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-   -   War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available! (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=52612)

ErikCumps January 10th, 2021 05:39 PM

War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Hello fellow wargamers,

I am delighted to announce the release of War Cabinet version 0.8.3!

This release has the following fixes:

* Fixed issue #13:
It is not required to set the default game configuration.

* Fixed issue #14:
Removed leftover debug code, causing an unexpected error.



This release is completely compatible with the previous 0.8.2 release,
and you can keep using your existing campaign dossiers.

The latest files can always be found here (on GitHub), screenshots can be found here (also on GitHub).

Enjoy!
Erik

Larry2017 January 10th, 2021 06:36 PM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
2 Attachment(s)
still not working version 0.8.3

ErikCumps January 11th, 2021 06:18 AM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry2017 (Post 849357)
still not working version 0.8.3

Hi Larry2017,

Thanks for your report.

First, the error:

You get the incomplete preferences error, because your game configuration is indeed not complete:
the game config entry in the preferences screen is highlighted in red.

It is highlighted in red, because the path you entered in the game config is not pointing to the game
folder, but to a subfolder of it instead: "C:\...\WinSPWW2\PBEM Games\".

To fix this, enter the correct game folder path: "C:\...\WinSPWW2\".

Secondly, from your screenshot, I assume you are interested in using War Cabinet with PBEM games?

Please note that War Cabinet has NO support for PBEM games.

This is because secured PBEM games are encrypted, but the details of the encryption mechanism are
unknown to me and War Cabinet is therefore not able to decrypt the PBEM savegames.

Erik

KAreil January 11th, 2021 11:15 AM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Thanks for the new version, works fine now :)

Looking around in the dossier and it's fantastic what data you display there, I love it.


I don't want to sound ungracious but can I put something on the Wishlist? :idea:

In the roster it seems to use some standard US rank system, would it be possible to use the rank-file from the selected game folder and used nation?

ErikCumps January 11th, 2021 12:29 PM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KAreil (Post 849361)
Thanks for the new version, works fine now :)

Looking around in the dossier and it's fantastic what data you display there, I love it.


I don't want to sound ungracious but can I put something on the Wishlist? :idea:

In the roster it seems to use some standard US rank system, would it be possible to use the rank-file from the selected game folder and used nation?

Thanks for the praise!

Re the rank strings: it's a nice thing for the wishlist, I agree. :)

But before we put it there, we'll need to think a bit about the modalities:
  • Should this be fixed or dynamic?
    • Fixed: it is recorded in the dossier file at the time the savegame is added, using the special rank
      strings or the US rank strings depending on the setting in the preferences (on or off), and after
      adding the savegame, changes in the preferences have no effect.
    • Dynamic: when it is turned on (in the preferences), the special rank strings are shown and when
      it is turned off (in the preferences), the US ranks are shown again?
  • When and from where should the strings be fetched?
    • When the savegame is added, from the current game directory?
    • When the dossier is loaded, from the original game directory tracked by the dossier? If that folder
      doesn't exist anymore, fall back to the US ranks?
    • When the dossier is loaded, from the game configuration in the preferences? Which one, if more
      than one is configured?
    • At all times hardcoded in War Cabinet? There is a risk these are getting out of sync with the actual
      names used by winSPWW2.

In terms of work, the easiest path would be to have them hardcoded in War Cabinet.

A bit more work, but probably worth it, is fetching the strings at the time the savegame is added and storing
them in the dossier. Backwards compatibility with older dossiers (which wouldn't have the strings stored), would
mean using the default US rank strings for these dossiers.

BTW: support for winSPMBT is also on the wishlist. :)

Erik

Larry2017 January 11th, 2021 06:20 PM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Thanks for the help.

First, the error message was no help. I know it's a pain coding specific error messages but a message pointing at the incorrect path would have steered me in the right direction.

The red highlight didn't help me. The whole game config section was highlighted red from the moment I opened the preferences screen. It was never not highlighted. I assumed it was an indication that that game config was active. It you'd highlighted just the file path text box after I entered the incorrect path, I might have gotten a clue.

No, I wasn't thinking about using War Cabinet for PBEM. That just happened to be the last path I tried while trying to make it work. The instructions indicted to enter the game path. I assumed you meant the folder with the actual game file I wanted to work with: the Saved Games folder or the PBEM Games folder. You should have just said: "C:\...\WinSPWW2\" in the instructions.

