21 May 2014

Windows Phone emulator–“Unable to create a route between the waypoints”

The Windows Phone 8.1 emulator has a beautiful new option: if you want to simulate a route you don’t have to put in a gazillion points anymore, you just input two (or some more if you want specific waypoint), the emulator automatically calculates a route and off you go, in this case from my home to some location near Amsterdam:

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Only for some people it does not work out so well. I have seen some reports of people getting this popup, whatever two points they entered, even if those two were very close together with an obvious route:

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Today my friend Matteo Pagani ran into the same problem – and using a remote access tool I was able to have a look at his computer and determine once and for all the root cause of this. And it’s very simple – Matteo had set his computer to English like me, but still had the European decimal number setting. For those who are not familiar with that – when an European wants to write “a hundred thousand and a half” he writes “100.000,5” where an American typically writes “100,000.5”. Decimal point and comma are reversed. Whoever thought up this reversal, well let’s stay civilized here but I don’t have very warm feelings toward him or her, let’s put it that way. For some reason, in Geographical Information Systems territory, this is a fairly common problem. I have set my computer to the American number style for longer than I care to remember so I never ran into it.

To fix this, you have to adopt the American style of numbers in Windows. Go to your Control Panel, search for number and select “Change date, time or number formats”

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Then in the next dialog

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“Decimal symbol” should be set to . (dot) and “Digit grouping symbol” to , (comma). For extra fun, the difference is hard to spot. Close Visual Studio and the emulator, restart Visual Studio, bring up the emulator again, and presto.

I know – this affects all programs in Windows so now your Excel sheets will show up in American style. Don’t shoot the messenger, I am just reporting the problem and a work-around. It’s not the end of the world. I don’t think much people will spend days and days simulating routes ;-)

2 comments:

Jarno Peschier said...

This is just a temporary (?!) work-around. Please don't blame users for setting up their PC wrong, but blame the Microsoft developer(s) who wrote that routing code in de emulator to not include Invariant culture formatting on decimal values passed to an API... http://peshir.blogspot.nl/2010/02/cultural-barbarism-net.html

Joost van Schaik said...

@Jarno I know - this is a bug in the emulator. I just try to point out a work-around. IMHO I am not blaming anyone, but least of all developers using the emulator - except for people in earlier ages who could not even come up with a standard way to write NUMBERS for crying out loud.