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Thread: The Apprentice's Workshop (an area editor)

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    Default The Apprentice's Workshop (an area editor)

    The Apprentice's Workshop is a web app that aspires to be a viable area editor for you -- my friends. I am not a programmer by trade, nor am I a web developer, nor even an area author. However, the need for a modern, usable TFC area editor has been weighing heavily on me for some time. Given my lack of qualifications and the lack of success in this arena in the past, feel free to set your expectations to nil. Further, no one asked me to do this and I make no promises.

    That said, things have progressed far enough that I feel good about the technical hurdles yet to come and so, as requested, I'm opening this thread for any public discourse that may be desired.

    The work-in-progress app is available at the below url. At present, token registration is required but otherwise authentication and user rights are not implemented (i.e., everyone sees everything, so don't divulge your secrets).
    https://apprentices-workshop.herokuapp.com/

    My one request regarding this thread would be to reserve it for discussion, Q&A, etc. Problems with the app should be formally posted to the issues section of the associated github repository (https://github.com/Gwyrdain/apprentices-workshop/issues). Corrections to area file formatting, etc. should be posted to the Area Writing section of the TFC wiki (http://wiki.tfcmud.com/index.php/Area_Writing).

  2. #2

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    This makes me VERY VERY HAPPY.
    Thank you, Gwyrdain, for your efforts on this project.

  3. #3

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    Just out of curiosity I will be taking one of the area files and see if it loads on the test port.

    Is there anything I should be looking at in particular with the editor?

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    You can try, but it shouldn't work yet. Resets aren't done (so no mobs or objs can appear).

    As far as what is done, I would say that folks should try two things:
    1. Treat it like you were writing an area and see if it does what you expect or requires some process gyrations that seem silly. This I am interesting in since I haven't been through the process before and therefore can't entirely put myself in the user's shoes.

    2. Try to do things that "shouldn't be allowed" and report. I've put in a bunch of validations (but not all) that I could think of either because they seem implied or are explicitly mentioned on wiki. Likewise for stuff that it should allow but doesn't.

    I also did a bit of trying to duplicate a known thing (e.g., a room, an , obj, etc. from Nati's Funny Farm) to check the output vs the funny farm file. More of that is probably warranted
    Last edited by Gwyrdain; February 6th, 2015 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Removed junk data from resets block.

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    Also, I would have picked area numbers at random so it might duplicate vnums on test port. But that you can fix by editing the area number in the app: Go to an area, do edit, and change "area number." All area vnums will derive from that.

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    Correcting the above. At this point resets are available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokugawa View Post
    Just out of curiosity I will be taking one of the area files and see if it loads on the test port.
    Is there anything I should be looking at in particular with the editor?
    I was playing around with the file that I have been building, and wanted to see if it would open in Sirak's Muditor (SM), as a prelude to seeing if it would function on the mud. (It doesn't: Gives an error I haven't ever seen, and shuts itself down.) Tried to figure out why, and wasn't able to. Was talking through the issue, and sent him the file for a look-see. He was able to load it on port 2000, and it functioned. So not sure what about the AW files is freaking out SM, but I haven't been able to open any files cross-platform just yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordir View Post
    So not sure what about the AW files is freaking out SM[...]
    Fixed... even though this wasn't a properly posted "issue". :P

    Muditor was looking for some extra linefeeds as far as I can tell. It will still choke on a #STRINGS block if you have one, but I changed AW to not write unused blocks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordir View Post
    Tried to figure out why, and wasn't able to. Was talking through the issue, and sent him the file for a look-see. He was able to load it on port 2000, and it functioned. So not sure what about the AW files is freaking out SM, but I haven't been able to open any files cross-platform just yet.
    I was the "him," in case that wasn't clear.

  10. #10

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    er, I guess I just sort of... uh... forgot to include that part. But everyone should have _automagically known_ that I was referring to you!

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    Things that would be nice to have are below.


    • Have the ability to disable certain spells, wear locations and extra flags from being available to authors. For example, all named amulet spells, light or decoration wear slots and nodrop, noremove extra flags.

    • If possible do something to check for objects and mobs which have not loaded anywhere. Not sure if you could run the resets through memory or something to see if there is no reset for a given mob or item. One of the things I check when reviewing an area is to make sure every mob and object is loaded. If not a reset might have been missed.
    • Enable the hard coding of 100 as the quantity for Equip, Give and Place resets.
    • Objects with an apply should have the (Magic) flag automatically enabled. This is something I currently have to check manually.
    • Mobs should automatically be flagged Stay Area, with the ability for admins to override this flag
    • Doors and door resets should both be automatically generated when you create a door or door reset. Currently you can create a reset for a door, but then forget to set the door in the room record. This causes the test port to crash.

