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#851 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 5:14 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 4th Nov 2007 at 6:38 AM. Reason: More UI changes
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
disallow the selection of anything that is not a neighbourhood package.
I don't know any way to do this except to rewrite the entire system-provided file-open-dialog. I'm not sure that's a good use of my time.
OK, I spoke too soon. I was making some assumptions about how the file-open dialog worked. The more that I thought about it, the more I felt that I ought to be able to get something to work. So, I've implemented something which may not be perfect, but it should be significantly better. This will appear in the next test version.

Did the same thing for browsing for lots. So, now the file open dialog should only allow valid lot files.

I'm also going to try to get all of the other suggestions in before I upload another version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
Note that the byline says "the amount to enlarge or shrink a lot, but shrinking isn't implemented in this version.
Now only says shrink if shrinking is enabled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
when pressing "Restart" at the end, it goes back to the *first* screen, which in my eyes is unnecessary (all you do is press Start *again* there -- someone who restarts will already have seen the intro blurb). It would save an extra click if "Restart" went to Screen 2 directly.

Also, do you think the LE should assume that people will want to do all their shrinking in the same hood if they restart? If so, it would make sense to let the neighbourhood selection screen default to the hood that's already in use (which the browser screen does anyway -- it would save a click if the user wouldn't have to press "Browse" and then OK and then select the lot).
I've changed Restart to put you back into the lot selection screen. If you want to change neighborhoods, just click "back".

If people would prefer going back to the neighborhood screen, I can do that. However, the lot selection screen seems like the most likely place that you want to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
I wouldn't have the warning about advanced options in red unless an advanced option has been selected.
I've set the standard advanced text to black. Other text is red.

Sounds like we're getting there. I'm glad that the new interface seems to be working better.
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#852 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 6:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
There is a "reset to defaults" button isn't there? Then it doesn't matter too much whether default is ticked or unticked. Everyone is used to that mixture of ticks and not-ticks defaults from SimPE's Object Workshop.
Actually, I've never even seen the Object Workshop. Guess that means I'm not everyone?
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#853 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 7:03 AM Last edited by plasticbox : 4th Nov 2007 at 7:10 AM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I was making some assumptions about how the file-open dialog worked. (..) So, I've implemented something which may not be perfect, but it should be significantly better. This will appear in the next test version.

Did the same thing for browsing for lots. So, now the file open dialog should only allow valid lot files.

Cool. Even if it's just a tiny thing in fact, this kind of thing makes it feel much better (useability-wise).


And you said something about the portals before, I don't find it anymore -- that you want to avoid double negatives (you're right actually): how about "Ignore portals"? "Leave portals unchanged"?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Now only says shrink if shrinking is enabled.

You want to put this in the *release* version? Are you sure?


In other news, I've just updated the shrinktutorial (stuck more warning labels on top, and tried to get across what's up with the "access violation") -- would be good if you could take a quick look. Link: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=254032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I suppose that I think moving the tutorial to a more "advanced" area makes some sense to me. (Not that I'm quite sure what that means...)

I just meant putting it somewhere in the actual modding forums, or R+D, so that we can assume a somewhat different audience .. however, I'm not sure how much sense that would make, since Build Mode is where people ask about this stuff and will be pointed at the tutorial anyway. For now I just changed it a little, see above.

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#854 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 9:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
How would you word this option using the word "shrink"?

"Enable shrinking"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I really have my hands full with the LE / LA. I've found it impossible to keep up with the MATY thread, plus the various threads here.

I would have volunteered to do this but with the developments and conversation of the last 24 hours I now believe shrinking is *potentially* risky enough that normal players should not see something that will encourage them to think it's today's fashion. Therefore a more obscure thread for diehard experimenters would be more suitable for the time being. The MATY thread is probably as good as anything for now, along with the fact it's in "advanced options" and has a red warning. Obviously this position can change rapidly as we begin to understand it.


WRT the access violation, I am no systems programmer, so feel free to tell me I am talking rubbish, but I thought that because the log was written by the program (it's named by the program and is in the program's data directory) that the exception had been handled by the program. That was behind me saying I thought the program had failed safe.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Mad Poster
#855 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 10:40 AM Last edited by niol : 19th Nov 2007 at 1:31 PM.
Default [Lot -shrinking] - trouble-shooting
Are all shrunk lots as unsafe as wall-at-the-edge lots? Say, plain "empty" lots?
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#856 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 10:46 AM
I am not convinced the people with crashing lots are wrecking their hoods, there is no evidence of accumulating errors emerging and some of these people are experimenting with deliberately crashing the lots over and over and over again.

