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#163514 - 03/08/12 03:53 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: Jimshaw]
dcd170 Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 23
Hi Jimshaw,

Actually, multiple entries, as well as custom entries ARE allowed. If you see your tent already listed in the database, go ahead and select it. Then, if you think your customized version of it is 5 oz heavier, just re-type that weight over the factory weight value, and click the black arrow button next to the weight to submit your custom value. Hope that addresses your concern.

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#163515 - 03/08/12 03:54 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: Jimshaw]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Yeah, but he lets you input the data manually or select from the data stored, so that's not an issue with his app wink
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"You want to go where?"



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#163517 - 03/08/12 04:34 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: dcd170]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By dcd170
2. We had talked about offering the option to enter weights in either oz or g, but all of our own data is already in g, so we wanted to keep everything completely uniform. To help users who only know their gear weights in oz, we've already added an easy weight converter right at the top of each checklist.


Hmm, from a user standpoint it's easier if the app converts the data. From a programming standpoint it's simple enough to do the conversions ("easy weight converter"), so I don't understand the logic in that approach.
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"You want to go where?"



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#163521 - 03/08/12 05:12 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: billstephenson]
dcd170 Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 23
Hi, Bill. Sorry, I gave you the quick explanation, at first, which obviously didn't entirely answer your question. You're absolutely correct -- programmatically, it would be very easy to do, and it could (maybe?) be easier on the user, too. However, there was one other scenario we couldn't ignore, which steered us away from giving the user the option for standard vs. metric weight entries.

To be specific, we considered the scenario of a user not having a home scale at all and needing to rely entirely on web research to fill in the weight data, if not already in our database. In this case, the user would be faced with finding both standard and metric values, from one item to the next, depending on how the manufacturer listed the data.

So, in order to try to accommodate this scenario, we decided we would need one of two things. Either:

1. A master "standard/metric" switch at the top of the page, which the user would need to remember to switch back and forth between items. The drawback to this is that, without any doubts at all, users would inevitably forget to flip the switch every once in awhile and would inadvertently enter inaccurate data. We felt this would cause more problems in the long run.

Or 2. An individual "standard/metric" switch on each line, next to the weight field. I do think this would help remind users to set the appropriate selection each time they enter their data, but we felt this would add a lot of clutter to an already "busy" interface. We figured if we were going to allow entry of standard values, then we'd need 2 fields -- lbs and oz. Having a single metric field seemed so much cleaner from an interface design perspective.

With those things in mind, we decided it would be best to just force users to enter just one weight system. We feel this will prevent the accidental entry of inaccurate data that might be caused by a simple oversight of a switch.

Hope that clears up our logic a bit more.

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#163522 - 03/08/12 05:14 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: billstephenson]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1189
Loc: Madison, AL
Originally Posted By billstephenson

Hmm, from a user standpoint it's easier if the app converts the data. From a programming standpoint it's simple enough to do the conversions ("easy weight converter"), so I don't understand the logic in that approach.


I would have to agree. There should be a pull down menu after the weight field. The default could be grams, but have the option to select others weights. You can still have your software convert and store everything in grams.

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#163524 - 03/08/12 05:26 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: BZH]
dcd170 Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 23
Hi, BZH. I just posted something on why we opted against offering the drop-downs to begin with, but after this discussion, we'll be seriously re-evaluating this feature.

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#163539 - 03/08/12 07:47 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: dcd170]
dcd170 Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 23
I just want to thank everyone for their comments and suggestions about our new site, especially those of you who've joined WeighMyGear.com and have already begun to enter gear. For those people who have entered your own gear, we've already begun to approve your it. Our approval process will be in 2 steps: 1. We'll quickly scan the entries filtering out obvious inaccuracies (100 lb sleeping bags), profanity, etc. At this stage, your gear will be listed in yellow at the very bottom of the gear list for its category, indicating that it's an unverified user-entry. And 2.Once a member of our staff has a chance to actually verify its weight with the manufacturer's data, we'll move it into the main verified listings. Hope that makes sense. Thanks again!

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#163605 - 03/09/12 03:10 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: billstephenson]
dcd170 Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 23
As promised, the "Share via Email" feature has now been added.

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#163621 - 03/09/12 06:15 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: dcd170]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1189
Loc: Madison, AL
Originally Posted By dcd170
I just want to thank everyone for their comments and suggestions about our new site, especially those of you who've joined WeighMyGear.com and have already begun to enter gear. For those people who have entered your own gear, we've already begun to approve your it. Our approval process will be in 2 steps: 1. We'll quickly scan the entries filtering out obvious inaccuracies (100 lb sleeping bags), profanity, etc. At this stage, your gear will be listed in yellow at the very bottom of the gear list for its category, indicating that it's an unverified user-entry. And 2.Once a member of our staff has a chance to actually verify its weight with the manufacturer's data, we'll move it into the main verified listings. Hope that makes sense. Thanks again!


