Category: Uncategorized

…test, test…

Published / by bradleyjx

So, something killed my wordpress install, and I wasn’t really able to get time together to fix it in any form until today. So, we’re here for the time being while I get more time to re-skin this new install.

So, what’s changed since [looks]…

…ugh, it’s really been down that long? Oh well…

Name Finagling
One of the things I’ve been doing is starting some additional pieces of code which go beyond just what RTools has been. The decklist tool was an early idea of this, but now I’ve got a few other tools, and may have more coming. (the extension system idea from ~1 yr ago worked well, but I don’t really want to complicate RTools more with extensions. So, here’s the core message of changes:

  • “RTools Event Extensions” (or just “Event Extensions”) is the over-arching name of the project.
  • “EPIC” has been renamed “PlayerLink”. I live near another Epic, and confusion has occurred enough times already; plus, EPIC was more of a “let’s make a cool-sounding name” which just ended up crashing.

New Stuff

  • “Reporter Network Adapter” — RNA enables DCI Reporter v3 tournaments to be run using multiple scorekeepers.
  • “JudgeLink” — A option in PlayerLink, JudgeLink is for events where you only want your staff to be able to access the tournament information which can be uploaded to the web.

Program Updates

  • RTools is now on v.3.2.54. the .53 update was 95% rebranding and updating of some text strings in the program. The .54 update modifies the behavior of the .50 update’s warning dialog, and allows you to bypass the block at your own risk. (not all machines are affected by this bug, which still has not been fixed on the JVM side)

 

RTools 3.1.26 (beta 1) and RTools Deck Builder v.0.1.1

Published / by bradleyjx

I’m moving RTools to beta as the program is pretty stable at this point, and the networking system may be taking a bit of a different turn. More on that in a second.

In addition, I’m moving the “EZ Deck Builder” that I added in 3.1.24/25 and moved it into it’s own separate program. I’m planning on doing this with a couple utilities that aren’t really extensions of RTools, but are little utilities that would otherwise just be taking up space in program menus.

Note that RTools Deck Builder is also free, and has no license code as part of it. Also, read the readme or else you will get interesting error messages!

Going further, the next plan will be a second utility tenatively called something like “RTools Remote Command”, and will essentially be the ideas that the networking system had, but run as a solo program. The original idea was to make something that could function as a feature match display and do so remotely, to essentially turn test networking on a separate system while I figure out the logistical issues in RTools. Then, I remembered a cool little tidbit about Java’s UI system, in that it most of it’s display engine runs using HTML (web formatting) as a bit of a backbone, and as such you can use it as a display system.

So, the intended initial build of this new utility will have two modes: open display, and feature match. The former will present you with a blank text area, which you write HTML and have a remote display display that HTML. (some event organizers use something like this as a way to put tournament info on projectors) The second is a more structured approach, which displays specific information for feature matches. The intent is to make this system pretty modal, so that I can easily shift information over and, as an update, put all the RTools display code into it to allow it to act as a target for a future RTools update to send tournament information to.

RTools 3.1.25 (alpha 8)

Published / by bradleyjx

A few small changes since the last update, mostly just taking care of some minor complaints.

EPIC’s popup dialogs have been reduced a bit. The advanced menu option is now another menu, which contains the “Enable” option that was there previously, as well as the two popup dialog options, now as checkboxes in the menu. The only dialogs you will get with EPIC now are if you want masking of tiebreakers, or a popup if the FTP system is enabled telling you that it has finished. (as that can take a few seconds)

In addition, the “Setup FTP” window option has been moved from the settings window to this menu branch.

The deck entry system is also updated to it’s second try at the interface. It now works much more quickly, though the downside is that it’s a little more confusing how to use it currently. Just make sure you have a cursor in the little box in the top-left corner, and everything will work.

Post-Christmas Update

Published / by bradleyjx

There hasn’t been any work done to RTools since the last update, so you can consider 3.1.23 as the up-to-date dev version. I’m going to be taking a bit of a shift on this release and release it with just the update to EPIC, and not with the networking update.

The networking code is written and ready up to a very decisive point, and there are two paths which I can take from this point, in regards to handling how windows are handled. The easier (and one which I was looking at doing) involves a restricted setup for the “server” machine. (where the windows are placed onto) In short, it’d be restricted to one scrolling window per server. (timers would not be restricted in the same way) The more difficult way would be to allow for an arbitrary number of windows, and there be a persistence system built into the program to handle positioning and removal of windows. (think about how the program would need to handle orphan windows from a client that closes without removing windows)
The consensus of people who both would actively use this system and would understand what these two options mean have given me the impression that the restricted option is nearly useless, and I don’t have a good path in mind for handling the persistence system right now, so I want to give that more time to cook in my mind.

The other thing that needs to be done with 3.1 is to begin setting up RTools for long-term support. Up to now, the code has been worked on with some relative consistency, and there hasn’t been much need in more than a basic amount of commenting in the code. In addition, the new connection code isn’t nearly as well commented as the old code. Combine these, and if RTools gets to the point where I go months without major changes, it may become difficult for even the basic changes to be made to the program in the future.

Odds are I’ll move 3.1 to beta relatively soon; the commenting can happen during and after release pretty easily.