Anyway, I did get it to work after I created a test (saved) game. I'm looking forward to trying it out.

BTW, are you collecting all your information from the scenario file or are you also retrieving info from the sdata and scendata database files?

ErikCumps January 12th, 2021 03:53 AM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry2017 (Post 849365)
Thanks for the help.

First, the error message was no help. I know it's a pain coding specific error messages but a message pointing at the incorrect path would have steered me in the right direction.

The red highlight didn't help me. The whole game config section was highlighted red from the moment I opened the preferences screen. It was never not highlighted. I assumed it was an indication that that game config was active. It you'd highlighted just the file path text box after I entered the incorrect path, I might have gotten a clue.

No, I wasn't thinking about using War Cabinet for PBEM. That just happened to be the last path I tried while trying to make it work. The instructions indicted to enter the game path. I assumed you meant the folder with the actual game file I wanted to work with: the Saved Games folder or the PBEM Games folder. You should have just said: "C:\...\WinSPWW2\" in the instructions.

Hi Larry2017,

Thanks, that's valuable feedback!

The error and the red highlighting in the preferences dialog box will be improved in the next (bug or feature) release.

With the "Instructions", do you mean the note that is shown when you hover over the input field?

Attachment 16268

Or the note that is shown when you select the question mark icon at the top of the dialog box and click on the input field?

Attachment 16269

I will make these messages more consistent.

Erik

ErikCumps January 12th, 2021 03:58 AM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry2017 (Post 849365)
BTW, are you collecting all your information from the scenario file or are you also retrieving info from the sdata and scendata database files?

No, War Cabinet is only using data from the SpSv*.cmt/SpSv*.dat savegame files and the spob*.pbf OOB data files.

Erik

Larry2017 January 13th, 2021 06:09 PM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
I did see: PreferencesHelp1.png. The words "game folder" are at least part of what led me astray. I didn't even think to look at: PreferencesHelp2.png. But the words "installation folder" in that note would have put me on the right track. If I may suggest a note:

"This is the installation folder of the game, something like: ...\WinSPWW2 or ...\Steel Panthers World At War"

I don't think you need to add the words "game config" to the end of the note. If you're a glutton for punishment, you could customize the path reference in the note depending on the type field value.

Even better, you could put your note in the path field as backgound text. When the user clicks on the path field, the backgound text disappears and they type the proper path into the field. Or you could put the game's default installation folder in the field and the user could customize it as needed. You've probably seen those ideas in forms that you've run across on the internet.

About the mechanism for displaying: PreferencesHelp2.png. That mechanism: "select the question mark icon at the top of the dialog box and click on the input field" doesn't seem like a standard UI interface process to me. I can't say that I've ever seen it used.

In my opinion, helpful hints need be obvious; background text or a question mark icon to the right of the field. Having to click twice to see a hint is at least one click too many. But that's just my opinion and I'm not the programmer, you are.

ErikCumps January 14th, 2021 01:02 PM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry2017 (Post 849383)
I did see: PreferencesHelp1.png. The words "game folder" are at least part of what led me astray. I didn't even think to look at: PreferencesHelp2.png. But the words "installation folder" in that note would have put me on the right track. If I may suggest a note:

"This is the installation folder of the game, something like: ...\WinSPWW2 or ...\Steel Panthers World At War"

Hi Larry2017,

Again, thanks for your feedback.

Meanwhile work has started on improving this:

Attachment 16272

Done:
  • The item name has changed from "Path:" to "Installation:"
  • The note now explicitly mentions "installation folder"

I agree with your suggestion to remove references to "game config".

Busy:
  • Highlight individual items in red, instead of the whole game config box
  • In the note of an item, include an explanation for why an item is highlighted in red

Regarding your suggestion for preseeding each field with its note in a background color, I will keep that on hold for now.

Erik

ErikCumps January 14th, 2021 01:07 PM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry2017 (Post 849383)
About the mechanism for displaying: PreferencesHelp2.png. That mechanism: "select the question mark icon at the top of the dialog box and click on the input field" doesn't seem like a standard UI interface process to me. I can't say that I've ever seen it used.

