Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by lonelyinardwick on Tue May 22, 2012 8:41 pm

Quork wrote:How do you want to do automatic day/night and, even harder, working switches with the current syntax? There is no sense in rewriting the current format into XML, you're right at this and as you can see in this thread, many think the same.
We could use some of the current functions and immigrate new functions, and categorise them to "maps" and "scenarios". In my opinion, "routes" should start to become a thing of the past, despite it trying to be maps and scenarios, which is probably why Michelle categorised old routes or routes of the current syntax as "LegacyContent" given its arguably poor potential.


Last edited by Wongie2009 on Tue May 22, 2012 8:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Quork on Tue May 22, 2012 8:48 pm

I'm not a programer in a sense that I could be an OpenBVE prog-dev, but I have enough basic understanding of programming and data handling to see the limits of the current CSV format. Of course, csv is essentially a powerful data handling format; but the moment we have multiple usable tracks, we have multiple data sets inside the file. The data becomes multidimensional, and a csv file containing it loses any remainder of human readibility and thus handcodeability. XML is a far better format to contain such data under the aspect of human readibility. If you read the comments in different threads you'll see some devs would even prefer hand coding if there was a potent editor. This needs to be respected and taken into account when discussing the further development.

Day/night based on time and many other suggestions, including my note on landscape building, could be probably realized quite well in the current format. Multiple tracks can't.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by graymac on Tue May 22, 2012 10:05 pm

a csv file containing it loses any remainder of human readibility and thus handcodeability.

In which case I'm b****d if I know what I've been doing for the past two years with what I thought was a .csv file. And as for a "potent editor", I have managed all this time with microsoft notepad.

Honestly, there is some awful twaddle being spouted just lately. It would be excusable if the spouters were producers, but most of 'em ain't! No wonder Michelle decided to throw the towel in!

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Quork on Tue May 22, 2012 10:19 pm

Please re-read my comment, Gray and you'll see the quote of me is about something else than the current system. I love discussions, even energic ones, but what I do not like (though I'm sure you did not do this on purpose) is taking quotes out of context in a way which falsificates their meaning. Thank you.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Bucket_of_mud on Wed May 23, 2012 5:52 am

Quork wrote:I'm not a programer in a sense that I could be an OpenBVE prog-dev, but I have enough basic understanding of programming and data handling to see the limits of the current CSV format. Of course, csv is essentially a powerful data handling format; but the moment we have multiple usable tracks, we have multiple data sets inside the file. The data becomes multidimensional, and a csv file containing it loses any remainder of human readibility and thus handcodeability.

And that's where we come to a problem. We have a lot of clever people here and there - the last sentence quoted (I have quoted the whole context) clearly says you are now able read the csv and provided you have the basic understanding of programming, you should very well be able to code in Notepad. Not that I am saying there is no better way than a csv file, but provided we have tens, maybe a hundred of very intelligent and talented people within the community, why the DEVELOPERS can be counted using fingers on one hand? Forgive me for being honest, but I think this is a better subject to contemplate than new route format, or that managed content whatever...

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Quork on Wed May 23, 2012 6:08 am

You say you don't want "working switches" any more? That's okay with me, but I'd like them, thus leaving the set of problems in place. Maybe you just didn't grasp the change between the current system and multiple tracks yet; it isn't just one feature "working switches". It means there are multiple tracks. Not like now, the dummy ones; real tracks. Each and every one of them needs speed data, physical parametres (adhesion etc.), signalling in both directions. You need data defining how and where the tracks are connected. How and when the points are set. You need to rewrite signalling to be able to cope with switches; it isn't simply "section clear" and "section not clear" any more, it's checking points position, checking whether there are no other signals permitting entry into the set of points, from the same or the opposite direction, different aspects depending on permissible speeds on points, ...

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Bucket_of_mud on Wed May 23, 2012 7:06 am

Bucket_of_mud wrote: Not that I am saying there is no better way than a csv file...
Quork wrote:You say you don't want "working switches" any more?

