MapTool 1.4

Progress reports and musings from the developers on the current gaming tools.

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Azhrei
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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by Azhrei »

Jagged wrote:Is it appropriate to ask where the JS will run? On the client or on the server?

On the machine that is asking for the macro to be executed.

I mean the only way to make the stuff truly secure is to run it on the server.

Even that is not "secure", depending on your definition of that word. It's possible for the server to be running a hacked version of MT for example (since source code is readily available). Since the JS must be readable to the engine, even if it were encrypted somehow MT would have to decrypt it before giving it to the engine so somebody who wanted to cheat could hack MT to display/modify the code at that point.

This is essentially what GreaseMonkey does for Firefox; it allows a JS programmer to add/change/remove JS code that the web server sends to the browser. I use this for a couple of sites that are broken and need to be fixed to work properly. :|

MT will only allow the GM to create JS macros, but a player could run a hacked version of MT that allows them to add their own macros. It's not practical for us to obfuscate the process just to discourage such cheaters.

Our primary goal in terms of "secure" is to ensure that the stock MT will not allow access to local files or make network connections to machines other than the server (the same basic kind of "sandboxing" that browsers do) without explicit approval from the user. For the time being we've wanted to avoid having a popup in the middle of the game that says "So-and-so macro wants to create a file in directory such-and-such. Do you want to allow it?" That would get annoying very quickly and users are just going to click OK every single time anyway (which is why UAC is such a failure). So we currently protect them from themselves by not allowing macros to write to local files at all.

At some point we may revisit the "secure" aspects again, but it's always easier to be conservative and loosen the reins later than to be loose and then tighten them. :)

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biodude
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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by biodude »

Craig wrote:MapTool Direction
Source Control
We will be moving from svn to git. Again something that won't be exciting to most MapTool users, but it does mean more flexibility for how contributions are handled.

As a recent adopter of git, this is exciting to me :D

Craig wrote:Macro Language Changes

WAAAY back, when I was actively playing around with Macros, I used to dread this. Now, I'm excited to try to re-build my grand vision using a 'more real' / less frustrating language.

I'm also very excited about:
Craig wrote:Vision and Lighting
Multiple Layers
Movement Blocking
A better hand out system
Other bits and pieces
  • A way to export/import campaign settings
  • An update to states and bars to make them more flexible
  • A restructuring of Tokens, so that tokens are just the maps representation of "characters", so you could have a token on different maps that points to the same PC or NPC.
  • Fix the big missing bits in the interface (Light and Vision dialogs anyone?)

GUI Changes


I'm happy to see MapTool development is continuing along. Maybe not as quickly as some would like, but still familiar enough that I'd be excited to start using it again, assuming I have time after finishing my PhD and getting "a real life".

Keep up the great work!
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Jagged
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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by Jagged »

A feature I would be very keen to see updated for 1.4 is the Chat Log.

Saving and reloading the chat log is a must, but I would also like to see something similar to the way Skype manages past chat. But whereas Skype groups chat by "Call" Maptool would group chat by "Session". Maybe allow the GM to mark the end of one session and the start of another?

So when you scrolled to the top of the chat it looked something like:
Image
And expanding a previous session would effectively open another window, to the previous chat log.

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Azhrei
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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by Azhrei »

Cool idea. We have plans to add "multi-channel" support to chat to allow for multiple separate chats at the same time (maybe in 1.4, more likely in the next version). Then the problem becomes finding a good way to display the information and allowing the user to interact with it.

For example, each chat message should include both the player name and the character name. That would let the GM see all messages by a certain player or all statements made by a certain character. But it needs to display in a way that is easy to read and easy to use. Some day...

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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by JonathanTheBlack »

Azhrei wrote:Cool idea. We have plans to add "multi-channel" support to chat to allow for multiple separate chats at the same time (maybe in 1.4, more likely in the next version). Then the problem becomes finding a good way to display the information and allowing the user to interact with it.

For example, each chat message should include both the player name and the character name. That would let the GM see all messages by a certain player or all statements made by a certain character. But it needs to display in a way that is easy to read and easy to use. Some day...

I disagree with this. I don't want to see two names every time someone posts something in chat. The DDI VT does that and it annoys the piss outta me. How about character name for everything except the /ooc command? And character names could have a mouseover that shows the player name. So mousing over Gimli in the chat window would show JonathanTheBlack.

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Azhrei
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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by Azhrei »

JonathanTheBlack wrote:
Azhrei wrote:[...] That would let the GM see all messages by a certain player or all statements made by a certain character. But it needs to display in a way that is easy to read and easy to use.

I disagree with this. I don't want to see two names every time someone posts something in chat.

I never said that.

I said that it needs to display in a way that is easy to read. I foresee a table structure with multiple columns in which each column can be turned on/off. Or maybe some kind of tree structure that is collapsible.

