After spending a good bit of time scuba diving the shores of Asia and Australia, it was time to combine some geek powers with underwater prowess – and Frogface was born! – a free software scuba dive log.
The idea first struck me when I was out on a dive with a nice Dutch girl called Leanne at Perhentian islands. We came across two Lionfish getting it on in some sort of fight or mating ritual. A bit like humans, sometimes you can’t tell the difference! So we hung there at 15 metres for 15 minutes until our air ran out and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a good dive log tool for Linux, Mac and Windows boxes to write my story.” A dive log that was more focused on recording the cool stuff one sees on a dive than what my deco time was exactly one minute and thirty seconds into a dive! Generally, divers say things more like “What a cool nudibranch!” and look for a big fat book to try and identify their new favourite found sea slug rather than “What is the gaussian distribution of my dive depths when the co-variance due to wave height is normalised?” (I have no idea of what the last sentence means – you’ve caught me out, I made it up!). Unfortunately, most dive logs I’ve seen seem to be more focused on the latter question.
What will be the outcome of this bastard child of C++/QT4 and XML will be? Who knows! My initial goals for it is to get it stable, easy to use ease and add the basic features one would expect from a dive log. It shouldn’t take too long to realise this as work is already well underway. Dives can be logged, dive locations added and a user profile can be created. What I’d really like to get done next is getting things like dive buddy lists working and working toward the first stable release. Once that’s achieved, we can really try to “enhance the users logging experience” – which sounds a bit like corporate mission statement for a toilet…
You can get the code from SourceForge.net at Frogface project on SourceForge. If you’re interested in this kind of project, you could do worse than help out. We’re always on the lookout for people – from your regular joe websurfer who might give Frogface a go and send feedback to elite hackers who can churn out C++ code quicker than you can say “Watch out! Whale Shark!”
In any case, it should be fun to give this a project go and if it doesn’t work out we can always quit and go diving!