Dashboard - a different approach

joeloc shared this idea 8 years ago
Completed

I know you hate the idea of a dashboard with passion, probably mainly because it would get in the way of Locus` quite complex toolbar system. But custom screens are not the answer for everything, the reasons have been discussed a lot already. I showed Locus to many people meanwhile and everybody just laughs when they cant really see how high they are or how fast they go. You can have a bazillion nifty features, but if you fail at the very basics, it`s a lost sale.


Here`s a different idea for the dashboard issue. It will not interfere with the current user interface but still get Locus up to level with competing apps or competing hardware.


There are exactly 4 positions that can show data (if desired). Why exactly 4? They will fit nicely around the center area and still will not interfere too much with the toolbars on either side. You can calculate the position automatically, no need for complex configuration troubles or shuffling boxes around here. Keep it simple, keep it easy.


The data is just displayed on top of the map, it has no function, you can not click it, toolbars will cover it, it will not get in the way of anything, you can "click through" to hit tracks or waypoints or anything else. The data will just sit there quietly and provide additional information happily.


Configuration options required wouldnt be many:


* Dashboard font & size


Just one global setting for all items for simplicity and beauty. The small title & unit texts are rendered with 1/4 size. title left justified, unit right justified.


* Dashboard color


Just one global setting as well. Default to bright orange.


* Dashboard opacity when moving


Default to 90%.


* Dashboard opacity when stopped


Default to 5% (almost completely hidden).


* Dashboard contents for top left corner:


One out of twentysomething different data items or leave empty.


* Dashboard contents for top right corner:


...


You would also want a toolbar button which toggles between:


- dashboard off


- dashboard on


and a long press will call up dashboard settings.


Thats it, quite painless and easy and still extremely useful if you ask me. But then... I dont have to write the java code... :)

Comments (77)

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I would add a little compass somewhere :)

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This would be 100% usefull!

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A map-screen "compass" is already more or less implemented with the red north arrow. It only shows up when the map is not pointing straight north though. We can discuss it here:


https://getsatisfaction.com/locus/top...

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I love this idea!

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I bet if menion was a biker and not a geocacher, Locus would have had a proper dashboard since day one :).


Anyway... what I currently do is run Oruxmaps in parallel to Locus. It`s a bit silly really, but it supports the same types of maps and it has an easily configurable and very visible dashboard. So you basically only switch to Locus for the more "sophisticated" things but look at the Oruxmaps screen while on the move. Energy consumption is not much worse than with Locus alone.


I dont like this much, but at least it is a solution if you want to see your current data.

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one more biker here - great idea, would help a lot!

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+1

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Keep going... :)

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I`m a Geocacher and I like this idea!

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Locus keeps getting more and more features, some of them very esotheric. Yet it still fails completely at the VERY BASICS. How far have I come? How much have I climbed? How far do I still have to go? How much do I still have to climb? How fast am I going/climbing right now?


Even the silliest Garmin device from ten years ago can do these things better than the most advanced smartphone app. That is quite sad indeed. Maybe a fresh start after menions well deserved holiday can be made here? "Votes" arent everything and cyclists tend to spend shitloads of money on their hobby. Almost none are present here though, because Locus simply misses the most basic stuff. Most of my friends uninstalled it immediately when they couldnt find a dashboard.

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hm - dont forget:


this BASICS - are YOUR basics.


eg(!) for me it`s not important "How much have I climbed"


or "How much do I still have to climb?"


And also I don`t need big dash fonts.


You see - its very difficult to know what WE want.


But you right - lets vote!


I think you are a nice guy - so i vote for this too :)

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I vote for this one

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Guys, why don`t you go for a custom screen?


http://docs.locusmap.eu/doku.php/manu...

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not just my basics... but cycling & mountain basics. the vertical distance to your destination is a lot more important than anything else in determining how much time & effort it takes to get there.


but locus was born in a flat place... and it shows :). if menion lived in the alps, i bet locus would be able to create realtime animated profiles, showing the current position, simply from its point databases & track to follow:


http://ext.soelden.com/oetztal/events...


thats perfectly possible, all required data is available to locus. but i`ll keep lobbying for the basics first... like a simple dashboard. it`s hard enough... apparently there`s a hundred geocachers for every mountain person :).

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I call this "Joeloc`s dream" :)


Idea implemented. In little bit different way that you expect, but you`ll see. I believe, everyone will be nicely surprised ;)

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Is this supposed to be a Pro feature?

