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App/Phone: Configuration Streamlining

App/Phone: Configuration Streamlining

Postby WifiLapperDev » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:34 pm

-Autofind IP should disable until you're connected to the new network so that you don't get "searching network (null) for pitside..."
-You should be able to set start/finish remotely via a text or pitside in case drivers can't reach the phone
-The "config" text messages should be listed in the help section in pitside (setip, setssid)
-It may or may not remember router names when trying to load races
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Re: App/Phone: Configuration Streamlining

Postby EnduroRacer » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:13 pm

Good call on "Set Start/Finish remotely." The only real show-stopper flaw left in WifLapper's interface is the requirement to set splits and S/F before it even starts recording data.

Maybe we could have a "Tracks" tab in the phone app where you can load track maps, rather than the current system where you have to have the correct dB loaded then press-hold on a previous session to start another race with the track map. The current system is cumbersome and confusing.

The next time the user is at the track the app should ask the user if they want to load one or more local maps based on the users current GPS position. We could even setup an online upload location so maps can be shared among users. This would also enable the user to create track maps in Google Maps even before you leave the house.

Even better, if you could get it to record data as soon as you hit "Start Race" rather than after the splits are set then a driver wouldn't need to worry about anything but driving.

Ideally the phone in the car should require no user interaction after the initial startup and "Start Race" button press. Being able to configure the phone from Pitside would be a big step forward in usability.

The more I write, the more ideas come to me. I'd love to do a mockup of an new interface for WifiLapper, if you'd entertain the idea.
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Re: App/Phone: Configuration Streamlining

Postby WifiLapperDev » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:56 pm

Wow, a post!

My expertise is in back-end coding, not UI (it shows, doesn't it?) - my best work happens when somebody coughs up the mockups for me to use as a target, so feel free to make some mockups. Until much pleading from my friends, last winter Pitside was simply a console app that spat out laptimes as they happened.

There's a ton of things to mock up that I currently know suck:
-A better workflow for WifiLapper in general
-The IOIO add pin screen is a bit of a mess
-The summary screen is kinda ugly
-Pitside is ugly (though Win32 C++ UI is a huge pain. Making it better is a pretty big task, and I'd rather build a tablet pitside instead)
-A theoretical android tablet-based Pitside is a fairly high priority, and would need mockups and workflows

This request, along with some emails I've gotten from another user, indicate a couple different start/stop modes are required:
1) The current model (for people that care where their laptimes are set and want them to match their transponder times)
2) An autocross model where it auto-starts and stops when you cross a pre-set finish line
3) A grid start sprint-race model where it auto-starts after a drive to the start line, and has the finish line at the same point

Online track maps are probably a non-starter, at least from my perspective:
1) Would require a data plan for your racing phone
2) Would require the track to have data reception
3) [most importantly] Would require me to spend money. "Spend money, make money" doesn't really apply here since I'm no longer making any money.
4) Would require me to make a website that actually functions well. As a java/C++ guy, this is beyond my skillset. If someone else wants to set it up though, I'm all for it.
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Re: App/Phone: Configuration Streamlining

Postby EnduroRacer » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:40 pm

I'll put something together this week for the Phone App UI.

I'm going to commit myself to doing at least 3 mockups of workflow UI and we can see what will work best.
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Re: App/Phone: Configuration Streamlining

Postby EnduroRacer » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:01 pm

Here's a sneak peek of 1 version of the UI overhaul I've been working on:

http://i.imgur.com/DIMvv.png
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Re: App/Phone: Configuration Streamlining

Postby WifiLapperDev » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:48 pm

That looks really good so far. One comment is that at some point the user has to select which SSID they want the phone to connect to, before it can start scanning for pitsides. In a world where wifilapper is really popular, there might be 3 different teams running routers at the same race (even though the ideal would be for them to share)
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Re: App/Phone: Configuration Streamlining

Postby jawillis » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:54 pm

WifiLapperDev wrote:Online track maps are probably a non-starter, at least from my perspective:
1) Would require a data plan for your racing phone
2) Would require the track to have data reception
3) [most importantly] Would require me to spend money. "Spend money, make money" doesn't really apply here since I'm no longer making any money.
4) Would require me to make a website that actually functions well. As a java/C++ guy, this is beyond my skillset. If someone else wants to set it up though, I'm all for it.


1) track data could be downloaded beforehand or provided via pitside
2) same as above
3) why would you need to spend money? There are free alternatives to just about everything.
4) If the track data was simply a list of start/finish and split points, then it could could be any old web page that's parsed for the information. The page URL could be configurable and default to a page on the wifilapper info site. Adding a track to the online db is the tough part...
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Re: App/Phone: Configuration Streamlining

Postby WifiLapperDev » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:23 pm

jawillis wrote:
WifiLapperDev wrote:Online track maps are probably a non-starter, at least from my perspective:
1) Would require a data plan for your racing phone
2) Would require the track to have data reception
3) [most importantly] Would require me to spend money. "Spend money, make money" doesn't really apply here since I'm no longer making any money.
4) Would require me to make a website that actually functions well. As a java/C++ guy, this is beyond my skillset. If someone else wants to set it up though, I'm all for it.


1) track data could be downloaded beforehand or provided via pitside
2) same as above
3) why would you need to spend money? There are free alternatives to just about everything.
4) If the track data was simply a list of start/finish and split points, then it could could be any old web page that's parsed for the information. The page URL could be configurable and default to a page on the wifilapper info site. Adding a track to the online db is the tough part...

1,2,4 - True.

3: I'm assuming that a server with a static IP that permits users to submit their track data from their phone would cost some amount of cash. We could just have a static webpage that they download and we manually update it, but it'll be hard to keep up with every track configuration and every little dirt track or oval on the planet.
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Re: App/Phone: Configuration Streamlining

Postby EnduroRacer » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:04 pm

the user has to select which SSID they want the phone to connect to, before it can start scanning for pitsides....

there might be 3 different teams running routers at the same race


I'm not sure if you describing a User Interface preference, or a current limitation with WifiLapper at the code level.

The current behavior is to only display "Saved" Wifi Networks that are accessible from the phone. For me, this only is my own router. There are many other routers around me within range, but they are secured, so they don't show up in the WifiLapper list.

If it is a code limitation, can we change it so it automatically starts scanning the currently connected SSID on selecting "New Race" without the user having to select anything?

From an ease-of-use perspective, this would greatly simplify both the interface and the user experience

If no Pitside Servers are found on the current SSID, then the Manual IP/Change SSID Screen should come up. I'll add a "Change SSID" (Access Point, AP?) button in the Manual Pitside config Screen.

We should move this thread to a new topic, since it's getting mixed in with other features.
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Re: App/Phone: Configuration Streamlining

Postby WifiLapperDev » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:17 pm

EnduroRacer wrote:
If no Pitside Servers are found on the current SSID, then the Manual IP/Change SSID Screen should come up. I'll add a "Change SSID" (Access Point, AP?) button in the Manual Pitside config Screen.

We should move this thread to a new topic, since it's getting mixed in with other features.

That'd be good. Myself, my brother, and my friends all use their normal phones with a dedicated router for wifilapper, so the phones often aren't defaulted to the racing router once they get to the track. It needs to be considered normal that wifilapper won't use the user's normal router.

That said, I think it'd be a fine assumption to make that the user might always use the same router at the track, so maybe the SSID selection could be moved to the options page, so they'd set it up once and forget about it.
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