That old saying is true

The saying you should never make untested changes to production are true. I should know because this is the motto I live by in my day job but didn’t ring true today when I made what I thought would be a small change to the RedHat webserver that hosted the ULS DB files, version check file and some other online assets that GridTracker’s Call Roster uses to determine where a US callsign might be.

So I started to scramble and decided that hosting those on a full blown webserver might not really be necessary and copied those files into a Google Storage Bucket which won’t need to be updated and let’s us keep prior versions of files for a time in case we do break something when we update the files. This required an update to GridTracker so it’d know to look for those files there rather then on the old RedHat webserver. This was actually something that was being tossed around before today for the reasons above.

GridTracker v1.22.0502 is now available in the downloads section.

There are a few other updates in this version that were pending for an upcoming release we were working on. What’s been taking so long is that our development cycle has slowed down a whole lot this year. Sebastian, KI2D, is launching satellites into orbit, Jon KF5QHQ and Christian WA4YA have been busy with their day jobs and I’ve started a new broadcast engineering job in Tulsa Oklahoma where a good chunk of my last several weeks has been overseeing projects at transmitter sites.

In this release additional updates include a request to revert the CQ highlighting on CQ Only back to the previous behavior that everyone was used to.

Jon KF5QHQ re-wrote the NSIS Installer script so that it’d properly use the Windows registry and know where prior versions of GridTracker were installed. We’re also looking at ways to set additional installation time options and including dependencies such as the Visual C++ Runtime that is needed on some Windows systems.

I removed the IP-Geolocate feature that most people may not have realized GridTracker had. Tag had included this as a last resort fallback when GridTracker did not know what gridsquare the user was located in and WSJT-X (JTDX) were not running or not reporting a gridsquare. This is a behavior that I question the legality of in all places where our users reside as there was no prompting for GridTracker to gather that information. Also the Geo-Locate service that was being used costed money and those services aren’t that reliable anyways. Now if a gridsquare was not entered or not reported by WSJT-X then GridTracker will just pop a message that it doesn’t know where your at and how you can fix that.

The NWJS-Downloader .deb and NWJS RPM now include in their dependencies libatomic1 which was omitted preventing GridTracker from running when those were not installed. There was no error message telling end users that it was missing which lead to some confusion.

Better then bug fixes are enhancements and we can thank Sebastian KI2D for his continued work on the Call Roster with additional refactoring and some upcoming improvements he’s been working on, new columns and sorting and paving the way for being able to rearrange columns and making it possible for me to add POTA hunting which I’m still working on when I find the time.

The other improvement is the addition of the version number in the title bar of GridTracker so at a glance you can see which version is running. This also helps if you take screenshots that include the title bar as the version running is now included in the screenshot as well.

Hopefully we don’t have another incident like this afternoons and instead we find more time to work on GridTracker and now play a little ham radio as the bands have been continuously getting better with the additional solar activity. I’m looking forward to getting some progress on POTA hunting but in the meantime I look forward to working more of you all on the bands. Happy Grid Tracking and 73.

Matthew NR0Q