By accumulating errors I mean not the same predictable crash happening each time, but gradually things going wrong that didn't go wrong before.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Alchemist
#857 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 11:56 AM Last edited by aelflaed : 4th Nov 2007 at 12:09 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge
it doesn't matter too much whether default is ticked or unticked. Everyone is used to that mixture of ticks and not-ticks defaults from SimPE's Object Workshop.


Only if you've used the Object Workshop - I know I haven't. One of the great things about the LE is that it allows people like me who are NOT technical to play with things. These are the same people who are shy of SimPE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I honestly tried to explain the severity of these crashes, but I just didn't know how. I'm glad that this is now understood. I apologize again for not being clear.


I probably still don't understand really, but I'm prepared to believe people who do. I'm glad you are confident about the rotation code, in contrast.

Quote:
want to avoid double negatives: how about "Ignore portals"? "Leave portals unchanged"?

I suggested 'maintain portals', I think that post was overlooked in today's frenzy.

Plasticbox, thanks for your comments on the rotation tutorial - I'll take them for consideration. And now I'd better go check on some other stuff.

Edit -
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niol
Are all shrunk lots as unsafe as wall-at-the-edge lots? Say, plain "empty" lots?
I don't know, naturally, but Rascal had a good series of crashes with my shrunk-but-not-edge-built lot recently. In any case, if you want an empty lot of any given size, you can take a 1x1, sunnyside or original, and expand it with the tried-and-true LE capabilities. No stress involved, that way. I can't see why you would need to shrink an empty lot, myself.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#858 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 12:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
Are all shrunk lots as unsafe as wall-at-the-edge lots? Say, plain "empty" lots?


I'm not sure any of us really have a clue yet. I feel as if we're all doing a good "headless chicken" impersonation at this stage :D

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Mad Poster
#859 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 12:34 PM Last edited by niol : 19th Nov 2007 at 1:34 PM.
Default [Lot -shrinking] - trouble-shooting - tests: wall-at-the-edges
so, playing each shrunk lot per game-run can avoid potential corruption spread.among the same neighbourhood?

Also, I've never had a crash for the shrunken "blank" lot in the base game.

I'm running a series of tests in a new neighbourhood and will run each lot per each game rum to avoid such potential corruption spread if so.

All lots have light from the front right, shrunk from 30x30 to 10x20 by LE 127B.


1. "blank" lot:
2. with wall-at-the-edges, closed rooms, 2 levels:
3. with wall-at-the-edges, open rooms, 2 levels:
4. with wall-at-the-edges, closed rooms, 1 level:
5. with wall-at-the-edges, open rooms, 1 level::
6. with wall 1 row from the edges, closed rooms, 2 levels. with floor tiles at 1st level reaching the edges.:

All the same results :
no crash for a whole sims day, no crash for night toggle @ build mode.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#860 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 12:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
so, playing each shrunk lot per game-run can avoid potential corruption spread.among the same neighbourhood?


Does anyone know? I feel as if I have reached the wall on this one (pardon any perceived pun).

Let's put it this way:- if my test hood carries on managing my own shrunk lot row houses with their walls and roofs right up to the boundary as well as it has been doing, I will soon feel happy to start using them in my main hood. However I probably won't use other people's lots in anything but a test hood for the forseeable future :D

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Field Researcher
#861 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 2:35 PM
So I was working on the Castle Courtyard Garden, part II, which includes an orchard. After shrinking both left and right side I had crashes on saving, and after a couple of trial-and-error found the problem: an apple tree placed to close (1 tile away) from the cut border. Took the two apple trees out before shrinking, no crashes on saving.
Dont know if this is helpful, but anyway.
(I have all expansions, no BV patch yet).
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#862 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 2:57 PM
Ingeli, was the tree a four-tile tree, and was any part of it overlapping the cut off bit of your lot?

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Field Researcher
#863 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 3:16 PM
It was an apple tree (seasons type, blossoming and giving fruits), with a 1-tile footprint, not placed outside the borders, but one tile from the cut off - my suspicion is that the tree, in spite of the footprint, has stuff that is much bigger than the footprint (like the blossom, the fruits, the unattended state) and that some part of it was cut off and made the lot crash upon saving.

Oh, and to solve the problem I just expanded the lot back to what it was, took out the trees, and then shrunk it. Then it saved fine.
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#864 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 3:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I agree with you that we will no longer be able to control either the shrinking code or the tutorial. Now that they are available, if we tried to get rid of them, people would just share them anyway.
I have changed my mind on this issue. I just did what I probably should have done when I came in one morning to find the shrinking version of the LE downloaded 100 times: I went through this thread and removed all source code and executables for the shrinking code. I also changed my creator policy to discourage sharing of the test versions of the LotExpander / LotAdjuster.

