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Problem with Practiscore


Dog1

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We had our monthly match yesterday. We had 2 issues with Practiscore yesterday. We have 6 of the older Kindles, 5 that are just used for scoring and are not registered to my Amazon account and 1 that is used for scoring and what we call the "Master Kindle" that is registered to my Amazon account. These are Kindles that are up to date with updates as well as updated Practiscore programs on each device.

1. A squad finished a stage and moved on. While waiting for a squad to finish up, they were going to look at the results from the previous stage. They open up that stage and all the scores are gone. They had to reshoot the stage.

2. The bigger problem-On the master Kindle, my squad was using it for scoring. We get done with the match, put it up so that we can finish tear down, then we go up to the clubhouse to sync the Kindles and up load the scores, like we have done every time in the past since we got the Kindles and started with Practiscore.

I hit the power button to wake up the Kindle and I open Practiscore...on the bottom of the screen, a small box pops up for just a 1/2 a second. I just caught what it says, "..Kindle Fabric initializing"...I had never seen that before.

I hit the view results button, before I begin to pull scores over from the other Kindles and every score from every stage for my squad was gone. It's like 14 people never shot the match.

Now, when I got home and looked at the other Kindles, 2 more of them did the same thing. Poof, scores were gone. On the advice of a fellow shooter and scorer for another club that I was talking to about this issue, he recommend making a fake match, switching to that one, then going back to the real match. I did and on the 2 other Kindles, it said "Practiscore has stopped working" Then a button that says OK.

I push OK, then go back in and the scores for the match was there. Tried that on the Master Kindle, but no joy, the scores are still gone.

I have been trading emails with Eugene, so hopefully we can find the scores.

Has anyone seen this happen? I'm at my wits end. If we cannot figure this out, we will have to back to paper. We can't have shooters that paid, have their scores deleted because of a faulty update or a glitch.

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Bummer...I've never seen or experienced anything like that, but I'm using Nooks for scoring devices and an iPad Mini for a master. Our USPSA match this past Saturday ran flawlessly with 1.2.27 pre-release on the Nooks. Our steel match a few weeks ago ran great using 1.2.26.

Hopefully, Eugene and the Practiscore guys will get you squared away.

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Bummer...I've never seen or experienced anything like that, but I'm using Nooks for scoring devices and an iPad Mini for a master. Our USPSA match this past Saturday ran flawlessly with 1.2.27 pre-release on the Nooks. Our steel match a few weeks ago ran great using 1.2.26.

Hopefully, Eugene and the Practiscore guys will get you squared away.

I hope so too...I shot my best classifier ever in revolver, not to mention no mikes for the match,,,,,,

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We ran our match yesterday on .25, but also ran one squad with the latest release of .25 04201509 I think. There were a couple minor issues but they were, we think, related to the dust issue with nooks. You have to keep the dust off or the screens don't respond correctly.

I am thinking of doing an update on a full set of nooks for my next match and relegating the 'standard' nooks to back-up and running the match with the new edition. Any issues, I'll hand out the ones we know work and deal with it.

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Are you emailing support@niftybytes.com? That one, I believe, goes to all of them (Ken, Russell, Eugene, anyone else who's come along).

Yea, I'm exchanging emails with Eugene.

The weird part is that I have never seen the box pop up at the bottom of the screen that says "Kindle Fabric initializing" before. That happened then the scores were gone.

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This is our top priority. We are working the problem and close to a solution.

Amazon devices run a somewhat different version of android than most other devices, and the issue appears to be isolated to them.

We will have a solution and release it ASAP.

Russell

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To reiterate what Russell (who is lead programmer for the iOS version) said. I was running a large match when I saw this, but I did reach out to all three engineers that work on the app side of PS with instructions to prioritize sorting this out. They first discovered that it is isolated to the Kindle Fire, which runs a cloned Amazon specific version of Android. As I understand it, their version of Android is being very aggressive about just killing an app that exceeds a pretty small memory footprint. This is okay, we get signals to "shut down" all the time. And we save, and then when we are reloaded, everything is fine. In this case a 3rd party library we use, Crashalytics, that reports crash data to us, also was killed by Amazons version of Android. That killed where we save the data.