In my opinion, helpful hints need be obvious; background text or a question mark icon to the right of the field. Having to click twice to see a hint is at least one click too many. But that's just my opinion and I'm not the programmer, you are.

Larry2017,

This is not a mechanism that I invented. :)

It's the "What's This?" help feature, for which the Qt framework has standard support.
It seems this feature has gone out of fashion, which is why you don't see it very often
anymore.

Except in War Cabinet, but that's simply because it is old: the first implementation
of the preferences dialog box dates from... 2005.

Yes, 15 years of War Cabinet already! :)

For more info about the "What's this?", see here.

Erik

ErikCumps January 19th, 2021 11:24 AM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ErikCumps (Post 849387)
Meanwhile work has started on improving this:

Done:
  • The item name has changed from "Path:" to "Installation:"
  • The note now explicitly mentions "installation folder"

I agree with your suggestion to remove references to "game config".

In the mean time I have made further improvements:

Reworked the "Incomplete preferences" Error dialog box:
  • It is no longer an Error, but a Warning instead.
  • It now offers a "Review" button to return to the Preferences.
  • It now offers a "Continue" button to dismiss the Preferences and continue anyway.

Improved the look&feel of the Preferences dialog box:
  • Added explicit label about the expectations for the game configurations.
  • Better feedback for incomplete/incorrect fields.
  • Renamed "Default game config" to "Preferred game config".
  • Slight reorganization of the Preferences items.

Improved the "New dossier" action behavior:
  • If the Preferences are still incomplete when this action is invoked, a Warning dialog box is shown.
  • This Warning dialog box offers a "Review" button to return to the Preferences so they an be completed/corrected.
  • This Warning dialog box offers a "Continue" button to dismiss the Warning and stop the action.

Because I did not want to force users in an endless loop between the Preferences dialog
box and the "Incomplete Preferences" Warning box, I gave them a way out.

But that means that it becomes possible to try to create a New (empty) dossier, even if
no game configurations are filled in at all.

Without any game configurations, War Cabinet can not know for which OOB the dossier
should be made and from which savedir it should present savegames to add to the dossier.

This is why this action must be blocked in that case, while still giving the user the opportunity
to fix the issue by fixing the Preferences.

I wanted to add some screenshots of the new dialog boxes, but that doesn't seem to work
at the moment. I'll try again later...

Erik

ErikCumps January 19th, 2021 11:33 AM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
5 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by ErikCumps (Post 849436)
Quote:

Originally Posted by ErikCumps (Post 849387)
Meanwhile work has started on improving this:

Done:
  • The item name has changed from "Path:" to "Installation:"
  • The note now explicitly mentions "installation folder"

I agree with your suggestion to remove references to "game config".

In the mean time I have made further improvements:

Reworked the "Incomplete preferences" Error dialog box:
  • It is no longer an Error, but a Warning instead.
  • It now offers a "Review" button to return to the Preferences.
  • It now offers a "Continue" button to dismiss the Preferences and continue anyway.

Improved the look&feel of the Preferences dialog box:
  • Added explicit label about the expectations for the game configurations.
  • Better feedback for incomplete/incorrect fields.
  • Renamed "Default game config" to "Preferred game config".
  • Slight reorganization of the Preferences items.

Improved the "New dossier" action behavior:
  • If the Preferences are still incomplete when this action is invoked, a Warning dialog box is shown.
  • This Warning dialog box offers a "Review" button to return to the Preferences so they an be completed/corrected.
  • This Warning dialog box offers a "Continue" button to dismiss the Warning and stop the action.

Because I did not want to force users in an endless loop between the Preferences dialog
box and the "Incomplete Preferences" Warning box, I gave them a way out.

But that means that it becomes possible to try to create a New (empty) dossier, even if
no game configurations are filled in at all.

Without any game configurations, War Cabinet can not know for which OOB the dossier
should be made and from which savedir it should present savegames to add to the dossier.

This is why this action must be blocked in that case, while still giving the user the opportunity
to fix the issue by fixing the Preferences.

I wanted to add some screenshots of the new dialog boxes, but that doesn't seem to work
at the moment. I'll try again later...

Erik

All feedback is welcome!

