All about keeping the pace, despite all. So here we continue with an additional release upon our successful v9. Wishing it to add up on the software strong basis - with a number of fixes included - and to continue bringing valuable new features for all of you.
As usual, a list of things to extend the range of race configuration possibilities and to maximize the ergonomics of the solution - not to say the pleasure to use it.
Some new implementation for acquisitions
The BeChronized acquisition is updated to comply with the new system Ceres G3.
The Online passings acquisition can be plugged on Rufus Cloud Service from Macsha, to allow downloading your data on Wiclax.
Still through the same Online passings acquisition, you can connect to DotVision API and take advantage of their geo-fencing timing capacities. The passings get down to your event file just like any regular acquisition.
Tag Heuer devices equipped with a modem can be set up to synchronize their data with your Génialp cloud service. Backup and import service, but best of all instant forward to your Wiclax event. More to see in your service administration page if you're still to discover it.
New design extensions for G-Live
No new release without bonus gifts to the most visible part of the solution! We've worked this time on these topics, as you've probably noticed already through our Facebook posts:
Making some progress on this feature, aiming to enrich your results online with some pictures of participants.
Currently possible in one way, which reuses the fact that the athlete summary is looking for a <bib-number>.jpg file in the event folder. In case the picture found is less than 150px, it's assumed it's something like a user profile picture and is positioned and styled this way:
Of course limited as you won't often have such a set of pictures, named after bib numbers. So we're working on more flexible options like looking up in a centralized folder, having something else than the bib as an identifier, or calling a custom URL that will return an image (from a DB or whatever). More on that soon, waiting for that don't hesitate to share your own use cases.
Custom color palette
Want to present your race results in a more colorful way, or to get them closer to your brand colors? This is now possible! More information about it in this post.
New settings menu
The new menu - intended to remain discrete on the main page - gives a definitely simpler access to those features mainly useful on the local area: switching the dark/light color themes, running the TV mode - auto scrolling or not.
Points on rankings
2 different concepts are getting developed in parallel:
Some points based events, where point values are the primary ranking criteria and they actually replace time performances. Available from the Points ranking entry of the event creation assistant. So far intended for some collateral use cases when you need to publish such a ranking. Latest changes allow the points entry through the result input form or through data file import.
A points allocation as a secondary data, when the primary ranking is still based on timing.
This second concept is now coming live, opening some new possibilities to manage sports where points are participating to the rankings.
Some details about the implementation:
A new Points tab in the event options form allow for specifying which point values are allocated. Based on final ranks, and point series can be specified either globally or based on rank by category/by level group.
As of now the allocation is applied after a manual action and not automatically (exception made of an allocation on the general ranking).
A new Points column can be displayed in the result grid. If necessary, some point values can be entered manually in grid cells.
Different point series can be specified by stage/heat in a stage race, and the general ranking can be set to be calculated on points (i.e. the sum of points for each stage is used to order the ranking).
A team ranking can be set to be calculated from individual point values (note that the previous point allocation grid that was there is now moved)
An option of the Championship module allows it to work on point values extracted from the events, instead of being (re)calculated locally.
Passings to ignore on acquisitions
Useful feature when an acquisition is running as an automated file import, or is plugged on a cloud data service: when a passing has to be eliminated for some reason, the risk exists that it keeps coming down again and again if it's still in the original data and in the time period scope.
To avoid that, you can now put an 'ignore' flag on some passings from the history.
New menu is available at the bottom of the result entry form, below the time lists. Click All first to display the whole history and then you can locate some records by filtering a bib number for example.
On printout: ability to print only selected rows from the current grid. Simply by launching a print preview after selection is made. A confirmation will be prompted.
Team ranking: for the case of a points based ranking, you can now specify a number of best results to keep.
Emails: new context menu item Send an email for a competitor or a selection of competitors in the grid. Opens the system's default mail client and initializes the message.
Races without ranking: the option to publish an event without ranking (i.e. only performances are displayed for athletes, which are simply sorted by their registration order) is now available at the race level. Allowing to manage such a race among regular ones in the same event file.
Important milestone for those of you enjoying the way G-Live empowers your website with fast, efficient, appealing and controlled result publication. Almost all of you indeed, as this is one of the key parts of Wiclax solution.
