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Possible new client written using wxWidgets?

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Posted by Shaun Biggs   USA  (644 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #75 on Wed 29 Aug 2007 06:33 PM (UTC)
Message
Nick has repeatedly said that MUSHclient needs a GUI revamp. Starting off from scratch will be far easier to do than trying to make something that has to conform to the current MUSHclient code. This way the GUI and the code can be developed keeping each other in mind. I have no doubts that the new GUI will be much more easy to use and look at. The current one is ok once you get used to it, but it certainly could be better... it's the only downside I have for using MUSHclient.

It is much easier to fight for one's ideals than to live up to them.
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Posted by Shadowfyr   USA  (1,783 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #76 on Wed 29 Aug 2007 06:44 PM (UTC)
Message
I have always felt that maps need to be more than two dimensional, for one. I mean, first off, if you have up and down, then its **going** to be 3D at least in that sense. But more to the point, its not always practical to fit odd exits into the system, so dropping them under or over the room they go from, until the program can make a decent guess as to where the entire section its mapping should be, would be quite helpful. I see the problem as one of algorythms. Obviously, if you go up, then south 4, west 6, north 2 and then northeast, and you end up at the *same* place you entered from (assuming you tell the program that, 'yes it is the same room', then the mapper should be able to adjust the layer info to "show" that you went back down, by either adjusting color darker, or shifting the "coordinates" to a percentage of one unit. You can always go back later and adjust it so the "gentle slope" is where the height change happens.

In probably 90% of cases, it shouldn't be impossible to make an adjustment for where something should be, even if height changes happen, but it needs to involve "warning" you that its about to connect section A to B, or, if you say, "not now", "I am not sure" or what ever, then it should change the apparent color, so even if rooms "overlap", they do so in a way that makes it reasonably obvious that they might be the same room. Adjusting it later just means something like ctrl-clicking the two rooms, then right clicking to pick "link", on a context menu or something. The few times that won't work mostly involve teleports and the like. Point being, the mapper should only provisionally assume that rooms are the same, unless the threshold rises above some point, like 10 rooms that are identical in exits, features, etc., *after* you reach the first one that seems like its the same as one you where already in, and in the same general location (mind you letting the user always decide should also be an option). Hand editing is always going to be needed though, just because people design muds to trick mappers. The real issue is which format to use, boxes + lines, in 3D, where you can partly see the layers "under" and "over" them? Or, the other one is to show the "current" level clearly, then all "visible" rooms (not covered by others), as darker/lighter than the one you are on, with some visibility threshold, like 2 units above and below (normally two levels). That would be a lot harder to deal with imho, since it would be a fixed grid with only one view direction, but might work OK. Existing mappers don't even try to show things in a way that gives you clear clues about how far above/below you may be to something. You get lost, you get lost, unless you are lucky and 100% of the rooms you are looking for are on one layer.

Oh, and one other trick one could do in 3D. A search path system could not only provide a "speed walk", if you intended to run there, but instead also make the map locations "pulse" so you could simply follow the map to get there slowly. Most of them, if they support that at all, probably dim/hide the entire rest of the map, so only the rooms you are passing through are clearly visible. That is imho, not optimal, since you may find that the path accidentally leads through a room you don't want to travel through, so having the other rooms still visible means you could go around. As per the pathing in something like MMOs, it may also be nice to have it dynamically adjust the path, as you move closer, or take alternate routes around something, until you reach the intended location (or disable the pathing).

---

Oh, and to DMpk2k, a lot of the discussion about programming here is directed at providing ways to do UI stuff that isn't currently available, so, I presume, most of us agree with you. ;)
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Posted by Shaun Biggs   USA  (644 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #77 on Wed 29 Aug 2007 07:05 PM (UTC)
Message
Up and down are still completely possible for a 2d map of a 3d area. This adds a level of complexity, but you can have diagonals for up and down for any mu* that doesn't have ne, se, etc. Something else could be done for those mu*s, but I'm not quite sure what. My clan uses diagonals for up/down when making jpg maps of Aardwolf, and it seems to work very well.

Non-directional exits are going to be the biggest issue though. They have no actual direction, so it's difficult to show them even on a 3d map.

It is much easier to fight for one's ideals than to live up to them.
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Posted by Shaun Biggs   USA  (644 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #78 on Thu 30 Aug 2007 12:39 AM (UTC)
Message
As mentioned in another forum, the ability for a window to have tabs to hold different docked panels of display. Kind of like how you can tab through gaim's conversations.

