I have a plan... I think. Rather than making all of these standalone apps, why not have an app of apps. I'm not 100% sure this will be the best course of action in the long term but it sure seems more convinient at the moment!

So on your Android phone, you can fire up Chrome and go here:

http://webapps.milesplit.com/index.html

Then click the vertical ... menu button in the top right. And choose "Add to homescreen"

this will allow you to essentially run it as an app

Now fire that up and you'll see links to the apps we have available so far. Including the new app to just do nothing but test your connection to racetab that i added tonight

i also started to update some things on the backend that should make it easier for me to develop these apps by creating a boilerplate i can build off of... rather than almost one off creations as before

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Comment by Jason Byrne on March 14, 2014 at 2:32am

This same "App of Apps" link will work just as well on your computer web browser. And I think my plan would be to package it up so you can install it as a Chrome Web App itself at some point.

Let me know, but I generally think this is more palateable to you all.. rather than having a bunch of icons and separate apps to install. Yes?


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Comment by Don Passenger MichianaTiming.com on March 14, 2014 at 9:30am

Totally unless we lose performance ... one tiny concern ... can I allow users for only certain things ... as you know, right or wrong, I pushed you hard to do a clerk app and I think recent activity suggests it will be very popular.  But here is the thing, I may want to set permissions.  When you create the field event app (which you wanted to do first, I know, and it is important) I don't want the guy at high jump to mess up anything besides high jump.  Now I can train him to not hit clerking and start pushing buttons ... but what if s/he isn't too sharp ... they are volunteers.  In the short run I don't want to slow anything down, but in the long run consider allowing access by device to certain functions perhaps?


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Comment by Dan Nelson on March 14, 2014 at 10:02am

Jason

An app I would like to see as a coach would be one that interacts with Milesplit.  For example many coaches in my area use a google form for the kids to sign up for the team.  It would be awesome if somehow Milesplit created a way to do this so when an athlete signs up for the team it goes directly to the team's roster with all of the information. (here is mine as an example) Then once the athlete signs up they are connected with their profile and and view their performances at meets.

Along with that it would be great if with this profile connected their mobile phone and email so coaches could send mass text messages and emails.  Many schools are not allowing coaches to send text messages or emails unless using a service that does it for you without using your private phone. I know there our programs and websites that do this already -- but would be great if we as a coach had one stop shopping.

Hey maybe if it was connected the clerk could hit a button and text the kid an event was being in 30 mins

Dan


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Comment by Jason Byrne on March 14, 2014 at 11:00am
I think I just found a way to do auto discovery of RaceTab on the local network. So may be able to eliminate entering the ip and port step

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Comment by Don Passenger MichianaTiming.com on March 17, 2014 at 4:08pm

Unless you have two and want to select it.  Think of the havoc I can create ... so have an advanced mode as you build auto mode.


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Comment by Jason Byrne on March 17, 2014 at 4:14pm

I am not currently considering a straight-out Apple app that would be in the App Store. However, I think iPads and iPhones can run Chrome now. So in theory you could run it there. It may already work decently in Mobile Safari... but I'm not sure. Going forward, I will be giving only a small amount of effort toward cross-browser support. My main goal will be to target Chrome browsers.... Google is doing a lot right now to have Chrome everywhere. So this will open the door to having these apps or related apps run on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Chromecast TV, etc etc etc. Anything with a Chrome browser. And they're working on getting those to compile into actual apps too. So that's the general plan.

I know I've had trouble with Mobile Safari in the past... with it not wanting to connect to the RaceTab port. Almost like it is blocking connecting to it. But I haven't tested recently or enough to know for sure.

I will be working on ensuring more offline functionality to make sure they will download and cache all the assets so that you could use it when no internet signal.

Comment by Michael Sudrovech on March 18, 2014 at 6:28am

Makes sense to me :)

I'm wondering if it would be possible to code it so that the RaceTab program itself contained all of the assets needed for the device to run the web app.  Sort of master/slave protocol.  Say I'm nowhere near the internet and I need to power cycle my device for whatever reason, I could still "pull" the necessary assets from RT...


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Comment by Jason Byrne on March 29, 2014 at 12:17am

Hmmm... It would be possible... technically RaceTab is already running a web server on the local network. That's how the API works in the first place. The downside though is that I couldn't update the apps without updating the whole program.

Comment by Michael Sudrovech on March 29, 2014 at 6:49am

I could see how updating the whole program could become something of a nuisance...  And, I'm sorry to keep throwing hypotheticals at you, what about something come like a "companion file". RaceTab already works this way when you set up FAT.  It is pulling data from the .lif file.  You could always just have the ".app" file available to download on MileSplit.  If I know I'm going to be timing/scoring a meet this next weekend in Armpit, MI U.S.A, I could make sure that I update that file to pull into RaceTab when I was setting up my clerks.

I know these are called WEBapps for a reason, I could just see that scenario where I can't get on the web and I need to power-cycle my clerking device with no way of getting the app back up.

Thanks for hearing me out!

Comment by Bill Cooper on April 14, 2014 at 11:58pm

I've been reading through some of the blogs and posts recently and am intrigued to see how far Racetab has come.  I'm coaching at a college in virginia that has just started a new track program and has yet to put on a meet.  The companion app or app of apps sounds like an amazing idea and a huge step forward in meet management.  Reading through some of the comments about the possible lack of connection and got to thinking.  Would it be possible to set up an Ad Hoc network with a wireless router/hub to allow everyone to be networked to the main computer and meet information itself.  That way, if I'm on my tablet at the long jump, I can instantly update results with an offline app that is able to pull in information using the centralized database on the main hub/computer.  After the event, this information is then pushed back to the results database.  Then again I'm probably rambling aimlessly at this point.  There are some awesome possibilities with this going forward though! Kudos.

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