We all know how much branding is important, and how much it's necessary to differentiate our own business from the competition. So we've refactored the styling of G-Live app to let you customize its color palette. Possible outcome in picture:
How to get it?
As of now, the custom palette can be inserted as a new variable of the usual file g-live.settings.js. CSS color values, those not provided keeping their value from the default theme.
varPalette = `
But easier than that, in the next coming Wordpress plugin we're working on all these settings will be accessible from a user-friendly UI.
You can see it marked as Beta in new version 9: providing the address of a 'Master' PC, you can open a copy of the event file currently edited remotely.
The file will be locally considered as read-only, meaning it won't ask you to save changes though you're free to do some.
Data update on demand for now, so you remain in control of what you're doing. A simple click on the new data notification.
Quick showcase of the new UI elements:
access from the startup screen
status bar in action
and fast retrieval in the recent file list
A first use case: making printouts from a secondary station
In most cases, you're simply enjoying the software robustness and you're not afraid to manage all printouts from the same Wiclax instance, which is handling acquisitions and Live streaming at the same time. Print previews and printout are highly optimized so everything can be operated smoothly.
Different conditions can occur on some more official events, like championships. Short races are starting quickly one after the other, and there are tight rules to follow for the output formats.
In this case you're also more likely to operate as a team, hence it will be good that someone is dedicated to the printout while someone else can stay strictly focused on the race management itself. This is what the new feature is already making possible.
With one appreciable bonus: any print option that you'll change from the slave PC will be synced back to the master Wiclax, so no worry that they get lost with the next file refresh.
The feature as it is will also be suitable for some data export scenarios that don't require a live emission.
For Live streaming or smartphone notification sending purposes however, the architecture is not ready yet. But we'll work on it soon, hoping we can extend all this with the same simplicity.
Not much to say about this Covid period that you'd not have already heard... So just hoping you took (you're taking) time to read some good books and change your mind.
On our side, here's what we managed to achieve: a new release 9 with some hopefully interesting changes, and a big framework update.
Biggest items in detail:
New event notifications
Following one of our users suggestion, we've implemented a new kind of visual notification/alarm.
It's intended for useful but not vital/blocking race events, thus it's designed in a non intrusive way. Not popping over the main display.
3 cases plugged on the feature for now, more can easily be added so waiting for your ideas:
a participant flagged as withdrawal crosses the finish line: may trigger a further verification
a participant with its category data missing crosses the finish line: may be interesting to jump out and ask for his/her birth date
you've manually flagged some participants for whom you want to be notified when they're seen somewhere. Notification + sound will be played.
The idea behind the feature is that you don't have to stick to the screen in fear of missing something. Instead these notifications will remain available for later browsing. A quick search field will help if necessary.
Split points on the map
The GPS location picker for split points was no longer usable because of changes on the Google Maps policy.
On this release a new component is introduced in replacement, so hopefully the feature is working again and with a smooth interface. Furthermore, you can quickly load here some GPX tracks to help with the process, typically ensuring that the split points will correctly stick to the race track for a more serious rendering.
Next on the road map, we'll likely extend this track selection so that tracks association to races and stages can be done in Wiclax, then opening the way to an automatic upload of the files in the event folder (for those of you using the G-Live Map option).
Some UI enhancements
The lookup field is now located on top of the main window, and it gives a better access and visibility to the other useful command lookup feature. Remember the Control+P shortcut allows a very convenient way to execute something after typing a few letters.
The column selection menu for the grids is now accessed from a more obvious button on their top right corner. Still you can drop it down by a single click on the grid upper panel (shorter mouse travelling). The display for the menu itself is also modernized.
Shortcuts for races: the access for setting the start time of a race or its terminated status are no longer in a drop down menu but more smoothly integrated in the information panel.
New grid filters
New UX for Championships
The Championships module comes with a brand new interface, or a big re-lifting as you wish.
Enhancements on Live Screens design
Always looking for making the screen design as easy as possible, most noticeable improvements in this release:
column sizes can be adjusted with the mouse on the screen preview (result list widget)
the color picking control now allows to specify a transparency level (alpha channel)
Easier certificate designs handling
A nice enhancement for those of you dealing with race certificates online. Templates designed with the new version will now directly embed their images.
