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  #1  
Unread 10-20-2007, 04:28 AM
SOE-Rothgar SOE-Rothgar is offline
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Default New Persona Window + UIBuilder News

I've recently revamped the Persona window to include many more combat-related stats. The new window is live on beta if you'd like to check it out.

Also, I didn't realize until a few days ago when attempting to run UIBuilder from home, that the version shipped with the EQ2 Client is a few versions out of date. We've made some modifications that I feel make UIBuilder much more user-friendly.

Here are some highlights from what I can remember.

- Selecting elements in the UI window is much more reliable, and actually picks the element you'd expect it to pick.
- Hitting escape deselects everything in the ui window
- Selecting/deselecting multiple elements now works like selecting multiple files in Windows Explorer. Holding Control and clicking an element toggles its selection on and off. You no longer have to use shift to add elements and control to remove elements.
- You can select multiple elements at a time by holding control and clicking their names in the treeview.
- The handles in the selection rectangles are easier to see, and you can now tell the last selected element from the rest of the selected elements. This is helpful for the alignment buttons, as everything will align with the last selected element.
- Asset tags that appear in front of text are no longer displayed in the ui window which tends to make things much easier to read.
- We've added "Abut" buttons at the top of the UI Builder window. This allows you to select multiple controls and adjoin them top-to-bottom or edge-to-edge.

There may be more I'm missing here...

I apologize for not noticing this sooner, but I will get the new version of UIBuilder pushed out asap. I'm also planning on making a few more updates to it as soon as I get the time.

If any of you have some ideas for making UIBuilder better, please let me know. Feedback is always welcome.
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Unread 10-20-2007, 06:41 AM
gm9 gm9 is offline
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Interesting, we had all given up on that one (I don't think anyone is still using UIbuilder really), thanks for looking into it.

Issues we have that you have not addressed:
  • UIbuilder is not fully UTF-8 compliant and breaks encoding of non-ASCII characters
  • UIbuilder sometimes breaks encoding of special characters, turning e.g. an ' into an ' (according to lordebon below this may already have been fixed - haven't used UIbuilder in a while myself)
  • It would be immensly helpful to be able to just save a specific window and not "vomit" (as I think Faetyl aptly put it) all files at once
  • I assume that "asset tags" are the localization :f: tags? If those are filtered automatically you could stop saving all the redundant LocalText, LocalTooltip etc. tags to the files, making files smaller.
  • If the ability to reload graphics within UIbuilder could be fixed that would be very helpful indeed
  • Generally alignment within UIbuilder is often not like within the game. But I assume this cannot be helped as it is probably an issue of the UIengine itself (e.g. US server align differently than localized servers...)
  • I personally would love to be able to write a complete uisettings.ini file from within UIbuilder, based on the layout I made there.
And a suggestion outside of UIbuilder that I recently though about: Every other update a window gets added/renamed in the Default UI, "breaking" all mods that include module files (e.g. eq2ui_mainhud.xml). The problem is that we need to use the default module files to add our windows since the game has those hardcoded and will not display module files we add. If we could get a new file hardcoded just for UImods that would be great, i.e. a eq2ui_custom.xml root module that will always be read, where modders can add their own windows and which will be copied to root._HUD during runtime so it will be displayed.

Apart from that get rid of hardcoding, add more DynamicData and fix existing ones, give us string manipulation operators, allow us to work with UTF-8 characters from within the UI so we can mod for international users and we will all be happy.
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Unread 10-20-2007, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOE-Rothgar View Post
The new window is live on beta if you'd like to check it out.
Erm, not helpful if you don't get me in beta first.
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Unread 10-20-2007, 10:13 AM
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Wow, that's great news Rothgar!

We're still using the UIBuilder from 2005, version 1.3.0.0, and been complaining about it for at least that long.

Maybe you could put the updated things on the test server when test update 40 goes there. I don't think anyone else can give out beta information or files without breaking the NDA.

I think my biggest complaint is that there isn't a way to just save one file, so the UIBuilder just saves a huge number of files that you don't want it to making a huge mess. Currently I do all my editing with Notepad++ and only use the UIBuilder to visualize things, test some scripts, and double check links between objects.

The other bug that used to hit me was when using the image SourceRect selection window it would often blue screen crash my computer. I've been really careful with it so it hasn't happened recently.

