iOS beta testing

Dirk Hohndel dirk at
Wed Mar 30 12:52:49 PDT 2016

Hi David,

On Wed, Mar 30, 2016 at 04:55:13PM +0100, David Brander wrote:
> Here's a copy of a few dives I've exported from DM5 and tried to pull into
> Subsurface. Unfortunately I borrow the Suunto cable from a friend who is
> currently on holiday so I can't import them directly.  Just messing about
> now, it appears I'm able to export a backup from DM5 and import that to
> Subsurface and it works correctly, I've attached a copy of the DM5 backup
> and the logbook it created too for reference.  Seems odd I can import all
> dives, but not a single one correctly.

I never use DM5 (I need to to configure my EON Steel - but I find it just
terrible as a dive log). So I have no experience with importing dives from
it at all.

Do I understand correctly that you can import the DB Backup file correctly
and all works fine, but that the import of the SDE files fails?

> > So that's a philosophical thing. What you want as a button vs. in a menu
> > depends on what you think you'll be most likely to do. And I have learned
> > that different users have very different ideas what they are likely to be
> > doing. Take me for example. The likelihood of me wanting to add a dive or
> > edit a dive on the mobile app is 0.00%. I get violently sea sick on boats.
> > The idea of staring at a phone and entering things... no thank you. And in
> > general, I hate the on screen keyboard experience, so I'd never be tempted
> > even if I wasn't on a boat to write things on a phone. But that's just me.
> > 
> > The other downside of having the area at the bottom with the buttons for
> > actions is that it takes away vertical screen real estate. And I already
> > find myself wanting to make sure that as many dives as possible fit on one
> > screen. It's all about trade-offs, I guess.
> I wonder if it comes from Android vs iOS too? I don't have an Android
> device but they usually have three buttons, back, home and menu don't they?

They do indeed.

>  (It's been a while since using an Android device)  So clicking into a menu
> is normal and expected for Android users, but iOS users don't have that
> button so usually expect to lose a little screen real estate for a row at
> the bottom with perhaps a button or two on.

Possibly. We already ended up having to work around the missing back
button on iOS... but the more we create customizations by OS, the less we
benefit from having a shared source base that we can use to build for both
platforms. I actually use an iPhone and certainly find many things on
Android a lot easier... I don't think we'll end up with an iOS style UI in
the end. And if people don't like this, that's ok.

The interest in the iOS version amongst the developers is pretty much
non-existant. So far I'm the only one working on it and so for me goal #1
is to keep things simple and streamlined and similar. Unless someone shows
up with a focus on making the iOS version more iOS-y, I don't think that
will happen.

> Typically I wouldn't want to use my phone on a dive boat either, however in
> the evening (or surface interval) I would.  I don't tend to take a laptop
> on dive trips, I'll take a tablet or phone and this is why I've been
> looking for a app that will allow me to easily and quickly log some dives.
> Let's face it - most young people use their phones for just about anything
> and everything so logging a dive is to be expected.

Yeah, that's why we added the basic capability

> > I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. Yes, the dive shows up in
> > the dive list, but unless you are on a tablet in landscape mode you
> > wouldn't really notice. If you abort the edit it disappears, if you save it
> > it stays. I'm not quite sure what flow you are describing. In general when
> > you click add dive, you should be directly in edit mode. Am I missing
> > something?
> I see what you mean - I didn't notice the cancel dive add on the right
> (again I think that's an iOS thing, typically I'd click "back" in the top
> left and the app asks if I want to save or something).  What I mean here
> though, is if I add a new dive on my iPhone, I can not click save, or
> cancel, but I can still reopen the menu on the left and go back to my dive
> list, the dive I have not actually edited still appears.  Hopefully that
> makes a little more sense.

That's broken. It should cancel the dive edit. I'll need to see if I can
reproduce this.

> > Drop downs and scroll boxes drive me nuts in most places, but at least for the
> > date I agree with you, we need a date picker. This is in part a challenge
> > of using a third party tool kit in order to build for several platforms
> > from one source base. Kirigami doesn't have some of the components, yet,
> > that we'd need for that.
> Ahh, I see.  It's probably more me then, but I find them helpful at times!
> If I could add to and pick from a list of typical sites I dive at (Stoney
> Cove, St Abbs and so on) I can save myself time entering logs.  However I
> get that getting them to work may be more effort than just letting the user
> type each field. I'm no app developer, but I build tools at work in Excel
> regularly and people come back to us and ask for certain things that seem
> simple to them but is a pain in the arse to manage as item X relates to
> item Y which will break item Z if X changes. =)

See above. It's just a function of how many active developers we have
working on the UI. There are a few people who occasionally contribute now
and then, but by and large it feels like me, myself and I. Having done
these auto-completion thingies on the desktop I know what a never ending
pile of pain they are. So again, I understand your desire, I just don't
see it happening any time soon. Maybe the date picker. Beyond that, not so

> > No, that's exactly what I'm hoping for from testers. I'm actually quite
> > surprised that 3/4 of the testers apparently download and install the app
> > and then never send us any feedback. I find that very weird.
> I'm somewhat not surprised.  Getting people to feedback about anything can
> be a complete pain in the arse. To be fair, if I didn't have your email
> address I'd probably not be sure how to feedback as I don't often test
> apps.  There's probably a very simple way to feedback through TestFlight
> though!  I'm happy to feed things back to you, but equally hope I don't
> offend you with anything I say about the app.

Not at all. You are making reasonable observations and explain why you
like certain things to be different. I try to reasonably respond. I'll try
to implement as much of this as I can. I think this helps us make
Subsurface-mobile better over time.

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