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6/28/2020 12:28 am  #1


A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

Credit to this thread on reddit: https://old.reddit.com/r/algonquinpark/comments/hh50ra/ive_figured_out_how_to_tell_how_booked_up_a_lake/

Here's a video I made of the process to hopefully make it a bit easier to follow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO9ssab0FGo


Trip Reports & Campsite Pictures
www.algonquinbeyond.com
 

6/28/2020 5:29 am  #2


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

The information is already there?! That means one should be able to get the information via a userscript.

 

6/28/2020 6:03 am  #3


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

This is both awesome and makes total sense. Thank you!

Edit: just tried it.. works perfectly.. so if it's this easy to display the number and it's just sitting there its obvious to me Parks doesnt want us to have this info. They took it a way for a reason. No idea what that reason could be.

If lakes are almost booked up they think it deters more bookings..? no idea..

Last edited by ShawnD (6/28/2020 6:57 am)


We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.
 - George Washington Sears
 

6/28/2020 8:17 am  #4


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

Very cool. Thanks trippy.

 

6/28/2020 5:04 pm  #5


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

Awesome. Now we just need someone to build a browser plugin that will surface this information right on the page without needing to use the developer tools. I work for a software company but am sadly not a coder myself - but I might see if I can talk someone into a side project!

 

6/28/2020 6:35 pm  #6


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

Great! Thanks trippy, daughter just tried it, works for us.

 

6/29/2020 7:09 am  #7


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

Well this is just insulting! All these emails that have been sent to Parks, all the replies they’ve sent assuring us they are working on this specific request. I pushed them on this again in March, see response:

Thank you for your response.

We want to assure you that we are working closely with our service provider to address your outlined concerns. We are unable to provide an estimated timeline for implementation of backcountry zone occupancy at this time. Thank you again for your feedback.

Sincerely,

Ontario Parks


I can’t imagine ontario parks wants to withhold this information. I can only think that Camis has decided that the contract has been fulfilled and there’s no budget for website tweaks/making it actually functional, or perhaps more likely their coders are so grossly incompetent that they can’t figure out a way to turn that info on, or are simply choosing not to try. That might sound unlikely, until you use the rest of the website. It quickly becomes clear that whoever wrote it put functionality low on their list of priorities. I have a hard time believing anyone tested it all that thoroughly before going live, because as Steve has just stated in a new post- it doesn’t work!

 

6/29/2020 7:39 am  #8


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

nvm wrote:

Well this is just insulting.....
.....I can’t imagine ontario parks wants to withhold this information.

But then why take it away in the first place? I think it was intentional. Very stupid, but intentional.

The information needs to be there. There needs to be a trigger to change green to red, to show available vs not available, to allow bookings vs. not allow bookings. The "inventory" system is an essential part of the flow, they just chose to hide that piece of information.


Trip Reports & Campsite Pictures
www.algonquinbeyond.com
     Thread Starter
 

6/29/2020 10:19 am  #9


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

Lol, great hack.  Was just testing.  No doubt they'll try to find a way to remove that information.  Hopefully the glacial pace of code changes to the site will work to our advantage for once.  

 

6/29/2020 12:41 pm  #10


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

With regard to the actions of Ontario Parks and the new reservation system, or any other annoying screw-up, always bear in mind Hanlon's Razor:

          Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

 

6/29/2020 2:45 pm  #11


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

A big thank you to Theycallmemorty.  Thank goodness for the internet!  I NEVER would have been able to figure that out myself.  Now if someone can just come up with a way to bypass the "your selected lake is too far away, please pick another" error!


Justa guy that loves to canoe camp with his dog.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRuOcIgt_VJIRfkZES0GJLQ
 

6/29/2020 2:52 pm  #12


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

dschult2 wrote:

A big thank you to Theycallmemorty.  Thank goodness for the internet!  I NEVER would have been able to figure that out myself.  Now if someone can just come up with a way to bypass the "your selected lake is too far away, please pick another" error!