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Beautiful :)

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Nice

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wait will comments till you`ll see what it can do :)


btw. are you interested in some testing? I should really help me discover if whole system is clear


and matthis: I don`t know yet, but because it`s not one of essential features (without which app is useless), I`ll put it probably only into Pro version

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Because dashboard was request quite a long time ago, not just from joeloc, but from many people on older forum or by email, and also because most apps have some dashboard as almost essential feature, I decided also implement one


And because I sometimes do not do things in simple way, as you probably noticed, I created this :)


https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8015949/Locu...


It`s first public test version with new dashboard system. I`ll not write any methods and comments, how to use it. If you`ll have time to test it, please do it and write me some feedback. Let me know, what is not clear, what is nice, what is wrong from your point of view, etc etc.


Just quick info ... dashboard is first in list of functions in main menu.


And ... good luck :)

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Yeeeees, this looks great. And as you said ,not only a cheap solution. It seems to be quite powerfull.


Just did some playing around. Very nice.


Just an idea: make it possible do add or remove a shortcut (avr S; Alt, DistUp TtT DtT. ....)of label of the variable directly to dashboard filed. (like you do for: Dispaly Units).


Since Joeloc is currently on his next trip (http://www.mtb-news.de/forum/showthre...) I`m not sure if he can give you feed back so soon


But from my site a big I LIKE IT.

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Hmmm, just figured out:


The position of the variables differs between the dashbourd editor and dashboard display mode.

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Ad first post


There is enormous number of possibilities that I may add for settings. Units size, colors, these labels etc etc ...


But everything has it`s limits and art is to create something with possibilities you have :). In this case is possible to use labels and create for example this


I was also think about these labels, but problem should be in different length of displayed value. When you`ll have speed 0.0 or 150.0, text have quite different length. And display always 000.0 or intent label to maximum possible value ... hmm


Ad second post


this is also something I`m not sure how to work with it now. Problem is that in "Dashboard editor", you have reduced screen height by top panel (title bar). When you then display dashboard, it cover full screen

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I played with this feature a little time, and I must say this is GREAT. Good work Menion. Configuration possibilities are endless:) I`ve been waiting for some like this. Thank you.

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I think colour of item (background) should be moved to new place when item is drag&drop.

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Hi menion,


after fist try with these version i am amazed of the posibilities !


two things from me:


-currend time is not displayed, only a small stroke


-own maps can only be selected from intern SD not from extern SD

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hmm weird, time works fine for me. You use "Time" in "Main variables"? There is possibility for exchange for "Track time" under "Track recording" or "Time" under "Guiding" section :)


and I don`t understand "own maps can only be selected from intern SD not from extern SD ". This have something to do with dashboard??

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not displayed time see Screenshot


No, the map problem is not depending on "dashboard"


it is a small problem of the testversion, in the Pro-version i can also select maps if these are stored on the extern SD

Files: ss.png
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as I wrote, you`re choosing "time" from "guiding" section ... scroll up in list of variables, there will be correct time you probably want


about maps, you probably added some maps from external folders. But this settings is not available in this Locus Free (testing) version, that`s all ..

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Thanks menion


i was blind ;-)) the time is displayed correct


on the other hand, if i guide on to a POI and choos "time" from "guiding" section, i see no time

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@Menion


in this case "time" is tranlated to "current time" (above "Aktuelle Uhrzeit" in german) this is misleading.


Means "time from begin to current positioin ?!


->So you can`t use the same translation string "time"

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looks pretty cool from what i could see at first glance. very overwhelming too. i dont think "normal" users want to bother with spacings and weights and some such. maybe locus should come with a default dashboard setting like the one in the 1st post? its always nicer to modify something than to start from scratch.


also... is there a possibility to auto-hide/show dashboards based on speed? i would normally only want to see the numbers while i am moving. but when i stop to check the map, they should simply go away.

