Discussion -- SWGAide and Multiple Computers

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Zimoon
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Discussion -- SWGAide and Multiple Computers

Post by Zimoon » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:14 pm

Hi folks,

You are hereby invited to a brain storming thread on future SWGAide.

My development process is kind of this: conceptual thinking, sketching on whiteboard, implementing skeleton code (aka stub code), thinking on details, implementing, testing, implementing, testing, ..., publish beta version.

Currently I am in the latter part of the chain for schematics. Thanks to the new and proper categories at SWGCraft I can now move on and fiddle with the GUI. However, while not at the keyboard I let my mind away to "conceptual thinking" about the support for using SWGAide at multiple computers, which has been a recurring issue for many users.

There are a few aspects to this and I wanted to discuss them in public to get both feedback, yays and nays, and perhaps some implementation suggestions--who knows? ;)

Notice, this is not just about players using multiple computers but also about how to ease the transition when you buy a new computer, or if you reinstall SWG at another file path.

Issues to consider

Mails: Mails end up at the computer where the user mailsaves them. Today this is nothing SWGAide bothers much with but it moves mails into the SWGAide folder. If players at one computer mailsave and delete mails the deleted mails will not show at another computer where they were not mailsaved. This has nothing to do with SWGAide but this is how SWG works, however, these deleted mails will not display in SWGAide at that other computer.

Mails, especially ISDroid reports, are IMHO one of the main treats in SWGAide. Before moving on I want to know how you guys think about mails and the limitations SWG itself imposes on them.

At this point I do not want to suggest, or even hint about, what can and cannot be done on this topic, but my ears are wide open.

Shared SWGAide information

This means inventory, harvesters, trade mails, or whatever that is shared. I mean, in-game it is just one set of whatever, but having SWG and SWGAide at multiple computers does split the information to several local files. This presents us with synchronization issues between the several SWGAiides running, certainly if they are also run at the same time.

How much, or little, information must be shared between several SWGAide? Should it be 100% synch? Or limited synch? Or should they be unaware of each other? And what is most important?

How many players are using a real local network file system? How many players rather copy files between computers, and then how? How many players think applications are allowed to connect to each other over a local network?

Local differences are perhaps unequal file paths to SWG at the different computers. Or different screen resolutions. This effectively stops a shared DAT file, also from copying it between the two. But this can be overcome in several other ways. Do you prefer one solution over another?

Brain Storm

So, my ears are cleansed and free from wax? Both are wide open. I am here, perhaps I ask you to elaborate, perhaps I ask about preferences, but I will try to stay out of any discussion.

Ooh, this is not really a discussion but rather a way to get input, wild ideas, feedback. Hence it is OK to agree, but not to disagree because this is not an election or poll. This is the input phase of my thinking process. So, open up now ... :)

Greetings
Zimoon



PS: SWGAide is still open source, if you are interested, or if you know anybody who is, spread the word.

One other thing. Obviously Windows Vista and Windows 7 continues to make life a misery for some users. Is anybody interested in writing an easy to read guide on how to use SWGAide on these two versions? In another thread. That would save these players and myself a truckload of time, thanks in advance :)

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Monty Burns
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Re: Discussion -- SWGAide and Multiple Computers

Post by Monty Burns » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:23 am

I am not sure whether I have this right or not but have you thought about something along the lines of "Google Chrome"'s bookmark synchronization system as it is a pretty useful tool (The ability to back up your bookmarks to gmail so they can be shared with other PC's or used as a back should the computer die).

Maybe the ability to back up and retrieve inventory and settings to an email client via an automated process would be of use to people.

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Re: Discussion -- SWGAide and Multiple Computers

Post by Swedishoyster » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:39 am

I would like to share harvester information between different computers, if for example some resource despawn while at work it would be swell to be able to immediately go and rededd those harvies AND update swgaide at the same time.

That would mean that the harvester information would have to be on swgaides server or something to work.

I'm aware that server space cost money, maybe some kind of shareware option for a pro version that stores information online?
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Re: Discussion -- SWGAide and Multiple Computers

Post by Swedishoyster » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:44 am

or just being able to set an online location for the data files for example www.mydomain.com/myusername/swgaide.dat

as you can se I clearly don't know how this stuff works, but this was brainstorming right?
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Re: Discussion -- SWGAide and Multiple Computers

Post by Zimoon » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:56 pm

Swedishoyster wrote:... but this was brainstorming right?
Right!!!

