1 UserManual
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User Manual

This part of the documentation is intended to assist the user visiting the PDL website to deal with the sites information: Navigating through the pages, finding the required information, and so on. It covers the following chapters:

Page Navigation

Main Navigation

Using the navigation tabs, you can navigate through the sections of the application. The navigation bar has different elements, depending on the "mode" of the application which you can switch with the first icon. PDL has two modes of operation: the "Logbook" mode, and the "Global" mode. If you don't find a single icon without description as the first element in the navigation bar, the website administrator may have disabled the "Global" mode, or none of the divers has opened his data for public access. Otherwise, you can use that single first icon to switch between the modi.

Logbook Mode

In the "Logbook" mode, following tabs are available to the visitor:

Tab Description
Dives This tab brings you to the dive index, which is most probably the page you see first when coming to this site. The dive index list up all dives of the given buddy and provides you with links to the details, which is why we call this page "dive list", too.
Stats Here you will find some statistics for the selected dive logbook.
Sites Brings you to a list of all sites listed in this dive logbook. As with the "Dives", this list provides links to more details (see below).
<BuddyName> If this tab is available, the owner of the selected logbook provides some personal details you can browse here.
Prefs Your (the visitors) preferences for this application. Here you can define the look-and-feel for this site (well, up to some degree ;) and chose the language you prefer the information in.
PDF This brings you to a form which lets you export all your dives, sites, and stats to PDF for printing.
Help Brings you to the corresponding help page

Global Mode

If the admin of this site decided to enable the global mode, you can switch here by clicking on the first single icon in the navigation bar (see above). Then, the navigation bar will contain the following items:

Tab Description
Divers This opens a list of all divers registered with this site, who decided to open their dive logbooks to the public. Links to their logbooks are provided.
Sites Brings you to a global list of all public available divesite descriptions, collected from all dive logbooks of the site.
Prefs Your site preferences, as described above.

Context Navigation

On the details pages for dives and sites, you find the Context Navigation Bar once below the main navigation, and a second time at the end of the page. Here you not only have the possibility to switch to the previous/next record, but depending on available data and on configuration settings, one or more of the following icons offer you context related links:

  • If PDF Support is available and enabled by the admin, you will find a PDF icon in the context navigation bar. This can be used to generate (and download) this dives/sites information in PDF format.
  • If the dive record contains a buddy, the buddy icon brings you to a list of dives with this buddy.
  • In case a location is part of the data on that page, two icons bring you to a list of sites resp. dives at that location.
  • Similarly, the place icon brings you to a list of dives at the given place.

Navigating in Lists

Lists usually are split into multiple pages - to save you from scrolling really long lists with several hundreds (or even thousands) of rows - so you need a way to navigate within the lists. Where the detail pages have the Context Navigation, in lists you will find the page navigation element. It is pretty self explaining:

There are icons (left/right arrows) to bring you to the previous or next, as well as to the first resp. last page of the list. Some of them may be grayed out and have no link - which means there is no corresponding page (e.g. there is no previous page to the first, and no next page to the last). Between the arrows pointing to the left (first and previous page) and those pointing to the right (next and last page) you will find a row of numbers. You may already have guessed so: Number 5 brings you to page number 5, etc. If there are more pages than would fit into the bar, some of them will be missing in this row - which is indicated by dots. Usually, you should see all page numbers close to the one you are currently on, so you can quickly navigate there.

Dive Logbook

Dives Index

The dive index lists up a summary of all dives recorded in the current logbook. To make this page more handy, the site andministrator and/or the logbook owner will have limited the count of dives displayed on one page. In this case, the table header provides you with links to the first/last and previous/next page.

Each data row in the table represents one dive record and provides you with the following links:

  • First column (with the dive number) links to the dive details. In the last column, a camera icon indicates that there are images linked with the details.
  • The dive location links to a list of all dive sites for this location that are recorded in any of the public logbooks of this installation
  • The dive site itself links to details about the dive site from the currently displayed logbook.
  • The footer of the page contains a link to the phpDiveLog homepage ;)

Furthermore, up/down arrows in the table header allow you to change the sorting of the list.

Dive Details

As the name suggests, this page gives you the details on the selected dive. Depending on the information the diver (not) recorded, some of the following items may be missing:

  • Conditions: wheather, currents etc.
  • Equipment used
  • Graphic of the dive profile
  • Divers notes on this dive
  • Foto collection

The fotos may be thumbnails which are linked to images with a higher resolution, and the description itself may contain links to further information. Both will normally open in a new browser window, unless the logbook owner explicitly defined it otherwise.

Dive Sites

Site Index

Here are all dive sites from the current logbook listed. Navigation is the same as with the Dive Index, and the icon in the last column is the indicator of associated images here as well. The only link provided here is the site ID in the first column, which brings you to the details page for the selected site.

Site Details

Here you find the details for the selected divesite. This may include some general geographic information, additional notes and a photo collection - if the the logbook owner provided these details. For the images and links applies the same as described with the dive details.

If the diver provided the GPS data for this site (which is indicated by a rotating globe instead of a static one), a click on the globe next to the sites name will open a new browser window. In that window you will then find a map with the dive sites position marked - which may be useful to plan your own dives here.

PDF Export

Introducing PDF Export to PDL meant to give you the possibility to print your logbook. However, you can of course also use a PDF export to carry with you or to present it somewhere where there's no internet connection. And while from the corresponding detail pages you only can export data from the current page, the PDF Export page allows you to export all or selected pages together.