What I have in my head should be acceptable to everyone as it will be configurable to what the user wants to see. I just can't describe it adequately. My brain is fried. (I blame it on Friday. 8))

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xTimx
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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by xTimx »

sooooooo.........its been what.....3 months? any update?

though...i'm VERY happy and content with 1.3 its great! so i will be very patient for 1.4.

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Azhrei
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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by Azhrei »

Not a lot of news to report on 1.4. I'm been very busy with real life and haven't worked on MT 1.3 at all hardly, and certainly not on 1.4. And I don't see my load lightening much before the end of the year.

Craig has been playing around with some of the basic libraries to see what can be made to work and we've had some technical discussions about various approaches, but there's still a loooonnnng way to go. I wouldn't expect anything to happen for months yet...

But keep in mind that we're not in a super huge hurry either. We want Oracle to release some of the updates they have planned for Java in the next 6+ months so that we can evaluate them for MT. And since this is a volunteer effort (i.e. no one is being paid for this) we'd rather not write a bunch of code and then have to go back and redo it to make use of some new feature. :|

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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by patoace »

Thank you for the update, Azhrei. All your efforts are appreciated.

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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by femanon »

Macro Language Changes
GM's will be able to add macro libraries written in JavaScript -- only the GM, the players will not have access to JavaScript code in the campaign so that the GM can still control the game and this will remove a lot of the confusion over trusted functions. The GM will be able to decide (or let the library defaults decide) which functions the players can call in their macros using the [ ] / { } syntax the way they call user defined functions today. The complicated parts of the old macro syntax -- looping, conditional branching, code blocks -- will not be carried over, simple expressions such as [2d20 + 2 + strMod + bonus] will still work. Please no replies/PMs/etc on what about ruby, what about python, what about prolog/lisp/cobol :) Adding more than one language leads to an exponential effort to create bindings/support/etc.


I hate to be a negative nancy but if this is really going to be all the players will be able to do in the new versions coming forward I hope it never gets released. One of my most treasured loves of the maptool platform is its ability to let me, the player, do lots of complicated coding to bring out flavor and fluff for my tokens in heaps and bundles, without having to pester my dm to let me hop on gm side and muck around. Rather than "this or that programing language" I would strongly suggest leaving that functionality in on the player side. I'd say the ability to do this kind of thing; pour lots of love and creativity into my token's macros. represents about 40% of my love for it as a platform. I can speak only for myself, but I don't see who this is benefitting really.

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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by aliasmask »

Wow, has it really been 3 years since we started talking about this.

I think the above comment is separate from macroscript. I interpret it as players can still write their own macros, but the GM can add libraries in javascript which is a much lower level of processing and probably much, much faster. I think what this means is that the current protected macros (needs to be on a lib token or in campaign window) where players can't edit them will not be available in the macroscript language(?). These usually are associated with messing with things you don't own or gaining private info about other tokens. Instead those functions will be available only in the javascript library where the GM has all the control. So, I'm guessing GMs or those who build Frameworks will have to learn javascript. It's really easy to learn and more-so if you have any programming experience. I just hope more event handlers are added so you can have dynamic forms and special effects. For example, select an option and a sublist appears without having to submit the form.

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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by femanon »

I'd say this is a possible interpretation, but saying that "well still be able to do simple things like roll dice and add" kind of contradicts that, as it sends the message that "this is how simple things will be playerside from now on" If i couldn't do it without a gm anyway that wont bother me, but while you may be right, it doesn't seem that way from my perspective.

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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by dorpond »

aliasmask wrote:Wow, has it really been 3 years since we started talking about this.

3 Years too long!!
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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by KaylaKaze »

dorpond wrote:
aliasmask wrote:Wow, has it really been 3 years since we started talking about this.

3 Years too long!!


Actually, I was constantly hearing "It's coming in 1.4" since I first started using MT 7 years ago. Frankly, it's a massive problem. Either start posting some code for 1.4 or just call it dead so some of us who still care about enhancing MT can fork from the existing 1.3 codebase without having to worry about our work becoming obsolete by a new version.

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Re: MapTool 1.4

Post by wolph42 »

KaylaKaze wrote:
dorpond wrote:
aliasmask wrote:Wow, has it really been 3 years since we started talking about this.

3 Years too long!!


Actually, I was constantly hearing "It's coming in 1.4" since I first started using MT 7 years ago. Frankly, it's a massive problem. Either start posting some code for 1.4 or just call it dead so some of us who still care about enhancing MT can fork from the existing 1.3 codebase without having to worry about our work becoming obsolete by a new version.


actually lee has already started branching. He wanted to start a kickstarter with this, and he has my blessing, but it has not reached so far. As for the 'official' mt. AFAIK the group is working on that, but that will take a loooong time and because this concerns a complete overhaul of MT, 'some code' can't really be published in the mean time... Still you're right, something has to happen in the mean time and there is (albeith slowly) happening new developments (like the VBL manipulation).

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