Monday, July 2, 2012


Today, I wrote that color-support extension I mentioned the other day. I don't remember if I mentioned it already, but I also threw together the optional "cheap mode" extension on Friday. Unfortunately, I was too lazy to write code in these libraries to support non-"roodylib" usage. I tried to keep non-roodylib support in my updates to the various libraries, but now it's all kind of a jumbled mess so I'm not even sure. I figure I'll give roodylib and the updated libraries their own page on HbE to quarantine them for a while.

Anyhow, after a day away this weekend, coming back to work on these things wasn't the rewarding challenge I was hoping it'd be, so I think I'm starting to get a little burnt out. I'll try to use my waning attention in the next couple days to organize and document what I've got so people can take a better look at it.

Next on the agenda (when I feel like working on the agenda) is:
  1. NewMenu, like the Menu routines it borrows from, looks for a default menu if not given a particular one. It doesn't come with an example menu, so in a way, the extension feels kind of like it's "shipping" a defective product. I was thinking it should come with a default menu that comes with three options. The first option would be general information about Hugo itself. The second one would a thing on general IF commands. The third one, though, would be the interesting page, as it'd write itself based on what libraries have been included. For instance, if my new cheaplib or colorlib libraries are included, it'd automatically inform players of the "COLORS ON" and "CHEAPMODE OFF" commands. Authors would be free to alter or replace the default menu completely, but there'd be a functional menu there without any effort.
  2. Another thing to consider is a better way to automate file inclusion.
  3. See if I can update my "newconverse" update to play nice with "roodylib" 
An issue to ponder-
One of the things that "roodylib" does that I am overly fond of involves the status bar. In glk, once the status window has been drawn, it is not possible to make it disappear with a "window 0". Often, when you restart a game, the status bar will show the last session's information until the first time PrintStatusLine is called (which may be a keypress or two away, depending on the length of the introductory text). Instead of trying to fix that by clearing the status bar at the beginning of the game- showing a blank bar- I thought it'd be cooler to write something up there. I wrote some code where if the constant GAME_TITLE is defined, it prints that. Otherwise it just prints "HUGO INTERACTIVE FICTION". The end result looks pretty sharp. In fact, if someone turns cheap mode on in a cheaplib-enabled game it just shows that all of the time.

So, that's all fine and dandy, but in a regular, non-cheap-mode session, "window 0" does work, and it looks kind of cool to have no status bar up until the first PrintStatusLine of the game hits you. Unfortunately, though, this can cause some problems if there is a long opening, as the start of the intro text gets all of the way to the top of the screen, and when we get to PrintStatusLine, the new status window can cause text corruption or cover the top of our intro text completely.

So, the question is, should even regular interpreters get the "HUGO INTERACTIVE FICTION"/GAME_TITLE window treatment just to avoid buffer/screen issues? I have not yet committed myself to an answer yet. 

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