Release time

Development directions, tasks, and features being actively implemented or pursued by the development team.

Re: Release time

Postby klauss » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:38 pm

Yep, it's the same idea you can see in the XML - probably the XML is far more intuitive and easy to read.

The asteroid units contain subunits, and each subunit is a rock.

So an asteroid field is a lot of those subunits randomly distributed - when you put them in a .system file with the <asteroid> tag, they orbit each other automatically.

About removing the XML, if I could be absolutely sure they're not needed, I'd do that. Thing is, I have some uncertainty left, I'm in your situation, guessing, albeit I've had more time to guess ;)
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Re: Release time

Postby pheonixstorm » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:49 pm

Yeah, the same can be said of the planet xml files regarding the market variations as well... so many xml files.. are they used or not?? ACE SAFEMODE ANYBODY???
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Re: Release time

Postby ace123 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:48 am

pheonixstorm wrote:Yeah, the same can be said of the planet xml files regarding the market variations as well... so many xml files.. are they used or not?? ACE SAFEMODE ANYBODY???

Read this:
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/wiki/ ... it_Systems
It's still accurate since nothing here has ever changed in a major way.

All the system and universe XML files are used, though you're encouraged only to make changes to the universe/milky_way.xml files, unless you want to make minor tweaks to the starting system or something.

We have a lot of other XML files which are still used. For example: weapon_list.xml, and communications/* and some of the XAI scripts. .mission files are used, but only for some initialization procedure--they no longer serve any major purpose. I'm sure I missed a couple, but most stuff except unit-related are still using XML.

I'm in favor of any rewrites that make this content easier to edit--for example making a big CSV spreadsheet instead of a whole lot of XML files, but in the case of the autogenerated systems I don't know if it's worthwhile.

(just be glad that we're not still using C-flat, the xml-based programming language in cmd/script/c_alike, but make sure to brush away the cobwebs before entering that directory)
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Re: Release time

Postby shenle » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:58 am

pheonixstorm wrote:There is a release thread I started but its fallen down in the posts a bit. Im still trying to get stuff together for it. I was hoping someone would have a nice 3d cockpit we could use for the llama at least but I dont see that happening.

Deus sent me some nice new asteroids I would like to get in the game but still scratching my head on exactly how to get them in or were.

Last piece of the puzzle is getting win7 64bit to run I guess before we release.. I would also like to see a working mac binary but I see that as being almost impossible at the moment. If we had donors it would be nice to get a 2-3 year old mac so we could get the ball rolling in that department too. Oh well, some things cant be helped.


I'm sure I have an installation of an older version of OSX on my desktop at home somewhere... I'll see if I can get a mac binary up based on the latest svn. I have no experience with developing/compiling on OSX though so it may take a while. Alternatively I do have a PowerPC G4 mac that should still be in working condition (even though I haven't turned it on in years) but I don't think we should go there...

As for the 32/64-bit problem, I am becoming more and more convinced that it has to do with my crappy integrated video card and its associated x64 Windows drivers (even though VS runs very nicely on the same machine when booted in x64 Ubuntu).
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Re: Release time

Postby klauss » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:36 pm

ace123 wrote:I'm in favor of any rewrites that make this content easier to edit--for example making a big CSV spreadsheet instead of a whole lot of XML files, but in the case of the autogenerated systems I don't know if it's worthwhile.

I would say that changing file format isn't as big an improvement as a custom editing tool would be.

Even if it were 1000 XML files, if we had an editor that lets you browse and easily change all that XML, it would be a great thing.

units.csv is unbearably unintuitive when it comes to subunits, weapon mounts, upgrades, and anything that has to contain a list of items. It's just too flat to be able to embed a list of items in it and be easy to read.

There was some talk of separating units.csv into "aspects" - unit_stats.csv, unit_mounts.csv, etc. Might be nice. But I still think it would be a ton nicer to have a unit editor, regardless of the data format used.

In any case, the files I was saying are deprecated and no longer used, are these old XML unit files, which were all put together in units.csv. AFAIK, those are no longer used... right?
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Re: Release time

Postby ace123 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:08 pm

Correct. Old xml units (Xunit) are no longer used, and the code to read them has probably been disabled or removed. These files used to reside in the unit folders with the same name as the unit, but with no .xml extension -- some of them may have .blank or .template, just like in the csv. If you see any of these, you can delete them.

XML meshes are also afaik no longer supported, so there shouldn't be any of that xml either in the unit directories.

So I think the only things that should be in a unit folder are the BFXM meshes, the textures for that unit, and the HUD sprites so they show up correctly when you target them.
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Re: Release time

Postby pheonixstorm » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:34 pm

klauss wrote:
ace123 wrote:I'm in favor of any rewrites that make this content easier to edit--for example making a big CSV spreadsheet instead of a whole lot of XML files, but in the case of the autogenerated systems I don't know if it's worthwhile.

