/ Rockfax App - wow

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Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator16 Sep 2019

I have just started using the RF in earnest (late to the party as ever) and just want to congratulate whole the team on a great effort. I know it was a long haul - but looks like it was well worth it, a really slick package

Chris

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Martin Bennett 16 Sep 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

A famous 1963 quote from Randy Mice-Davies (name changed to protect the innocent (?)) comes to mind Chris!

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TobyA 16 Sep 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

I also caved in to temptation and paid for a year subscription on Saturday afternoon! It is very clever and works in a really user friendly way I've found so far.

One thing I'd ask to be considered in future is that (I believe) red and green colour blindness is rather common - I think it was the ticks that show you in the app which routes you've done before (green) and which you've tried but failed on (sort of orange I think) - I at least can't see the difference between them particularly when outside in daylight!

But otherwise, all quite impressive even if I'll have to think of an excuse for my missus as to why when I have a book shelf of guides do I need a copy of them on my phone too!

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Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator16 Sep 2019
In reply to Martin Bennett:

> A famous 1963 quote from Randy Mice-Davies (name changed to protect the innocent (?)) comes to mind Chris!


Indeed I would, but I have zero to do with the App from day one. TBH I was a bit sceptical of the whole idea and thought getting access to all the books for £3 a month was ridiculous!

Happy to be proved wrong,

Chris

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SteveX 16 Sep 2019
In reply to Martin Bennett:

I feel like someone is copying me.

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robert-hutton 16 Sep 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I was a bit sceptical of the whole idea and thought getting access to all the books for £3 a month was ridiculous!

In my opinion that is the issue with the app it's the same as a book, outdated on publication, it should be a lot more and reflect the area new crags, routes and change's at that point in time.

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In reply to robert-hutton:

> In my opinion that is the issue with the app it's the same as a book, outdated on publication, it should be a lot more and reflect the area new crags, routes and change's at that point in time.

Well we have already updated the Slate app version and the Kalymnos version. The Pembroke app has twice the routes of the 2009 guidebook with a lot of updates to the existing routes. Dorset Bouldering has quite a lot of new stuff and new maps all round. Peak Bouldering has new maps as do many of the app versions. Northern Limestone has some extra crags. Peak Limestone has extra crags plus some updates and the new version we are working on for next year will be very different in-app to in-print with a view to keeping it up to date. Other app versions have minor updates but there are also a load of app-only publications.

However, we aren't doing as well in this respect as we want to and, up to now, that has mainly been because of the delivery system. The benefit of hosting our own packages is that we now have more control over them than before the subscription system, so we will be able to produce more updated content sincde it is now so much easier to deliver. It is still a matter of resources though with really only me in a position to update exiting content in an app-ready format and I have rather a lot of other things to do. We are looking at this though and hopefully should be able to streamline it over the next 6 months or so.

Alan

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Tyler 16 Sep 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

I've had a subscription for a coupe of months, I like it although not really used in anger.

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robert-hutton 16 Sep 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Thanks for the update

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jon 17 Sep 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Presumably you'll be replacing the admittedly quite amusing google translate intro on one of your crags for something more resembling English...

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Wanderlust 17 Sep 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> One thing I'd ask to be considered in future is that (I believe) red and green colour blindness is rather common - I think it was the ticks that show you in the app which routes you've done before (green) and which you've tried but failed on (sort of orange I think) - I at least can't see the difference between them particularly when outside in daylight!

One thing I'd ask to be considered is that the colours actually reflect your best ascent style, before we worry about changing them ;)

At the moment, it seems totally random what colour you get.

Generally a great app, with a few niggles that will hopefully be sorted in time.

Edit: I see I've picked up a dislike, so I'll provide an example. I onsighted Gangway on 11 Aug, but I have an orange tick for that in the app. In fact, my log shows I've onsighted it twice, due to a duplication when I logged it (another issue). Anyway, clearly shouldn't be an orange tick.

Just providing some balance to the rave review from Chris!

Post edited at 09:03
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Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator17 Sep 2019
In reply to jon:

> Presumably you'll be replacing the admittedly quite amusing google translate intro on one of your crags for something more resembling English...

Doubtful as I haven't a clue where/what you are referring to

Chris

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jon 17 Sep 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Here's a clue:

> At the western end of the valley boiler of length field those stand rock climbing garden of the Oberrieds. The numerous light routes become particularly by the adjacent Viehweide a completely special experience. It is at steep overhangs or in classical tear blending, Oberried is always worth a visit. Particularly, families combine the climbing garden with a beautiful trip in the Ötztal.

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McHeath 17 Sep 2019
In reply to jon:

the valley boiler of length field 

Haha, brilliant! Boiler = kettle = Kessel, valley basin = Talkessel. So we're talking about the valley basin of (the village of) Langenfeld (= length field! )

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In reply to TobyA:

Do any of the "Colour Filters" options in the settings app help with this Toby? I'd prefer to allow the system to deal with this at a lower level than make any changes to the app.