It is much easier to fight for one's ideals than to live up to them.
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Posted by Onoitsu2   USA  (248 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #79 on Thu 30 Aug 2007 02:18 AM (UTC)
Message
Quote:
As mentioned in another forum, the ability for a window to have tabs to hold different docked panels of display. Kind of like how you can tab through gaim's conversations.


I think that this feature would need to be toggleable on a per world basis, as I, myself, would prefer the a window that pops-up when a new activity occurs of that type, sort of similar to how a Query in mIRC shows by default.

The tabs is a nice feature, especially if you can filter things like inventory, obviously scripted to log it into that other tab, so that you can save having to press the inventory button (if you have one) or having to type inv. Also logging the worn EQ would be nice in the same fashion.

I am amazed at all the comments, and actually some of the ideas I would never have though of. Nick I think that this project, if this task is ever done, well it will probably be the best client out there just for its sheer feature set.

I chose Mushclient due to its scripting, and its "windows" default style of GUI, that and I think zMud having its own language that is FAR from standard is just HORRID.

The GUI could use some tweaking as for ease of use, but I tend to be a "traditionalist" when it comes to the look of the GUI, don't get me wrong, I LOVE the XP color scheme of titlebars, as well as the start bar.

As always, just my 2 cents,
Onoitsu2
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Posted by Shaun Biggs   USA  (644 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #80 on Thu 30 Aug 2007 02:29 AM (UTC)
Message
Quote:
I think that this feature would need to be toggleable on a per world basis, as I, myself, would prefer the a window that pops-up when a new activity occurs of that type, sort of similar to how a Query in mIRC shows by default.

I was thinking more of selecting a side panel that this could be done in. I personally can't stand having things pop up while I'm trying to do things, and I know others feel the same as well. One of the reasons I brought gaim up as an example is that it allows you the option of having a different window per conversation, or one tabbed window.

Also, to cover a message I forgot to comment on earlier, I liked the suggestion to have the spellchecker underline misspelled words as well. Especially with right click showing possible word options like Firefox and several other programs.

It is much easier to fight for one's ideals than to live up to them.
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Posted by Shaun Biggs   USA  (644 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #81 on Thu 30 Aug 2007 12:44 PM (UTC)
Message
Another idea:
Have an option to check the client's server for updates on startup.

Have a plugin system similar to Mozilla's extensions. Have a website which is a repository of submitted plugins, and have the client be able to check for updates to the plugins. Yeah, this one is a bit of a stretch, but I'm treating this thread as a wish list :)

It is much easier to fight for one's ideals than to live up to them.
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Posted by Onoitsu2   USA  (248 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #82 on Thu 30 Aug 2007 01:11 PM (UTC)
Message
Quote:
Another idea:
Have an option to check the client's server for updates on startup.

Have a plugin system similar to Mozilla's extensions. Have a website which is a repository of submitted plugins, and have the client be able to check for updates to the plugins. Yeah, this one is a bit of a stretch, but I'm treating this thread as a wish list :)


I like this idea, but then this will require the ability for the author to update the plugin that they submitted, via a system similar to the one in use on sourceforge.

It would help me to keep people using my plugins updated a lot easier than by making another installer each time I update something.

-Onoitsu2
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Posted by Jammet   (14 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #83 on Thu 30 Aug 2007 03:35 PM (UTC)
Message
About the problem with mapping in places without North, South, East or West, and the fact that the mapping algorith can't know if it's *really* in the same place or not:

I think it can still be done, but not fully automagically, you see. I would still be happy if I have a /map command that is flexible enough to aid the user in creating a map for such places on their own.

All the map feature would have to provide on it's own would be that it gives me the ability to know where exactly I am in the place, meaning, showing a map that is human readable. A flow-chart or tree, like I mentioned before. And secondly, if possible, be able to go quickly from A to B by just clicking somewhere on the map. The map should simply be drawn for me, and all the exit names should be stored, and where they point at. If you connect all the dots, or most of them you get a fairly accurate map with little effort - and that's the goal.
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Posted by Shadowfyr   USA  (1,783 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #84 on Fri 31 Aug 2007 01:38 AM (UTC)
Message
Well, as I said, some user input is bound to be needed in most cases, to verify the algorithms guesses, if nothing else. As for diagonals.. Sorry, but I just don't see it. Where I play we use more than just the cardinal directions, so it doesn't make much sense to use diagonal for up or down there, and I would tend to suspect that a *lot* of others use things like northwest (nw) too. Up and down make more sense imho as an icon, where the next "level" is clearly visible above the one where its pointing at. Think isometric 3D, which is just a 2D grid really, with each "layer" a set distance above the one below it. You have the "lower" ones hidden, the "upper" ones transparent, so you can see the current level clearly, while still getting a sense of where you are otherwise. Its not any harder than a pure 2D (or not much more), but has the advantage that you can more clearly show what is going on. And, with the right library, you would even rotate the view to any angle.

