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Author Topic: I'm working on a new web-app for casual kite flyers  (Read 1281 times)
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jwwilson
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« on: February 02, 2013, 02:38 PM »

Hi all!

I created a web-app for amateur kite flyers (enthusiasts?). As a very casual once-in-a-while kite flyer (awesome wal-mart trick kite), if the urge to fly comes up, I have no way of knowing quickly or easily if the weather outside was adequate for flying.

So I've been working on caniflymykite.com for the last couple months, and it has reached a point where I feel somewhat comfortable showing it off and getting feedback from all you nice people.

It is still in an early state of development, but any feedback you can give me (positive OR negative) is still greatly appreciated! Is there value in something like this? Should I keep going?

For those interested in future developments, feel free to sign up to receive info about updates to the site: caniflymykite/newsletter

tl;dr - I created a web-app for lazy and/or casual kite flyers: caniflymykite.com
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sluggo
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 02:56 PM »

Cool!

For me, the perfect answer to that question would also depend on specifically where I want to fly - in the park up the hill from my house, but only if the wind is >= 5MPH and coming from between SSE and E (but maybe from any direction if the wind speed is >= 10 MPH). In the field across town but only if the wind is >= 8 mph, in any direction. At the beach, if the wind is >= 3MPH, coming from any east-ish direction.

No expectation that anyone would want to automate something like that, but since you asked for feedback...
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Tmadz
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2013, 04:01 PM »

I use WindAlert. It's really built for sailing, but it takes readings from all of the reporting weather stations from the national weather service: airports, ports, coastlines, etc. It also has a reasonable accurate forecast feature. Answers all of my flying needs.
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2013, 05:40 PM »

Interesting idea.

The two locations I tried it on came up with:
NO There is no wind

Or

NO Nothing is blowing

But with wind readings if 2.3 mph and 4.6 mph

I use a wunderground web app for this kind of thing but its nice to see a kite specific app. Keep up the good work.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
jwwilson
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2013, 06:59 PM »

Thanks guys for the great feedback! Grin

@sluggo - I wish I had the perfect answer! I suppose cifmk provides more of a "best guess". The idea in my mind is that if the weather station nearest a person says the wind is 10mph, then that person has a very good chance of being able to fly at a park or something near to them, especially using the potentially common-knowledge of staying away from big trees and flying near water (that's the end of my common-knowledge). Thoughts?

@Tmads - My father-in-law showed me WindAlert the other day, and it is a great app for detailed wind-speed forecasts and what have you, but it doesn't seem geared towards the casual flyer or kite people in general. I'm currently using the NOAA "forecast" service, so the weather info on cifmk is not "live", so to speak but is their next forecast. I plan on implementing real time station data soon, along with forecasts from the NOAA (probably the same ones that WindAlert uses).

@Allen - As an amateur, I wasn't sure what range of wind is acceptable for flying (I took a range from a single-string kite description on amazon), and the sub-messages are pretty new and need to be tweaked ("Not much wind"). The logic for displaying "yes" is that the wind is faster than 5mph & the prob of rain is less than 20%. My goal was to pick a general wind speed range for the average person to know when to fly. For example, if they see 6.5mph on wunderground, they may be unsure if they can fly. I'm very open to other ideas for getting to yes or no.


To everyone: is this something you could see recommending to people who are curious about flying or just starting? How about your parents or kids?
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mikenchico
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 11:18 PM »

Not obvious how to enter your location, City & State did not work, zip code did work. Under the search box I would put "Enter Zip Code" and move the button to search to the right of the box, or "Enter Zip" above and leave the button under as is.

Oops, OK that is problems with IE9, Looks great in Chrome.

In IE9 the box does not say enter zip and the CIFMK button gets moved under the box with no space between them which looks a little sloppy. In IE10 the box & button render in the proper locations but it still doesn't say "Enter Zip Code" in the box. I know it sucks having to preview in multiple browsers and try to find compatible code to render correctly in all of them but IE is still the most used browser, and there is code that will do what you've done in all of them.



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jwwilson
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 09:49 AM »

Thanks for the info Mike. I have only tested it in chrome and firefox (chrome has the highest market share atm) so far, but I really should make sure that it at least workable on that latest version of IE, even if it doesn't look perfect. I added that to my todo list.

I plan to make future versions to allow more general location entry (city, state) and maybe even try to guess your current location automatically. If anyone is interested in future developments, please subscribe to my newsletter (caniflymykite.com/newsletter).
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2013, 11:01 AM »

I'd say an app like this would be most useful on a handheld device. Make sure it works in iOS and Android.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
Jim Foster
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2013, 11:45 AM »

Just tried it on my iPhone.  Worked just fine using Safari browser.  Bookmarked the page, then made an icon for the home page.

Works much like an app.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 11:54 AM by Jim Foster » Logged

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mikenchico
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2013, 03:39 PM »

Chrome has the largest market gain, IE still holds the largest share. But different surveys do monitor different sites for their stats, monitoring heavily toward geek sites will show firefox and chrome leading, monitoring yahoo, gmail, amazon, craigslist & ebay will likely show IE way in front.

I'll check it on Android for you in a bit, 4.xx  with the stock browser and Dolphin and try to give it a shot with google chrome for android on the nexus 7

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"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

"People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" George Bernard Shaw
mikenchico
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2013, 04:31 PM »

Looks good using Dolphin Browser on Android. Stock browser does not display "enter zip code"

Both roll the button underneath the input box because of screen size limitations. You could size the input field smaller since you're only dealing with five characters to fix that.


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"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

"People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" George Bernard Shaw
madhabitz
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2013, 06:25 PM »

Also looks good with Android 4.1 on a Samsung tablet, using Firefox.

One piece of weirdness: my own zipcode resulted in a YES for a 5.75mph wind, while Seattle resulted in a NO for the same windspeed.

Nancy
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jwwilson
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2013, 08:59 PM »

Thanks for testing on all your different devices. I really appreciate that!

A couple updates:
- Modified the input form on the main page so it will stay one one line better. I tested it in Chrome, IE 9, and my Evo HD phone (dolphin browser) with success.
- Added helper text under the input box.

Nancy - Seattle is a "no" because there is a greater than 20% chance of rain. We don't want people getting hit by lightning!  Tongue I wonder though if it would be more useful for people if the app didn't bother trying to interpret the rain.

edit: Jim - thanks for bookmarking!
If anyone has anymore suggestions, point out errors or stupid things I did, features they think would be nice, etc, please let me know.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 09:06 PM by jwwilson » Logged
Jim Foster
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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2013, 09:21 PM »

I use "Notes" on my iPhone to list my favorite Zip Codes for use with Can I Fly My Kite.

We are headed along the coast for a month of kite flying, which will involve several Zip Codes.  It will be fun to put your efforts to the test.
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mikenchico
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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2013, 10:14 PM »

Worked perfect on Chrome for Android on the Nexus 7.

The new layout also cured the rollover of the button on the 'Droid Razr Maxx in both browsers and in IE 9 on Win7. IE 10 on Windows 8 won't render the "enter zip code" in the box either but adding it underneath cures that, just adds redundency to those who have compatible browsers.




« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 10:25 PM by mikenchico » Logged

"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

"People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" George Bernard Shaw
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