What is the purpose of Speleoliti web application?

Speleoliti web application was made as an learning experiment for testing new web technologies and abilities, mostly emerged from the new HTML5 web standards. In addition to technical enthusiasts it is also intended for users that don't have a possibility to install the desktop version of Speleoliti or some other similar software. The web application is environment independent and is always 'up-to-date'. It can run on modern touchscreen smartphones, tablet computers and similar mobile devices, that can be used outdoors, even in 'offline' mode.

What should I know before using this application?

You should be familiar with basic speleological and geodetic measuring procedures. It is advisable to have some experience with one of the existing popular cave survey modeling programs. These FAQ instructions are not intended to describe basics of cave survey.

What can this web application do?

It offers basic functionalityes to enter, save and load cave survey data, display graphical models and do some statistics and calculations.

- enter polar shots or Cartesian coordinates
- draw plan, profile/3D model and extended profile, scale and rotate the graphics
- edit extended profiles by switching shots, polygon branches or whole objects left/right
- set colors, transparency, sizes and other parameters to customize your models
- display object report (number of shots, stations, length, horizontal length, depth, rough volume, ...)
- save, load and export data to different file formats
- print the model with the browser's print option
- once loaded it works in 'offline' mode without an active internet connection
- you can load and display one or multiple objects at a time

What are the technical prerequisites for this application?

The application runs on HTML5 Canvas supporting web browsers with enabled javascript. If a browser supports HTML5 localStorage, data can be stored this way. In April 2012 the application was tested on different Android browsers, Chrome, Firefox, IE9, IE9 Mobile, Opera11, Opera Mini, Safari for Windows and Safari for iOS. Here are some conclusions, but I'm sure, future versions of browsers and devices will improve behavior and eleminate most of current problems.

On Apple iOS devices it is not possible so save data as files to your local disk. A data file is instead displayed as a web page.

There is a whole mess with Android devices as the differences between devices and browser versions are huge. The latest Androids with the latest Chrome or latest Android browser may work OK. Some old Androids don't render canvas graphics. Some Android devices/browsers don't respect the application's fullscreen mode and keep interfering with the application's touch gestures, changing page scale, scrolling the screen etc. as there is no way to disable default browser behavior. This makes usage of the application difficult or almost impossible. Older Android browsers do not support multitouch events in javascript, so you need to enable touch-toolbar in Speleoliti's settings to move and zoom a model.

IE9 Mobile doesn't support javascript touch events, so it is impossible to pan and rotate the model on touchscreen devices with this browser.

Opera 11 can't print canvas graphics on printer, it just prints a gray rectangle.

Opera Mini doesn't support many of latest HTML5 standards, so it is unusable for web Speleoliti.

Which ways of data saving/loading are available?

Aside from manual data entry in a data table you can save/load your data in following ways:

- to web browser's storage (HTML5 localStorage)
- to a file on your local drive (using a server-side proxy, without any plugins)
- using manual copy/paste functions from/to a special text field
- sending data by email

Does application save data in a 'cloud'?

No, the Speleoliti server does not save backup copies of your data, so in case you loose your data, we can not help you to restore them.

Limitations you should know about HTML5 localStorage!

As HTML5 standards suggest, most of localStorage supporting web browsers do have a limitation of how much data a web application can store. Most browsers have the limitation of 5 MB, some allow more than 5 MB and some allow the user to set the limitation by himself. As 'offline' files of the application also count into this quota, the actual available amount of space is slightly lower, approximately 4.5 MB.

You can see how much space your saved are occupying by clicking a little lens icon in the save/export application window. But unfortunately, in HTML5 there isn't any reliable method to check how much space is left.

Limitations you should know about saving/loading files to your local drives!

Web browsers and web applications are not allowed to directly write and read files from your local drives, but they are allowed to let a user chose a file and send it to a server (HTML control 'INPUT:file'). This is the way Speleoliti loads files from your local drive trough a server-side proxy. Of course this only works when a device has an active internet connection. If your mobile device looses internet connection, you can't save/load data to a local drive (but you can store them to HTML5 localStorage and save them later when the connection is reestablished).

Server-side proxy will not save any copies of your files.

Limitations you should know about sending data by email!

Sending data by email works by using the HTML 'mailto:' method. This method opens your default email client and fills the subject and mail content. Unfortunately, this method only allows you to transfer the maximum of approximately 2000 characters of text, which, practically speaking, means surveys of up to about 30 shots. If your survey in longer, you will have to copy/paste the data manually from the appliacation to your mail client.

The email client will probably change all your TAB-characters to spaces. Be aware of this if you are sending tab-delimited data. Speleoliti will probably still be capable of importing such malformed data, but other tab-delimited-data reading software may not.

Which file formats does the application support?

The web application supports CSP files from the desktop Speleoliti version, so it is possible to read you existing desktop Speleoliti files. However because of some ANSI/UTF8 issues you should install the new desktop Speleoliti 4.4.0 version to read web-Speleoliti's data files.