Here are the Screenshots :)
(these screenshots are based on the same kind of situation Larry2017 was in earlier,
trying to use the "PBEM Games" folder to configure the game path)

The new "Incomplete Preferences" Warning:
Attachment 16292

The new feedback for incomplete/incorrect fields:
Attachment 16293

'Hover' notes for the game path:
Attachment 16294

'Hover' notes for the game type:
Attachment 16295

The new Warning when trying to create a new dossier while the Preferences are still incomplete:
Attachment 16296

Erik

Second-Maître Laurent April 7th, 2021 02:24 PM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ErikCumps (Post 849359)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry2017 (Post 849357)
still not working version 0.8.3

Hi Larry2017,

Thanks for your report.

First, the error:

You get the incomplete preferences error, because your game configuration is indeed not complete:
the game config entry in the preferences screen is highlighted in red.

It is highlighted in red, because the path you entered in the game config is not pointing to the game
folder, but to a subfolder of it instead: "C:\...\WinSPWW2\PBEM Games\".

To fix this, enter the correct game folder path: "C:\...\WinSPWW2\".

Secondly, from your screenshot, I assume you are interested in using War Cabinet with PBEM games?

Please note that War Cabinet has NO support for PBEM games.

This is because secured PBEM games are encrypted, but the details of the encryption mechanism are
unknown to me and War Cabinet is therefore not able to decrypt the PBEM savegames.

Erik

Thank you Erik for this new version of Warcab.
I've had the same issue than Larry (because I'm another Larry ??).
Anyway, with your explanation, warcab is working!
Good job Erik. Well done and thanks a lot for your work.

Second-Maître Laurent April 7th, 2021 03:04 PM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hi Erik.

Have you a "Warcab Handbook for Dumbs"?

Actually I've installed Warcab, ok.
I've created a new dossier, ok.
Then I go in the tab "Game" and click on "Add Standalone Battle From Savegame". I found my saved scenario and write the name, then click on the name in the list, then "ok" and ... a few seconds later, Warcab shutdown and disappear.

What's the issue?
How can I had my scenarion in my dossier?

Thanks to help me.

Sub-item: is Warcab works with SpmBt, or will it?

ErikCumps April 8th, 2021 04:36 AM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Second-Maître Laurent (Post 849978)
Hi Erik.

Have you a "Warcab Handbook for Dumbs"?

Actually I've installed Warcab, ok.
I've created a new dossier, ok.
Then I go in the tab "Game" and click on "Add Standalone Battle From Savegame". I found my saved scenario and write the name, then click on the name in the list, then "ok" and ... a few seconds later, Warcab shutdown and disappear.

What's the issue?
How can I had my scenarion in my dossier?

Thanks to help me.

Sub-item: is Warcab works with SpmBt, or will it?

Hello Second-Maître Laurent,

Warcab shutting down and disappearing after adding a standalone battle, is probably a crash.

If you send me that savegame, as well as the OOB data files from your winSPWW2 folder
(unless these are the same as the v11.0-DL version), I can try to investigate what went wrong.

You can send the files to erik.cumps@gmail.com.

Erik

PS: winSPMBT support is under construction.

Second-Maître Laurent April 8th, 2021 12:59 PM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Hi Erik.
Great.
I'll send you that.

Great news for SPMBT.
so long.

ErikCumps April 8th, 2021 03:12 PM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Second-Maître Laurent (Post 849988)
Hi Erik.
Great.
I'll send you that.

Great news for SPMBT.
so long.

Hi Second-Maître Laurent,

Wanted to let you know I received the files, thanks. :up:

I don't have any CD versions of winSPWW2, just the free download (V11).
It's unlikely, but possible, that the issue could be related to the content of
the OOB data files. If that's the case, I'll ask you for your OOB data files
as well.

Will let you know as soon as I know more about this issue.

Erik

ErikCumps April 8th, 2021 03:16 PM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ErikCumps (Post 849991)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Second-Maître Laurent (Post 849988)
Hi Erik.
Great.
I'll send you that.

Great news for SPMBT.
so long.

Hi Second-Maître Laurent,

Wanted to let you know I received the files, thanks. :up:

I don't have any CD versions of winSPWW2, just the free download (V11).
It's unlikely, but possible, that the issue could be related to the content of
the OOB data files. If that's the case, I'll ask you for your OOB data files
as well.