3.1 Gameplan

Published / by bradleyjx

3.0 should be out sometime next week, but now’s as good a time as any to start looking at what the 3.0 redesign will breed as we get into the 3.x updates.

Remote Operation

Remote Operation is simply the ability for RTools to work in a client-server model, allowing one copy to control another on a different machine. I’ve talked about this somewhat in the past, and don’t really need to get into the gritty of this.

EPIC Update

Currently, EPIC works on what amounts to a single-instance, single-tournament basis. One instance on the web holds one tournament. In addition, one scorekeeper can only use the FTP capabilities on one event.

This update is still being researched, but will most likely involve three things:

  • EPICupload.txt files will be able to hold and upload multiple tournaments within the same file. When EPICupload.txt is generated (or uploaded directly) it will contain data for all events active in the program.
  • RTools and EPIC’s FTP system will be upgraded with events such as Grand Prix side events or conventions like GenCon in mind, where there is a potential of several scorekeepers each running an instance of RTools and FTP uploading to the same server.
  • EPIC’s web counterpart will receive an upgrade, which will be compatible with both the current and this updated form of uploads, as well as all the possible setups of loading files.

RTools 3.0.12 (alpha 12)

Published / by bradleyjx

All planned functionality for the 3.0 development has completed with this update.

Changes:
– FIX: Standings by pod now correctly reset places in new pods, so pod 2 seat 1 will be displayed as 1st in the pod, rather than a larger number.

– Bug Reporting menu option added. This takes all the relevant information I would need for looking into an issue, zips up a copy of all of it, and gives instructions on how to get this zip file to me.

– Support for Konami Tournament Software added back in. The previous errors were fixed for the time being by switching to the long form of a for loop.

RTools 3.0.9 (alpha 9)

Published / by bradleyjx

Recent changes and updates since the last post:

– Default color reverted to green (#00FF00) from yellow (#FFFF00). This was a change to make comparing 2.2 to 3.0 differences quicker in the early rebuilding, as well as experimenting with alternates to green. Thanks to Steve Port for some insight on previous experiments with Tournament Board and different colors.

– There were bugs with the combination of “Standings + Auto-Update + tournaments w/pods” and “Pairings + Auto-Update + EPIC” where the auto-update caused dialogs to come up every five seconds.

– EPIC tweaked to work more easily in the updated back-end.

– “Play Sound @ 0:00” setting in the timer tweaked. If there is a “time.wav” file in the RTools_lib folder, instead of playing a generic beeping sound, it will play that file. Note that this needs to be a .wav file.

An update on KTS in 3.0: The code is ready to the best of my knowledge, however I am currently dealing with a bug in the development environment I use to program in which is preventing any part of the code from actually working. So, KTS functionality will not be in 3.0 until this bug is resolved in the environment.

(explanation on the issue below)

The jist is in a particular piece of code that essentially goes along the lines of:

int number = 200;
for (int i=0;i<number;i++) {

}

This code is giving a warning at “i++” saying it is dead code. The bug revolves around this, as it sees “number” somehow as less than 0, and the compiler then just ignores all the code in “…” as an optimization measure, which is unfortunately the code that (in RTools) imports all match information.

RTools 3.0.6 (alpha 6)

Published / by bradleyjx

Alpha numbers being increased quickly is definitely a good thing – it means I’m actively testing the program at events, and are fixing things more than creating things.

3.0.6 is out. Changes from the previous update released:

-FTP persistent string encoding (the one in settings.ini) adjusted a bit. This should be the last update that is made to this, but you will need to remake your string if you used this prior to 3.0.6.

– Auto-Update Windows now working in combination with seating.

– Scrolling windows now correctly do not show preregistered (but not entered) players with v3.

– Fix to compact sheet pairings, ensuring the pairings are displayed in the same order as in WER.

If you’ve been around a while, you may recognize that the last two were also issues at various points in the past. These are both issues which were fixed in the previous design of the connection code, but just weren’t part of code that was moved to the new design, instead being replaced with new code. (that didn’t integrate the fix…)

One last thing; KTS compatibility should be added relatively soon. KTS may be limited to Pairing and Seating for scrolling systems; we’ll see how that goes.

RTools 3.0.2 (alpha 2)

Published / by bradleyjx

Alpha 2 is up, and brings the tools menu back up, along with an updated EPIC system. Two things worth knowing about:

EPIC is now a passive system. When the menu option is checked, pressing the pairings button also generates the EPIC file.

EPIC now also has an FTP system that you can use to do direct uploads. The setup is found in the “Change Settings…” menu, under the “FTP Setup” button. Instructions are there to hopefully make that easier. Once you get a dialog which states that setup was successful, both the program (for this instance of the program) and settings.ini (for future instances) will have the information needed to do this. Once setup, and when EPIC is enabled, you’ll get an additional dialog for whether or not to auto-upload to your FTP location.

Edit (11/29/10) : Alpha 3 added, along with all the printing options. All features from 2.2 should be enabled now in 3.0.

The New Digs

Published / by bradleyjx

So, I’m just going to give the happy version of the story here. bjx.net has been hosted for the past couple years on a free(ish) service, and I finally moved over onto a full-fledged provider. This also gave me some easier access to FTP, which gives me the ability to easily move off of blogger.