I would say that changing file format isn't as big an improvement as a custom editing tool would be.
You can use a lot of different commercial games as an example. Simcity 4 keeps everything needed for its "unit" (a building along with lot textures, overlays, lot size, props..) in a sc4lot file (if I remember the extention correctly). For custom lots you will usually have the lot file and a dat file or just a dat file that includes all the information needed by that lot including other files such as the units model, model texture, and any other material related to the lot such as being transit enabled, police, hospital, school capacity etc. This also brings us back to another question.. combing all the games data into larger files. Either a file containing data for a unit ie model, data, subunit, hud, etc or into larger files such as the .hak/.mod/.biff? (Neverwinter Nights) .stuff (EveOnline) .mpq (World of Warcraft)
klauss wrote:Even if it were 1000 XML files, if we had an editor that lets you browse and easily change all that XML, it would be a great thing.

units.csv is unbearably unintuitive when it comes to subunits, weapon mounts, upgrades, and anything that has to contain a list of items. It's just too flat to be able to embed a list of items in it and be easy to read.
That is an understatement. In its current form it is not human readable by any stretch of the imagination. There are so many variables that at first glance you can't tell what it is or why its even there. Granted, others are rather easy to figure out.. but it doesn't offset the confusion.

klauss wrote:There was some talk of separating units.csv into "aspects" - unit_stats.csv, unit_mounts.csv, etc. Might be nice. But I still think it would be a ton nicer to have a unit editor, regardless of the data format used.

In any case, the files I was saying are deprecated and no longer used, are these old XML unit files, which were all put together in units.csv. AFAIK, those are no longer used... right?

If I can get a list of what out of units.csv gets used for planets, ships, installations, etc w/o all the unwanted and unneeded garbage clogging the pipe it would make creating an editor go a lot smoother. I have the parts list done, that was easy compared to units.csv.. but there were so many xml files that I didnt know if they were used or not it made it drove me nuts, so I have been continueing development of mpledit just to get a working featureset in place and running. The current (and nonfunctional for some reason part of it is an autoupdate feature.
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Re: Release time

Postby klauss » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:50 am

pheonixstorm wrote:If I can get a list of what out of units.csv gets used for planets, ships, installations, etc w/o all the unwanted and unneeded garbage clogging the pipe it would make creating an editor go a lot smoother.


I'll get back to you with this.

IIRC, it says so in milky_way.xml.

Ya, I remember now. Some entries specify an explicit "unit". Say, Bio_Diverse has m_class, and in units.csv there's an "m_class__planets" unit, so I guess they're appended with "__planets". When there's no explicit "unit", the unit name is derived from the texture name, being the file part (ie: planets/m_class.texture -> m_class)
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Re: Release time

Postby breese » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:28 pm

klauss wrote:units.csv is unbearably unintuitive when it comes to subunits, weapon mounts, upgrades, and anything that has to contain a list of items. It's just too flat to be able to embed a list of items in it and be easy to read.

Or easy to parse.

Additionally, as different units have different features, it is difficult to see which rows are relevant to which columns.
klauss wrote:There was some talk of separating units.csv into "aspects" - unit_stats.csv, unit_mounts.csv, etc. Might be nice. But I still think it would be a ton nicer to have a unit editor, regardless of the data format used.

I think that the layout of the units.csv file is just a symptom of a deeper problem:

The Unit class is the base class of all in-space entities (e.g. ships, stations, planets, stars, missiles, and nebulae), but it contains lots of functionality that is only relevant to some of them. Can nebulae be damaged? Do planets have afterburners? Do stars have navigation computers or HUDs? Can missiles carry cargo?
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Re: Release time

Postby klauss » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:37 pm

breese wrote:The Unit class is the base class of all in-space entities (e.g. ships, stations, planets, stars, missiles, and nebulae), but it contains lots of functionality that is only relevant to some of them. Can nebulae be damaged? Do planets have afterburners? Do stars have navigation computers or HUDs? Can missiles carry cargo?

That too, but that's a far deeper refactoring that what can be accomplished on a short time span.
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Re: Release time

Postby safemode » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:44 pm

indeed. the refactorization of Unit has it's own thread.

Playing with it would likely be 100% invasive. Meaning, you would have to touch pretty much everything, including python scripts.

Only someone who really knows the codebase should bother even wasting their time attempting to play with Unit. Otherwise you'll just spend a lot of time getting absolutely no where. Better to work in other less intrusive areas and leave Unit till bigger more visible issues are solved.
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Re: Release time

Postby pheonixstorm » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:57 pm

Or just redesign it completely if a refactor would change so much. Create a wrapper for the current unit and new code for it then slowly phase out all of the old unit code. Would probably be easier than refactoring the whole thing. There is a lot that would probably do better with a complete redesign over a refactor.
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Re: Release time

Postby klauss » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:09 pm

Ok, packaging is mostly done, mostly working in ubuntu (I found an ubuntu beta-tester :D ), debian and openSUSE.

I've created -debuginfo packages for all distros that have them, so we can receive proper backtraces when things blow ;)

So I say we publish the beta1 release, after I apply the latest changes in SVN to the build service projects. Do you agree?

Can we ship an installer for windows too? Does NSIS work in wine? Perhaps I could try myself if it does.

BTW: we can release delta rpms for rpm-based distros, but ubuntu and debian (debian-based distros) don't have delta packages to my knowledge.
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Re: Release time

Postby CLoneWolf » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:57 pm

klauss wrote:BTW: we can release delta rpms for rpm-based distros, but ubuntu and debian (debian-based distros) don't have delta packages to my knowledge.

Well... Debian has debdelta, supported by cupt, an apt replacement, but I have no idea how well it works. :roll:
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Re: Release time

Postby klauss » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:09 pm

Interesting...
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