I always send /bug reports for any UI bugs that I find. If you don't have all those already I'm sure we can put together a list for you. I guess it gets a little disheartening to report bugs all the time and wait months or years and never see them fixed.
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Unread 10-20-2007, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
UIbuilder sometimes breaks encoding of special characters, turning e.g. an ' into an '
I think that's fixed. I still use UIBuilder for some things, mostly because I've noticed it doesn't seem to do that any more. It's easier (IMHO) to change parameters of an object in UIBuilder so long as they are single lines. Anything multi-line I just save a placeholder and replace it in my text editor. I also use it for getting an idea of where something will align, so the abut command will be quite useful, IMHO =)

Hooray for getting a new version soon =)
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Unread 10-20-2007, 10:29 AM
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lordebon, that's possible, I haven't used UIbuilder anymore for a long time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Othesus View Post
I guess it gets a little disheartening to report bugs all the time and wait months or years and never see them fixed.
Actually in particular for new windows /bug and /feedback when done from Test always work pretty well I feel, but I agree we could put together a long list of other issues that have been around for a long time.
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Unread 10-20-2007, 11:31 AM
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Awesome news. I still use UIBuilder all the time and I'm sure others do as well.
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Unread 10-20-2007, 11:45 AM
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I use UIBuilder religiously, especially with my inventory window. I use Notepad++ as well. Now about that persona window....we'd have to be in beta first


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Unread 10-20-2007, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOE-Rothgar View Post
I've recently revamped the Persona window to include many more combat-related stats. The new window is live on beta if you'd like to check it out.
As GM9 stated, it would help to be in beta
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Unread 10-20-2007, 12:59 PM
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Me thinks we must needs buy EQUINOX magazine for beta entry first.
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Unread 10-20-2007, 01:33 PM
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Me thinks we must needs buy EQUINOX magazine for beta entry first.
Actually you needed to pre-order so we're screwed now.


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Unread 10-20-2007, 03:03 PM
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If you aren't in beta, don't worry I'm sure the update will go to the test server in advance like with other updates. As far as getting in beta, still put in an application if you haven't already, we are opening it up to more people each week.

I know we fixed many of the encoding problems in UI builder. I noticed last night in the old version it took my "<" character and changed it to &gt. It won't do that sort of thing anymore. Its also more friendly about whitespace and when writing out files, it will indent the xml properly.

Having UI Builder save a single file is something I've wanted as well but just haven't gotten around to doing. I'll be sure to add that before I push out the latest version.
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Unread 10-20-2007, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOE-Rothgar View Post
If you aren't in beta, don't worry I'm sure the update will go to the test server in advance like with other updates. As far as getting in beta, still put in an application if you haven't already, we are opening it up to more people each week.

I know we fixed many of the encoding problems in UI builder. I noticed last night in the old version it took my "<" character and changed it to &gt. It won't do that sort of thing anymore. Its also more friendly about whitespace and when writing out files, it will indent the xml properly.

Having UI Builder save a single file is something I've wanted as well but just haven't gotten around to doing. I'll be sure to add that before I push out the latest version.
We thank you Rothgar for your work. By the way you should post here more often, you guys have been doing it more frequently and we like that (it gets us excited)!

thanks
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Unread 10-20-2007, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOE-Rothgar View Post
If you aren't in beta, don't worry I'm sure the update will go to the test server in advance like with other updates. As far as getting in beta, still put in an application if you haven't already, we are opening it up to more people each week.

I know we fixed many of the encoding problems in UI builder. I noticed last night in the old version it took my "<" character and changed it to &gt. It won't do that sort of thing anymore. Its also more friendly about whitespace and when writing out files, it will indent the xml properly.

Having UI Builder save a single file is something I've wanted as well but just haven't gotten around to doing. I'll be sure to add that before I push out the latest version.
If you make it save whitespace AND allow you to export single files... you will be my UI Hero /grin

I swear I might just have to like bake cookies or something and send them to all the Devs for thanksgiving or something, hehe. You guys do some seriously awesome work, and I know how you guys must feel during that expansion crunch.
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Unread 10-20-2007, 06:39 PM
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Oh, one other thing I've wondered about was did you ever implement the texture atlas system Silverfrost was talking about here?
http://www.eq2interface.com/forums/s...ead.php?t=7911

After reading the NVIDIA whitepaper and the Gamasutra article it sounds like the UI textures could be assembled into a large texture or a volume texture to reduce render-state changes. Would this be done in a pre-processing step or by the game client itself?
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Unread 10-20-2007, 06:51 PM
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I just finished making UI Builder save a single file. So now you'll have "Save" and "Save All" options from the file command. Save All saves the entire project, while Save just saves the file associated with the currently selected object and all of its children objects. So if the file you're working on has includes, those files will be saved as well.

