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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:28 pm   

Status of CMUD v4 and next bug fix version
 
I thought about putting this in a New Years letter, but it's getting a bit late for that this year. Sorry to those who enjoyed reading them. Basically nothing I planned for last year ever happened. Then again, GMCP happened and I never anticipated that. So 2010 was a decent year.

But this is about the plans for CMUD v4 and the whole "Unicode conversion" project. I've put a bunch of time into this and I am getting very frustrated with it all. Even though many of the big 3rd party components used in CMUD (like Developer Express) have updated Unicode versions, several 3rd party components do not. Then there is the CMUD code itself. Some of the CMUD code was taken from zMUD (like the DB Module, and some of the low level screen scrolling code). Some of that code is 10+ years old. Even in some newer code I use strings for data storage and make the 1-byte-per-character assumption.

Basically, converting CMUD to compile in Delphi 2010 (Unicode) just isn't working. I'm having to go through every line of source code looking for 1-byte assumptions. The compiler doesn't catch the important screw ups on this...it can only do so much. The end result, even if I get it to compile, is that CMUD v4 beta would likely be very unstable, but in the worst way: obscure unstable bugs that only happen in certain situations.

Honestly, I'm really tired of dealing with those kind of bugs. I'm really not sure making CMUD Unicode is really worth all of this effort. I've just started to enjoy the fact the v3.33 is pretty stable (at least judging by the decrease in bug reports and crash dumps). And the idea of going back in and messing with the low-level code from the ground up just gives me a massive headache.

I know that most existing CMUD users could care less about Unicode compliance. And you'd probably not like to see CMUD become unstable again either.

So for now I'm going to take a break from this. I am going back to the v3.33 source code version and will try to release a bug-fix 3.34 version within the next few weeks. I'd like to at least fix some of the issues that have already been reproduced, such as ansi color corruption and macros getting echoed to the command line (and a dozen or so other bugs). When I was working on the Delphi 2010 version for Unicode, I was very careful not to touch the existing 3.33 source code, so this shouldn't be a big problem. It will just take some time for me to get back into the mind-set of the bug fixes for 3.33.

Other than the 3.34 bug fix, I'm going to take a break from working on CMUD for at least a month. I went to Drupalcon in Chicago last week and really got fired up about working on an improved Drupal-based discussion forum system. So I might take a break from Delphi programming and do some website PHP programming for a while instead. I honestly think that new and existing CMUD users would probably benefit more from an improved web site than from Unicode support anyway. An improved web site (integrated with a bug tracking system) would also help decrease my daily support effort, which could give me more time for programming in the future. And it might actually be fun!

So that's the latest insight into my plans. At least for now. Comments and suggestions are always welcome of course.


Last edited by Zugg on Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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orphean
Apprentice


Joined: 21 Oct 2008
Posts: 147
Location: Olympia, WA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:01 am   
 
Yay, the New Year's update letter (in spirit if not actuality)!

Being an American I really don't care about Unicode support for MUD playing (I freely admit this is a selfish viewpoint). My only thought here is what about TeSSH? UTF-8 support really should be in there at some point. Just as an example, I read usenet (yes, I'm a dinosaur) through a command line client in a screen session up on my server. I have it all setup to use alot of Unicode line drawing characters so the thread display basically looks like what I'd get in a gui client. I wouldn't be able to use my setup with CMUD Pro/TeSSH unless Unicode support is in there. I'm not saying such support in CMUD Pro/TeSSH is a huge priority for me but it is something that would keep me using Putty and not TeSSH.

If not a big unicode conversion what's going to be the focus for CMUD v4? I hope by not doing the Unicode stuff it will free you up to focus on features. If you get some more free time it would be great to get an idea of the type of things you're considering for the next major version. I promise I won't hold you to any of it! Smile

Lastly, I think any time you spend getting a bug tracker up and running is time well spent. I hope the break from CMUD development lets you recharge your batteries, have some fun, and maybe get some nice website improvements out there.

Thanks for the update Zugg!
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Taz
GURU


Joined: 28 Sep 2000
Posts: 1395
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:38 am   
 
Are you able to ascertain the percentage of your client base that need or will benefit from Unicode support?

If that percentage is small then it doesn't make financial sense to spend your time developing it and here comes the contentious comment if you are expecting an influx of money from an Eastern market then don't it will be hacked within 24 hours of being available.
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Taz :)
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shalimar
GURU


Joined: 04 Aug 2002
Posts: 3801
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:12 pm   
 
Would the integrated bug tracking in the forum be jira style?
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CMUD Pro v3.34
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:58 pm   
 
Any bug tracking system (or other web site improvements) will use Drupal. So not using jira directly, no. But I want to build something that better integrates the discussion forum with the bug tracking system. For example, an easy way to "promote" a forum topic to a bug report. Reference bug reports within the forum, etc. It will likely be a custom solution based around various existing Drupal modules, plus some custom code/glue to bring it together in a seamless way. But that discussion will be happening over in the WebSite Issue Forum on this site and not in this CMUD forum.

