View Full Version : What would it take to make cross-platform Sims tools?

9th Feb 2016, 12:15 PM
Bringing over the discussion from the s4pe thread (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=572221) ...

What needs to happen to make the tools Windows, Mac and Linux -compatible? (for TS3 and TS4)

Obviously we need developers who have access to Mac and Linux and tooling for these OSes. But from the current codebase standpoint, how feasible is it to make the code run as .exe and .app? I have no idea what the coding effort is going to be like, but once I know what's involved, I might have a better idea if I have the skillset for such a project. Or, even the money, interest, time and bandwidth to start on new projects and invest in a more robust Apple machine (my MacbookAir is currently crying out for more space, just with one Win7 VM, or a secondary laptop as backup when my primary desktop decides to throw tantrums).

The world fixes is currently kicking my ass and I need to let the issues percolate awhile, thus the meandering focus... :heyhey:

9th Feb 2016, 1:01 PM
Oh hi there! I think I remember you from waaaaaay back when =D

I have everything on the Windows side now so I didn't follow this thread at all any more: TS2/TS3 Tools and Utilities: Solutions for OS X users (http://modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=366580) -- there are some remarks (apparently from you too?) in the Mono section:

Tools that run (or should run) in mono:

s3pe (http://dino.drealm.info/den/denforum/index.php?board=19.0)
(pljones) requires mono 2.6.1 or later; in 2.6.1/OS X 10.5.7 I need to run it with X11 or it's extremely sluggish; in 2.6.4/OS X 10.5.8 it seems to be working nicely with the Carbon driver (this was a QA version though, not the release)
(ella) [eta start]current .Net 4.x versions don't work, as Mono has limited support for .Net4.x ; use the last non-.net4 version ie: s3pe_11-1216-1651 (http://sourceforge.net/projects/sims3tools/files/s3pe/OldReleases/s3pe/11-1216-1651/s3pe_11-1216-1651.7z/download) [eta end]

s3oc (http://dino.drealm.info/den/denforum/index.php?board=20.0)
(pljones) seems to work fine in mono 2.6.4/OS X 10.5.8 (as in run) but the file paths popup has issues. These can be circumvented by editing s3oc-ini.ttl manually, says Inge
(ella) [eta start]current .Net 4.x versions don't work, as Mono has limited support for .Net4.x ; use the last non-.net4 version. it is crash-ville though. ie: s3oc_11-1113-1118 (http://sourceforge.net/projects/sims3tools/files/s3oc/OldReleases/s3oc/11-1113-1118/s3oc_11-1113-1118.7z/download) [eta end]

Dashboard Tool (http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=387006) (Delphy) runs only with X11 according to download post
PatternPackager (http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=342998) (Delphy) intermediate build (not published yet)
Neighbourhood Workshop (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=350770) (TigerM)
Smooth Jazz Animation Script Editor (http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=365465) (TigerM) untested
Sims3Pack Multi-Extracter (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=364038) (Delphy)
CAS Texture+Unitool (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=364926)
(Delphy) I need to run this with x11 (OS X 10.5.7), otherwise I'm having redraw issues. YMMV.
(ella) [eta start]Some other info in 470372 [eta end]

Little LOTte Lot editor (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=366436) "Beautiful Vista" buff adjustment (TigerM) I need to run this with the Carbon driver, top menus won't work right in x11 for me
SimpleDXTCompress (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?p=2770935#post2770935) (TigerM)

TS2GridAdjuster (http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=327439) (Mootilda)
ConvertiWall (http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=327132) (Mootilda)
LotAdjuster 2.7 (http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=282409)/LotAdjuster 3.0 (http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=384656) (Mootilda)
HoodReplace (http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=279992) (Mootilda) untested

Quoting that entire part here for reference, since I think many of the TS4 people weren't there in the TS3 era.

Personally I don't know what would be involved in making s4pe use a different .Net version (that might play more nicely with mono perhaps). Maybe @Buzzler can comment?

9th Feb 2016, 3:30 PM
Hi @plasticbox.
Yeah, my interest is 2-prong:
1. would like to see "EA's beloved Mac folks" get treated as regular Simmers instead of 2nd-class citizens when it comes to becoming modders/content creators or even as content consumers who gets to use the same tools as everyone else without having to jump through hoops

2. learn a new skill for myself, since I'm also being tasked with creating some simple Apps at work. I think picking up programming that I can apply to different domain areas would speed up my learnings

I'll have to analyze and compare s3pe vs s4pe and the corresponding s3pi/s4pi libraries, to see how much I can understand and what sort of effort this exercise would take and the time I'd need to invest in it.

But I thought to ask the experts about the feasibility of such a task.

Inge Jones
9th Feb 2016, 3:49 PM
What coding skills do you already have? In general I mean?

NB if you're anything like me, Git will be far more scary than the C#

9th Feb 2016, 4:11 PM
Honestly, I wouldn't like downgrading the tech stack of s4pe/s4pi. What we can try is to port it to Mono. Seems like the latter has evolved a lot since I last used it. There may be some parts of s4pi that can't be ported, though. Like native system calls. But we can see about that.

Would be interesting, though.

9th Feb 2016, 4:26 PM
Erm, Pascal and C++ and a bit of Java back in school? :)
I used a text editor at work for mapping SAP fields to EDI mappers, that was like in 2004-2006, and then compile with a script. Looks like at my new job, I'm going to be the IT guru as I'm their first and only IT staff and am already getting queries on how much effort is needed to do this app and that app, when what they're are using now are Excel sheets that have become too unwieldy.

Yeah, am grappling with Git now that I'm sharing the CAW raw files of my world fixes...

Have been messing about with C#, Xamarin Studio and mvvmcross tutorials since 2012 when I opened the source code for Dashboard and s3pi toolset, but it never got anywhere since I always dropped it when I get stuck. Before .NET became Open Source, the mvvmcross framework for MonoMac needed to be compiled separately and I'd gotten stuck in the unfamiliarity of the OS X, XCode and C# all at once and didn't have time to devote to the research needed at that time. So I never completed the excellent tutorials for that mvvm framework.

I'd thought of picking it up again and need an end-goal to keep me motivated and some mentoring to keep me accountable. My initial thought of maybe porting a simplified and object-oriented-version of Delphy's Dashboard (or a simpler program) might be a good exercise, and then graduate to s3pi/s3pe and so on.

But first, I'd need to ensure that my current system(s) are sufficient or else find out what resource(s) is required, save and purchase if necessary. Now that I have the money and time to invest...

9th Feb 2016, 7:27 PM
I can do mentoring regarding C# and OOP. Cmar or Inge can give you instructions regarding s4pe/i. And your hardware is probably not much of an issue unless it's extremely old. Never mind that the other ladies in the group have crazy rigs. ;)

Pascal, eh? *high-five* :D

22nd Feb 2016, 5:05 PM
I just came across a post from last year where an OS X user says s4pe is working for them just fine under Parallels. http://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/comment/13432035/#Comment_13432035

They apparently just used it to check what's in CC packages (they do not mention editing anything) but it sounds like Parallels might be worth a try? At least some stuff (like editing textures, XML tuning, scripting .. ) would not require any other TS4-specific tools, there are plenty of image/text editors for OS X too.