I instructed them to:

- fix this particular issue asap, and to then

- make it so that no matter what an operating system does, score writing is atomic to our app, and our code.
This means that we have a persistent record of every tap, increment, decrement, number you enter. If it isn't written, we know it on reload, and we write it.

- Also, I asked the Android team to prioritize adding in the automatic backup system that backs up the match after every significant action. Under the hood on iOS we have hundreds of complete backups,
for a typical larger match. All accessible from a simple backup manager. I've never had to use them, but in this case, it would have been useful.

As to using Kindle Fires.... I'd been recommending them and the Samsung and Google tablets. Personally, though, now that I see how what they do with Android, and what their long term plan is (tight store integration, less general use platform), I'd avoid them. There are plenty of other good options.

Regards,

Ken N.

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This is our top priority. We are working the problem and close to a solution.

Amazon devices run a somewhat different version of android than most other devices, and the issue appears to be isolated to them.

We will have a solution and release it ASAP.

Russell

Thanks Russell....I sure wish I could recover my squads scores. I had a really good match and classifier... :(

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This is our top priority. We are working the problem and close to a solution.

Amazon devices run a somewhat different version of android than most other devices, and the issue appears to be isolated to them.

We will have a solution and release it ASAP.

Russell

Thanks Russell....I sure wish I could recover my squads scores. I had a really good match and classifier... :(

Trying to think if there is any way the scores could still be "out there" somewhere.

Before this issue occurred was any data ever moved out of the app? Did anyone on your range sync the scores to their personal device? Can you connect the devices to a computer and explore the storage to see if any files exist that might still contain the data? Did you ever post the scores to our site before this happened?

Losing scores is our worst case scenario. We run large matches. We feel your pain as well as feel responsible for its remedy. There are a few good practices we follow. Frequently send the match export to yourself. Have a device of the other platform iOS/Android available for workarounds like generating reports.

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This is our top priority. We are working the problem and close to a solution.

Amazon devices run a somewhat different version of android than most other devices, and the issue appears to be isolated to them.

We will have a solution and release it ASAP.

Russell

Thanks Russell....I sure wish I could recover my squads scores. I had a really good match and classifier... :(

Trying to think if there is any way the scores could still be "out there" somewhere.

Before this issue occurred was any data ever moved out of the app? Did anyone on your range sync the scores to their personal device? Can you connect the devices to a computer and explore the storage to see if any files exist that might still contain the data? Did you ever post the scores to our site before this happened?

Losing scores is our worst case scenario. We run large matches. We feel your pain as well as feel responsible for its remedy. There are a few good practices we follow. Frequently send the match export to yourself. Have a device of the other platform iOS/Android available for workarounds like generating reports.

No the data was never moved from the app. The device had not been synced with any other device. We had just sat down to use the master kindle-the one that our squad was using that lost the scores-to pull match scores from the other 5 Kindles. I "woke" it up, saw the Fabric initializing message, then when when to look at our scores, they were gone.

I have decided that in the future, we may have to ask squads to back up scores on their phones or their own devices to make sure we secure the scores.

What I cannot fathom is that we reviewed and saved every score for every shooter. Somewhere on that Kindle the scores have to be saved, shouldn't they? I've looked. I have plugged it up to my computer and I don't see them.

Thanks for your help.

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To give some technical background on what I have found. I only got my hands on Kindle device less than two weeks ago and wasn't been able to test it before that.

Using 1.2.26 app, it could happen that PS app is unloaded from memory on Kindle. After re-activation the app has to load whole match data from internal storage and for some reason it crashed while doing that (this crash is then swallowed by the crash of the crash reporting tool, confusing, eh?). So the match loaded into memory doesn't have any scores.