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usability ideas:


i find the whole concept of saving & loading quite irritating. this is an ancient thing taken over from the desktop world and should be avoided on mobile devices. heres how i would suggest to handle things:


have only ONE toolbar button, not two.


on a single tap, it must immediately do the most obvious choice (as always). for a dashboard, this means show & hide. if one is visible, you hide it. if none is visible, you show the one that was last used. if none is visible and none was ever defined or used, you create a reasonable default one and show that. dont ask any questions or show windows on single tap, never. what you might want is a little info box when the dashboard is shown for the very first time: "long press button to edit".


on long tap, you show the following menu:


show/hide "currentname"


edit "currentname"


new


---


dash1


dash2


zorrodash


...


dash5


---


info


change


delete


up


down (usual toolbar stuff)


note the list of all currently defined dashboards right in the menu. if there is only one dashboard, you can skip this completely. i do hope these android bubble menus support some kind of scrolling if neccessary. it would be way better than extra popup windows. selecting one of those points will simply hide the current dashboard and show the new one.


what the points do is pretty obvious:


show/hide: does the same as single tap. hide the current or show the most recently used dashboard.


edit: fires up the editor. the editor must have options for renaming and deleting.


new: creates a new dashboard. dont ask for a name specifically(!), just fire up the editor with a reasonable default name.


with this concept, there is no need for any load/save-rubbish for the dashboards. everything is always saved automatically and instant.

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something minor: the control to edit point sizes is quite lame. it requires 76 clicks to get from the default of 20 to my preferred font size of 96. is there really nothing better suited in android to enter a point size?


why is the font size limited to 96 anyway?

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one other minor thing: the dashboard must auto-hide when the editor is fired up. it is very irritating in the background.

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As usual joeloc tells us very direct what he doesn`t like.


So I personally do not really appreciate this style of communicating change requests, all his comments here point in the right diection of a consistent, convenient, modern user interface.

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i like to come straight to the point... keeping the praise and love for other threads :). plus i am always typing on mobile phones, right now somewhere on an island in africa. every letter counts...

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Hi joeloc,


thanks for time on vacation ;)


I precisely read all interesting posts and with most of them I agree. I was mainly focused on GUI editor itself, then on some work with different dashboards etc ...


Separation to view/edit mode have to remain. There is problem that not all will use dashboard from right panel. You have to keep in mind that more then half people do not use right panel (by some stats) so all features have to be accessible from "functions" list.


Anyway I updated work with dashboard a lot. You`ll see in next release version, that comes soon

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So, I am the lucky one. When activating a dashboard, no values or even labels are shown just empty boxes like the Mytracks screen does.


So Joelocs dream does not show anything


I would do a screenshot but that does not show the dasboard overlay


Motorola Defy Android 2.2.2. stock (but rooted)


I did sent a catlog.

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Hi Henk


You can create, edit and save a dashboard - but you can`t activate a dashboard?


right?

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I can and I loaded the standard one`s but after selecting anyone they are "broken". Some show lines of boxes but never text or number fields.


I also created one myself with one text field and it does not show the text.

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oh §h|#


i hope it is not your Motorola Defy Android 2.2.2.


Here is another dashboard:


https://www.dropbox.com/s/qwylrxz2tfo...


copy the *.lb to ../Locus/data/dashboard/..


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No nothing. I can select it and I know it is selected because tapping the "back" key first time deselects it and second time is "Do you really want to exit". And no more blaming my excellent hardware (watertight even).

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It looks like this in the editor

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ahm, where do you have these example skins from Asamm software? I guess gauldamarenko is from Gynta and mydash is yours.


I only found one example and it`s called "_current" and is empty.

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My directory data/dashboard was created upon installing 2.8.2 and when opening the dashboard editor I was asked to import the standard skins.


Sorry, it was hitting "Dashboard" under functions like if you wabted to choose one.

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Funny though. When freshly imported they all show complete in the overview of the dashboard editor.


Selcting one as if I want to edit gets it "over" the map but empty.


Going back to the editor that one is then also empty in the editor overview

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Sounds a bit like out of memory

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?? The longer existing customscreens give me no trouble.

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Menion, could I get a bit of your attention, please?


It seems that in my case there was no question if I want to install default dashboard skins. I think this came from the fact that I played around with the testing version for this feature and there was already a directory data/dashboard when installing Locus Pro 2.8.2.


With this assumption I backuped my settings (only settings, no other data), renamed the dashboard folder to _dashboard, uninstalled Locus Pro, installed it again and restored my settings.


No I get the question "Install default skins" when I select the dashboard button in the right bar which I answer with yes. Afterwards there is a ballon info "Process successful" but there is no directory data/dashboard created. And also further attempts to access the dashboards result again and again in the question if I want to install default skins.

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Maybe create directory data/dashboard and leave it empty. We had this before with recording settings. If you had your own ones existing, there would be no import of default ones.

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Thank you Henk, yes that helped.


