December 8, 2012

OKAPI Browser

Recently, we published a simple project called OKAPI Browser.

It is open-source, written in C#.NET and WPF platform. You can fork it, play with it, submit you patches, or you can simply run the Installer for Windows.

Being made crude and fast, it is not as stable as we'd like, but it still might be a handy tool for some of you (i.e. when you want to test a method which requires OAuth).

OKAPI Browser - screenshot

Also, there were some minor changes made to OKAPI last month (r518):

November 10, 2012

November update

What changed since June (r495):

July 15, 2012

New features in June

Features added last month (r404):
  • Added is_not_found field to the geocache objects.
  • Added some new features to use when submitting a new log entryon_duplicate to prevent duplicate log entries, recommend allows users to recommend the geocache, needs_maintenance allows them to notify that the cache needs maintenance.
  • Added some new statistics fields to user objects: cache_found, caches_notfound, caches_hidden, rcmds_given.
  • New interactivity option gives you some more control when authorizing your users.

June 10, 2012

May 31, 2012

New features in May

Key changes this month (r344):

April 19, 2012

OKAPI usage stats

It's been 8 months since OKAPI Project has started. It is still a very young project, but the list of OKAPI applications is slowly (but steadily) growing. Here are some current stats (for OpenCaching.PL site only):
  • A total of 66 apps were registered.
    • 23 of these are "alive" (they make requests on a regular basis).
    • 7 of these make use of Level 3 Authentication.
  • 392 distinct users have authorized at least one application with OAuth.
    • A total of 711 log entries (by 82 users) have been submitted using 2 external apps.
    • An accurate number of all OKAPI users cannot be determined, because some of them use applications with Level 1 Authentication only.
  • On average, OKAPI receives 13000 requests per week.

Performance tips

Search with one request, not two

Usually, you should use search_and_retrieve method for searching geocaches with OKAPI. This is usually  much faster than calling nearest method first, and then geocaches method with the result of the previous one (unless you cache the results and retrieve only new ones, which is a good technique).

About web scraping

This report does not include requests made with web scraping technique, and we know some of you make such. Web scraping (parsing HTML from web pages) is both unsafe and slow:

  • Your web-scraping applications will probably stop working every time we change something in site design or structure (and we do that sometimes). Whereas OKAPI methods are meant to be permanently backward-compatible, so you don't have to worry about that.
  • With web-scraping, you have to download a lot of unnecessary data (headers, menus etc.). OKAPI lets you choose precisely which data you want, resulting in both much faster server response time and much smaller download.
  • In general, OKAPI methods offer more parameters and they work faster than their HTML caunterparts.
  • If you already use web scraping, then upgrading to OKAPI should be a relatively simple task. Give it a try!

April 15, 2012

New features: is_found/mark_found

New in OKAPI (r332):
You can work with both of these using simple Level 1 Authentication. Useful when you want to mark found caches on your maps.

April 8, 2012

Started OKAPI News Blog

Welcome, OKAPI developers!

We will start this blog with listing all features added in the last three monts (if you haven't browsed OKAPI documentation pages thoroughly, you might have skipped some):
  • Added Garmin cache list formatter, designed to work specifically with Garmin GPS devices. Currently it allows to download a Garmin-compatible ZIP file with cache descriptions and photos.
  • GPX files now may include information on trackables and recommendations (as do geocache objects).
  • Added my_notes field to geocache objects (Level 3). It can be used to access user's personal notes on the cache.
  • Added alt_wpts field to geocache objects - alternate waypoints which might be useful when searching for the cache.
  • Added distance and bearing fields to geocache objects. Useful if you're not sure how to calculate them yourself.
  • Added pagination and ordering to cache searching methods.
  • Added pagination to cache's log entries list.
  • (!) Added the replicate module. It allows you to replicate (and easily keep up-to-date) the entire database of caches and log entries.
All of these features are available in the newest OKAPI revision (r323). Keep in mind, that not all installations have the newest version of OKAPI installed.