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ThinkingOutsideTheBox

Introduction

In case you've just become involved with Melbourne Wireless or you've been living under a rock, I'll introduce myself. My name is TysonClugg and I'm the current webmaster for Melbourne Wireless, I used to be president, before then I was treasurer... I'm sure you get the picture. ;)

I've had a number of suggestions made to me for improvements to the Melbourne Wireless website over the past few months, and I've come to the conclusion that there are too many things distracting me from being truly productive in the short to mid term. So, I've decided to prioritise, recruit and discuss options to ensure my own workload and that of other Melbourne Wireless coders is not too burdensome, and to ensure that Melbourne Wireless moves forward in a cohesive and productive manner.

In simple terms

What is the number one feature you wish to see implemented on the Melbourne Wireless website right now?


Do you know any accomplished application programmers with PHP & SQL experience, who are willing to donate at least 2 hours per week of their time to Melbourne Wireless?


Which services should Melbourne Wireless be offering via the website to help grow the network in the long term?


Suggested Features

Here are some of the website features that have been requested so far to get your creative juices flowing:

Discussion


Start discussing here ;) -- TysonClugg

NodeDB is famous for it's elevation diagrams that come with it's nodemaps. I believe we can go one (or two) better. :) How about being able to produce "Line-Of-Sight Overlays" on our maps? I've seen a rough version done on the San Francisco WLAN website. It will produce an overlay on a map that shows in a different colour the areas that have "Good" Line-Of-Sight to a given point on the map - eg the area around a node.

If you were going to implement Elevation Diagrams you could also get Locfinder to produce a list of nodes that have "Good" Line-Of-Sight to any given node. This feature would be useful as for many nodes it may show Lines-Of-Sight that the node owner may not have realised. The Line-Of-Sight between NodeGUR in Moorabbin and NodeGDW in Taylors Lakes is an example of this - it was found by a fluke of antenna orientation. An algorithm that produces a list of all possible Lines-Of-Sight from a node would find more of these "flukes".

As for what constitutes "Good" LoS - we could create and refine formulas that attempt to take into account buildings and trees - it's reasonable to assume a "blanket" of houses across the landscape that is about 7 metres tall blocks LoS more or less completely. Another "Layer" above the houses from 7 metres up to about 15 metres above the ground level is trees, which strongly attenuate 2.4GHz signals but do not completely block them. A LoS between two nodes could be classified as "Non-existant","Bad","Good" or "Excellent" depending on the distance it travels through buildings, trees and open air.

These calculations are probably pretty hard on the Locfinder server. It would be ideal to be able to calculate the LoS from every node to every other node in the database. I don't think we'd need to do the calculations anytime anyone requests them. They should be done everytime a new node is created or moved - or maybe 30 minutes afterwards in case someone starts having fun moving their node to different coordinates all over the place. You could then build up a "matrix" of Node-to-Node LoS calculations that is stored on the server and referenced when requested by a node. When requested by a node, the resulting list could have various sorting options

Another more simple feature would be "Shaded contours" - that show a colour gradation for lower or higher elevations.

I guess these ideas would take a lot of hard work in coding to implement. But I guess you have to start with an idea first. :)

Please discuss... - DanFlett 26/03/04

Nice one Dan, you distract him while I go for the wallet :P graybeard


Some of these ideas are now being looked at. See LocFinder and MapServer for examples. -- TysonClugg 23/06/04


wiki

The search term for TitleSearch comes up in the list of results. Is there a chance of working some coding magic to exclude that string from the results ...
eg: - in the HowTo page...
### TitleSearch Howto ###

returns:
   * CoordinatesHowto
   * DebianChrootHowto
   * GettingStartedHowto
   * HowTo


The last entry - HowTo - doesn't need to be there as it's the search term and often, the page title (HowTo, BSD etc) -- graybeard 30/06/2004

Fixed. -- TysonClugg 2004-07-06


Continuing on the search . . .
IMHO, highlighting the occurance of search term(s) on a wiki page when clicking through from the FullTextSearch would be nice.
Here's my implementation in PHP:
function highlight( $needle, $haystack ) {
        $parts = explode( strtolower($needle), strtolower($haystack) );
        $pos = 0;
        foreach( $parts as $key=>$part ){
                $parts[ $key ] = substr($haystack, $pos, strlen($part));
                $pos += strlen($part);
                $parts[ $key ] .= '<font color="00BBCC"><b>'.substr($haystack, $pos, strlen($needle)).'</b></font>';
                $pos += strlen($needle);
                }
        return( join( '', $parts ) );
}

.. and calling from the page depends how you want to carry the variable URL(GET) or POST are two options I can think of.
 if ($_GET['highlight']!="") {$text = highlight($_GET['highlight'],$text);

Then again, it might be far too much trouble to cater for the lazy such as myself -- as such a method described above would likely break URLS and so on. *shrug*
and another thing . . . How about when one elects to use the TitleSearch and no results are found it would be good if the page presents you with a 'nice' (in true google style here) "Click here to repeat your query in FullTextSearch" link which automagically initiates such a search. Current method is to click on the See Also link, then retype your search terms
--gummAY 2004-03-07

Why not alter the code for the FullTextSearch and TitleSearch pages to do this? Hey, I'm off to do it now... -- TysonClugg 2004-07-06

Accomplished


Version 9 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:12:21 +1000 by gummAY
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