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Full Metal Lion
 Thursday, July 03 2014 @ 10:16 PM UTC (Read 1175 times)  
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Improbable Badass

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I have noticed, in my adventures with with the Island's wonderful drag-and-drop programing language, that each action takes a page load. Pick something up? Page load. Put something down? Page load. Turn a knob? Page load (even more than one if you have to turn the knob to something other than the next state). Set a parameter? Two page loads.

This is slow by itself, and that doesn't even factor in the lag of a large place. I also assume it makes the server (in technical terms) sad. In deference to this, I'd like to propose that the Programming interface be enhanced with (limited) interactive animation; in essence, the player will manipulate the elements of a Programming Grid in a single page load, through the magic of JavaScript, and the server will parse this input when the player navigates away from the page.

Obviously, CavemanJoe might see this idea and dismiss it as infeasible or unappealing, but, under the assumption that this event has not occurred (though my ramblings may be useful even if it has), I'd like to go into some detail about how I imagine the new Programming Grid interface would work:

The conceptual area of "in hand" would disappear entirely.* Instead, clicking on a Contraption or Contrivance would give it a small yellow outline, to indicate that it was selected (clicking on a knob would turn the knob once, of course). The details of the selected item would be shown in the section of the screen to the right of the grid, where the "In hand" item is in the current system. Below the description of the component would be the fields to set the parameters of the component, by the use of text boxes and drop-down menus.** Ideally, there would also be a little padlock symbol next to the parameters, togglable with a click, that would "lock" and gray-out the parameter fields, preventing them from inadvertent change.

Clicking on a slot in the Programming Grid would move the selected item to that slot. Clicking on the inventory would move the selected item to the inventory. Double-clicking on a component in the inventory would move it to the first empty space after the last occupied space in the grid, or, if that's impossible, just the first empty space in the grid (this would act as a crude yet fast way of arranging a grid. later, the user would presumably shuffle everything around a bit).

Uh, yeah, that's about it. I eagerly await what y'all have to say about my idea. Is it reasonable? Would it be worth it to you? Could you improve on it in some way?

*It may be more accurate to say that the "in hand" area would remain, but no-longer would remove the component from the grid.

**Please note that the area used for changing the parameters would be the same as the area use to display the parameters. For instance, the current description of the "Thought Equal" Contrivance is "A Contrivance that passes if a specified Thought is equal to a specified value". Under that, it would display "Currently configured to pass if [drop-down box]Thought:[/drop-down box] [text box]thisIsAGreatThoughtName[/text box] is exactly equal to the value of [drop-down box]the number[/drop-down box] [text box]9[/text box]."


 
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Buddleia
 Saturday, July 05 2014 @ 06:20 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
Improbable Badass

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Registered: 04/23/10
Posts: 343

This all looks good to me, from what little I know of programming either real or for Places. As well as making the server sad, all those pageloads make it far too easy to forget what you're doing. Anything that lets you do more in one go would make life easier; the toggles with a Save All Changes button was an incredible improvement for the Master Settings menu. I like the idea of parameters settable by dropdowns, too; there are so many times where I've had to leave the program I'm working on to go and check a Page or Door number, or go into another program to check what it was I named that Thought, or similar. "Select one of your current Thoughts or click here to make a new Thought" alone would save me a certain amount of note-taking.

What would also be worth a great deal to me in terms of saving pageloads would be to not have to leave the program I'm on --> go back to the room I was in --> go to the Place Inventory --> take all the contrivances and contraptions I might need --> back to the room I was in --> program menu --> try and remember which program I was working on ... every single time I find that I haven't got all the right bits grabbed up ready to use. I dunno if not having a "Place Inventory" link from in the Programming screen and vice versa was an oversight or a subtle nudge to use the "Buy contraptions and contrivances" link instead, buuuut ... well. If I'm impatient enough I do just buy new gadgets, even though I've collected thousands. Insult to injury is that before I leave the Place I then have to unload all the things from my inventory back into the Place's or it'll fill my backpack and eat my stamina. It would be so much faster and easier if the list of gadgets that appears below the current program, which is currently the contrivances+contraptions in your inventory, was the list of your and the Place's inventory.


Improbable Reference Links - goo.gl/MRBnb -------------- Land Registry (map of Places) ---- goo.gl/bpkRR
 
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CavemanJoe
 Saturday, July 05 2014 @ 06:32 PM UTC  
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That's a pretty good idea, Buddleia. Adding to the list.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Saturday, July 05 2014 @ 06:32 PM UTC  
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WRT the AJAX programming interface, it's a nice idea but it'd be a shitload of work and wouldn't alleviate much server load.


 
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