@Menion: behaviour is a bit inconsistent here: Locus sees that default skins are missing (the folder isn`t even there) but it seems to fail creating this folder before putting the themes into it...

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you are right Henk - that works!


previously i have also delete my dir and nothing happens.


now it works


rename your dashboarddir


create a empty dashboarddir


start locus


selcet dashboardfunction

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I have to confirm problems with Defy+ display (stock 2.3.6). I can create dashboards and can access default ones (and edit them), but they are displayed in some strange way. The text and variables are vertically not aligned properly in the correct sized fields. First I thought the characters are not displayed anyhow. But with a fewer amount of lines (two), I saw the characters shifted a lot to the bottom. Increasing the height (pix or ratio) of the lower line lets the characters in the upper line vanish (like overlaying). It`s even worse: In editing mode it`s more hidden than in displaying the dashboard. Icons and images don`t suffer from this bottom-shifting. I hope this explanations help because the feature of dashboard is great!

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I guess few screenshots could help a lot here!

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Guys, what do you think: is it really the best way to close the dashboard with the back key?


Wouldn`t it be better to only switch it off with the dashboard toggle button where I can switch it on?


To me it happens quite often that I close the dashboard inadvertantly just by touching the back key too often if I e.g. return from some menu in Locus.


Ok, I see the problem. If one just opened the dashboard from the list of functions without a button in the right or top panel he must find the function again in the list to close it again. But honestly, these functions being only in the list are those one uses rarely (otherwise one already made a shortcut in one of the panels).

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I fully agree

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Screenshots Defy+ with wrong vertical alignments:


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Druki thanks, your previous description helped.


Seems that some older androids returns possitions of view in screen in little bit different way. Should be fixed now, as well as problem with installing themes when dashboard directory is missing


may you please test it? https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8015949/Locu...


If it will be OK, I`ll tomorrow morning release fixed version, so it will be fine and working during a holidays


btw: joeloc, hope you like last improvements ;)

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Menion, what do you think about not using back key anymore for leaving dashboard?

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Success!!


@ tommy: I also like how a short tap disables the dashboard (or did not I notice that before because of the broken dashboards?


(Offtopic: and I like how the functions menu stays at the "scroll" position after closing and re-opening).


Froyo + Gingerbread (older versions) on 68% of smartphone`s with android.


Thank you Menion.

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"Froyo + Gingerbread (older versions) on 68% of smartphone`s with android. " maybe generally, but for my surprise, Locus Pro use mainly people with more modern devices, so it`s less then 50%


anyway tommi: I was thinking about it and forget to response. Problem for me is that almost 50% of people do not use right panel at all (by some statistics). So I have to do all features in working way from list of functions as well as from right panel


But, when you start edit your dashboard and tap in menu on "Settings", there is ability to define some settings for current dashboard. So I think this is a good place for some special settings for every single dashboard. So here could be "Ignore back button when visible" etc ... what you think? Any other ideas for special settings?


And Henk, thank you for testing. Glad it works ...


Unfortunately, everybody wants to see me these days so I`m worry I`ll not be able to be in work as much as I want, so excuse me if I`ll not response too much till end of year. Have a nice days and expect tomorrow fixed version so it will be possible to use dashboard in valid Pro version

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Happy holidays Menion.


Quote: So here could be "Ignore back button when visible" etc ... what you think?


A catch 22 situation:


if ticking it means no back button for all sidebar actions, I will never tick it. I use the back button everywhere.


if ticking is detailed choice for all actions, it messes up the crowded menu`s too much, so leave it (my 2 cents).

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Regarding back button: I understood that this will be selectable on a per dashboard basis, not common for all sidebar actions.

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A setting per dashboard is a good compromise.


Menion, use the next time for some visits and enjoy the time without Locus dev (and even without documentation work ;-) )

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It works and I love it. Thank you for this feature!

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fine, so new version is just uploading on Google Play & AndroidPIT. Believe it will work correctly also on 2.X devices


Happy holidays to you too (to all of you). Prepare some comments on this feature (I`m ready to improve it) and also some tasks for me on next year ;).

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comments will follow when you put a new thingy on dropbox. i somehow still fail to use any market version without losing my registered state. and i cannot live without the altitude charts :).

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ps: merry xmas :)

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Hi!


First of all thanks for the great update, brings the user experience to a new level. I also find it quite easy working with the editor.


I have some comments.


