Work Blog - JeffR

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Mud-H
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by Mud-H » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:13 pm
Great to see that it still progressing. Almost 1 year now that haven't do any PC work. I'm getting prepare to possibly get back at game development and with what I see here, I will stick to Torque3D for sure. Great work and keep it up!
JeffR
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by JeffR » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:00 pm
@ Mud-H My maaaaan :D

Good to hear you may be jumping back in. I remember the sweet effort you were putting in to sexy up the editor usability before. If you've sill got an itch for that(or any of your old work) I'd be more than keen seeing a good deal of it rolled in. That stuff you had going was slick.
Mud-H
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:08 pm
by Mud-H » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:33 am
Thanks for your good words about my editor work with TorqueLab but it's one of the main cause of my "PC burnout"... It got too big and was a pain to maintain while working on others game/web projects. I think I learned from my mistakes and I will be carefull to not get overwhelmed with projects again.

Did something major changed in stock editors during last year? I still haven't try latest code, I'm getting prepared for fresh compile and should jump back smoothly tomorrow,

Since you liked my editor work, I might port some of the TorqueLab UI and work on a basic Dark Theme as a "return" project. (Not a promise yet). One step a a time :ugeek:
JeffR
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by JeffR » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:29 am
Nah, I totally get ya. Gotta keep things scoped to a reasonable level so it doesn't get to be too much.

The big bits would be the implementation of the asset browser to work with the asset stuff(still undergoing refinement, but the main chunk is in) and the introduction of the EditorTool class to cut down the need for full re-implementations of the whole editor UI class for editors that just do stuff IN the world editor. Also, the refactoring/expansion of the VariableInspector - which now lets you populate script-defined inspector fields that can hook back to object fields or global vars, rather than explicitly inspecting a single object. This one in particular has a lot of potential.

I also want to try and better standardize the 'interfacing with the editor' itself, like having a standard API for adding a new button to the tool bar, or easily add a listing in the editors popup menu list,etc.
In that vein, I'm sure you've got some thoughts and notions for ideas that would make doing the stuff you were before way less of a hassle, so if you've got thoughts on ways the editor could be streamlined and made easier to expand, I'm game to hear it, because it's definitely still pretty messy to expand the editors and I think it shouldn't be.
Mud-H
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:08 pm
by Mud-H » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:24 pm
Also, the refactoring/expansion of the VariableInspector - which now lets you populate script-defined inspector fields that can hook back to object fields or global vars, rather than explicitly inspecting a single object. This one in particular has a lot of potential.
That's very interesting (If I understand correctly). I remember wasting a lot of time into attempting to add script-defined field into the variable inspector listing during my last TorqueLab work.
I also want to try and better standardize the 'interfacing with the editor' itself, like having a standard API for adding a new button to the tool bar, or easily add a listing in the editors popup menu list,etc.
In that vein, I'm sure you've got some thoughts and notions for ideas that would make doing the stuff you were before way less of a hassle, so if you've got thoughts on ways the editor could be streamlined and made easier to expand, I'm game to hear it, because it's definitely still pretty messy to expand the editors and I think it shouldn't be.
It was a bit my goal when I start TorqueLab, any little modification was difficult to make without breaking something. I wanted to make it modular so anyone could write or modify a plugin that fit better his development needs. At start it seemed quite simple but more I digged into the Tools scripts I realized it was not written to make the task simple.

I have been thinking about TorqueLab all day and I think I will give it a rebirth because all that work cannot be wasted... I'm trying to build a limited development plan so it don't become a Monster to manage and also I will try to work on it so it become the official editor by sticking to conventional scripting and other rules. (If you have some documents/infos/directive to share relative to Torque3D scripting standard, I'd like to have a look at those).

Again, no promises for now but here my initial global plan for next TorqueLab work so you have a better idea and you could give suggestions/feedback. (Green = Features already there, Orange= Features Half-Implemented)
Modular/customisable UI
  • Allow to rerrange Toolbars and buttons in a toolbar
  • add new butttom (linked to script I guess)
  • Drag and drop panels working with TabBook
General System
  • Replacing the settings system using Setting Class which store in xml with a basic system that use standardized Prefs (Ex: Tools::Editor::Variable)
Unless there's a reason to use the Setting Class. TorqueLab prefs are only saved when exiting so no prefs which cause a crash are stored.
  • Make all editor/plugin independant and allow to add new plugin simply
  • Make it possible to use GuiEditor to customize the Tools (Main editor, plugins, Dialogs). (Currently you have to be very careful and mostly add changes Manually to .gui)

  • Remove all old/unused functions/scripts (There's a lot)
That's just a quick list and I will try to define it better in incoming weeks. Might be a good idea to start a thread about it and hear about what the community want. Also, as you can see in the list, I want to avoid specific tools enhancements for now but would still keep some that I judge usefull and which can't hurt anything. There's also some heavier functionality that I plan to cleanup and propose. For example, I have work on a MaterialEditor Replacement that work as a dialog so it's always accessible without switching Plugin so it can be use by all plugins that need it (ShapeEditor, RoadEditor, SceneEditor, etc)

Sooo, I will keep thinking about it and would make a post about it soon to get the community feedbacks and suggestions. For now, I haven't even tried it since last March...

Quickly about a basic Dark Theme, a problem I remember is that some editors UI element use the GameProfiles so when you edit them to look fine in Dark UI, they are not good for Game use, I think it could be a good thing to start by removing those conflicts from Stock editor. I think all profiles used in editor should start by Tools to avoid confusion. There's not much problematic profiles and a quick FindReplace in tools scripts can fix those. I would do it but I'm still affraid of the Pull Request stuff and how it should be made... I don't think someone would see problems since the Game profiles won't be affected and it will remove the issue when someone modify the GameButtonProfile to see some editor buttons affected by the changes.
Mud-H
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:08 pm
by Mud-H » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:29 pm
Replacing the settings system using Setting Class which store in xml with a basic system that use standardized Prefs (Ex: Tools::Editor::Variable)
Is there a good reason to use :: in pref naming that I'm not aware? In TorqueLab I started using _ instead of :: so it can be used as an array. EX: Tools_MaterialEd_Preview is the same as Tools_[MaterialEd][Preview] so with a list of MaterialEditor preferences you can easy loop through them.
JeffR
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:49 pm
 
by JeffR » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:16 pm
Sounds like you've actually the same mind about a lot of changes as me, haha. Quite a bit of that is stuff I'd already thought of or started looking into.

Do you have a discord account? We've got a server set up, and I went ahead and set up a channel focused on this kinda stuff. May be easier to do a back-and-forth in an irc format(discord actually has posting history, which is very useful). We can go over the stuff I've already started work on, as well as the stuff you've got rolling that way.

Speaking of: We now have a discord server! So by all means everyone, drop in and talk it up :)
JeffR
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Steering Committee
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:49 pm
 
by JeffR » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:50 am
Hey guys, it's taking a bit because I wanna get all the info sorted before the next update, but it'll come in the next few days :)
Steve_Yorkshire
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:30 pm
 
by Steve_Yorkshire » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:10 pm
Don't worry @ JeffR, I'm sure everyone knows that Torque is a work in progress ... from 2001. ;)
HeadClot
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:29 am
by HeadClot » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:39 am
Hey guys, it's taking a bit because I wanna get all the info sorted before the next update, but it'll come in the next few days :)
No problem Jeff take your time :)
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