We tried to consider a lot of requirements when designing this functionality: Export for presentation or for printing. Printing on duplex capable and non capable printers. Different ways to prepare duplex printing for non-capable printers. Quite a lot of thoughts and work went here, as you can imagine.

Moreover we tried to put more context sensitive help directly into the page - while still keeping it simple and clear. This was achieved using the HTML TITLE attribute. So before you go nuts on what to select: Calm down, move your mouse over the questionable option, and keep it there. You will see a small pop-up giving you some background information. And all that without any Javascript involved :)

The details integrated there are quite short, so all browsers can handle it (some cannot cope with too long "titles"). Hence, you shall find some more detailed information here:

Option Explanation
Pages Here we wanted to give you the option to print all or selected pages. If you leave one of the fields blank, it is substituted with the first resp. last record. Which means: Leave both fields blank to export all. As simple as possible.
Duplex handling: None This option is intended for "presentation PDFs" as well as for printers capable to handle duplex printing themselves: All records will be arranged in their numerical order. No empty pages shifted in, no numbers shuffled. All other duplex options are intended for printing with non-duplex printers only (or if you don't trust or don't want to use your printers duplex function)
Duplex handling: Inner Gutter Here we take care all records will be ordered in a way guaranteeing they can be printed double-sided (i.e. you use both sides of the paper) on the "usual paper" (e.g. DIN-A4, while the pages are in DIN-A5), and you only need to cut the paper in the middle to get the correct pages. This applies to the following duplex options as well. The special here is: the "gutter" (i.e. the wider part of the page border, where you usually make the holes to file it into your folder) will always point to the middle of the paper.
Duplex handling: Outer Gutter Like the previous item, just the other way round concerning the gutter: here the smaller border points to the middle of the paper.
Duplex handling: Side Gutter Again the same, but the gutter will always point to the same side of the paper.
Include Fotos Whether you want the (first up to 3) photos of the records to be included with the resulting PDF. If it is for presentation, you certainly will. For printing, it may depend - but the choice is yours!
Missing Graphs PDL supports dynamically created graphs. This means, they are created on demand – other than those the conduit already provides. So if they have not yet been created, they can either be substituted by the "static" ones from the conduit (or a dummy graph/empty image if this is also missing) – or you can let them be created on the fly. When exporting an entire, large logbook, this may lead to a browser timeout (in which case you just need to reload the page as often until the last graph was created). So if you are in a hurry, you can just say "No" here.

Finally, there are three buttons. Not necessary to say that, depending which one you press, the corresponding information will be exported: Either Dives, Sites, or Statistics. Since the latter is just a single page, all above options are irrelevant for this one.


On this page you find the statistics for the selected logbook. This includes some statistic values at the top of the page, as well as some statistic graphs (if the PHP installation of the site contains support for the graphics library).

The graphs are pretty self explaining, so there's not much to describe at this place. The administrator (and probably the logbook owner as well, if permitted by the administrator) may have defined different settings e.g. for the intervals – so don't wonder if it does not look the same in different logbooks.

One thing you may wonder could be the different sum of dives in the temperature graph: Due to the fact that ADL sets the temperature value to "0°C" if no temperature was given, PDL can be configured to ignore this value. It also offers to place a note for this – but since this is optional, the note may be missing.

Global Mode

If the Admin enabled the Global Mode, and multiple divers share this installation plus permitted "public access" for their log books, this allows you to find information from multiple log books:

Global Diver/Buddy List

This page lists up all publically available Dive logbooks for this installation. A click on the divers nick name brings you to the Dive Index of his/her logbook. If you find an icon in the last column, this indicates that there's a personal picture available on his/her personal page.

Global Site Index

When you select this tab, it will bring you to a list of locations gathered from all public logbooks on this installation. The header of the table provides you with links to navigate between the pages, if there are multiple pages available. A click on the locations name brings you to the list of all sites at that location – how many sites you can expect on that page is told by the column next to the location.

Once you selected the location to browse, the next table lists you all sites found with this installation together with the information, in which divers logbook we found the sites. In order to view the site description details, just click the ID displayed in the first column. To view information of the diver him/herself, simply click on the corresponding nick name.

This page offers you the facility to filter the records displayed in lists – which is pretty much the same as searching for records, with the only difference that the filters remain active until you explicitly reset them. To clear the filters away, just click the filter tab a second time while the filter page is displayed.

The Filter/Search page is divided into two blocks: In the first one you can search for dives, the second one searches for sites. You just must enter values in those fields you want to restrict by, leaving the others empty. All your specifications will be connected with a logical AND – which means, all of the specified conditions must be met for a record to be displayed. Hovering your mouse pointer over a field gives you closer information.

There are different comparison operators offered for your convenience. Most of them will be quite clear, like the "=" or "<" operators when working with numbers. You may always specify complete or incomplete values, depending on the desired results. Keep in mind that with an incomplete value and the "=" operator, your result set will certainly be empty ;-) With the "LIKE" operator, you will certainly use an incomplete value – however, you must not use any wildcards anywhere (also not the percent sign with the "LIKE" operator), since they will not be recognized as such but interpreted literally.


On the preferences page, you may set up how PDL will present you the data. This setup includes the selection of a template set ("Skin"), and your favorite language. The latter one is used for the item names; the divers information will not be translated. Except if (s)he provided special information for the selected language, which is possible for the dive and dive site notes.