So you'll no longer have to care about the original image files, as they won't have anymore to be uploaded alongside the template file.
Additional improvements for the certificates: new variables can be selected to get the event name and dates, and all variables can now be inserted in the text of a standard label item.
Filter for podiums
Sometimes an event requires all official podiums to be based on a selection of athletes only. Like the race is opened to unaffiliated people, but they can't pretend to prizes.
Hence there's a new level of filtering directly bound to the podiums, where you can set any kind of filter condition. This makes everything easier, as you no longer have to juggle with a bunch of additional rankings to declare.
PDF reports online
When launching the publication of PDF reports online - i.e. generation and upload through FTP, a selection dialog is now presented.
This allows a better control of which reports you actually want to be published for the event.
With a great bonus feature: a print preview shortcut is available while hovering any of the reports of the list. Means you can quickly check if their layout is as you expect it, with the right template, ...
Enhancement for the Teams grid view: passing the mouse over the teammates number cells displays a list of participant names. Themselves giving fast access to their data summary or their entry/results management forms.
Split point as a counter
A split point on the track can now be set as a simple "counter", meaning that instead of registering a single passing of each participant it will instead increment a number of passings. When the race itself is not managed as a lap race.
This can be used for example in the context of a penalty loop, where you need to monitor how many loops have been made by an athlete.
As a result, the grid column for the split will display the number of passings. And the result entry form gives access to the passing detail, allowing to make a manual correction if necessary.
New Starts management module
Big change if you've been sometimes using the Starts module! Quick remind for those who don't know it: its purpose is to provide a start line management screen, for time trial races. Basically showing who's next to start - teams or individuals - and raise a countdown when every actual start time is due.
What's new then: the old module made as an executable is replaced by a brand new web accessible App. Not only more interesting for design/UX aspects, but mainly because it can be launched on any connected device, like a tablet or a smart TV.
Used on the local network, it doesn't need a Wiclax instance to run on the device. Clock synchronization will happen automatically, based on the master PC system time.
Looking forward your feedback on that. Next on the road map could be the ability to report some changes in the start session (typically somebody non-starter), and eventually a cloud based architecture so that it would work without a local network installation.
New Web publication assistant
Big step forward to make Web result publishing more comfortable than ever: a newly designed assistant groups everything related to it in a single screen. Gives you an instant picture of what will appear under G-Live for the event, and moreover it will make using an external FTP client useless for most of the usual operations.
Note: it fully replaces the Web publication tab from the event options form.
Some cool features highlighted:
shortcut to the FTP settings and definition of the remote folder
status shown for the main file (.clax), if present online and if up-to-date
easy upload of GPX track files (when your license includes the Map option for G-Live): you no longer have to know about file naming rules as this will happen automatically, and the files get compressed on the fly - removing unnecessary data like timestamps.
same thing for certificate templates, whether you have a single one for the event or a race by race scheme. Direct edition from the screen, and upload back after a modification.
quick preview for the race videos, which are now entered as a platform + ID combination. Compliant with Youtube and Vimeo so far.
GPX tracks can be enriched with any additional points of interest - a food station, a summit, ... that will show up on the G-Live maps.
Alge Timy 3 integration
Always extending the range of external stopwatches you can connect to Wiclax as an acquisition, this time we've added support for the Timy 3 devices plugged in USB mode.
Average calculation option: a new option to specify explicitly whether the average speed has to be calculated from the chip time or the gun time.
Printout templates in the cloud: that was already possible for G-Live custom screens, now you can also save some printout templates on your user account online. Making them backed up there and easily accessible from any of your workstations.
Start line acquisition option: new option for use with an external stopwatch acquisition, which is sending bib-less passing information. In a time trial race mode, for instance a ski competition, it will allow the start time received to be automatically assigned to the next competitor on the start list.
Network participant entry: the page can now let a user reallocate bib numbers for existing participants. Secured by an option - not enabled by default. The form also includes the real bib number data field, when used for the event.
Network participant entry: new option on the page to deactivate automatic uppercasing of the last name.