At that point, scores are still sitting on internal storage and if you exit the app and re-start it again (may also have to switch to another match and then back), scores will be loaded correctly.

But if you would do a sync or any other changes of any match information (stages, competitors, scores), the app would overwrite all local data. So, I'd recommend to check that your scores are present (quick glance on the scoring stages list screen should be enough (it shows counts of the scores) and if scores are missing, immediately exit the app and restart/switch to another match.

I haven't been able to reproduce all the above with 1.2.27 version (so far). And this version already have several changes that are helping with this issue:

* several fixes for the app memory management (specific to Kindle), so now it can handle the IPSC World Shoot size match (e.g. 1500+ shooters and 30 stages)

* new version of Crashlytics 3rd party library and some workarounds for its limitations

* new optional feature to save text log of all scores entered on device. Pretty much the same as you would have on paper backup, so could use that as a last resort to re-enter lost scores

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BTW, there is an issue that when launching PS from the home screen carousel. It re-initializes PS app every time. Seem like a bug or feature of this carousel launcher.

If you launch PS from bookmarks (i.e. the star icon at the bottom) it correctly re-opens the previously launched screen.

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To give some technical background on what I have found. I only got my hands on Kindle device less than two weeks ago and wasn't been able to test it before that.

Using 1.2.26 app, it could happen that PS app is unloaded from memory on Kindle. After re-activation the app has to load whole match data from internal storage and for some reason it crashed while doing that (this crash is then swallowed by the crash of the crash reporting tool, confusing, eh?). So the match loaded into memory doesn't have any scores.

At that point, scores are still sitting on internal storage and if you exit the app and re-start it again (may also have to switch to another match and then back), scores will be loaded correctly.

But if you would do a sync or any other changes of any match information (stages, competitors, scores), the app would overwrite all local data. So, I'd recommend to check that your scores are present (quick glance on the scoring stages list screen should be enough (it shows counts of the scores) and if scores are missing, immediately exit the app and restart/switch to another match.

I haven't been able to reproduce all the above with 1.2.27 version (so far). And this version already have several changes that are helping with this issue:

* several fixes for the app memory management (specific to Kindle), so now it can handle the IPSC World Shoot size match (e.g. 1500+ shooters and 30 stages)

* new version of Crashlytics 3rd party library and some workarounds for its limitations

* new optional feature to save text log of all scores entered on device. Pretty much the same as you would have on paper backup, so could use that as a last resort to re-enter lost scores

Thanks Eugene, I appreciate the hard work.

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Well this sucks to hear, as I have five Kindle Fire HD6's that I use for IDPA matches. I have seen the "Kindle Fabric initializing" message, most typically when starting up and never thought much about it I as I have not had any issues after the short delay. The problem I am having with Practiscore Version 1.2.26 has to do with syncing the units. Often the Fires do not see each other on WiFi. I can hit the "funnel" or the refresh button as many times as I want but they refuse to list the other Kindles. They always see my 10" ASUS tablet and my iPhone 6+, just not each other. Sometimes, but very rarely, they see each other. They are all on the same Wifi, and transfer perfectly to and from the non-Kindle units, just not to each other. Has anyone else had such an issue? If so what is the fix?

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When devices can't see each other, are you still able to enter sync code and get data from those devices? If so, that device will be saved for the rest of the match and you just need to tap checkbox on it to get it to show when funnel/filter is selected. So, no refresh should be needed. I also fixed few glitches on that device screen in 1.2.27...

I don't think the Kindle hardware is bad. It is just the Amazon's own tweaks on Android. The solution might be to install Cyanogenmod11 to replace the whole system with a more recent and more stock-like Android system. Unfortunately I currently don't have time and multiple Kindle devices to explore this, but there are detailed instructions (for somewhat advanced users) and youtube videos on that.

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