A gap in time

Yeah, sorry about that. My day job tends to get busiest through the tax season, and I kind of got lost in work for a bit there.

It’s not a great look for things here, when I post that I’m still working away and then disappear for a while without another update. But, I’m getting back into some GCA headspace, and hope to get back to what I was working on as soon as I can make my brain work again.

Still working away

I haven’t posted an update for a bit, but since it may be another little bit before I have anything to post, I wanted to let folks know that work hasn’t stopped. In fact, I’m currently spending more time than usual on GCA. However, I’m rejiggering things to support something new and different* in how the data is managed and presented, and I won’t be posting new build notes until that’s all working the way I need it to. At least mostly.

So, still here, still working away.

Next build notes will be up when I’m done with this thing, and I promise you that the build notes will not even remotely reflect the amount of work that this rejiggering represents.

* new and different in GCA, anyway

Addressing some broken bits

b102

* Miscellaneous

If you click on one of the point boxes in the Status bar, and you’re in Classic view, GCA will change to that tab.

When saving a trait to a GDF file, GCA was erroneously deleting the step() tag for attributes. Deleting the tag for other trait types is correct, but it is required for attributes to function correctly. That is now fixed.

Fixed a crash bug in the Save as Book function of the Build Campaign Book window.

Some bugs were identified in the new updater code in GCA, so those have been addressed.

The XML writing code for GCABonus overlooked writing out target name extensions, turning all specific bonuses into general bonuses for all saved and re-loaded characters. That has been fixed.

When pasting traits into a character, GCA was not correctly handling a temporary parent-child relationship tag that was being created automatically as part of XML processing, but wasnt’ needed for the pasting process. This caused problems when the character was saved and loaded again later. That temporary tag is now being removed during processing.

* GCA5.XSD

Updated with the missing ‘targetext’ element for GCABonus.

Bits of 101

b101

* Miscellaneous

GCA now creates a charbulk() tag for the weapon’s character-specific bulk(). It uses the simplest math version, which means bonuses can be targeted to ‘bulk’, but GCA expects it to be just simple integer math stuff. All places where GCA displays weapon info have been updated to show charbulk().

I have changed how GCA applies the maximum applicable ST cap for muscle-powered weapons. Normally, three times the weapon’s ST value is the maximum, and GCA was doing that for melee weapons, but not for thrown weapons. GCA will now apply a ST cap to all muscle-powered weapons, melee or thrown or whatever. However, because it’s now easier to apply this to weapons that perhaps aren’t actually meant to be capped (either by RAW or in your campaign), GCA now supports a new stcap() tag (mode-based and math-enabled) to turn off capping, or to change the multiplier value if desired. Use stcap(no) to turn off the max ST cap, or use stcap(X), replacing X with a value, to replace the 3*ST cap with an X*ST cap.

GCA should save/load the new stcap() and charbulk() data.

Fixed the oversight in Loadout Manager that caused sorting by the values in the Qty or Wgt columns to be done incorrectly.

Made a small change to the Protection Box paint routine.

Updated a bunch of places in code to perform explicit type conversions, rather than implicit ones, and to change some instances of late-binding to early-binding where possible.

With loadouts, characters now have the option of having all unassigned items treated as if they’re part of the currently active loadout. The default behavior requires that for any item to be included in a loadout it has to be specifically added to that loadout. This new option will include the unassigned items as part of the current loadout for purposes of encumbrance and activation/deactivation (if you’re using that).

Updated the Encumbrance & Move box to show “Loadout (+ Unassigned)” for the current loadout if the IncludeUnassignedItemsInCurrentLoadout option is enabled.

I have added an interface to Options for GCA’s automatic duplicate trait refusal, so it can be turned on or off by trait type. I have also changed the default settings to begin with auto-refusal of dupes turned off, except for attributes (where duplicates are never allowed), and for spells and templates, where IMO auto-refusing dupes still makes more sense.

* GCA5.XSD

Updated to support ‘charbulk’ and ‘stcap’ elements.

Updated to support IncludeUnassignedItemsInCurrentLoadout option.

* TagDefs.XML

Updated to include bulk(), charbulk(), stcap(), highlight(), and drnotes().

Fixed some XML character encoding errors.

* Plugins

Sheets were updated to show charbulk() instead of bulk() for attack blocks.

Fixed a couple incorrect labels for weapon data in SimpleTextExport.

Fixed a reference in testOfficialCharacterSheet to the /graphics/ folder, which is no longer being used.

Back to bits

b100

* Miscellaneous

Removed option to save as a GCA4 character file, since there are too many features within characters that have no way to downgrade gracefully to something supported by GCA4.

Fixed a bug where trying to Copy Modifiers when the traits had no modifiers would result in a crash message.

Noticed that somewhere along the line, the skill types for skills and spells had been lost from the display in the character lists. Rather than build it into the default DisplayName of the trait, I added a column for it in the character lists.

Updated the character trait lists in Unified and Classic Views to better respond/resize when an item is being word-wrapped, and its length changes (such as when adding or removing modifiers).

Now post a little message in the Info pane on startup about beta testing.

* Updater

I have updated the Updater within GCA, and the corresponding tools used for updates. This should allow for updating all the system files that don’t require an actual installer. The process used for library updates no longer works as it did, but the new system should fully encapsulate it, as well as adding the needed support for updating other things.

The ‘updates available’ notice should be a bit smarter in how it compiles the message to the user, and now actually supports using RTF messages as originally intended.