You can search for "Colour Filters" in the settings app at the top of the list (pull down to expose the search bar) to find it easily. 

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WB 17 Sep 2019
In reply to TobyA:

Are the route lines also in red? I find some rock fax photo topos with red route lines unusable. 

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Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator17 Sep 2019
In reply to jon:

Well I did the topos for Oberreid and Engleswand a couple of years but that crap translation  is 100% not my text, presumably is predates my work.

I wrote "Oberried is popular and easily accessible crag in the Ötztal area of Austria with 150+ routes on good granite. The crags face a little north of east and the afternoon shade available is of great appeal in hot weather. There is a very good spread of grades here from super-easy though to mid-sevens though there isn't much very hard stuff. The crag base is very child friendly and there are even a couple of play areas. Signs warn of the danger of cows with calves in the season."

I will see if I can get it sorted,

Chris

Post edited at 14:00
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In reply to jon:

That took a while to find. You are referring to the UKC Logbook entry, not anything on the app. Now changed -  Oberried.

Thanks
Alan

PS. A link is incredibly useful when posting things like this ;)

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jon 17 Sep 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Wanted Chris to earn his money... but clearly he's left it to the boss to sort out

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TobyA 17 Sep 2019
In reply to Stephen Horne - Rockfax:

Thanks Stephen - didn't know they existed so will look them up! I'm sure there is a particular combo that is better for me.

I have a similar issue with the printed books, its not the end of the world but I just end up having to concentrate more than many wood to see whats an orange route and a green when the icon is relatively small.

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TobyA 17 Sep 2019
In reply to WB:

On the ones I've used so far the lines aren't a problem at all, at least for my colour blindness but I know what you mean from some of the books - perhaps the older ones?

For Alan or anyone else involved - I was using the app Birchen Edge on saturday. On some of the topo pictures the lines don't appear until you click on an individual route - then it comes up as a really fat line in a sort of fuzzy yellow. This stood out on other sector photos all the lines were clearly visible next to each other, and thin dashed lines. Is this an oversight? Or done for some reason I haven't understood yet?

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jon 18 Sep 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> Well I did the topos for Oberreid and Engleswand a couple of years but that crap translation  is 100% not my text, presumably is predates my work.

> I wrote "Oberried is popular and easily accessible crag in the Ötztal area of Austria with 150+ routes on good granite. The crags face a little north of east and the afternoon shade available is of great appeal in hot weather. There is a very good spread of grades here from super-easy though to mid-sevens though there isn't much very hard stuff. The crag base is very child friendly and there are even a couple of play areas. Signs warn of the danger of cows with calves in the season."

> I will see if I can get it sorted,

> Chris

Weird isn't it why someone would start a database entry for the crag and go to the trouble of 'translating' an intro, presumably from a local guidebook, and then not bother to check it... unless of course it was for a giggle! I thought as crag moderator you could see who contributed it? 

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Offwidth 18 Sep 2019
In reply to Stephen Horne - Rockfax:

You should never use colour on its own and always think about redundant coding if you care about colour blindness.  Use colour blind testers to check if the colours you use look sufficiently different (by brightness or saturation) or better still add some differential texture or shape.

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In reply to TobyA:

Toby can you send me a support request from inside the app please? The lines should be visible immediately.

"Settings Tab → Help & Support → Email Us"

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Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator18 Sep 2019
In reply to jon:

> Weird isn't it why someone would start a database entry for the crag and go to the trouble of 'translating' an intro, presumably from a local guidebook, and then not bother to check it... unless of course it was for a giggle! I thought as crag moderator you could see who contributed it? 


I might have been able to see who submitted it if I thought to look when I was checking it but it has gone now, replaced by my text. It may have been a foreigner submitting of course, hence the odd translation?

Chris

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jon 18 Sep 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Ah... them forriners, tekkin are jobbs... masakring are langwige

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Iain Thow 18 Sep 2019
In reply to McHeath:

My favourite translation-mangled route description is "perform a pirouette to the south and overcome the circus by strong slope" (from the Aneto page on Summitpost). You know what he means when you think about it.

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ewanjp 19 Sep 2019

Alan - is the business case coming out like you expected (understand you may not want to be very specific)? I recall when you were asking about what people would pay on a monthly basis, it's ended up being a bit cheaper than I was expecting (which is obviously great from a consumer point of view as long as it's sustainable for rockfax).

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snoop6060 19 Sep 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

I just tried this after my post about which kalymnos guide and it's slick...

But. 