Huh? Where did your sentence come from? I think I have said it quite clearly...

Quork wrote:
That's okay with me, but I'd like them, thus leaving the set of problems in place. Maybe you just didn't grasp the change between the current system and multiple tracks yet; it isn't just one feature "working switches". It means there are multiple tracks. Not like now, the dummy ones; real tracks. Each and every one of them needs speed data, physical parametres (adhesion etc.), signalling in both directions. You need data defining how and where the tracks are connected. How and when the points are set. You need to rewrite signalling to be able to cope with switches; it isn't simply "section clear" and "section not clear" any more, it's checking points position, checking whether there are no other signals permitting entry into the set of points, from the same or the opposite direction, different aspects depending on permissible speeds on points, ...

Maybe you should know that I have spent a major part of my childhood at my grandfather's office... he was a dispatcher. I can imagine it is not a simple mechanism. Try not to underestimate me. Smile Anyhow, you haven't answered my question. Instead, you're rolling on your own points... and that brings us right to the start of the discussion. Many people, not being authors of add-ons themselves, just keep rolling their points independently on each other and apparently not being able to accept the pros and cons of each concept proposed... I can sense something is wrong with that... although I cannot really define what that would be.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by alvinhochun on Wed May 23, 2012 10:13 am

Have you ever played SimSig? It's a signalling panel simulation that simulates all points, interlocking, track circuits and automatic signals.

In order to implement a networked track system and usable points, openBVE may finally reach an internal structure similar to that of SimSig, except it also handles the geometry and (at least) one train to be controlled by the player, and an automatic signalling control system.

Actually if we link SimSig and (a networked track system in) openBVE there is a lot of similarities in the track management, but just openBVE needs to handle the 3D reality environment also.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Bucket_of_mud on Wed May 23, 2012 10:22 am

alvinhochun wrote:Have you ever played SimSig? It's a signalling panel simulation that simulates all points, interlocking, track circuits and automatic signals.

In order to implement a networked track system and usable points, openBVE may finally reach an internal structure similar to that of SimSig, except it also handles the geometry and (at least) one train to be controlled by the player, and an automatic signalling control system.

Actually if we link SimSig and (a networked track system in) openBVE there is a lot of similarities in the track management, but just openBVE needs to handle the 3D reality environment also.

Nah, I played with real thing. I mean it was more watching it and having it explained, of course.
The rest of post might sound relatively logical, but it is just rolling your points once again, not answering to my basic question...

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by alvinhochun on Wed May 23, 2012 10:35 am

I am just trying to point out that simulating networked tracks isn't an impossible thing as there are programs that can do so.

If really nobody here could think of a way to represent networked tracks and points you could *try* asking the SimSig development team. (I can't think of how now in fact)

And I don't really know what your question is as I can't follow the posts quite well...


To someone arguing about the file format:
I basically don't like CSV or RW. They are basically the same, the different is the syntax, but the organization isn't really good, and will appear to be worse if used to represent networked tracks. The only advantage I can think of is that these formats allow creating/editing with Text Editors "conveniently", and this leads to one of its disadvantage: inconvenient to create a WYSIWYG editor.

I believe that openBVE will ultimately have a binary file format, and actually if the file loading part is separated into its own module virtually ANY file formats can be accepted, so you will not be yelling like "can I have a XML file format?".

(I don't really know if my reply is answering anyone's post, as I said I can't follow the posts quite well...)

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by lonelyinardwick on Wed May 23, 2012 11:38 am

Also, I don't quite understand why the Z axis is tied up to the player's tracks, Z asix doesn't go around curves. That's f***ed up potential if you want multi-operational tracks.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Bucket_of_mud on Wed May 23, 2012 12:40 pm

alvinhochun wrote:And I don't really know what your question is as I can't follow the posts quite well...


Erm, I am wondering if a person, who is not able to follow the posts, should even contribute to the topic... these situations often lead to EPIC FAILS... Exclamation What is it that prevents you from following the posts?

