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Zugg
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:41 pm   

CMUD floating command line changes
 
There is a very obscure feature in zMUD that is going away in CMUD and I wanted to see if anyone thought this was a bad idea.

Normally in zMUD, your command line is attached to the bottom of your MUD window. When you open multiple MUD windows, you get multiple command lines, each associated with the specific MUD.

If you right-click and go to the Window Options, you can turn off the attached command line. This is useful for windows that don't need a command line, such as "tell" windows or other child windows.

The obscure "feature" in zMUD is that if you turn off the attached command line on *all* of your MUD windows, then zMUD creates a separate "floating" command line. This is a common command line that will send the command that you type to whatever MUD window currently has focus.

There are several problems with this. First, it can be difficult to determine which MUD window has focus, especially in a docked layout. Second, you get a "global" command history and if the special characters are set differently for the different MUD windows then this is worthless. For example, pressing up-arrow to recall a command like #RECALL and then having a MUD window focused where the command character is not # would cause a problem.

But mainly this "floating" command line just gets in the way. It has it's own set of window tabs (see other post about this going away anyway). And it has problems being docked. It's easy to get this command line window hiding behind some other window.

This floating command line is left over from some old stuff in zMUD. Back in the MDI days, each MUD windows was a separate MDI child window and there was a "global" command line at the bottom of the main parent application window. That's where it came from.

But I'm guessing that most people don't use this anymore and just use the attached command line at the bottom of each MUD window. This is really more intuitive and there is no way to "loose" your command line behind something else and it's always obvious which MUD will get your command.

So in CMUD I'm planning to get rid of the global "floating" command line window and just stick with the normal command line at the bottom of the MUD window itself. You will still be able to turn this command line on and off (so you can get rid of it for child windows just like in zMUD).

What do people think of this change?
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Taz
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Joined: 28 Sep 2000
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:04 pm   
 
Totally sensible, I have in the past ended up with the floating command line and as you said got it lost behind other windows. If each window has it's own command line what use is an extra one anyway?
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mr_kent
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Joined: 10 Oct 2000
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:12 am   
 
Taz wrote:
If each window has it's own command line what use is an extra one anyway?


I put it under my CRT monitor to keep it at eye level. I guess I could use a book instead.

Ditch it.
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Taz
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:24 pm   
 
So a week later I find a totally ridiculous use for the extra floating command line. See post 91215.
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adamwalker
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Joined: 12 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:54 pm   
 
lol. i wouldnt it rediculous. but isnt that more relating to multiple status bars... not command lines.

the reason im tryint to achive 2 command lines is because i like to display a lot of persistant info like herb balances and afflictions in a at-a-glance way

:P

but i do hope zap will make my interface issues a thing of the past. zapp implimentation definately will
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Taz
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:49 am   
 
Read the very last post on page 3 of zApp and eMobius plans for August (and wish list) for details of how CMUD is not actually built using zApp but rather certain parts of zApp are being built into CMUD.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:33 am   
 
That's true, but I'm still using zApp technology in zMUD and you *will* eventually see zApp XML used to create custom status windows in CMUD. I think I already mentioned this somewhere already. So doing multiple status bars/windows will eventually be very easy in CMUD.
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Taz
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:39 am   
 
Is "zApp technology" different to "certain parts of zApp" then? Don't take that the wrong way no offense meant I'm just interested is all.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:04 am   
 
There are several aspects to using zApp technology to create CMUD:

1) In writing zApp, I developed many powerful visual components and integrated them with a theming engine. For example, the memo editor control, tree views, grids, etc. You see all of these controls used in the zApp demos. CMUD uses the compiled versions of all of these components rather than using the standard Windows and Delphi components. So, for example, edit boxes are not the normal Delphi TEdit control, but are a themed variation of the Developer Express cxTextEdit control. This allows CMUD to work with the zApp Theme engine. This is part of the first CMUD beta release.

2) zApp also developed a powerful scripting engine based upon the Microsoft Scripting Host. Unlike the normal MSSCRIPT.OCX that was used in zMUD, the scripting engine in zApp allows multiple scripting languages to be freely mixed. Many powerful libraries were written for zApp, such as the string library, and those are available via scripting. While this scripting engine is not yet used in the first beta release of CMUD, it will be put into CMUD very early in the beta process. This will allow people to use multiple scripting languages more easily than in zMUD and will add a lot of power to the scripting with the zApp libraries.

3) The other big aspect of zApp was the XML user interface description. This allowed you to create powerful user interfaces using XML scripting. This technology will be used later in the CMUD beta process to allow you to create user-defined forms and screens (custom status screens, etc). This is the part of zApp that relates to the multiple status bar discussion.

So, those are the major parts of zApp that impact CMUD. There is no way CMUD woud be possible without all of the work that went into zApp last year.
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Taz
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:17 pm   
 
Thanks very much for the explanation, I think out of those 3 things I'm most looking forward to the enhanced scripting Very Happy
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MattLofton
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Joined: 23 Dec 2000
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:37 pm   
 
Quote:

2) zApp also developed a powerful scripting engine based upon the Microsoft Scripting Host. Unlike the normal MSSCRIPT.OCX that was used in zMUD, the scripting engine in zApp allows multiple scripting languages to be freely mixed. Many powerful libraries were written for zApp, such as the string library, and those are available via scripting. While this scripting engine is not yet used in the first beta release of CMUD, it will be put into CMUD very early in the beta process. This will allow people to use multiple scripting languages more easily than in zMUD and will add a lot of power to the scripting with the zApp libraries.


I really hope this doesn't ruin the simplicity of ZMud's language. After spending a lot of quality time with PHP, I'm not too sure I want to (re)learn a similarly complex language.
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Rainchild
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Joined: 10 Oct 2000
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:27 pm   
 
CMUD was always going to support the simple ZScript, but in addition the more complex scripting host can be used. In fact you can probably find a PHP plugin for the scripting host so you can write all your mud scripts in PHP... it's pretty flexable.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:47 am   
 
You will only notice the scripting changes if you use an alternative scripting language such as VBScript. And even then, previous zMUD VBScript scripts should still work fine. What you get in CMUD are new libraries with more function calls, better COM interaction, and the ability to mix scripting languages. So this really has no effect on the simplicity of zScript.
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Taz
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:07 am   
 
Will the libraries be documented somewhere on this site? Or perhaps are as part of zApp documentation already?
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Tarn
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:57 pm   
 
Taz wrote:
Will the libraries be documented somewhere on this site? Or perhaps are as part of zApp documentation already?


Follow the menu Support->Documentation
Pick zApp, then zApp Manual. Sections of the docs are on the left. Of particular interest are the string and math libraries.

-Tarn
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