 
I agree. They should just add a click box that says you understand the risk of a long day. A lot of the days they say are too far are crazy.

 

6/29/2020 2:59 pm  #13


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

nvm wrote:

Well this is just insulting! All these emails that have been sent to Parks, all the replies they’ve sent assuring us they are working on this specific request. I pushed them on this again in March, see response:

Thank you for your response.

We want to assure you that we are working closely with our service provider to address your outlined concerns. We are unable to provide an estimated timeline for implementation of backcountry zone occupancy at this time. Thank you again for your feedback.

Sincerely,

Ontario Parks


I can’t imagine ontario parks wants to withhold this information. I can only think that Camis has decided that the contract has been fulfilled and there’s no budget for website tweaks/making it actually functional, or perhaps more likely their coders are so grossly incompetent that they can’t figure out a way to turn that info on, or are simply choosing not to try. That might sound unlikely, until you use the rest of the website. It quickly becomes clear that whoever wrote it put functionality low on their list of priorities. I have a hard time believing anyone tested it all that thoroughly before going live, because as Steve has just stated in a new post- it doesn’t work!

(EDIT: Bold in quote added  by me)


I used to write scripts for User Acceptance Testing back in the day when a lot of big companies were starting or expanding a web presence. UAT takes a lot of resources but it is necessary. Case in point.
 

Last edited by Algonquintripper (6/29/2020 3:02 pm)


Dave
 

6/29/2020 8:06 pm  #14


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

Dave, I hear you. I used to advocate for something I called 'Rapid Acceptance Testing' in addition to paradigm-based UAT scripts for this very reason. I practically begged to do this on my own initiative as I knew how the designed systems 'should' work based on daily user experience (and the myriad of choices/sequence of events) but it didn't follow the 'model' of how things were tracked and measured. Too much rigidity, too little common sense. 

Trippy, I tend to agree that this information was purposely hidden. I used to be part of the backroom meetings discussing software designs and I can see how displaying the number of sites booked on a lake would have little or no benefit to the 'shareholder' while acting as a deterrent to the user/purchaser. It's not difficult to display an existing field property on a UI - especially if it's a critical field property that must be inherently accurate to correctly process a transaction to begin with.

 

6/29/2020 8:16 pm  #15


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

I'm just excited for the next change, when you make a reservation and they don't even tell you what lake you're camping on until you show up to get your permit.


Trip Reports & Campsite Pictures
www.algonquinbeyond.com
     Thread Starter
 

6/29/2020 8:17 pm  #16


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

dcmcelroy wrote:

With regard to the actions of Ontario Parks and the new reservation system, or any other annoying screw-up, always bear in mind Hanlon's Razor:

          Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

 
This is where I land. I can’t think of any reason ontario parks would want to hide that information. I can’t imagine them wanting to hide it, and then replying to all of our emails saying “we have heard this and are working on reinstituting.” But I CAN imagine them not explicitly telling CAMIS that they want that information displayed, and the new hot shot website designer there thinks the old site was bogged down with this unnecessary info (and also it wasn’t buggy enough, apparently), so writes the new site to not show this information. Then it doesn’t get tested on anyone before going live, and here we are. Contract to OP is ‘fulfilled,’ and good luck finding money to change it now. There’s a pretty big game of telephone here- OP (some of who know about camping->CAMIS (probably a couple of whom know about camping)-> CAMIS IT department (or maybe even subcontracted out!), perhaps none of whom know about camping.

Beyond that, I’ve been on enough websites in the past number of years which work so appallingly badly, and have such horrible UI, that it could only be attributed to incompetence- not malice.

Anyway, I think we all agree it still sucks, but for a significant increase in personal time investment, at least that information is available via this method. Thanks!

Last edited by nvm (6/29/2020 8:21 pm)

 

6/30/2020 5:52 am  #17


Re: A way to find available number of campsites with the new system!

Contract IT work - how little can you deliver without violating the terms? And no offense intended to our developer community, but my experience with most has been similar to being granted wishes by a genie - form your requests wisely and with great care.

 

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