Beta new 2GIS for your computer


    A year ago, in November, we first introduced the New 2GIS. We were a little worried about how our users would perceive the update. And it was very nice when the feedback showed that we were on the right track. Thank you all!

    Today, a new design, a new search, a new logic, functions and capabilities - everything that was presented then in the online version is moving to 2GIS for computers. The beta version of the application for Windows, OS X and Ubuntu is finally ready - welcome !

    In the meantime, the files are swinging, we’ll tell you a little more about the new 2GIS.

    Why offline?

    The first 2GIS (then still “Double GIS”) appeared almost 15 years ago. At that time, as you remember, many listened to music through Winamp, “burned” discs on Nero and looked at photos in ACDSee. The internet was a luxury.

    With its development, many of the programs have gone down in history. Needs and tools have changed to satisfy them. The timid questions “I wonder if it is possible to find out?” Were replaced by the firm “I want to know quickly.”

    Today, the Internet is at home, at work, even on the go. It is difficult to randomly recall places where it is not at all. Well, there, the plane, some train, the hotel is seedy. However, it is very easy to recall how annoying it is when nominally the Internet is, but in fact it is not. You sit, look at the progress bar and wonder if the page will load or not.

    As in the offline versions for smartphones, the new desktop 2GIS handles search queries using iron. Together with the new search algorithm, this significantly speeds up the search results.

    Alexander Radionov , head of search development team
    We taught 2GIS for a computer to search in a natural language. So, as many are already used to doing on For example, " eat on the Arbat " or " cinema in Sviblovo ."

    To suggest popular words and phrases, we aggregate user searches and upload compact information to an offline index. Thus, the search and tooltip does not require Internet access.

    And still she's spinning

    Another nice feature of the PC is a full three-dimensional card. A card that can be easily rotated on any office machine to view an unfamiliar place from all sides.



    Kernel and frontend

    As we already said , upgrading the previous version of 2GIS for PC was not quite right. It’s more correct to take and rewrite everything from scratch.

    Fedor Kukharenok , Head of External Offline Products
    The previous version did not support dynamic changes. The desire to add a new type of data — some information about the city — constantly rested on additional development timelines. The new 2GIS was originally designed so that such changes could be made without the release of a new version.

    We abandoned relational databases in favor of an object-oriented database. Previously, to obtain information about an object, you had to make a selection from many tables. This logic, written on the pros, was wired into the application. In the current version, we are completely gone from typing objects. The object at the time of rendering is selected according to the data that is in JSON.

    Now the chain “I want to show such and such data in an object” → “display of objects” is dispensed with without the programmers who wrote this logic. All that remains is product managers who say they want to add, and layout designers who display this information by template.

    The new architecture has a single core. There is no UI logic in the kernel, only a service one. It deals only with general functions and is separate from the presentation. For example, the kernel provides access to the database and data updates. This also includes a 3D map. It is wrapped in the core and is displayed exactly the same on all platforms.

    Only a certain frontend was left in the UI part. It shows the data in the form in which it is characteristic of a particular platform.

    Such a separation greatly untied the hands of the front-end. Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, desktop OS - for all end platforms, frontend developers choose their environment and their language. Frontend of the new 2GIS for PC is completely written in JavaScript, HTML and CSS based on Qt WebKit.

    Dmitry Kuznetsov , Leading Interface Developer
    New 2GIS for desktops we pereispolzuem code of 100% with . This is absolutely the same “Online” that we have been developing for two years now and which has been working “in battle” since last November.

    In 2GIS for desktops, it’s not just a similar UI, but a UI that will develop synchronously: fresh features and an updated design will appear almost simultaneously both in the web version on the site and on all 2GIS platforms for computers. Imagine a browser in which works without the Internet, but with a cool three-dimensional map - this is the new desktop 2GIS.

    From a technological point of view, there are a number of features in the “offline browser with a 3D map”, which is played by Qt WebKit. For example, it does not have a built-in server. This means that our UI must fully work on the user's machine. On the other hand, for search engines, our UI should be able to fully work on the server, if we are talking about the online version. These two polar requirements are covered by the js-framework Slot specially developed by us. The features include modular architecture. It easily replaces a two-dimensional map online with a three-dimensional map on a computer.

    Of the other solutions that we had to develop specifically for the UI, I note the Makeup library - a tool for reconciling with design and quick regression of module layout. Thanks to this, the visual stability of the application was brought to a new level.


    Among the readers of Habr, it is difficult to find those who are not aware of what a CD-ROM is. However, ordinary users such a question can already be confused. Now many do not notice how their applications are updated. Now 2GIS will be updated imperceptibly, in the background.

    Danil Ilinykh , team lead of the new 2GIS for PC
    Once a month a window popped up, where we were offered to download the shell separately, and separately - the base of the city. In the full version of the new 2GIS, this happens in the background and is much faster: files are downloaded and updated in parallel. We tried to make this process as inconspicuous as possible. Something similar in Google Chrome - once installed, and after that there is always the latest version.

    Interesting fact

    While you read, the application downloaded.

    This is the first public beta. It has a full map, search, photos, booklets, building entrances and company reviews. A little later we will add a search for routes by car and public transport, make a ruler, integrate geolocation, integrate Push to dial and all that is still missing.

    Are we worried? Of course. We understand that there may be bugs and shortcomings. They even got a feedback box . We are waiting for your opinion here in the comments or in our mail. Put the application, try, share your impressions with us. Thanks! :)

    PS And this is for those who first decided to read the article, and only then go to the site of the New 2GIS .

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