Athlete photos online: released in our previous delivery, this feature receives some useful enhancements. Responsiveness is now optimized by indexing of big photo folders, and you can customize on the event options the time delay values used to locate the photos on a split point (i.e. how many seconds before and after the line crossing time).
Grids state: the state of main grids - i.e. column grouping and sorting - is now saved with the event file. And hence is restored when the file is reopened.
Race videos: now possible to bind a video for the start line, useful in the case of a time trial race.
The athlete summary form on G-Live was already able to show some participant pictures, if it can find files named with their bib number. To go further and make it more convenient, it's now delivered with a server-side solution to find pictures based on the passing times of the athlete.
An option Photos of athletes available online has to be activated on the event, in Options/Web publication. Then the documentation details how photo files are expected to be organized on the web side (basically to reflect the different timing locations - start, finish, intermediates - or the stages in the case of a stage race).
Note: in its current form this feature will require PHP to be implemented on your web server.
New filters for passing acquisitions
The ultimate way to control your chip reads in some complex scenarios is now in place. Some new levels of filtering have been introduced.
The first one is the level of a single acquisition, impacting all its possible destinations. The second one is the level of a particular destination of an acquisition.
In both cases, the filter can be specified in different manners:
listing chip id ranges, bib number ranges, or simply races
specifying them in inclusion or exclusion mode (only some readings allowed vs only some readings discarded)
When a reading discard occurs, a log entry will be registered below the acquisition, reminding which filter rule was involved.
These filters will be useful for scenarios where for example a start or finish line must be isolated from unconcerned races, and when this discarding cannot be achieved more simply by entering exclusive race start times.
A new option is introduced for lap races, in order to get the main individual ranking based on the best lap.
A nice feature for a classic race commentating purpose: you can now display more than one location at a time in the Live tab. Perfect for a pre-finish announcement line, so you can make it and the actual finish displayed side by side.
To get it, simply hold the click/tap for a couple of seconds on the other location(s) you want to add.
Some new helpers for the setup of result list widgets:
on the column properties, some fixed x/y coordinates can be entered to specify a position for the data in a row. Coordinates are relative to the top left corner of the row. This allows in particular to create a multi-lines layout, i.e. for example a row that will show the athlete's name on a first line and its club on a second one.
a handy shortcut menu is accessible from the widget preview to select its data (columns).
result list widgets can now also show a list of starters, sometimes useful when working on small scale events.
A new export format is introduced to comply with what's requested by USA Triathlon federation (export will be made as a .csv).
New variable Race start time available for the custom formats, distinct from the individual start time.
A list of custom variables can be entered for the event, which become available for your custom exports or to be embedded on your printout templates. The list is accessible in screen Options/Event/Publication. Note that a same variable can take different values for the different stages and races, if necessary.
A copy to clipboard of the result grid data now processes all time values in the most usable format: no shortening for null hours/minutes, and standard separators 00:00:00.000.
Remember the very useful passing simulation feature? Accessible from the acquisitions form, or better with shortcut Control+F9 on the main form, it's the perfect tool to check your configurations before the race. Like your chip encoding, filters and destination settings.
New in this version is that you can now decide if you provide either a chip id value or a bib number. Both of them can be quite useful.
Start times assignment
New option to create grouped starts, of 2, 3, ... competitors that will start at the same time.
A list of categories can be imported by a copy-paste operation. Control+V on the grid, or menu item Predefined categories/Paste.
New report type 'Communiqué', which allows the printout of an official communication while using a printout template layout. (Note that in its current form it only allows for a rudimentary text formatting, and that communiqués won't be saved with the event.)
On printout templates, you can now modify the settings of a particular column - making it bold or change the text alignment. The options menu pops up when right clicking a column on the print preview.
Quite a lot of improvements made on the handling of sprint-like disciplines, like Cross Country Ski Sprint or XCE Cross Country in cycling.
Big differences with more 'regular' events: they're run in a tournament mode with seedings, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and final - they follow some specific rules for qualifications between each phase, and each phase is composed of many heats.
Latest enhancements include the printability of the whole brackets on one page, either in list mode or in table mode. Ribbon button Print-Export / Brackets.
