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Thursday, January 29, 2009

CakePHP new stable

I've played with CakePHP a month ago and is really good.
Now the new stable release look even more promising.
As soon as I manage to finish the java works I've got running it will be time to start a project with it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Harptos in joda update

OK the work went on more quickly than expected.
Much of the classes are created and the things are starting to work.
Will have to fix all the date math operations (addition of instants etc) and week behaviour.
I decided to use the "degenerated month" approach so that some month have just 1 (or 2 in the case of Shieldmeet leap year)days this create a mess with the week calculation since also "Degenerated weeks" come out.
All this complicate math a bit.
The lib is really well done, even if quite complex.
There a really wanderful decoupling implementation so that adding a chronology has been easy and did not request adding a single line of code to base classes.
Would see more of these projects around.

joda_time for Harptos

OK task started! I'm implementing a custom Chronology for the Harptos calendar.
This will allow for programs like MapTool to use a calendar that can be a standard one or a fantasy one all with the same classes, methods and so on (just configure a different chronology and you are going).
It can be done, but lot of code so ... time to work.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hacking macros in MapTool

I'm working on the really wanderful campaign file from Imarkus to hack some macros.
I always hated not being able to use all those rules in the books and not having at hand all the DC for all the possible actions you can do (yes I know as a master you RULE which IS the DC, but this means not using all the money spent on books).
I used to create tables to print and to consult when the need arised, but time has come short to update it and I end up loosing the table around.
Having something automatic was my dream.
The macro system of MapTool is really wanderful and powerful so took the existing macro for rolling skills checks and added the ability to list for the skill chosen all the actions possible and to show the DC and calculating success.
Here you can find the code.

Ethic and Government

I have red this, I had decided not to write about politics, but this is too good to be true.
We would need something similar here in Italy.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I've stumbled upon the DJ project a really nice tool.
I was looking for something to manage to place swf files inside a java application with the possibility to integrate the two worlds.
There is a lot of stuff well done in flash or flex around and many times is faster to get wanderful looking widgets using Flash than using Java.
The problem with mixing languages is that integration is not so easy.
The DJ project solve this with a nice approach: there is not only a JFlashPanel, but also a Video panel and browser panel (which is the base for the Flash one).
I'm experimenting it.
More in a few days.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Output sheet for PCgen towards MapTool

The work is proceeding well.
Thanks to PCgen community managed to solve a REPLACEALL tag problem: it seems that the correct syntax is TEXT.REPLACEALL{\W+,_}.TAGNAME so that it replaces all non word characters with underscore.
This allows to create a property in the XML file used to import characters in MapTool with a list of SKILL.
Since is not possible to have a list with element name with whitespaces, the replacement was essential.
Now can go on with the output sheet creation.
I've used the campaign file from pathfinder3.5 and I'm going to hack the macros since much of the math is done in PCgen.
With this, the speed of managing characters in PCgen and using them in MapTools is greately increased and when you are a DM with a young child it can mean managing to prepare a session or not.
The stuff is published in the MapTool forum

Java Date library

I was looking for a library to manage Date and calendar to add some time/event functionality to MapTool and I stumbled upon joda .
It's really a powerful library and should be possible to customize it to create also fantasy calendar like the Harptos one (the one used in the forgotten realm).
Using this to track time within MapTool could be a nice feature addition so to have a time management option.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

PCgen output sheet

OK crating a new output sheet is not so easy as it seems.
Still working on it.

Friday, January 09, 2009

PCGEN and MapTool

Decided to look on how to link the two programs since I'm lazy (I can say better I find useless to write more time the same data when using digital information we should be able to transform it).
There is the possibility to create a character sheet export xml that can be used to create a new tocken based on the information from PCgen so you can keep info from your PC in pcgen that is surely the best of the two, but can use MapTool for mapping during the session.

Creating the xml in PCGen is quite easy and there is lots of usefull data there.
All you have to do is than placing the saved file inside a previously saved rptok file.
To satisfy my laziness I'll try to automate the import in MapTool.

Vietnam goes open source

This is an interesting piece of news.
Vietnam is a growing economy, even if not a wealthy country, the choice to impose the use of open source is a good political decision given the economical condition of the country and could open up new energies for open source projects.

Monday, January 05, 2009


Decided to start a workspace in Huddle.
Not yet a clear idea og what I'll do with it, but ... you never know.
In any case it's an interesting tool to look upon.

DimDim 4.5 out

It's out since December 2008 and I managed to test it recently.
It's a very interesting and nice tool.
Just have the VM mounted so not tryed to look inside or hack it, but it look promising.
It's both a working and gaming opportunity.
For a DM that have to host an online game and have a fairly powerfull PC that can host a VM just install the DimDim machine and add MapTool and you should be up and running on your own.

Hacking MapTool

I'm hacking RPTool's MapTool program.
It's one of the best program I've used so far for RPG mapping and session helping.
Well coded and with a live community, an example of how open source can produce great works.