I entered info on my backpack, but I don't think I saved it and so it disappeared out of my pack. Now, as you mentioned, it shows up in yellow at the bottom of the list, but when I select it it won't load into my pack.

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#163622 - 03/09/12 06:25 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: BZH]
dcd170 Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 23
Sorry for the trouble, BZH -- I'm looking into this now.


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#163623 - 03/09/12 06:33 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: BZH]
dcd170 Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 23
Ok, BZH, let's try it again -- that problem should be fixed now. Sorry again for the trouble, but that's why I came to you guys with this -- to put it through its paces and work out the bugs. By the way, did you notice the new "Email This Pack" feature?

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#163670 - 03/10/12 03:46 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: dcd170]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
As promised, the "Share via Email" feature has now been added.


Awesome!

Here are a few more thoughts...

If you added a checkbox for each item that we can use to include it in our weight, or not, and allowed us to "Add a Tent", for example, to any of the items in the default list, then we could make just one "Gear List" that contained ALL our gear.

Say I have 2 tents, 3 sleeping bags, and, like some that hang around here, 125 stoves. It'd be cool to be able to keep them all on one list and then check off just the items I'd like to bring on a trip and weigh them.

After making my selections from my gear list I'd want to be able to save that "Trip List" online, print the list (with the weights and totals), have the option to email it, and save the printable version on my own computer for offline use.

Thanks for listening and keep up the great work!!


Edited by billstephenson (03/10/12 03:48 PM)
Edit Reason: clarity
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#163678 - 03/10/12 09:20 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: billstephenson]
dcd170 Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 23
Hey Bill, thanks, again, for your suggestions. I think those are great ideas, and we're going to seriously consider them for a near-future release. A "Save as PDF" was already on our to-do list.

For now, and I'm not trying to say this is a replacement for what you're suggesting, but perhaps a helpful hint, nonetheless... you can fully "load" your pack using the Backpacking Checklist and always keep it saved fully loaded. Then, when you're packing for a particular trip, open that saved "master" pack and instead of completely removing items you want to leave behind, just set their quantity to 0 (zero) instead. That way, you don't need to keep re-adding to your pack. When an item's quantity is set to zero, it will be omitted from both the printed and the emailed lists altogether, so they won't be cluttered with all the zeroed items. I hope that makes sense, and I hope it helps!

By the way, have yo actually tried the new Email function yet? Let me know if it causes you any trouble.

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#163714 - 03/11/12 04:07 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: dcd170]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
When an item's quantity is set to zero, it will be omitted


Cool, that's a good workaround!

I just signed up yesterday and played with it some more. I'll test the email function the next time I play with it.

You might also just let users save the html file. Web browsers allow a user to save an HTML document as an archive that contains the graphics and most OSs include a "Print to PDF" option.

One more thing, on a lot of those items I enter "Home Made" in the "GEAR NAME" textbox. Can you add that as a default option?

What I still need is a scale. Without that I can't take full advantage of your app. (You might want to offer some for sale wink )
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#163716 - 03/11/12 04:14 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: dcd170]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
By the way, have yo actually tried the new Email function yet? Let me know if it causes you any trouble.


Worked great!

Thanks!!!
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#164691 - 04/06/12 12:20 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: dcd170]
dcd170 Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 23
Thanks to all of you have taken the time to offer your feedback during our Alpha Testing period over the past several weeks. We listened carefully, and we acted on much of that feedback. One of the biggest criticisms among the backpacking forums was/is the lack of cottage manufacturers' equipment. Certainly, neglecting those manufacturers was never our intention. It simply takes time to enter hundreds-to-thousands of pieces of gear into our database. With that in mind, just over the past 2 weeks, we've entered nearly-complete product lines (about 500 new items) from several cottage manufacturers, including:

Six Moon Designs
Katabatic Gear
Mountain Laurel Designs
Hennessy Hammocks
Gossamer Gear
Arrowhead Equipment
Enlightened Equipment

This adds to our list of existing gear lines by ZPacks, TarpTent, ULA Equipment and Lightheart Gear. And within the next two weeks, we plan on entering several hundred more items by Hyperlite Mountain Gear, BearPaw and Black Rock Gear, just to name a few. We're proud to represent all of these cottage manufacturers!