Added support for some additional stuff in the Updater code, which helps me in testing but may not ever be needed otherwise: update info xml files can be in a secure area; can have different update channels (currently compiled into GCA, so it supports only a single specific channel in a released build).

Modified things so that the code for accessing/using the login dialog was a bit more reusable, so I could reuse it.

Added the ability to include commands in the Updater information, to run before and/or after the general files are copied. No actual commands have been defined yet, however.

Fixed a bug in comparing version info.

* Pasting

Some of the work done previously to catch and correct for lost parent or child items resulted in the system losing its ability to paste traits that had parent-child relationships; the relationships would be removed, because all parents and children would have unmatching keys at various points in the process, before GCA had a chance to fix up all the references. I have addressed this issue, so that such traits should now insert correctly again.

I have added a snippet of code to allow for some unrelated garbage text before the opening XML tags when pasting XML into GCA. This should add a bit of robustness when pasting into GCA traits copied from elsewhere, such as a forum post, when the cutting of the XML wasn’t precise and some other text was included.

* Controls and Plugins

Since my development environment was rebuilt after my crash, my third-party controls and various other files were updated or otherwise different from the ones used before. As a result, my plug-ins have been rebuilt, and yours may need to be as well. (Plugins that are compiled by GCA on startup should be just fine.)

A Pause for Effects

I just wanted to post a quick note to folks, letting those concerned know that things are in a temporary lull right now due to my having to move house. Since I work from home, this also means moving office.

The majority of the move is now finished, but I can’t set up my work space yet because I’m still waiting for my new appliances to be delivered, and I have to leave room to maneuver for the installers.

I’m working on my laptop for now, but it’s cramped and limited, so I don’t really expect work to proceed with any sort of verve until next week.

Sorry about the slow down from what’s mostly been a decent pace this year, but it should be temporary.

Tiny bit of an update

b99

* Miscellaneous

A post on the forums caused me to look at some old code, which brought to light an issue with custom skill cost progressions that had more than ten levels of costs. Everything worked fine except for the routine in skill calculations that assigned the trait’s level based on the points spent; that was a bit dodgey, hardcoding a limit of ten possible cost steps, which effectively imposed an arbitrary limit. I already had a routine in GCA5’s SkillCosts object to handle things correctly, I just hadn’t used it, so the old code was still being used. I have fixed that. (Doesn’t help GCA4 users, unfortunately.)

Updated some other code related to using skill types, to improve readability and reduce lookups.

Consolidated some routines related to skill types that were basically duplicates between the GCATrait and GCACharacter objects.

* Unified View

I have added a button to the front of the Unified View specific toolbar. This is the Vertical Page Override button. When you press this button, Unified View will force all boxes to fill the display width, and to flow only vertically, overriding the other settings, and making the display more of a single long page view. This does not change any of the settings, so toggling the button off again will restore your usual display.

Hooked up the gear icon for the attack table boxes. Only option currently there is for toggling double width display.

Updated drawing code on the attack table boxes to correct for display issues that could happen with multiline items, as was done in last build for trait boxes.

Only time for a few bits this week

b98

* Miscellaneous

Fixed display bug that could cut off itemnotes text in the Simple Edit attack tables when zoomed.

Fixed issue with #ChoiceList dialog listbox not selecting properly when clicking directly on the checkbox.

Fixed what I hope is the last of the drawing issues in the Unified trait boxes when multi-line user items is on.

When using in-list entry on the Character traits lists in Classic view, you should now be able to enter a decimal point.

Added support to GCATrait for the drnotes() tag. This is not mode enabled, and not managed by the Mode object, but otherwise works just like itenmotes() support does for modes, just on the trait level.

* Party Console

Added an explainer.

Adjusted the look of the default attributes block a tad.

Added support to the trait lists so that clicking on a trait displays info in the Info pane, as it does elsewhere in GCA.

* Books & Data

Included Eric’s book and image data updates.

Still summer, still more bits

b97

* Miscellaneous

Itemnotes() support now implemented for attack mode boxes on Unified View.

Noticed some unexpected/unwanted color changes in the attack mode boxes in Simple Edit, so I fixed that. Then made some visual changes in the display of modes and itemnotes and such.

Fixed the tooltip for the Export button on the File toolbar.

Adjusted how the PendingChildKeyList() tag is handled, so it should no longer stick around past its intended lifetime.

Made some slight changes to how child handling is processed when loading characters, which reduces file loading times for characters that have traits with many child items.

I’m trying out a restructured version of the RecalculateAll routine, which results in far fewer recalculations of parent items and commonly referenced traits. It is significantly faster, and appears to still work properly, but it’s so much faster that I’m just not sure something isn’t being missed. Be alert for issues, especially for newly loaded characters.

* #ChoiceList dialog

Made various adjustments to the components and design of the dialog.

Fixed a bug that resulted in the dialog not correctly disabling the OK button again once it had been enabled.

Implemented a FIFO (first in/first out) selection process to keep selections at the maximum picks, if set, by deselecting earlier picks as later ones are made. If the list is in this mode, the check boxes on the list will be round instead of square.

* Official Character Sheet

Removed the CreateItemNotes() routine I added last build, since I have now included that routine as part of the GCA5Engine. The sheet was updated to use the engine routine, instead.

Fixed bug that would lose overflowing entries from weapon tables if there were itemnotes.

* Color Block Sheet

Added first draft of support for end-notes style itemnotes() to weapon tables.