Getting started with tasks

Tasks as a concept can be used in a number of ways in gliding:

Usually, we are concerned with defining tasks as preparation for a logger declaration required for a declared flight performance. We also use tasks, even for free performances, as the basis of evaluation and analysis of our flight performance.

However we choose to use tasks, we are often faced with a number of confusing rules regarding what a valid task for a specific purpose may be, or how it is interpreted post-flight in an official evaluation of the flight performance. In order to clear up this confusion, it is important to make a distinction of the between the various meanings and uses of tasks into the following:

Depending on the task planned the rules may permit an evaluation of the actual flown task to be different from the planned task. For example, an FAI 3 turn point distance task may permit for a different finish point to be claimed from the declared finish. It is also possible that an actual task declaration may allow for additional tasks to be validly flown, other than the one initially planned for. For example, a declaration for an FAI distance triangle may allow for a 3TP flight to be claimed even if all the turn points were not rounded, or if they were rounded in a different order, or a 3TP distance task declaration may allow the turn points to be claimed in any order. When planning a specific task, it is important to be aware of the rules that apply and also make a distinction between the planned task, the declaration made (and the additional tasks it may allow) and the route actually flown, as evaluated by the scoring.

To help plan for performances, the task panel allows you to design a task according to a specific set of rules, making sure that the resulting declaration will conform to the rules prescribed. Please be aware that there may be other ways to validly fly the task, other than the specified way (and also additional tasks that may be flown from the same declaration). For example, an FAI declared distance task waypoint may be rounded by either entering the FAI observation zone or by entering the 500m cylinder observation zone. While you may choose a specific observation zone while planning the task, the logger declaration does not limit you to one type of zone, allowing you to effectively choose the most favorable interpretation post-flight. However, if you round a cylinder observation zone rather than an FAI observation zone, the official resulting task distance will be less. In that sense, if you are aiming to complete a specific distance (e.g. 300km for the Gold Badge) it is important to define the observation zones you intend to fly, or set an additional task distance buffer to ensure that the actual flown performance will satisfy the requirements you have set.

The task panel

To view the task panel, go to the My files page and select the Tasks tab.

Creating a new task

To create a task press the new task button or the N key.

The new task panel allows you to specify the basic task properties as well as the rules you would like to be applied in defining the task.

To set the takeoff airfield, start typing the name of the airfield in the "Takeoff airfield" box and select the airfield from the list of suggestions. You can choose airfields from the default "Airfields" list or from one of your own waypoints lists. To change the list from which the airfields are searched, select the appropriate list from the "Airfield list" selector. You only need to specify the landing field if it is different from the takeoff field.

Next select the category of task. This sets the type of rules that should apply to this tasks and helps you design a valid task by providing you with the appropriate task options and notifying you when a task may not be valid. Depending on the category selected a set of different task types will be available. Chose the task type you require. Depending on your selection, a description of the task and of its requirements will be shown on the right side of the panel.

If you would like to design a task without being restricted to a specific set of turn point options you may choose the "Metric geometry" category which will allow you to design a task with any set of observation zone options, all expressed in metric sizes.

To start designing the task, press OK or ENTER.

You can then start designing the task on the map. You have the option of either clicking on a waypoint icon (or the waypoint name, next to the icon) or clicking directly on the map. If you elect to click directly on the map, a new waypoint will be created for this task. You can choose to change the type of observation zone for each point by clicking on one of the available options on the "Next" waypoint box. The options presented always correspond to the available options allowed in the rules for the type of task selected.

Instead of clicking on the map to define a waypoint position you may want to specify a set of coordinates or a waypoint name in the "Next" waypoint box. The waypoint name will be searched from within the waypoint list selected in the waypoints panel. You may choose to selected different waypoint lists for different waypoints within the same task. To finish a task, either set the required number of waypoints for the chosen task type, double click to define the last turnpoint or choose the "Finish option from the "Next" waypoint box (when available).

While you are designing your task, the approximate leg distance will display on each leg while it is being drawn. Once the leg is finalized, a WGS-84 accurate distance for the leg will be displayed on the waypoint box where the leg ends.

You can also monitor the complete distance for the task, also expressed in WGS-84 accuracy. Please note that the task distance is not a simple sum of the legs but will reflect task distance correction applied according to the observation zones chosen as well as any other task distance correction defined in the rules of the specific task type selected.

If the task as designed is not valid according to the rules chosen, an asterisk will appear next to the task distance along with an explanation below of the reason for the task invalidation.

Once you have defined your task, you may make additional changes as described in the editing tasks section.

To save the task, press the Save button. To cancel the task creation, press the Cancel button.

Please note that when exporting tasks to your flight instruments, the custom task turnpoints you have created will be seamlessly integrated with the underlying waypoint lists you have chosen to export along with the tasks.

Working with task lists

There are a number of good reasons to separate your tasks into different task lists, including: different lists for specific locations, seasons or goals, specific task lists for an event, or lists prepared for export to your flight computer and PDA.

When you open the task panel, the default task list will display. You may choose between a number of different view types by pressing the desired view mode on the top of the tasks panel:

Double-click on a task box from the boxes or list views to view a task in single task view mode. You can also return back to the entire list views by pressing the desired view mode button.