I'll also point out that the usage of the WeighMyGear app is not necessarily limited to weighing the gear you already own. As many people have mentioned, nothing replaces the act of actually packing your pack and weighing it directly on a scale. But what about the gear you don't own yet? What about your "wish list" of gear? Using this app, you can quickly and easily see the weight-effects on your pack by those pieces you can't directly weigh. This app can be a terrific decision-making tool when you're in the market for a new piece of gear, enabling you to compare relative weight-effects of various equipment with just a few clicks of your mouse, before you spend a dime.

Aside from continually adding new gear to the database, our Alpha Testing stage has also revealed a few programming bugs, which have now been fixed. So, WeighMyGear is now more stable, again, thanks to all of you who've participated. We're now entering our Beta Testing phase, and we'll be announcing the app to a larger audience. For this, we've also given the site a new look.

We hope you all continue to follow and use WeighMyGear.com. It will only become more robust and more useful, and we will always continue to listen to feedback and suggestions on how to improve.

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#164702 - 04/06/12 04:34 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: dcd170]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6799
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
One reason I would never, ever use this data is because I have found that most manufacturers' weights cannot be relied upon. I have in fact returned a number of gear items which were as much as 1/2 lb. more than the manufacturers' listed weights! This does not apply to most of the "cottage industry," which is generally more careful, but even so I trust only my own scale!

For BuckSgt: check out the articles and gear lists on the home page of this site. Note that the recommendations are for the Pacific Northwest; you may need to adjust to the climate where you are backpacking.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#164706 - 04/06/12 07:16 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: OregonMouse]
dcd170 Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 23
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
One reason I would never, ever use this data is because I have found that most manufacturers' weights cannot be relied upon. I have in fact returned a number of gear items which were as much as 1/2 lb. more than the manufacturers' listed weights! This does not apply to most of the "cottage industry," which is generally more careful, but even so I trust only my own scale!


Hi OregonMouse,

Many thanks for your feedback. Yes, I agree, and I've even already stated, that there's no replacement for actually packing your pack and putting it on a scale, if you want to determine its actual weight. However, as I mentioned, that process requires that you actually own/have the gear to begin with. We've found that many novices and experts, alike, who are in the market to purchase new gear, are finding this site useful as a pre-purchase decision-making tool.

Granted, not all manufacturers' weights are perfectly accurate, but unless someone is able to personally visit each and every manufacturers' warehouse with his/her own scale in-hand, the average person needs to have a little faith in the manufacturers' data for comparative purposes. Sure, if the item arrives at your house, and it's way off the listed weight, then you certainly might have a reason to return it.

When you say you've found some gear weights to be off as much as 1/2 lb., that doesn't tell me much. What about percentage-wise? Just curious.

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#164721 - 04/07/12 07:19 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: dcd170]
intrek38 Offline
member

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 430
Loc: Hesperia, Calif
Wouldn't it be more accurate to just take an old scale to the trailhead then to go to all the trouble of learning to use a computer with all of its programs, bells and whistles. Just my 10 cents..

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#164731 - 04/08/12 08:43 AM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: intrek38]
John Donewar Offline
member

Registered: 04/08/12
Posts: 19
Loc: Louisiana
I weigh all of my gear on a small digital scale from Harbor Freight at home before heading out.

I have been tempted to get a digital type luggage or fishing type scale from Walmart to be able to weigh my fully loaded pack by just hanging it from the haul loop.

I have definitely used the pack on, pack off method on the old bathroom scale but I have found that this method varies wildly in the weight shown vs adding up all of the individual weights from my digital scale.

Newton cool
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One day on the trail is 100 times better than one year on the couch!

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#164734 - 04/08/12 12:09 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: John Donewar]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3983
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I just wanted to say that if you use "the sum of actual weights" that you will have to multiply what you get by a coeficient to get to reality. smile (1.1?) You always have more gear than the sum of the things that you weigh.
Jim
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#165349 - 04/26/12 12:46 AM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: dcd170]
dcd170 Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 23
For all of you following this thread and the development of this new tool, you might be interested in knowing that we've installed a lot of new and useful features on WeighMyGear.com.

On top of entering hundreds of additional cottage-manufactured items into our gear database, we've also added an entire new Photography sub-list for all of you packing more than a pocket-sized point-and-shoot camera.

You'll also find several new shopping tools for those of you using WeighMyGear.com as a consumer resource. The pack-weight calculator now automatically offers price comparisons for all current gear among may of the top online retailers, such as REI, Backcountry, CampSaver and more. There's more, too, so take a new look when you get the chance.

http://www.weighmygear.com/

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#165512 - 05/01/12 02:57 AM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: dcd170]
sheldon Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/01/12
Posts: 2
Well, I was about to sign up, but apparently I'm not allowed special characters in my password. frown

I hate to nitpick on what has obviously been a lot of hard work so far, but that's a pet peeve of mine smile It shouldn't matter what's in my password if it's being encrypted.

