The cheesy title suggests I’m starting to blossom into a caring, generous pillar of the community. Nope 😉 The actual purpose of this post is to talk about the work I’ve been doing in allowing auto-centre to be applied to external devices – not just the device the app is running on – in Gee-Oh! Mobile.
This is a pre-cursor to full integration with Gee-Oh! Server, allowing full tracking and communication between networks/groups of devices. Exciting shit.
Now let’s get into the boring technical detail…
I’ve had to literally rip the guts out of the main class, with all its references to global variables etc. and update this with getters/setters, kept in check by adding additional method references to the device interface. While I “had the bonnet up”, I did a ton of additional fixes, and it ended up being probably the biggest single commit I’d ever be comfortable making, but there you go.
Very pleased with the way it has gone, though. I even snuck in a little “loading” graphic to remove the jerkiness while we wait for interpolation to kick in.
It’s these little details that will make all the difference.
Let’s have a little recap on all the remaining tasks before release:
- Finish pre-loading server with UK data
- Confirm that all “centre on selected device” work is done for now
- Including making sure “test flight” debug mode works with replay etc.
- In actual debug mode, substitute replay or flight devices with “this” device
- Highlight selected device/waypoint, whether or not we have GPS location for “this” device
- Refactor selected waypoint logic to be the same as for selected device
- Look at implementing “always on” interpolation
- Move point pair stack into individual devices
- Each device must have its own interpolation thread running
- Must retain global control of this
- Shrink waypoints as we zoom out
- Replace current waypoints menu with proper pop-up menu
- Look at implementing “proper” double buffered rendering
- Make placenames updatable via server API
- ProGuard builds
I think that just about covers it. I’m not going to add any more features, I just need to clear this list and Gee-Oh! Mobile is getting shoved out the door.
Can’t happen soon enough.
Just a vague update on the commencement of Gee-Oh! Mobile development. Since I got the server back on track and processing squares again last week, I’ve dived right back into the world of Android.
I managed to score a few quick wins from my previous “barriers to release” list, including the rendering of placenames (fading in and out accordingly), and also added the fading out of motorway/main road labels as we zoom out to particular values.
I did a little bit of housekeeping, removing a superfluous ViewThread class that was never really being used as intended, and lots of other little bits, too many to remember fully. Been a busy boy.
My latest venture is a very large refactor to incorporate multiple devices (for now, only a replayDevice and the debug testFlightDevice) and allow auto-centering on these also whilst preserving our actual location indicator on screen. I’ll do a separate blog on this, actually – ’tis a big ol’ topic.
And so this ends.
This was actually complete over a week ago, I’ve just not got round to writing about it until now. Soz.
I switched my hosting from a VPS to a Cloud Server, still with 1&1, to get the benefit of (practically) unlimited inodes – as described in my last blog entry – which required setting up everything from scratch (including installing Java!) on the new platform and then copying across anything relevant from the VPS.
The biggest difficulty I came across was in sending notification emails. The main issue from my end was that another incorrectly setup service was already running on port 25 (so I found that and killed it), but the real show-stopper was with 1&1 – who were blocking all outgoing traffic to port 25. I had to get support to remedy that for me.
Aside from that, all seems good. I will have to get onto 1&1 soon and ask them to kill off the VPS (and its associated bill, of course).
I was able to resume pre-loading of GeeOhTileServer grid squares pretty quickly, and that now continues apace. Still on course for mid-June – ’tis a slow process.
Had a bit of a nightmare over the last week or so. I’d been running the map tile pre-loading program for a while when all of a sudden it just stopped working. I had to rewrite parts of one of my Java libraries in order to catch the error in more detail, and it was coming back as “disk full”.
When I checked on my server’s control panel, it was showing that I had reached my 500,000 inode limit. Yeah, I didn’t know what an inode was either. Turns out it just means file, and that my VPS was limited to half a million files – that’s no good when I need at least 597871 map images (or “empty” files to indicate “all water” or “all land”), plus two meta files for each.
It took me a while to get some sense out of my hosting provider, but eventually I was informed that I need to migrate to a Cloud Server (which, I was assured, have absolutely shitloads of inodes).
I double-checked that I could upgrade to a better Cloud Server package when I needed to scale, without having to re-install everything, and was given some reassurance that they just have to provision more resources. Sound.
So, this week I will be provisioning a shiny new Cloud Server and attempting to just scp everything across from my existing VPS.
Should. Go. Smoothly.
Got round to doing a bit of re-branding this week – I have officially discontinued MakingTracksGPS and will be going forward as Gee-Oh! Mobile, which brings the Android application in line with the rest of the Gee-Oh! system.
While I’m here, I may as well summarise the remaining tasks before release:
- Pre-load all UK map data (in progress, currently ~25% complete)
- Improve sanity check for GridSquares on level above, kick-starting if required
- Kick-starting null squares (for current level and level above)
- Fix “zoom out too fast” issue, where we see background grid when we shouldn’t
- Implement ability to auto-centre on any provided device, not just device installed on
- Put Gee-Oh! button just above auto centre button
- Render placenames
- ProGuard build
- Website improvements/alterations
And that’s about it, really. Looking forward to getting v1.0 released ASAP.
It turns out that my initial estimates regarding the required storage for Gee-Oh! map tiles were a little out…
I somehow came up with the figure 66Gb for 597871 squares (representing a full 4->10 run) but, having just completed a 4->9 run, things are actually looking a lot sweeter.
For the 66430 tiles already produced, it only required 2.2Gb of storage, and this scales up to only ~20Gb for the lot. Won’t hardly touch the sides of my available storage!
This means I can back up the entire UK quite handily when this is done (as well as quickly copy across to new server(s) etc. for scalability), and also be confident of expanding to other geographical areas (Europe and the US).
Anyway, that’ll do for now. I’ve just started the final run (to be completed in roughly 45 days…) Buh-byyyeee!
Just a quick update on the pre-processing of map tile coverage for the UK – there are currently 52,815 map tiles on file, which constitutes just under 77% of a level 4 to level 9 run. This has taken roughly 5 days.
Once this is complete, I also need to do level 10 to finish it off, which will take approximately 9 times longer (hopefully less, since each square will contain 9x less data).
So I’m looking at around 11th June for the main UK pre-load to be complete. Hopefully under a Labour Government by then…
Of course, looking at the image above, we can see that there are sections of Scotland and Eire that will need to be processed additionally, and the tip of Cornwall by the looks of it (possibly a Channel Island or two for good measure), but essentially 11th June is a good estimate.
Once that is done, no more delays server-side. It’ll be all about getting the Android App finished.