I think the latest version already saves whitespace as well.

As far as the atlas stuff, I'd have to check with Silverfrost on that.
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Unread 10-20-2007, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gm9 View Post
...
Issues we have that you have not addressed:
  • Would be helpful to be able to create multi-line scripts in UIbuilder (basically use the popup window you already have for some controls)
...

This is has been possible forever.. Go to the onEvent edit box and enter the first line. Then double-click the onEvent label to the left of edit box and a properties editor window will open up that allows you to enter multiple line scripts.

You can double-click on a lot of the labels and interesting stuff happens :P

For example double clicking on an RStyle label will bring you to the rectangle defintion. Clicking on an image label will bring you to the imagestyle etc..
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Unread 10-20-2007, 10:03 PM
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ROFL, I'm a noob!
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Unread 10-21-2007, 02:45 AM
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ROFL, I'm a noob!
yeah you are a (dancing banana)


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Unread 10-21-2007, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOE-Rothgar View Post
I know we fixed many of the encoding problems in UI builder. I noticed last night in the old version it took my "<" character and changed it to &gt. It won't do that sort of thing anymore. Its also more friendly about whitespace and when writing out files, it will indent the xml properly.
I assume that the new version will still convert them if it encounters them in the XML file? I know the current version of the UI Builder will not convert &#xA;, witch is the result of Attribute-value normalization of chars #10 or #13 in most XML parsers today. I haven't tested it EQ2 yet to see if it can or not.

If it is not to much trouble having the game and the UI Builder being able to convert &#xA; and really it prob would be best if it was able to convert all these types of converstions.
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Unread 10-21-2007, 01:42 PM
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Great news on these UIBuilder changes! I'm uber-nooba-new so I guess I need to find out where to go sign up for the beta

Most of my work has been based on Zonx's fetish UI core and I guess what I'm doing is "polishing". I'm not as familiar with xml as I'd like to be, though I am able to script (python, php, etc) so actually it not a huge leap. But as a visual tool UIBuilder is just wonderful.

What I'd like to see is a way to copy/paste elements from one running copy of UIBuilder to another. Right now I'm working on 2 themes of the same UI and if I come up with an idea in one, I'd like to mirror it to the other. Right now I just weed through the code, copy, paste in my text editor.
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Unread 10-21-2007, 02:35 PM
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I should clarify about the encoding. UIBuilder does still encode symbols like greater-than, less-than, apostrophe, ampersand etc. But the old version would sometimes double encode things leaving the values messed up. For example, it would encode "<" into "&lt;" but then for some odd reason it would encode the ampersand leaving it "&amp;lt;". This bug has been fixed.

When the new version is patched down, let me know if you notice any other encoding issues.
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Unread 10-21-2007, 02:36 PM
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Default Persona Changes

Bought the magazine but still haven't gotten my beta invite.

I'm really interested in what has been added to the Persona window. Will this mean no one will want mine any more? But the thing I really want to know is if they've added Game Data for things like Riposte or Home City.

As for the UIBuilder I would just like it to not add extra "/" slashes that I have to remove with a text editor.
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Unread 10-21-2007, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickF7666 View Post
Bought the magazine but still haven't gotten my beta invite.

I'm really interested in what has been added to the Persona window. Will this mean no one will want mine any more? But the thing I really want to know is if they've added Game Data for things like Riposte or Home City.

As for the UIBuilder I would just like it to not add extra "/" slashes that I have to remove with a text editor.
If you pre-ordered the magazine, log into the SOE forums and you should be able to see the Beta forums. If not, make sure you've signed the NDA by going to apply for it. If still not, theres a sticky somewhere with them telling you who to PM for access.

Because all FF attendees and Equinox preorders were automatically flagged, you didn't go through the normal beta acceptance routine and so emails were never sent out. Your account was just automatically flagged.
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Unread 10-21-2007, 09:56 PM
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Just checked in game for &#xA; and its a no go.

If I add a button with OnPress="say Hello&#xA;say there"

I get this in game

Hello & #xA
there


For more info on &#xA and other encodes you can check out www.w3.orc
http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/WD-xml-c14...19.html#syntax
and
http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/WD-xml-c14...l#charescaping

You guys probably use a inhouse parsers but for the sake of us people making applications that do not have access to your parser, it would be nice if your parser recognized some transformations on white-space that we have to deal with.
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