And some other concepts are being introduced, that may be used for other sports as well: equally ranked competitors (same final time) and photo finish labeling.
Some new options to make them automatically calculated, based on the youngest or the oldest one of the teammate categories.
To discover in this latest delivery, some cool new features to improve the overall ergonomics and your productivity:
Search and Athletes summary
Want to get some quick info about a participant and its results? You know you can press Ctrl+f and type either a bib number or part of the participant name, then browse the matches.
What's new now: the athlete summary is directly integrated into the search panel. Faster and more comfortable, you can watch at many summaries in the same row. Moreover, hitting the Return key now opens the result entry form for the participant, which will be the most likely thing you need at this stage.
Search for commands
Though the ribbon organization for feature access is great, you still need a couple of clicks to open something, plus a small mind effort to remember in which area it stands.
Working with keyboard is maybe kind of a geek thing, but all of you might benefit from this new ability: type Ctrl+Shift+P, and then a few letters for what you're looking for. For instance, 'po' to find out the Podiums pane and open it.
You'll see it's as fast as easy, and it remembers what were your latest selections to make it even more comfortable. Means it can be a convenient way to repeat an operation. Betting you can't do without it anymore after you're accustomed...
Figures for split points
More accessible than grouped together with the whole event progress numbers, you can now have a quick overview of the ongoing stats for a split point, keeping the mouse over its page header.
And here's the list of other improvements:
When working on the result grid, you can now drag time cell values from a split point to another one. This is valid for the finish line as well, and it can work for a selection of rows in a single operation.
When the grid filter 'Inconsistent split times' is on, cells for the anomalies are displayed in red (time value is lower than the previous one).
Non-starter status of participants can be edited from the remote participant entry page.
Start check flag
Some of you often use a split point - unpublished - dedicated to know which participants where seen before start. The information is useful, but somehow doesn't deserve to be a timestamp value, to appear on the result grid, nor to mix up with other split locations. Also, it shouldn't be concerned by safety checks on the race start time or the race terminated status.
Thus we've introduced a new Start check data, which is a simple yes/no value you can see/filter in the participants grid. And the acquisitions settings propose a new target to feed this data from a file import or a direct connection to an RFID device.
Some specific calculation criteria can now be assigned to any custom classification, as it was already possible at the level of a race.
A new computation option now allows to set a filtering condition for participants, which will be processed upstream for the ranking calculation.
For example this solves easily the case when your team ranking must be made upon some qualified competitors only. Those are usually flagged by a registration data.
Before that, you could still define a classification with the filter and ask the team ranking to be calculated for this classification. But it was a bit more juggling - specially if you had to replicate it for many races - and it made the export of the right ranking not so immediate.
Additional note: when participants are filtered upstream, it means they aren't taken into consideration when calculating the individual rank of individuals. So 3rd means the 3rd of the filtered selection. You get something different if you use the option Other conditions on competitors, for example to tell you want max. 1 foreigner in a team. In this case some competitors will be excluded from teams but they will still count for the individual ranks calculation.
Screen configurations for G-Live
A new variable can be embedded into screen widgets, in order to get a running counter of the time gap with the race leader. This counter will extinguish itself after a few minutes, and will start again when another race leader crosses the finish line - for a new race or a new lap.
You can now save your configurations on your Genialp online user profile. Means they can be easily shared through the company, and easily downloaded on a newly installed PC.
While there, the menu Import some samples will bring you a new screen template added to the delivery. Ready to use, or available for your inspiration.
Named Responsive lap race - sized for a convenient TV screen, nice fonts, adapting widget sizes and positions to fit the space, remaining laps counter changing as checkered flag when down to 0 + gap with leader + best lap.
Waiting for more ideas!
Event videos on G-Live
Remember you can declare an online video of your finish line (youtube or other) so that it's shown on the athlete summary on G-Live, starting at the time he/she actually crossed the line.
To follow this idea, you can now declare as many videos as you have. Associating them with the right split point, race, or even stage. All the relevant ones for a competitor will show up on his summary.
Useful for some motorsport races, a new option allows a race termination setting as a duration + 1 or more laps. To comply with this kind of rules: when the race leader crosses the line a first time after the race duration is over, every rider is due to complete one (or n) additional lap.