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Wherigo rant 
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Joined: 07 January 15 9:15 pm
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Post Wherigo rant
GeocachingNSW has picked a Wherigo cache as their pick for May 2017. Nothing wrong with it, I tried a couple of them. However, there is seriously no proper (open or not) Wherigo support these days any more.

Let me walk you through it:

There are several formats for Wherigo cartridges: WGZ which are ZIP files which contain all the data and the Lua source code and WGC which are a more-or-less undocumented format which contains the data and the bytecode for the Lua program.

The data are files like MP3 files, JPG images etc. The Lua source code is what you can run. The bytecode is a compiled version of that Lua source code which you can run again in a Lua interpreter.

So far so good, you can do some magic. If you can run the Lua source code, you can do the cache. If you can run the Lua bytecode, you can do the cache. Now the gotchas: Not all Wherigo caches supply the Lua source code (none in Australia for example). And the Lua bytecode you can only run in environments which are compatible with the Lua compiler they were made with: It needs to be the same version (version 5.1.x, last release in 2012) and the 32 bit bytecode.

Building Lua inside Xcode isn't difficult, getting the Lua interpreter running code on the iPhone isn't difficult, getting the Lua interpreter running 64 bit bytecode on the iPhone isn't difficult. However, getting the Lua interpreter running 32 bit bytecode on the iPhone is not possible at all. And if the possibility to run 32 bit bytecode on a 64 bit Lua interpreter ever shows up, then I doubt they will backport it version 5.1.x.

TL;DR: Wherigo cartridges use Lua 5.1.x 32 bit bytecode, there doesn't seem to be a way to run them on 64 bit devices anymore.


17 July 17 3:21 pm
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Post Re: Wherigo rant
This may be best directed to a part of the internet that might have some input on an outcome. As WiG are GC only, you might be better targeting the rant towards them to provide a standard solution. Happy for you to rant here but there may not be much response.


17 July 17 4:08 pm
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Post Re: Wherigo rant
Groundspeak's intention has obviously never been that everyone can do every cache. I have done a few WIGs, but I have an iPhone. But if you didn't have an iPhone/Android or a WIG compatible GPS you are out of luck.

The same applies to NFC caches. I have an iPhone, I can't do them without buying a separate bit of hardware to plug into the phone. Am I going to do that for 1 or 2 cache finds? No.

At what point do you draw the line? I have done caches in the past that required an FM radio to pick up a micro powered broadcast to get the coordinates. Well anyone who turns up on foot is probably stuffed unless they have planned in advance and happen to have a portable radio.


17 July 17 9:50 pm
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