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by graymac on Wed May 23, 2012 2:09 pm

Well, muckbucket, I can't make head not tail of most of it either. I thought it was because these geeky types talk in jargon so the peasants like me won't understand it. But it seems half the geeks can't understand the other half either Very Happy

Which is all very amusing, but contributes nothing to the real issues facing the future of the sim. So I think the only thing do do is ignore all the b****x and if there's anyone out there that can actually do something useful, like knock up a few route without whingeing about ex files, sex files or any other bloody file format, Please do it.

Because without a regular supply of material this sim is on a one way first class ticket to join the dodo.

Thank you! Very Happy

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by lonelyinardwick on Wed May 23, 2012 2:50 pm

Bucket_of_mud wrote:What is it that prevents you from following the posts?
He's from Hong Kong so his English may not be as good as yours. There are international users here. What do you expect from him? Sign language? Rolling Eyes

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Bucket_of_mud on Wed May 23, 2012 3:00 pm

Wongie2009 wrote:He's from Hong Kong so his English may not be as good as yours. There are international users here. What do you expect from him? Sign language? Rolling Eyes

Well, from his confident posts back on openBVE forums and quite well English-speaking post herein I would assume the language is not a problem... I have experienced some users to be just about too lazy to go through a topic with many posts... (not that I am saying it is necessarily this case)

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Quork on Wed May 23, 2012 3:05 pm

We're not talking about the real thing now, bucket. We are talking about what data needs to be saved in the file. And some of this data grows linearily (geometry etc.), other data grows exponentially (logical dependencies between the tracks) with the number of tracks. CSV as it is is quite good for noting linear data which begins at metre 0 and ends at metre x, as it is now. This linear character of the sequence of data is lost the moment you have two player tracks. The moment that linear character is lost, the structure of the data becomes unclear when still noted as such a linear list of properties. Can you follow this explanation? If you still don't get it why I say csv is not suited for a multi-track format, if it is to be human readible, then it's either because my explanation is confusing or because there is a major logical flaw in my thoughts. If it's the latter, please correct me and show me roughly, how this multidimensional data can be arranged clearly in a csv format.

@Graymac; sorry I wrote so sharply this morning. What I want to say; we are not talking about the current format you use and know. We're talking about a format with multiple working tracks - that is, in my eyes, something totally different. It was never challenged the current format, as it is now, is human-readible, if it seemed elseway in this thread, then inaccurate wording is to be charged with this.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Bucket_of_mud on Wed May 23, 2012 3:19 pm

Quork, I am following very well, but you are obviously not following me. I am not asking why you want to change the route format. I even admitted that csv might not be the best in the world, but very suitable for the nearest future. This leaves me quite unsure of what you want me to understand, why do you (yet again) provide unnecessary explanations and why do you have a go at me trying to make me look stupid with suggesting I don't understand you at all.Basketball
At the end of the day, you might be right though, I don't understand why all of the above is being done, when my only and simple question was: Why there are so many people when it comes to beating the dead horse and so LITTLE people when it comes to the real production. Sit back and try to follow this last thought.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by graymac on Wed May 23, 2012 4:03 pm

@Bucket of Mud - you are right about shortage of bodies working on production which results in a tangible item for the users to actually use!

I do not see any urgent need to change anything with the sim program. It is perfectly usable as it is. If it is to be radically altered it would really not be the same program, so you might as well draw the line under the program as is and go away and invent a new one.

The only structural matter worth addressing at present isthe single issue of "managed content". I am now of the opinion that it should be removed. It is the actual program and its dependencies which newbies find most difficult to install. Once that is overcome the add-ons are not usually problematic. I also suggest that the program should use only Railway and Train folders, with Railway holding Route Object and Sound, and none of this "legacy" business to complicate the issue.

The worst thing about the "managed content" when it was introduced was that, with the enormous amount of material (was it three routes??) it gave the impression there was little available, which is totally not true. That might do more harm than good.