Web Speleoliti can also read CSV files in widest sense and allows coma, semicolon, TAB or space as a separator. You can specify the field order by adding a header row (look at the export window and select TXT format).

The web application can also export (but not import!) some file formats of other classical cave modeling software: DAT (for Compass), CDI (for OnStation), SVX (for Survex) and SRV (for Walls).

There is one more supported format, JSON. It could be used by web developers who would like to use survey data in their own javascript applications.

How can I set a filename when saving a file to a local drive?

You can set the filename in the 'Object settings' window. You can also change it in the 'Save/Export' window by clicking on the file name above the file-format selection control.

How can I choose a target folder on my local drive to save the file?

It depends on your browser's settings, whether the browser asks you for a location or just saves the file to a default folder. Find the option and turn it on, but it will then be applied for all web sites, not only for web Speleoliti.

How can I edit data tables on a touchscreen device?

In the toolbar on the top of the application there is an icon for application settings. In application settings enable the option 'Use prompt dialog for editing data tables'. Now when you touch a table cell, it turns yellow. Touch it one more time and a prompt dialog will appear.

How can I move or zoom a model on a touchscreen device? I can only rotate the model with touch gestures.

By default the one-finger touch gesture rotates the model. If your device and browser support multitouch actions, you can move, zoom and rotate the model using two fingers.

For full touchscreen functionalitys, enable the special navigation toolbar. In the main toolbar on the top of the application there is an icon for application settings. In application settings enable the option 'Show navigation toolbar for touchscreen devices'. Now a new toolbar appears on the left side of the window (in drawing screens only). It enables you to select a default touch action other than rotation, including editing of an extended profile configuration (read next question).

How can I edit the extended profile configuration?

With a keyboard:
- cursor keys [UP]/[DOWN]: selects a shot (selected shot turns yellow)
- cursor keys [LEFT/[RIGHT]: switches shot left/right
- [SHIFT] + cursors keys [LEFT]/[RIGHT]: switches a polygon branch left/right
- [SHIFT] + [CTRL] + cursor keys [LEFT]/[RIGHT]: switches a whole object left/right
- [SHIFT] + cursor key [UP]: extends a polygon branch
- [SHIFT] + [CTRL] + cursor key [UP]: extends a whole object

With a touchscreen: (first read the previous question on how to enable the navigation toolbar for touchscreen devices, then select the tool for editing configuration)
- short touch pull up or down: selects a shot (selected shot gets yellow)
- short touch pull left or right: switches shot left/right
- long touch pull left or right (more than half of the screen): switches a polygon branch left/right
- very long touch pull left or right (almost the whole screen): switches a whole object left/right
- long touch pull up (more than half of the screen): extends a polygon branch
- very long touch pull up (almost the whole screen): extends a whole object

On a touchscreen device I see no object statistics and calculations in the 'manager' view.

Probably because your screen is to narrow and smartphone browsers don't display scrollbars. Scroll the page with touch pull left/right.

How to setup the page for printing.

The scale in drawing screens (you can set the scale by clicking the numeric scale number '(1: ....)') is only approximately correct for printing because printing is entirely dependent on your browser's settings. Somewhere in those browser's settings you can find and set page margins. There also should be an option to fit page to paper size ("fit to page" or "fit to paper width" or "scale print to" or something similar). Disable it and set print scale to 100%.

Now the scale of a printed drawing should be correct. Actually, when testing the application on different computers and browsers, I did find cases when the scale of the printed graphics was slightly incorrect even after setting all the browser's settings. In such a case, do the following:

Print some graphics, measure the printed scalebar and calculate a correction factor. In the toolbar on the top of the application there is an icon for application settings. In application settings set the option 'Measure correcting factor for printing' to the factor you calculated.

The printed graphics is of poor quality.

Drawing is printed as a HTML5 canvas raster image. That's why the lines are not as clear as they would be if printed as a vector image. If you want clear graphics, save your data as a file, then open and print it with a desktop version of Speleoliti.

The printer only prints gray rectangle instead of my graphics.

I noticed such a case when printing HTML5 canvas with the Opera 11 browser. There is nothing you can do, but save data and use some other browser or desktop version of Speleoliti.

Is the web version of Speleoliti fully compatible with the desktop version?

Not fully. The web version can read files from desktop Speleoliti, but you need desktop Speleoliti 4.4.0 to read files from web Speleoliti. There is still an ANSI/UTF8 issue so you will probably loose special characters when transferring files from web to desktop Speleoliti or vice-versa.

There are some more incompatibilities:
- Shot switches are incompatible. Switches in desktop Speleoliti are written as binary includes, but they are written as text in web Speleoliti. So they will not be recognized by other version.
- As a consequence of incompatible switches, the extended-profile conformation will not be preserved when transferring a file from web to desktop Speleoliti or vice-versa.
- There are plenty of other functions in the desktop version that are not available in web version.

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