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  #1  
Old January 10th, 2021, 05:39 PM
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Potion 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
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Old January 10th, 2021, 06:36 PM

Larry2017 Larry2017 is offline
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Default Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!

still not working version 0.8.3
Attached Thumbnails
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  #3  
Old January 11th, 2021, 06:18 AM
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Default Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry2017 View Post
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
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Old January 11th, 2021, 11:15 AM

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Default 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?

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?
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Old January 11th, 2021, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KAreil View Post
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?

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
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Old January 11th, 2021, 06:20 PM

Larry2017 Larry2017 is offline
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Default 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?
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Old January 12th, 2021, 03:53 AM
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Default Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry2017 View Post
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?

Click image for larger version

Name:	PreferencesHelp1.png
Views:	116
Size:	56.3 KB
ID:	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?

Click image for larger version

Name:	PreferencesHelp2.png
Views:	115
Size:	54.5 KB
ID:	16269

I will make these messages more consistent.

Erik
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  #8  
Old January 12th, 2021, 03:58 AM
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Default Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry2017 View Post
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
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  #9  
Old January 13th, 2021, 06:09 PM

Larry2017 Larry2017 is offline
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Default 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.
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Old January 14th, 2021, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: War Cabinet 0.8.3 is available!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry2017 View Post
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:

Click image for larger version

Name:	PreferencesNotesNew.png
Views:	97
Size:	58.1 KB
ID:	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
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