Any plans for special ways of organizing lists? Like specifying certain items as containers and marking items as 'inside' others, for example?

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#165534 - 05/01/12 02:20 PM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: sheldon]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By sheldon
Well, I was about to sign up, but apparently I'm not allowed special characters in my password. frown

I hate to nitpick on what has obviously been a lot of hard work so far, but that's a pet peeve of mine smile It shouldn't matter what's in my password if it's being encrypted.


As a web app programmer I'd say that, yeah, you're being a little nit-picky wink

And yeah, it can matter what your username/password is. I'll offer a brief explanation:

The main reason programmers don't like special characters being submitted to their application is because they are used as "operators" within their code and there have been exploits (hacks) that have been exposed with their use.

Consider this as a username or password:

`rm ../../../*`;

In that line of code these characters are operators, "`", "*", and ";" in many programming languages. The "../../../" part is a path to files and directories.

Together, they tell some computers to delete everything in that path. If someone submitted that as a password or username to my app I'd reject it because I'd have to conclude they were up to no good. Since I don't want to test and approve all user submitted data I use algorithms to reject or filter input that contains those characters. Most often I just reject anything but alphanumerics.

There have been lots of methods created to prevent that kind of input from being executed as code, but new methods to break code still seem to pop up and from a programming standpoint it's probably still safer to reject suspicious input that's being submitted to your app. When that changes, so will my approach to this task.

Furthermore, this app doesn't ask you to submit any sensitive data at all, so a bombproof password isn't really going to protect much anyway. In this case, the username/password are really only used as a key to connect you with your data, not so much to secure it. So, in this case, as a programmer I might choose to allow passwords that aren't at all secure, but are much easier to remember and input, for the convenience of my users.

On the flip side of that, if I were creating an app that did store sensitive data I would have to consider not letting you choose your password at all, and instead have the app generate one that I know would offer the highest level of security. It wouldn't be very convenient for you, the user, but it would insure security.

I've mentioned before that I think these guys have done a great job on this app. Unless you've built something like this you really can't know how much work it is. It's whole a lotta love, and a whole lotta of work to make stuff like this.

We need to remember that they first offered this as "Beta" software. That means it's far enough along to let others test it out. Then they said it was heading into the "Alpha" stage of development, that means it's close to being ready for use everyday use because the feature set is mostly complete and working as expected. When all the bugs they're aware of have been squashed they will release it as a "1.0 version" of the software. After that, they will start working on all the features they've thought of and have been suggested in the process of building that 1.0 version.

I think they deserve our encouragement and support.

Even if you don't think you want this tool right now, for whatever reason, it could very well be that in the future we'll all be using it because it's so much better than a spreadsheet. I think it's already better, and it's just a first release.

--

Originally Posted By sheldon
Any plans for special ways of organizing lists? Like specifying certain items as containers and marking items as 'inside' others, for example?


That's an awesome idea. If you configured it with a hierarchical menu where you could put items inside a stuff sack it would make it easier to manage and view data.

It's a perfect software analogy too...

You start by opening your pack, and then looking inside at your gear, and stuff sacks filled with gear that you can open or close, and you check the items you're bringing on your trip and see the total weight instantly, and use the checklist to help make sure you have all those items in your pack.

If you had a mobile version of this with you, on the trail, you could just take a quick look at your smart phone and see if you brought a certain piece of gear instead of digging through your pack, and you could see which stuff sack you put it in too.
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#165549 - 05/02/12 12:05 AM Re: New way to weigh your backpack [Re: billstephenson]
sheldon Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/01/12
Posts: 2
Appreciate the response; I'm a developer as well so I understand the inherent risks.

So, without going into too much detail and taking away from the tremendous amount of work that creating an app like this is, I'll say that it is important because most users will reuse a single password across all of their accounts online.

So, if their database was by any means leaked out, there's a nice little list of email addresses and password combinations that will work for a majority of other sites - including email accounts, private forums where sensitive data may exist, maybe some online banking apps, etc..

Also, if there's any possibility of untrusted user input being interpreted as code, well, you're doing something wrong. smile

Anyways - back to the topic at hand. Nesting items inside of others seems like it would introduce a fair amount of complexity both in terms of the UI as well as on the back end, but it'd be worth it if people would use it. I know I would, but whenever I browse other people's gear lists (typically spreadsheets), they're always just flat lists. However, that may just be because the spreadsheet format doesn't really make it easy to do stuff like that. Best to keep it simple in that case.


Edited by sheldon (05/02/12 12:05 AM)

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