And if you could get the Stockholm weather sunny too, that would be swell :D

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Re: Discussion -- SWGAide and Multiple Computers

Post by Sobuno » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:42 pm

Depending on how much information would be needed to be stored "in the cloud" (Oh, how I hate that term: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing), it could possibly be stored here/at my personal site.

That said, if you are going to use server-based storage, I think the url for this should be able to be changed independently of the url for SWGCraft, i.e. make it so people could make their own information server but still use the resource data from SWGCraft.

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Re: Discussion -- SWGAide and Multiple Computers

Post by Swedishoyster » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:16 pm

Ok I was talking about this in another thread so I better post it here.

Is it possible to run both swg and swgaide (or at least just swgaide) as a portable program on a usb stick/external harddrive. I play both at home and at work but never at the same time, so for example having swgaide on a usb stick pointing to swg at the exact same path on both computers would work? like c:/games/starwarsgalaxies/

even better if you could also fit swg on usb as well...

this is ofc providing none of the programs puts anything in registry or similar...

I havent tried this with either swg or swgaide yet, but as I more and more work on loads of different computers I've started to use a lot of "portable" programs.

wouldn't it be cool also to go home to friends and be able to run swg off an usb stick, and then showing off swgaide and all 25 harvesters you have running, nothing says nerd as much as that...
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Re: Discussion -- SWGAide and Multiple Computers

Post by Zimoon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:28 pm

SWGAide does not use the Windows registry, so that is safe.

I guess, but have not tried it, that it is possible to have SWGAide at a USB stick. That should be if Windows complains about security because SWGAide modifies files in SWG (notes files that you edit) and moves mails (which we are addressing within this thread).

The only and one current restriction that SWGAide has is the file path to SWG itself. If that is exactly the same it should work, as in your example.






I still want as much feedback as possible on the matter in the first post of this thread. The better understanding I have of your use of SWGAide and SWG when using multiple computers the better I can sketch on several possible improvements. In due time I will ask more concrete questions :)

/Zimoon

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Re: Discussion -- SWGAide and Multiple Computers

Post by Swedishoyster » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:56 pm

OK I will try copying swgaide on a usb and see what's happening...

Edit: this morning I copied the swgaide to an usb stick, then upgraded to the new version.
It seems to run ok from the USB stickso far, ofc I then forgot to bring it to work to test it on another computer, to be continued...
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Can SWGAide run on an USB stick or alike?.

Post by Swedishoyster » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:19 am

OK so I remembered to bring my USB stick today.

Anyway, on my home computer I run windows 7 64-bit and thus SWG is installed in the c:/Program Files(x86)/StarwarsGalaxies/ folder while (I think) SWG thinks it's located in c:/Program Files/StarWarsGalaxies/

However at work we run Vista 32-bit and thus swg is located in c:/Program Files/StarWarsGalaxies/ and swgaide are NOT fooled. So when I fire up swgaide from a stick you get a loading scren, then nothing, no error message, nothing.

When looking at the log it says:

[Wed Feb 24 10:55:39 CET 2010 | version 0.7.87 == EXCEPTION == Caught in main: Argument is not "profiles": C:\Program Files (x86)\StarWarsGalaxies\profiles
java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Argument is not "profiles": C:\Program Files (x86)\StarWarsGalaxies\profiles
at swg.model.SWGStation.scanForStations(SWGStation.java:502)
at swg.model.SWGStation.scanForNewStations(SWGStation.java:457)
at swg.gui.SWGInitialize.scanForStations(SWGInitialize.java:703)
at swg.gui.SWGInitialize.scanAll(SWGInitialize.java:472)
at swg.gui.SWGFrame.initTabPane(SWGFrame.java:1043)
at swg.gui.SWGFrame.<init>(SWGFrame.java:277)
at swg.SWGAide.main(SWGAide.java:162)

So a suggestion to make multible computers possible would be either:

a) When swgaide doesnt find swg, a popup asks for the new path
b) a config file in the same direcory as swgaide.jar (maybe called config.txt and where you just put the path) that if it exists overrides the current path swgaide knows about
c) you can start swgaide with an argument like "swgaide -c:/myweirdpath/swg"
d) you can start it with the argument "swgaide -portable" and it will always ask for a path to swg

Now how to fix this on the current version? is there a single file somehwere telling swgaiade where swg is supposed to be?
I've moved swg to c:/starwarsgalaxies and it works ok after changing the path in the station launcher.
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Re: Can SWGAide run on an USB stick or alike?.