Please put a yes/no confirmation after pressing  the delete crag/area icon. I can honestly imagine me deleting my download by accident whilst I was away and being pretty annoyed. So I tried it and away the whole guide went on one fat fingered accident. Maybe it's just me but it's too easy to erase your data and you cannot stop it once you realise. 

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In reply to ewanjp:

> Alan - is the business case coming out like you expected (understand you may not want to be very specific)? I recall when you were asking about what people would pay on a monthly basis, it's ended up being a bit cheaper than I was expecting (which is obviously great from a consumer point of view as long as it's sustainable for rockfax).

Hi Ewan

Initial take up has been significantly better than expected so we are very happy. It has thrown up some knock on problems like the search on Logbook being a bit slow. This is because the app is being used so extensively it is hammering the server but is probably under the category 'a good problem'. We are working on a long term solution which will take a while but be future proof.

Alan

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In reply to snoop6060:

> Please put a yes/no confirmation after pressing  the delete crag/area icon. I can honestly imagine me deleting my download by accident whilst I was away and being pretty annoyed. So I tried it and away the whole guide went on one fat fingered accident. Maybe it's just me but it's too easy to erase your data and you cannot stop it once you realise. 

Maybe we should put a confirmation warning there.

Alan

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In reply to snoop6060:

Hi Snoop,

Yes, we're going to add this shortly. Thanks for pointing this out.

Regards,
Martin

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Offwidth 20 Sep 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

That's amazing dumb even for UKC:  9 dislikes for standard technical colour design advice on how to prevent issues arising for colour blind users.

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ewanjp 20 Sep 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Cheers Alan - glad it's working out well. Certainly seems like the future to me!

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Irk the Purist 20 Sep 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

I thought that. 1 in 20 people are colourblind. 1 in 12 men. Yet no-one bothers to account for their needs and when someone advises on how to do so they get dislikes.

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TobyA 20 Sep 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Initial take up has been significantly better than expected so we are very happy. It has thrown up some knock on problems like the search on Logbook being a bit slow.

Is that why if I try to add a route or crag to a post here on the forums it takes forever now? I'll be less impatient now I know it because my app is one of the many using the same server!

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In reply to TobyA:

The climb/crag search was moved to some cloud servers to take some load of our main one. I've switched the climb search back to the main one now though since it was a little slow. There's nearly ½ million climbs in the database to search through!

The crag search seems plenty fast enough here at the mo.

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TobyA 21 Sep 2019
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

I used the app for the first time today on a cliff we hadn't climbed on before - Laddow Rocks. Its a decent stroll up there so I was happy to leave Western Grit in the car boot. It worked really well except for one thing I hadn't really thought about - it was so sunny that it was a bit tricky to see the screen as some points! It seemed quite a funny contrast, using a smartphone instead of a book to get me up routes that are 119 years old.

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snoop6060 22 Sep 2019
In reply to Martin McKenna - UKC:

Np - I have the exact same issue with Spotify when abroad. If you accidently click the downloaded icon it just wipes it out no questions asked. Properly annoying. Wiping out your whole guide when sat at some far away crag would be pretty grim.

I've been using it  at the crag for the last couple of days and the only thing that's odd is the lack of integration with the logbooks. There are comments on some routes tho presumably from the old rockfax site? Dunno but defo routes I click on that I've done before I had to switch to see my own comment (tho my logbook is private so might explain it). Anyways that seems a touch disjointed but other than that it is very slick. I am very keen on the way you can either click a route and it highlights the line on the topo or click the line and it highlights the route. And being able to zoom. All very usable and neatly done. Be nice to be able to click a grade on the barchart and it filters the routes for that grade. Add it to your list

Post edited at 14:04
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tjekel 24 Sep 2019
In reply to jon:

This probably is the translation of the local tourist industry. 

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robert-hutton 10 Oct 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Every now and again I get " updating database" but don't see any change to listing or crags in listings I did see Lake District climbs arrive,  would it be possible to have a blog post or "new" sign on the area concerned?

Plus it makes it look like a load of development is going on to the end users.

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In reply to robert-hutton:

Hi Rob,

The iOS app has a "News" screen and notifications about updates we apply to the app. This is something we intend on adding soon. It's easy to build and would offer the user information as to content and features we're adding to the app.

I think the notification you've been seeing is when we update the crags available in the app, a notification displays to let the user know. I see what you mean though, it's a bit vague.

At the moment I'm a bit back and forward between app and web stuff surrounding the app. In the time I do have on the app I've mainly been focused on fixing bugs and crashes. The News screen is coming to Android though along with other stuff we have on the features list.

Cheers,
Martin

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robert-hutton 10 Oct 2019
In reply to Martin McKenna - UKC:

Thanks yet again for the update

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zimpara 22:28 Sun
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Got it a week ago, paid 3 or 4 quid to Rfax. 
 

Absolutely gobsmacked with how good it is. 

Great job Rockfax 🤜🤛

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