Full 3D would be more complex, and is probably not needed at all. The key is to allow the player to verify that the rooms "do" connect as predicted, or drag ones, like odd rooms which don't fit otherwise, to better places. The only real advantage 3D has over 2D isometric is that 3D could draw lines directly from one of those moved rooms, to the one it connects to, so you can clearly see what goes in/out. That isn't *quite* so easy without at least some 3D calculations, if you have to place the "room" some where other than directly adjacent to the one it connects to (which may happen). But, since any such support is probably going to use OpenGL, there might not be much point in only doing isometric anyway.
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Posted by Maxhrk   USA  (76 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #85 on Sat 01 Sep 2007 10:01 PM (UTC)
Message
well for me.. uh.. i am interested in being mud client supported on linux(without using wine to run it...)

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Posted by Jammet   (14 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #86 on Sat 01 Sep 2007 10:38 PM (UTC)
Message
Building accurate maps would probably be even impossible on the mucks I'm on. Even if it was in full 3D with every bells and whistles.

The thing is, my idea of such a map doesn't need accuracy as in, visually showing that one room is in a specific direction. I'm already satisfied with a solution that draws rooms closer to each other on the map when they are indeed next to each other. The muck itself is a total chaos of user created content except for it's core. The user created rooms make up about 90% of it. The users never really cared much if a room was there or there.

They just connect them in the order they want, using exit names that represent the room names. Trying to make a directional map out of this will never work because there will be dozens of rooms that may or may not have to be drawn on the same spot on such a map. But if it's a tree-like thing, it's doable.

But I agree with everything you say about how difficult it is to actually generate a map from this. Definitely not gonna be easy. It's going to look extremely chaotic, because there are going to be rooms connected to each other that supposed to be far away. And I don't mean teleporter exits. Users make'em that way. As long as it works for them, playability outranks logic on that front. If you draw a map in 3D with dots representing rooms, connected by lots of lines, you'll see a mess on-screen, a total mess. Bringing order into that chaos - fully dynamically, that's another hard part. It should be flat and might even look much like circuit board.
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Posted by Shadowfyr   USA  (1,783 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #87 on Sat 01 Sep 2007 11:52 PM (UTC)
Message
Hmm. Well, logically one needs to limit the number of visible rooms to those that the program knows are within some specific distance. For a completely chaotic map, normal mappers are not likely to work so where, true, but then you could always support a more general map, which does a spherical projection, out to something like 3 rooms for where you are. If you path to some place, then everything "except" the rooms needed to get there go dimmer/grey, while the others stay visible. That sort of map would work in cases where the standard one doesn't, and can even work for a space based one. The only major problem, for either design, would be trying to show the "entire" mapped world/universe. That **would** require a complex predictive system, far more complex that needed to simply generate a "local" map of how rooms connect in the spherical system. It a isometric system... Since there is a clearer grid, with reasonable expectations of where things "must be", the predictive system only really needs to deal with the rare sub areas that require one. Unless some nut adds 150 rooms to the game, with *no* clear directions, this isn't that bad. And a few lines that go way off into some blank area, where the mapper can "find" some place to put it, wouldn't be any where near as bad as dozens or hundreds of lines. Most of the map, even in a user made world, isn't going to be impossible to predictively map, or adjust to fit better.

In other words, a hybred might be useful. One that is predictive, like the spherical system, when needed, but more generally predictive, by gridded locations, for 90% of the content. I am sure there are systems that can do that, the real question is if any are a) opensource or b) described some place, where they can be adapted to our needs. Making one from scratch would probably be a serious pain. :(
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Posted by Onoitsu2   USA  (248 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #88 on Sun 02 Sep 2007 01:04 AM (UTC)
Message
Well I have ONE solution to this problem, but it is by no means a good one... Anyone know ASM, and of the possibility of reverse engineering zMud, by no means do I mean a recent version, but the free version that has the mapper. That might shed some light on methods that have already been implemented, and then we can take those theories and "working" methods and implement them in mushclient.

-Onoitsu2
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Posted by David Haley   USA  (3,881 posts)  [Biography] bio
Date Reply #89 on Sun 02 Sep 2007 01:11 AM (UTC)
Message
Surely you don't think this problem is so hard to solve as to require disassembling zMud to see how to implement a simple GUI? The problems are not technical, they are design issues of how to lay out a complex map, and how to create that map in the first place.

David Haley aka Ksilyan
Head Programmer,
Legends of the Darkstone

http://david.the-haleys.org
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