FrontierNav Weekly: 12 October 2020
- Added Personal Map Notes.
- You can place a custom marker on any map and leave a note to come back to later.
- Xenoblade X does not support this yet as it's using legacy maps.
- Reduced map marker sizes so they don't overwhelm the map as much.
- Fixed map markers overlapping each other out-of-order.
- Map legend now opens by default when opening a map with nothing selected.
- Added option to change your account's email address.
- Added a global alert if you don't have a verified email address. Email addresses are needed for account recovery if and when a third-party authentication API no longer works due to API or policy changes.
- Fixed a fatal error when Firebase Authentication fails. Now the app will carry on without a login. This is needed if Firebase Authentication no longer works.
- Fixed graph validation that allows entities with no IDs (though it failed down the line anyway).
- Data is now held onto longer when not in use to reduce data requests and bandwidth.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country
- Added Collectibles and Collection Points
- Added Locations and Landmarks (contributed by cjackal)
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One of the reasons I'm encouraging every account to verify their email address is so that I can gradually reduce FrontierNav's dependency on third-party authentication services. Social media networks are constantly changing their policies and emailing me with updates that they assume I agree with. FrontierNav itself has its own policies which may conflict with any third-party services so it's tedious to read through these constant changes to find any conflicts.
While social network logins won't be removed (they're convenient), I want FrontierNav and its community to be ready if push comes to shove. That means having a verified email to login with.
In my previous weekly, I mentioned "Activity Timelines", however after some experimenting, I realised it was a lot of work without a huge benefit. What would be more useful and solve the same problem is a Notifications system. Underneath, it's the same thing, except instead of one big timeline, it's specific to each person. So people can follow games, threads and people and be notified of the activity they care about.
Eventually I can tie this with a service worker to support native notifications; something I did a few years back for Xenoblade X's Global Nemesis alerts.
In an ideal world, I'd just use email notifications, but email services are too expensive for FrontierNav's current budget and there are some legal compliance issues I'm unsure of.
Personal Map Notes
One of the main pieces of feedback I get about FrontierNav revolves around missing content. There's just too much data across too many games for me to handle alone, so this isn't something I can realistically "solve" immediately. The only way is to encourage others to contribute and share the load.
So as an intermediate step, I've added map notes. This way if you find something missing on a map or just have a point of interest to note down, you can do that.
Currently, map notes are personal; they are only visible to the person making them. But down the line, like Custom Lists, they'll be improved to work better with the rest of FrontierNav, which includes being able to share data.
I have some other minor improvements to make with map notes (custom markers, labels, and colours) which I'll implement on the odd day.
While I'd like to work on Notifications, I'm going to first improve the Change Request process. I've had some feedback that the re-apply process is too slow and I have some ideas to improve it.
Thanks for reading.