As far as Unicode demand...you are correct that TeSSH could benefit. In fact, it was TeSSH that was driving the Unicode issue more than the MUD client. TeSSH took too long to develop and release and I lost several potential clients for it. So right now it depends upon how many people buy TeSSH as to whether I continue to focus on it or not. Another good reason to take a break and work on website stuff to see what kind of interest there really is in TeSSH.

As far as other future features for v4? Hard to say in detail at this point but I'm personally interested in some integrated chat-like features. Then there are the projects that have been in the New Years letters for a long time, such as a real SQL Database module, more mapper stuff (integrating zMapper functions), etc. Lots and lots of possibilities.
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slicertool
Magician


Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 459
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:55 pm   
 
Yay mapper stuff! Of course, I don't use it to map existing areas, but for design layout work for coding... So, more features in regards to that would be nice.
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Ithilion
Wanderer


Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:32 pm   
 
SQLdb module and mapper upgrade/updates is what I want personally, but I can wait :) *shrug* heh

But otherwise, thanks for the update :)
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k_starling
Beginner


Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:57 pm   
 
Honestly, instead of adding a bunch of new (and buggy) fancy-schmancy features, I think it would be better to do a major cleanup of the existing cmud version first. Don't get me wrong, I think cmud is a great client, but at the same time it can be extremely buggy. At this point, the ONLY thing preventing me from attempting a move to MUSHclient is that I cannot code or script for it. If I could code Lua or whatever it is that MUSHclient uses, I would drop cmud, end of story. It is unfortunate that I feel this way.

I'm not talking a 3.34 or whatever. I think there needs to be a serious, major cleanup from top to bottom.

I would like be able to de-maximize the client window and have the client not hang when I re-maximize it. I would like to have the contents of the package editor not disappear randomly. I would like to have crashes not corrupt my settings. I would like to have font settings actually stay set to what I want, rather than defaulting back to Courier for NO REASON the next time I start the client. These are annoying, sloppy bugs and they should be FIXED!

3.34 looks like a good first step, but IMHO it should be just that - a first step. If Cmud were heavily debugged, top to bottom, this in itself would warrant a new version number. I have no doubt whatsoever that such a debugged/streamlined Cmud would blow MUSHclient out of the water, along with everything else.

So, for v4, DON'T ADD ANYTHING. Just fix what's already here instead of adding new stuff that we don't need that won't work.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:47 am   
 
I have no plans to completely revamp the scripting. You can already code in Lua...but that isn't the issue. It's the actual API interface between Lua and the MUD Client that is very different between CMUD and MUSHclient and that will never change. The two clients just do things in different ways. The fact that you can use Lua in both doesn't really matter...you still need to learn the specific scripting API for any client that you use. If you cannot code or script for CMUD, then ask some specific questions in a separate forum post about how to do something and I'm sure plenty of people here will help you with your script. That's how you learn any new software program.

Your supposed "bugs" are items that we can help fix if you make clear posts about each bug and give us the exact procedure and steps to reproduce it. Font settings work fine for most people. Settings do not get corrupted for most people. Maximizing the window works fine for most people. So your experience is not the norm. Getting help to track down why it isn't working well for you should be covered in a separate post. We had 2 YEARS of beta testing debugging in v3.x. Maybe you should have been a beta tester to help track down more of these issues. The reality is that no program is bug free and some people will always have problems, either related to their specific computer configuration, user script errors, or many other issues that are nearly impossible to track down by a one-person development company.

In any case, bug fixing and stability are always #1 on my priority list. Nothing I do in v4 or any future version will change that priority. But at the same time I'm not going to stop improving existing features or adding new features that people want. Different people want different things and doing BOTH features and bug fixes has always been the way that I have worked for 15 years and that isn't going to change.
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mandy
Novice


Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:17 pm   
 
K - I fully understand what you are saying but in defense of Zugg and to expand on what Zugg has already stated.. for the years that I have used zMud/cMud, I have seen very well that bugs and stability is Zugg's high priority. I will admit I have had my struggles with cMud and there has been a time or two where I wanted to throw it out the window but those were also the times that I was using the beta versions and Zugg was actively working on fixing problems with stability. Every day there was a new beta update for a little time period there.

Also, note - Zugg is in business- providing a product and service to his customers - us mudders who want a client. We do like a lot of features. I'm mostly content with the program as it is (mostly because the program has surpassed my skill level of coding) yet Zugg seems to keep that in mind because his client is so easy to use even for someone who has no experience or the user who is a coding genius.