1) When following a route two infoboxes appear on the top of the screen, with user selectable information. These should be disabled when using dashboard as they interfere with (and look different) than the dashboard that is created. Maybe now is the time to remove those boxes?


2) It would be good to be able to change the height of separate boxes, and not the whole row.


3) It would also be very nice to be able to use the icons already in use in locus. Now the editor starts looking in the gallery of images, and probably most people do not have icons displayed there.


4) Bars or some other graphic like used in custom screens would put a perfect finish on dashboards, but I guess this might involve some major work.


5) Put some nice dashboards in locus shop :)


Again thanks, and merry christmas!

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I like the new way of handling dashboards without save/load *a lot* better. Very nice work! "Joelocs dream" being internalized is also cool :).


Some more comments:


I think the default dashboards should be installed with Locus automatically. Better to have "power users" delete them manually if they dont want them instead of making "normal users" wonder how to get anything. Took me a while to find out I had to hit that "button in the window frame" to install the defaults. Not a very obvious solution imho.


I still do not like the two-button solution (show & edit). Cant the "edit" function simply be a menu item of the show button? If you must keep the separate edit button for some reason, keep it by all means. But the menu item could be there anyway, allowing for a less cluttered toolbar. One function (dashboard) - One Button.


I agree with the other comments that the back button should not close the dashboard. It`s not really a different "view". It just sits on top of the map as an overlay and doesnt alter usability.


The auto-hide-when-stopped and auto-show-when-moving still remains on the todo-list. I think having this as a global on/off setting would be good enough, maybe its overkill and complicates things unneccessarily to have it seperately for each dashboard. It could work like this:


Autodash ON:


You show the (last used) dashboard as soon as speed is >0. When the user hides it with the toolbar button, it must obviously stay hidden.


You hide the dashboard when the speed is 0 or while the map center is NOT equal to the current position (ie the user scrolls around in the map). When the user shows it with the toolbar button, it must stay visible.

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I must admit that this Dashboard was really nice idea! Congratz joeloc! Good job menion.


Maybe this is a good moment to add two new variables:


1. Time do the nearest point of navigation/guide


2. Distance to the nearest point of navigation/guide


They would ideally fit into the new dashboard schema

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Dashboard edit mode:


If I make changes they get stored automatically.


How can I make these changes undone?


Wouldn`t it be better to ask the user if he wants to store the changes when the Back key was used?

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some votes:


don`t close dashboard with the back button: +1


install default skins as an standard: +1


auto hide when speed=0: -1


add "edit" to the long tap "show dashboard" menu: +1


all other ideas: as you like

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@back button:


I see the problem with the default theme "MyTracks" now...

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fine, closing by "back" button solved by this


so you`ll be able to define specific behavior to every single dashboard. As gynta already found, for dashboards that cover whole screen, like "MyTracks" sample, is essential to work with "back" button, because there is no other chance


in this dialog is also place for some additional settings, so I`m willing to discuss about them


about other requests


"install default skins as an standard" - when you do not have any installed and you`ll try to display them, you`ll get question if you "want to install default dashboards". So users that start with it, receive this request. Button in top bar is only optional choice in case you overwrite some of them or delete


tommi: If I make changes they get stored automatically.


How can I make these changes undone? - this will lead us back to save/load system. If you want to play with any dashboard, open edit mode and in menu choose "save as" and store this dashboard as a copy


about other requests on removing secondary edit mode etc. do not forget that this function have to be handled also from list of functions, not only from right panel. And in this list do not exists long-click!


usage of Locus internal icons - if you want to use Locus icons, I suggest to grab them from locus.apk file, or for example from here http://docs.locusmap.eu/doku.php where are just today updated icons


dashboard in Locus Store there are plans on improving Locus store in Q1/2013, so this later ...also I expect some nice dashboards from You ;)


ability to display some images not just as an icon, but over whole panel - do you want something like this?


ability to set different height to items in one line - this is little bit more complicated. Currently, I`m using basic Android component that allow me to put items line by line and same height items into one line. I`m not sure, that support for some additional layouts will be so huge benefits, because it will quite a lot increase complexity ...

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Pawel Jaracz wrote on Feb 04 2013 in an other thread:


https://getsatisfaction.com/locus/top...


"Is it possibel to see in Locus FIELD- ,,SLOPE`` ( Incline``) ???


It is very useful when cycling in the mountains. "


so i like the idea, to see "slope" as an dashboard variable too


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_(s...