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A possible side-project

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Re: A possible side-project

Postby Flint1b » July 24th, 2020, 12:02 pm

Brent Easton wrote:While I am still working out a few shortcuts and sometime find myself stuck looking for a function, I have to say I, am extremely happy that you finally talked me into switching to IntelliJ. Already, after 2 days, I could not go back.


That was my experience as well when I switched a couple years ago. Many companies nowadays realize that it's a good productivity boost and let their developers use the free Eclipse or buy them a license for the full IntelliJ version.
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Re: A possible side-project

Postby Cattlesquat » July 24th, 2020, 2:16 pm

So... does it still make sense for me to continue assembling documentation updates n the doc/ReferenceManual area as a precursor to The Big AsciiDoc?

I'm assuming there will be some inevitable amount of blood/sweat/tears converting the files over no matter which way we go about it, and that's fine, I just don't want to piss *directly* into the wind. More of a light crosswise mist.
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Re: A possible side-project

Postby Flint1b » July 24th, 2020, 2:45 pm

Well you already started, I would say finish up the changes that you wanted to do, and then we will convert them to asciidoc.

I moved the whole /doc folder into a new maven project, I think it's easiest if we get your PR merged first, then I'll update my PR and fix possible conflicts.
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Re: A possible side-project

Postby Flint1b » July 24th, 2020, 7:23 pm

Looking at all the screenshots in the userguide and the reference manual is like a history lesson in windowed operating systems, there are screenshots from what could be win95 with the traditional black-on-grey "X" buttons, screenshots from XP with its funky circus-style red "X" button, and even screenshots from what looks like "motif" UI on linux :D

The userguide will need some updating in the requirements and installation areas, it still says "Java 5" needed, also the "useful tools" section reminds of good old multiplayer gaming times with ventrilo and teamspeak. I think the kids nowadays only know discord. Which is actually pretty damn cool. We could replace the whole server/jabber stuff with discord, they offer a very rich API for developers.
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Re: A possible side-project

Postby Cattlesquat » July 24th, 2020, 9:01 pm

Haha yes, there's a current thread in the Module Design forum where I happened to mention that I was updating the documentation, and he asked if I could please burn the PDF manual as it caused him so much frustration when learning Vassal. :D
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Re: A possible side-project

Postby uckelman » July 24th, 2020, 10:09 pm

Thus spake Flint1b:
> Do we want to convert the userguide and/or the /doc/ReferenceManual to
> something diffable, preferably AsciiDoc, and create the html pages
> and/or pdf documents during the build?

We absolutely do want something diffable for documentation source. Without
that, it's unmaintainable.

I've looked everywhere, and I can't find anything other than the PDF we
have in the wiki for the Designer's Guide. (I have a vague memory of
asking several times for the original, probably Word doc, without ever
getting it.)

I also found an example I worked up in LaTeX for module designer
documentation in 2008, if you're at all interested in that.

> And the html rendering, we could embed JavaFX into the application and
> use it's modern web rendering engine instead of Swing's html renderer,
> it won't be too hard to implement, I already managed to get JavaFX
> running in a JPanel of the PlayerWindow.

Why not show the docs in a browser? Browsers are good at rendering HTML.

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Re: A possible side-project

Postby uckelman » July 24th, 2020, 10:15 pm

Thus spake Brent Easton:
>
> Brian, on another issue, you will find that many of the screen snaps of
> trait configs are now out of date, and the consistency is variable (some
> Windows, some Mac etc.).

I'm not sure whether to care about platform consistency in screenshots and
if, so in which direction. I'm torn between "it doesn't matter", "it matters
and they should all be the same", and "it matters and they should definitely
not all the the same".

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Re: A possible side-project

Postby uckelman » July 24th, 2020, 10:37 pm

Thus spake Flint1b:
> We could replace the whole server/jabber stuff with discord, they offer
> a very rich API for developers.

They're not open-source, though. I don't want us to become dependant
on a third-party service which could suddenly become unusable for us.

It's too bad we got interrupted right when we were going to switch from
the old server to jabber.

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Re: A possible side-project

Postby Flint1b » July 24th, 2020, 10:46 pm

uckelman wrote:I've looked everywhere, and I can't find anything other than the PDF we
have in the wiki for the Designer's Guide.