Post by Zimoon » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:40 am

Swedishoyster wrote:OK so I remembered to bring my USB stick today.

Anyway, on my home computer I run windows 7 64-bit and thus SWG is installed in the c:/Program Files(x86)/StarwarsGalaxies/ folder while (I think) SWG thinks it's located in c:/Program Files/StarWarsGalaxies/

Yupp, the paths must be identical. Does it work with USB stick then?

However at work we run Vista 32-bit and thus swg is located in c:/Program Files/StarWarsGalaxies/ and swgaide are NOT fooled. So when I fire up swgaide from a stick you get a loading scren, then nothing, no error message, nothing.

When looking at the log it says:

[Wed Feb 24 10:55:39 CET 2010 | version 0.7.87 == EXCEPTION == Caught in main: Argument is not "profiles": C:\Program Files (x86)\StarWarsGalaxies\profiles
java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Argument is not "profiles": C:\Program Files (x86)\StarWarsGalaxies\profiles
at swg.model.SWGStation.scanForStations(SWGStation.java:502)
at swg.model.SWGStation.scanForNewStations(SWGStation.java:457)
at swg.gui.SWGInitialize.scanForStations(SWGInitialize.java:703)
at swg.gui.SWGInitialize.scanAll(SWGInitialize.java:472)
at swg.gui.SWGFrame.initTabPane(SWGFrame.java:1043)
at swg.gui.SWGFrame.<init>(SWGFrame.java:277)
at swg.SWGAide.main(SWGAide.java:162)

This is when SWGAide cannot find a profiles folder for the main SWG. The fix in 0.7.87 was about testcenter being half-empty and no profiles folder, the issue that Passionfly run into, it does no longer cause an exception this hard. However, It seems I must augment this a tad more, that SWGAide stops without a whisper is not good.

So a suggestion to make multible computers possible would be either:

a) When swgaide doesnt find swg, a popup asks for the new path
b) a config file in the same direcory as swgaide.jar (maybe called config.txt and where you just put the path) that if it exists overrides the current path swgaide knows about
c) you can start swgaide with an argument like "swgaide -c:/myweirdpath/swg"
d) you can start it with the argument "swgaide -portable" and it will always ask for a path to swg

Now how to fix this on the current version? is there a single file somehwere telling swgaiade where swg is supposed to be?
I've moved swg to c:/starwarsgalaxies and it works ok after changing the path in the station launcher.
Some comment in-lined in red

I like option a) and d) the most and let d) override a)

The b) and c) are not really for computer illiterates, and believe me there are many :)

b) is not really portable if you also try to use SWGAide at a USB stick, which was aired. Then the file must be edited each time to read the correct path. Of course it could have several paths and all but one is disabled by a leading comment hash mark # but still it must be edited.

c) is for the more computer savvy guys that actually know how to use the arcane DOS terminal. However, it could be used in this way: Make a desktop shortcut for SWGAide at the different computers, pointing to SWGAide wherever it is, and a trailing argument in the icon as you mentioned. Each computer has its unique path to SWG as an argument.

Still c) need some computer knowledge and if I use my wife as an example, she is quite good at using her computer at her work, for her personal needs, and actually play some games. But she cannot easily make c) happen. And from the in-game mails and tells I get it is obvious that some hardcore SWG players are in more dire straights than her when it comes to do anything real with their computers 8)



This is a brain storming thread, keep them coming, do not let me disturb the flow with the force.

Remember, this is about the future, not next week or month, but hopefully within 2010. After all, not that many has volunteered to join the developing team and my life has not more spare minutes than anybody else's.

To make this happen, first some changes must be made to the core of SWGAide. Sounds scary and it can be. However, it is not that deep as it was for resources which actually was not a change to the core but parts were completely replaced. This is not so.



Greetings
/Zimoon

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