a new box added earlier in the evening. So I piddled around after my server locked up... and then went back again to see if AQ was up.
It was slow to load, so I tried again later. And YES, it came up only about a half hour after it went I could complete it.
Now, I'm not feeling so hot...and I think I caught it from Ryan in the chat sickie!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you are unwell. I am too, with a cold, it 'ain't no fun. Wishes for return to good health for you. Suppose those Florida people gave it to you? You didn't use the Airborne, did you?
Get well, soon,

Anonymous said...

Get Well, and thanks for the Tweaking new features..Cool Beans.


Trailtracker said...

Great new bells and whistles once again GT! I love the new directional arrows and can't wait to use it the next time I'm out of my own area. Your new multiple carver option came just in the nick 'o time. I have the series of boxes in my trunk ready to go and could not figure out what I was going to do to give proper credit! =D Get well soon!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ryan--real dedication! You should see a doctor.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, and don't call him that. You people need a life, he is not a fearless leader, just a webmaster and an overall nice guy, but no leader."

Well said Cyclonic. No one should be considered a "leader" of letterboxing. Because no one *is*.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way, that event/stamp/box thing? That's just for purposes of listing on this site. It's not a Boxing Rule. There are no rules like that. The only "rules" are things like respect of property and nature. If you choose to continue calling your event stamps *stamps* you can. You can call them any darn thing you want to.