  12. #12

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    I got The Boneyard to load on the test port. Though I did have issues with it.

    I think it's due to the area header. I put in an old area header and now it loads. I compared a new area header to the one being written to The Boneyard and the Revision line and Updated line are after the zone name not before the 'End' in the new area header format.

    If you want to try this again this weekend I'll be around to help.

    Thanks for all your work on this.

    -Tokugawa

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    The info from Tynian's note indicated that order was irrelevant except for the 'Fomat 2.' Regardless, I have updated to more closely match the examples given by: (a) adjusting the rev, update lines as you suggest, (b) not including "description" if there isn't one (it was writing a blank description previously), (c) moved flags down the end, and (d) adding an extra linefeed before the final "End".

    Have a gander.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokugawa View Post
    Things that would be nice to have are below.[...]
    It would be a super big help to both of us if you could post these as issues on the github page (https://github.com/Gwyrdain/apprentices-workshop/issues). I can put them up there as my own check like, but it's better if you do so you can see comments and track progress.

    Before I discuss, I want to convey a work-in-progress idea that I'm thinking about. Right now at the bottom of each area's main page an 'Area Review' box has appeared. My idea here is to run through the area and report info, warnings, and errors. Info would be things that are no big deal but you want to know about them in case you didn't intend them. Warnings are things that you need to review (and the AC needs to review?), are more odd, or require special permission. Errors are things known to be "bad." Info and Warnings are to be reviewed. Errors will preclude writing out the file. A few examples related to exits are implemented at the moment:

    Info: Loopback and one-way exits.
    Warning: Illogical exits.
    Error: Bad exits.

    Here are my thoughts on the above:
    1. Disabling unapproved stuff: I was thinking of keeping these in the editor, but add them to the area review as warnings so the AC can come along and do an easy check.
    2. Yes, check for unloaded stuff and add to warnings. Done
    3. Yes just write limit 100 on EGP. Done
    4. On auto-magic flag with applies... is there EVER a case where an item with applies but no magic flag could be approved? If so, this should be in review warnings. If not, it should be auto-magic. Done. Any object created before won't get the flag auto-set and needs to be updated manually, however area review will show this as an error for easy correction.
    5. Stay-area is currently set by default. Will add to warning when this is "unchecked." Done
    6. Door resets. This changed in the last week so that resets are now controlled at the exit level rather than as manually created resets. This issue should be closed unless you're seeing something still.
    Last edited by Gwyrdain; February 14th, 2015 at 10:51 AM.

  15. #15

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    It would be easier on me when reviewing the zones that there is no way for disabled or unapproved things to not have the possibility of being added to a zone using the editor. It takes a lot of time to change something by hand so I would still prefer if the named amulet affects are not available. Maybe instead of it being hard coded to be disabled there could be an Admin interface of sorts where it could be disabled / enabled at a global level? This might make it easier to change if something needs to be adjusted.

    Equipment with an affect should always have a Magic flag. Would be nice to have this as a warning also if that is not the case in the Area Review section.

    That section will be a great benefit to authors. Thanks for including that. I was commenting to Cordir yesterday how much I like that feature.

    I'll add the other suggestions to github later today. I am about to leave for awhile. I'll also try a zone on the test port again. I am not sure if the moving around of those two lines will help it load but that was something I noticed.

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    Made some updates to the above post, so no need to reiterate them on github.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyrdain View Post
    The info from Tynian's note indicated that order was irrelevant except for the 'Fomat 2.' Regardless, I have updated to more closely match the examples given by: (a) adjusting the rev, update lines as you suggest, (b) not including "description" if there isn't one (it was writing a blank description previously), (c) moved flags down the end, and (d) adding an extra linefeed before the final "End".

    Have a gander.
    Turns out this looks like it was a problem with the test port. It's working now with no modification from me.

    Thanks for looking into it.

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    FYI, please go to town. All major functionality should be available now, except the following: (a) importing (which is a bear to do seemingly), (b) some extended triggers area available only in a generic sense, (c) the mysterious and undocumented "I" reset, and (d) a seemingly unlimited list of "area review" validations that need to go in. Beyond this, productivity enhancements, beautification, and additional utility for the AC's. are on the table.

    In any case, if you want to track on any of the above issues and be notified on updates you will want to watch the associated github repository (https://github.com/Gwyrdain/apprentices-workshop/) and possibly review the currently posted "issues" to see what changes are requested, coming, prioritized, etc. On the other hand, I realize that very few folks around here are opinionated, so no comments are really necessary... :P

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