To change which task list is displayed, choose the desired list from the list selector on the top left of the panel. You can define which list appears when you first load the tasks page by selecting the desired list and then choose "Make default" from the Lists menu.

To create or copy a list, you may click on the + button next to the list selector or choose the appropriate option from the List menu. To delete a list, first select it and then choose "delete" from the List menu. Please note that all tasks contained in a list will be deleted. To rename a list, choose "rename" from the list menu.

To delete a task from a list, select the task and press the button or press the DEL key. Please remember than any task deletion is final.

To perform the same action on multiple tasks at once, you can select the tasks individually and then choose the desired action from the Tasks menu. To select a task, click on its box and press the select task button or the / key (or press the select button while in Single task view mode. Pressing / or the select button on a selected task will deselect it. You may also select all tasks in the list (Ctrl+A) deselect all selected tasks ((Ctrl+D), or invert the task selection by choosing the appropriate option in the Tasks menu.

By defining a selection you can easily copy a number of tasks to a different (or the same) list, move them to another list, or export them to a file without needing to create a list for this specific purpose. You can also copy, move or export a single file by selecting it as described above and choosing the appropriate option from the Tasks menu.

Please note that the List and Tasks menu are only visible on the Box or List view modes.

Editing tasks

To edit a task, select it and press the edit button or E to enter the edit mode.

There are two ways to modify the task geometry, using the waypoint boxes or by direct manipulation on the map.

To change the task directly on the map you can simply drag a task point to a new position. To attach a task point to a waypoint from the waypoint list, drag it onto the waypoint icon or its label and it will snap to it. To insert an additional waypoint to the end of the task, double click on the map to enter insert mode. You can then append the task by adding more waypoints as you do when creating tasks. To exit the insert mode double-click for the last turnpoint to be inserted or use the finish option on the "Next" waypoint box. To insert a turn point before an existing task waypoint, click on the existing waypoint and click again to set the new waypoint position. Please note that you will not be allowed to insert waypoints if the number of waypoints already defined for the task are the maximum amount allowed by the task type chosen (e.g. you will only be allowed a total of 5 waypoints in an FAI 3 turn point task).

You can also modify the task using the waypoint boxes. To delete a waypoint, drag its waypoint box out of the list and onto the map. To re-order a waypoint in the task sequence drag its waypoint box to the new position in the list order.

To edit a waypoint's attributes, double-click on its box to enter waypoint edit mode. You can then choose a different obzervation zone, specify new coordinates or rename the waypoint. To exit waypoint edit mode, double-click on the map.

To change a task's attributes, press the task settings button on the top of the task details box. You may rename the task, change takeoff and landing fields, or change the task type. If you change the task type, the task observation zones may be modified to conform to the new task rules. You must ensure that the task geometry conforms to the new task rules by inspecting the task details area for any notification of rule invalidation warning.

To save the task changes, press the Save button. You can also save the modified task as a new copy by clicking on Save as copy. To cancel the task modification, press the Cancel button.

If you navigate away from the task without saving your changes, the changes will be lost.

Exporting tasks

To export a task list, select "Export list" from the Lists menu or press Ctrl-E. To export a selection of tasks, select them and then choose "Export selected" from the Tasks menu. To export a single task, you can follow the previous process or select "Export" from the Task menu if you are in the single task view.

Once you have selected what to export, the export dialog will display. If you would like to include a waypoint list with your tasks, check the "Include waypoint list" checkbox and select the desired list. To download the file, click on the desired file format listed.

Please note that if you include a waypoint list in the exported file and there are task waypoints that are not available on the list, these waypoints will be added to the exported waypoints. If you do not include a waypoin list, only the waypoints defined by the tasks will be included in the exported file.

Before an important flight, it is good practice to cross-check the task chosen on your flight computer and declared on your logger against the task you intended to set. A quick comparison of task waypoint names and observation zone types (where this applies) will usualy be all that is required. Please note that the task distance indicated on your flight computer or PDA may be different from the distance you have planned as it is quite possible that these instruments may not take into account certain distance-correction rules that may apply to the selected task. If you are satisfied that the waypoint geometry declated is the same as specified in the initial task planning, there should be no problems with the flight evaluation.

Importing tasks

To import a task list, select "Import list" from the Lists to show the "Add task list" dialog. You can then press the Choose files files button to select the file or files to upload, or simply drag and drop files into the browser window. Once the boxes are selected (or dropped) the tasks will be imported directly. To view the new tasks, select the task list with the name of the imported file from the task list selector at the top of the panel. To rename an imported list, chose "Rename" from the Lists menu.

Normally, a waypoint list with matching name to the imported task list will be created, containing all the waypoints available in the imported file. If you would like for this list not to be created, uncheck the "Create related waypoint list" checkbox in the import dialog.

As an alternative to opening the "Add task list" dialog, you may simply drag and drop files from your file explorer (or finder in Mac) into the browser, when in the Task views to automatically import a file. Once the import process is complete, the new task list will be available in the task list selector.