I have downloaded clients before where I could not even figure out how to CONNECT to the mud, much less make a simple trigger. On the flip side of that - I've also used clients which required a complete uninstall/reinstall every three days - to a weekly basis in order to use due to stability issues. I believe Zugg has surpassed all other clients that I have tried for stability and features I want/use in one. Oh - and you can't beat the customer service that he provides as well.

Zugg, When do you have time to eat? sleep? :D
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:22 pm   
 
Just updating this to report that I'm hoping for a v3.35 bug fix release sometime later in July.
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istillsun
Newbie


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:18 pm   
 
Hi Zugg, Can you give us a more exact date about v4's comming? As a user in a non-English speaking country, I really look forward :-)
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:24 pm   
 
I never give specific release dates. And lately things have been delayed because of a death in the family (Chiara's grandfather).

v4.x is on hold indefinitely right now. I'm having an internal debate between adding more features and more bloat that few people really care about vs just continuing to work on stability. Having recently gotten annoyed at Microsoft for continued feature bloat/creep in MS Office, I'm looking at my own stuff and wondering about the same thing. At some point CMUD should just be stable and "done".

v3.35 is still planned. Hopefully I'll get to it this month. Just bug fixes though.

All plans for Unicode support in CMUD have been completely canceled. Sorry to those people who need Unicode in Asia, but there just wasn't much business case for all of the work it would take and all of the new bugs it would add for everybody else. The Asian MUD market (and people who would pay for a Unicode client) is very tiny.
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hogarius
Adept


Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 216
Location: islands.genesismuds.org

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:27 pm   
 
I'm sorry to hear about Chiara's grandfather, Zugg. Please let her know that her family is in my thoughts and prayers.
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Amorelia
Beginner


Joined: 09 Oct 2012
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:12 pm   
 
Zugg wrote:

v3.35 is still planned. Hopefully I'll get to it this month. Just bug fixes though.


This was written over a year ago, so I'm going to conclude that CMUD is as-is, for better or worse. I do like CMUD, it works, it looks good, would even have been prepared to pay a small annual stipend to help keep it supported - but I already encountered issues within just a few days, and the absence of support gives me genuine cause to pause ... don't really think we should have to pay Retail for something no longer supported, so I'll be reluctantly checking out the other options.
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Chiara
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Sep 2000
Posts: 346
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:36 am   
 
Amorelia it depends on how you define support. Is there ongoing development? Not right now. Are there a lot of people who are available to help you learn to use the program, work around any known issues, and support the community, then yes, there is lots of support here.
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oldguy2
Wizard


Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 1201

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:20 pm   
 
Amorelia wrote:
Zugg wrote:

v3.35 is still planned. Hopefully I'll get to it this month. Just bug fixes though.


This was written over a year ago, so I'm going to conclude that CMUD is as-is, for better or worse. I do like CMUD, it works, it looks good, would even have been prepared to pay a small annual stipend to help keep it supported - but I already encountered issues within just a few days, and the absence of support gives me genuine cause to pause ... don't really think we should have to pay Retail for something no longer supported, so I'll be reluctantly checking out the other options.


What issues did you encounter?
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Amorelia
Beginner


Joined: 09 Oct 2012
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:40 pm   
 
oldguy2 wrote:

What issues did you encounter?

See other thread about SQL errors.

However, given that there's a workaround and there is support here, I decided to buy. It seems a quality product that generally works ... would be nice to see the back of "quirks", but I've not hit any deal-breaker problem.
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keeperofkeys
Beginner


Joined: 15 Sep 2017
Posts: 11
Location: Victoria , Australia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:12 am   
 
Any more updates or progress on this?

Id also like too see unicode support for cmud v4
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shalimar
GURU


Joined: 04 Aug 2002
Posts: 3801
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:07 pm   
 
Unfortunately not, Zugg has since moved on to a better paying job.
Unless something has changed I do not know about, CMUD is done being developed.
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AMD Phenom II x6 1055T 2.8GHz 16GB
CMUD Pro v3.34
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keeperofkeys
Beginner


Joined: 15 Sep 2017
Posts: 11
Location: Victoria , Australia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:25 pm   
 
Ahh I see, Good on him then.

Perhaps one day he might release the source code or maybe hire volunteers to finish off his good work.
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shalimar
GURU


Joined: 04 Aug 2002
Posts: 3801
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:48 am   
 
That is also unlikely as he paid for modules from third-party vendors, which he is unable to release without their permission.
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Windows 10 Home Premium 64-bit
AMD Phenom II x6 1055T 2.8GHz 16GB
CMUD Pro v3.34
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noname@wilke.me
Newbie


Joined: 23 Jul 2018
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:10 pm   
 
I'm still using CMUD on a daily basis and I know alot of people do the same: It's the only client I really appreciate fully. I hope that Zugg someday will get back into developing CMUD, it's an awesome client and it has such more potential in it.
I will never stop hoping for development in the future.
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