Strategic Primer assistive programs development report and roadmap (#24)

It’s been a couple of months since my last report on the development of my suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, so it’s past time for an update.

As usual, you can download the new version from Bitbucket, and if you want to know more details than I list below, you can see the full history in the Mercurial repository.

Changes

I didn’t make a report last month because there was exactly one change to the code between the end of January and the end of February, and it was a slight modification to make a spurious warning to go away. It shouldn’t have had the slightest effect on the behavior of the code.

Since then, I’ve made more changes than that, but it’s still been essentially all warning fixes, with one exception. That exception is an addition to the build script that I use to create the packages you can download, or in general to build and test from the command line, that runs one of the static analysis tools I rely on. (I plan to add more of the tools as I can, but the version of PMD in Portage is five years old and its build system has changed, CodePro AnalytiX is only available as an Eclipse plugin, and the update site for Enerjy has let its DNS registration expire …)

I added that to the build script because on both my laptop and my desktop (in Linux, where I keep both the Eclipse configuration directory and the workspace synchronized between the two computers) Eclipse keeps crashing. I can usually fix warnings in a standard text editor fairly easily, if I know where the objectionable code is found, while implementing new and complicated features is more troublesome without the help of an IDE.

Roadmap

The list of “planned” features (which has debatable correspondence with the Pivotal Tracker backlog, remains largely unchanged from previous months.

The first item is to make the apps a proper MDI application, with a Window menu keeping track of windows and their status, and to make them behave like native apps (following human-interface guidelines, etc.) on the major platforms, starting with Mac OS X. But because my first attempts failed, I’m still at a loss as to where to begin.

Second, with it possible for players to make changes to a known-world map using the “helper apps” (rather than just a text editor) and send it back, changesets need to become a priority.

Third, I want to “finish,” test, and switch to (once I’ve demonstrated it won’t lose data) the new map API; this may make developing changesets easier, and it’s possible it’ll bring performance improvements, but we’ll have to see.

Fourth, I want to write programs to automate the more tedious parts of running a turn, such as agriculture, herding, food gathering, and hunting—the latter two are much better now, but how much meat any given animal produces, for example, still has to be looked up by hand.

That ties into the fifth item on the list, “resource management,” eventually including modeling resource production and resource accounting.

Sixth, I hope to add larger images (“portraits”) for units and some other kinds of fixtures.

Among other planned features.

If you have any features you’d like me to add, or you run into any problems with the software, please let me know, perhaps using the issue tracker or contacting me directly.

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