adding more data for people to collect

Dirk Hohndel dirk at
Mon Oct 13 23:27:53 PDT 2014

So far Subsurface has been primarily designed around the idea that it
would collect the data from a divecomputer, visualize it in a compelling
way and add a few more items that seemed interesting to the initial

Reading through feedback, feature requests and reflecting on conversations
on IRC it has become clear to me that there are people who want a lot more.

There's Henrik (and I'm sure others) who want a dive site database.

There are a number of people who wanted a way to track equipment, serial
numbers, deadlines for service and replacement. We have / had the rather
sad "in memoriam Jan Schubert" feature request in trac...

There was an interesting discussion about the way we could improve
tracking of gear that people take on a dive; this started out with a
conversation about undergarment types and dry suits, but if you really
want to track the weight of your gear you need to be able to track lights,
cameras, action (sorry for the Wiggles reference).

So I've been mulling this over for a while, trying to figure out what this
means for Subsurface.

Here are a few ground rules:

a) this needs to work reasonably seamlessly with older data files
b) this needs to all be opt-in, i.e. people who don't want to track these
things shouldn't be bothered by them, they shouldn't clutter the UI, etc
c) this needs to be done in way that is intuitive and easy to use

Oh wait, we don't have a UI designer driving this. Crud. We so desperately
need UI designers. It's not even funny.

Having said that, here's what I came up with:


we could take the current Equipment tab and replace 'Weights' with
'Equipment' and allow people to track everything that they take on a dive.
That could be done fairly transparently, even in more or less the same UI
we have today. I'm a bit worried about the 'weight' property because what
I /really/ care about is not the weight on land but the relative buoyancy
under water, but of course even for weights we don't track that (I always
find it amusing that most people don't get that... a one pound weight does
NOT add one pound of negative buoyancy...)

Then we could add a new screen (new window, new... something... where's
that UI designer?) where we allow people to track additional data for each
'equipment' that is ever mentioned in a dive (so the same auto-completer
idea). We then add a number of columns. make, model, serial#, purchase
date, next service date, weight (see above)... what else is missing?

We then need a reminder function for the service date... no idea... Google
calendar integration? Suggestions?

And of course we need to store all this. That would likely be an equipment
section after the settings section in the XML file (and equivalent in

Dive sites:

I would strongly want us to keep the current free form Location field.
We could then have some super-imposed structure in a dive site UI (did I
mention that we need a UI designer?). Something like
<site>, <city>, <coutry>
I'm actually struggling here a bit. I really really want to keep this
entirely optional for people like myself (he...) and at the same time make
it useful for those who like more structure... so how could this be done
so that existing data can be parsed and then the dive sites database can
connect bidirectionally to the location field?
Anyway, the UI would include address, GPS (from the Info tab), additional
fields (Henrik?)
All this could then also be saved in yet another section in the XML / git.

What do people think? Has the German water poisoned my brain? Am I
completely off in lala land? Or is this maybe something we should pursue?


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