@quork - I was sent a piece of routebuilder generated route code, and it is not nice to try and read. However, that is not the same as tidily compiled csv/b3d files simply written with notepad.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by lonelyinardwick on Wed May 23, 2012 4:34 pm

Although I admit I have given this "dead horse" a bit of beating. I guess this topic is about direction, rather than what you specifically want (though I may sound a little ambiguous). So far, we recognise the need for further development of ManagedContent, and the need for a new route/map/scenario with the new XML syntax, odakyufan has the final word (iiuc), and we ain't doing forks. Anything else?

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Quork on Wed May 23, 2012 9:34 pm

@Graymac - please download this file: http://loksim.de/cms2/index.php/download/strecken?com_content=&Liste=100&DownloadID=474
Open it, go into Strecken, Demo2, open Altenstein.l3dstr with a text editor. Would this be something you consider a clearly structured file?

@All - this is a LokSim3D-route file I mentioned before. It contains all tracks, all usable, connected with switches. It has been generated with the program's own route editor, but as you see, it could be handcoded as well, just like current csv/rw format.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by graymac on Wed May 23, 2012 10:04 pm

Not really. Of course I do not understand German well. It looks similar to a .cfg file but the whole thing is unfamiliar so I'm not prepared tp comment any further.
Why would I want to learn a different file format and method of production when I can use what I already have? If I wanted to mess about and learn something different I can assure you it would be for a Paid Content program. No other incentive would convince me to change what I'm doing already.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by thehoviskid on Wed May 23, 2012 10:57 pm

I may be missing the point here, but was not the intention in the (very) long term to allow functionality for oBVE to run other simulations too (although i'm assuming that if it were to be able to run things from MSTS, it would have to be a train created for that simulator running on a route created for that same simulator as the two would need to be able to interact together), and that Michelle eventually planned to change the name to reflect this, hence the recent domain name for her site.

Like Graham, i'm not a programmer, but this point in proceedings, with regard to features in other simulations, there are two routes that could be followed- or three if you include the "do nothing" option. One is to find a way to allow that functionality in oBVE, ideally without moving too far from the existing formats, while the other is to look at ways of allowing oBVE to run that format of file directly. There's no point in moving the oBVE goalposts if there's already another set of goalposts there we can use.
I'll freely admit i have no idea how to do any of those things- if i did i'd have tried to add a "distance gone since the start" variable, but alas...

So, at the end of the day, there are certain limitations to what you can do with a BVE-based route, and we have to accept that. Perhaps, in the long term, and this has been alluded too before, a different or extended format needs to be used- and maybe that could retain it's compatibility with BVE at some level, so that existing BVE-based trains can run on it.


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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Dexter on Thu May 24, 2012 7:14 am

graymac wrote:Not really. Of course I do not understand German well. It looks similar to a .cfg file but the whole thing is unfamiliar so I'm not prepared tp comment any further.
Why would I want to learn a different file format and method of production when I can use what I already have? If I wanted to mess about and learn something different I can assure you it would be for a Paid Content program. No other incentive would convince me to change what I'm doing already.

Seconded.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by liquid_ on Fri May 25, 2012 12:43 pm

Wongie2009 wrote:So far, we recognize the need for further development of ManagedContent, and the need for a new route/map/scenario with the new XML syntax, odakyufan has the final word (iiuc), and we ain't doing forks. Anything else?

I think it's a good summary of past discussion.
We should be careful not to invent a quite new OpenBVE at the moment until we gather new developers team and agree to a new road map. Rail network - although I remind Michelle had an intention to do it in the future - would be a great step forward but requiring very good design before programming starts.

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

Post by Quork on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:03 pm

Anybody know anything about Odakyufan? On one hand, he seems gone. No activity whatsoever on this board, and no reaction on a message I sent him weeks ago - in fact, it hasn't even been read. On the other hand, there's a version 1.4.2 announced for the end of June on his site; anybody know how long that's there?

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Re: Development discontinued - discussing the direction to go

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