Will let you know as soon as I know more about this issue.

Erik

I have been out of service for a bit too long on this forum, it seems. :)

Just noticed there is a patch available to V13, I will download and use that instead.

Erik

ErikCumps May 11th, 2021 04:26 AM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Second-Maître Laurent (Post 849978)
Hi Then I go in the tab "Game" and click on "Add Standalone Battle From Savegame". I found my saved scenario and write the name, then click on the name in the list, then "ok" and ... a few seconds later, Warcab shutdown and disappear.

Hello Second-Maître Laurent,

I have been able to take a first look at this.

Warcab is indeed closing because it crashed, and it crashed because warcab got confused while detecting
the units and formations in the savegame.

This is what it finds:

For player #0 (player)
Code:

FLIST: { { s.nidx=150 }, cnt=2 }
    [00000] (      Kommandeur) P<000> L<00000> H<00000> status=000 units=001 OOB 016: [00001] FID<00000> RAW<00000>
        [000] ptr[00000]
    [00001] (  Infanterie Kp) P<000> L<00001> H<00000> status=000 units=002 OOB 016: [00006] FID<00001> RAW<00001>
        [000] ptr[00001]
        [001] ptr[00002]
ULIST: { { s.nidx=10 }, cnt=6 }
    [00000] (      Kommandeur) UNIT leader=[00000] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 016: [00244] F[00000]<00000,000> ptr[00000] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]
    [00001] (  Infanterie Grp) UNIT leader=[00001] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 016: [00098] F[00001]<00001,000> ptr[00001] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]
    [00002] ( (sw) Inf Gruppe) UNIT leader=[00002] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 016: [00779] F[00001]<00001,001> ptr[00001] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]
    [00003] (    MG34 MMG Grp) SPAU leader=[00003] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 016: [00095] F[00001]<00001,002> ptr[00001] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]
    [00020] (    8cm GrW Grp) UNIT leader=[00020] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 016: [00093] F[00007]<00007,000> ptr[00007] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]
    [00021] (    8cm GrW Grp) UNIT leader=[00021] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 016: [00093] F[00007]<00007,001> ptr[00007] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]

For player #1 (opponent)
Code:

FLIST: { { s.nidx=77 }, cnt=3 }
    [00008] (      Polish HQ) P<001> L<00022> H<00022> status=000 units=001 OOB 002: [00001] FID<00000> RAW<00000>
        [000] ptr[00022]
    [00009] (  Rifle Platoon) P<001> L<00023> H<00022> status=000 units=000 OOB 002: [00039] FID<00001> RAW<00001>
    [00010] (  Machinegun Sec) P<001> L<00027> H<00022> status=000 units=000 OOB 002: [00035] FID<00002> RAW<00002>
ULIST: { { s.nidx=7 }, cnt=7 }
    [00022] (      Polish HQ) UNIT leader=[00022] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 002: [00250] F[00008]<00000,000> ptr[00008] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]
    [00023] (    Rifle Squad) UNIT leader=[00023] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 002: [00300] F[00009]<00001,000> ptr[00009] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]
    [00024] (    Rifle Squad) UNIT leader=[00024] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 002: [00285] F[00009]<00001,001> ptr[00009] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]
    [00025] (    Rifle Squad) UNIT leader=[00025] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 002: [00271] F[00009]<00001,002> ptr[00009] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]
    [00026] (    Rifle Squad) UNIT leader=[00026] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 002: [00285] F[00009]<00001,003> ptr[00009] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]
    [00027] (  wz.30 HMG Plt) UNIT leader=[00027] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 002: [00335] F[00010]<00002,000> ptr[00010] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]
    [00028] (          Sniper) UNIT leader=[00028] abandoned=0 loader<65535> vrf=N vrfneed=N  OOB 002: [00261] F[00010]<00002,001> ptr[00010] link crew=nil[65535], parent=nil[65535]

I am not sure what the actual formations and units should be for this game, so could you please tell me?

Erik

cbreedon May 22nd, 2021 11:43 AM

Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!
 
Anyone else having issues with Norton and this program? The only way it will run is to turn off Norton.


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