I'll see what I can do with it, it must be possible to convert that to some other format and from there on to asciidoc, just need to find the right tools to get an acceptable result.

uckelman wrote:Why not show the docs in a browser? Browsers are good at rendering HTML.


Browsers, right, I forgot about these things. Also forgot that discussion about some HTML being shown in the browsers and some in the internal Swing HTML renderer.

I will keep trying to get JavaFX into the project though, I just need another occasion.. it has this neat thing called JFXPanel which is a regular Swing panel with a twist, it can load JFX content :D

uckelman wrote:I'm torn between "it doesn't matter", "it matters and they should all be the same", and "it matters and they should definitely not all the the same".


We should do what everyone else does and start collecting data about users, find out how many use which version, which OS, their family names, passwords, addresses, shoe size, occupation, religion, photos of their kids, then feed all this into a data mining process and have an AI decide which OS is most representative and which bugs should be fixed next in order to make the most users happy.
I'm exaggerating of course but collecting "a little bit" of user data would surely be useful, somehow.

uckelman wrote:They're not open-source, though. I don't want us to become dependant on a third-party service which could suddenly become unusable for us.

Yes that's the problem. They do have some very neat features though, I'm jealous.
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Re: A possible side-project

Postby Brent Easton » July 24th, 2020, 11:10 pm

The problem with the whole Jabber server thing was the absolutely appalling implementations of the XMPP protocol back then. Every single different Jabber server was different.

Things have hopefully improved and it may well be worth revisiting. I remember getting it working on an openfire xmpp server, but it was borked on any other. All of the code is still there to use any XMPP server as a Vassal server, it probably would not take much to revive that.
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Re: A possible side-project

Postby uckelman » July 24th, 2020, 11:27 pm

Thus spake Brent Easton:
> The problem with the whole Jabber server thing was the absolutely
> appalling implementations of the XMPP protocol back then. Every single
> different Jabber server was different.

Was that what it was? I have no recollection of what that involved, other
than that we never rolled it out.

> Things have hopefully improved and it may well be worth revisiting. I
> remember getting it working on an openfire xmpp server, but it was
> borked on any other. All of the code is still there to use any XMPP
> server as a Vassal server, it probably would not take much to revive
> that.

It wouldn't be bad if we could dump the old game server, though
realistically we're probably on the hook to run it for quite a while
yet.

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Re: A possible side-project

Postby Cattlesquat » July 24th, 2020, 11:30 pm

uckelman wrote:I'm not sure whether to care about platform consistency in screenshots and
if, so in which direction. I'm torn between "it doesn't matter", "it matters
and they should all be the same", and "it matters and they should definitely
not all the the same".


I'm in the "mostly doesn't matter" camp. I've been going through and updating ones where the old one is missing something or otherwise incorrect, but leaving the old ones where they seem adequate. It's a little "quaint" but as you say possible "good".
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Re: A possible side-project

Postby Cattlesquat » July 24th, 2020, 11:34 pm

I am strongly pro-HTML (via browser or rendered internally) for showing documentation in the game.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't have a wiki and update it though.
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Re: A possible side-project

Postby Brent Easton » July 24th, 2020, 11:47 pm

I'm not fussed about the varying styles of the screen shots particularly either. Just wanted to mention it in case anyone was feeling a little OCD today.

Theoretically, we should be able to generate a set of mediawiki content pages from our doco 'source', but I have no idea what is involved in getting that imported into our wiki.

Or even a separate doco 'site' hosting the manuals. A lot sites seem to do this these days, presumably because they are being auto-generated.

I'll revisit the Jabber stuff in my 'spare time'!
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Re: A possible side-project

Postby Cattlesquat » July 25th, 2020, 12:38 am

I did a slightly rash thing today, and for the first time in 10 years bought an upgrade of my Visual Slickedit editor. It was a ridiculous amount of money for a "my editor already works great but I wonder what they did this last 10 years" situation, but... oh my god it's like magic. The first time I even opened it, it already sussed out the whole Vassal project (with literally zero hints by me) and presented me with an "Open Filename:" line that I can just type in e.g. "GlobalKeyCommand.htm" and it finds it in the right directory and opens it for me.

Oh and anyway it's really good with HTML so this is going along peachily.
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