The source code changes that I made have not been lost. They are disabled in the latest release source code and can be reactivated very easily, by anyone understanding C#.

I realized last night (I do some of my best thinking while I'm asleep) that I have been handling this issue all wrong.

I understood the possible severity of the crashes, but allowed myself to be convinced that people wanted this anyway - not realizing that other people might not realize what an "access violation" implied. Although I had warned about possible neighborhood corruption, I should have done what I could to restrict the shrinking code until it was either fixed or found unfixable.

I apologize to everyone for this.

However, it's incorrect logic to do nothing because you cannot do everything.

I know that I cannot prevent people from sharing the shrinking version of the LE / LA, no matter what I do. That doesn't mean that I should help them by making these versions easily available.

I am considering making the following changes to the LA:
- The shrinking code will be disabled by default.
- The test version of the LA will have a config file available. In order to access the shrinking code, the user will have to edit that config file to enable shrinking.
- The config file will be unique for each machine that the LA runs on, which should prevent sharing of config files and encourage users to make the change to the config file themselves.

I'm hoping that this will discourage casual use, but allow dedicated simmers to continue to shrink lots. Would this work for people here? Does everyone here know how to edit a text file?

In the interim, I'd like to take a break from working on the shrinking code right now.

I had several restless nights after the shrinking tutorial came out (Oct 24th?), worrying about possible lot and neighborhood corruption for simmers who were not aware of the risks. Finally (Oct 28th?), I was convinced that people wanted this feature, even though it was dangerous. I had a restless night last night wondering about what to do, now that I realized that people had not actually understood the risks.

I've felt out of control of this issue for a week now. So, I'd just like some time for things to calm down.

Hope that's acceptable to everyone. Now, I'm off to read and answer the latest set of posts.
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#865 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 3:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
And you said something about the portals before, I don't find it anymore -- that you want to avoid double negatives (you're right actually): how about "Ignore portals"? "Leave portals unchanged"?
Those are both still double negatives, although perhaps better. I think that what we need to do is focus the attention on what the user gains by using this feature, rather than focusing on what the program avoids doing. ("User must manually place portals."?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
You want to put this [shrinking feature] in the *release* version? Are you sure?
No. I continue to believe that the shrinking feature should not be released until it works correctly. However, even in the test version, I would prefer that the feature stands out as dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
In other news, I've just updated the shrinktutorial (stuck more warning labels on top, and tried to get across what's up with the "access violation") -- would be good if you could take a quick look. Link: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=254032
I'll take a look at it now. Perhaps irrelevant until the new (safer?) test version of the LA comes out. I'm sorry if we're working at cross-purposes.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#866 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 3:42 PM
Mootilda, you can only be expected to create and publish what you feel comfortable with. I'd be disappointed if I could no longer decide for myself to take the risk and shrink lots, but you're still going to let us do it by editing a config file. I think it is generous of you that you're prepared to put in the extra work to implement that anyway, you could have just decided you were fed up with it all and pulled the whole lot.

One day soon I hope, there will be a breakthrough in understanding what was going wrong.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#867 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 3:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
"Enable shrinking"
Done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
WRT the access violation, I am no systems programmer, so feel free to tell me I am talking rubbish, but I thought that because the log was written by the program (it's named by the program and is in the program's data directory) that the exception had been handled by the program. That was behind me saying I thought the program had failed safe.
I assume that EA wanted to manage the amount of information (about the internals of the game) that would be available outside of the company. So, in order to restrict the amount of useful information in the crash log, they have a top level exception handler which puts out less information than usual about crashes. This in no way means that the game has been managing to avoid corrupting memory. It just means that EA is using a feature of C / C++ to catch the problem at the point where they are crashing, and to restrict the usefulness of the output just before the game dies. Does that make sense?

This is very similar to what I did with the LA - I put in a top level exception handler for the release build, so that people would stop accepting crashes which might cause corruption of their lots. Of course, the LA exits gracefully without crashing, but I didn't spend the time writing out a crash log. Instead, I ask people to attach their lot to the LE thread, so that I can debug the issue myself.
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#868 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 3:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
Are all shrunk lots as unsafe as wall-at-the-edge lots? Say, plain "empty" lots?
As far as we can tell from the work that you and Andi have done, shrinking an empty lot is much much safer. Still, I would test such a lot before putting it up for download.

Until we know what's causing the crashes, there's no way to say what's safe and what isn't. The fact that Andi's lots have been used extensively leads us to trust them.

I wish that I had access to the Sims 2 source code, so that I could answer more definitely about what the game can and can't handle.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#869 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 3:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
It just means that EA is using a feature of C / C++ to catch the problem at the point where they are crashing, and to restrict the usefulness of the output just before the game dies. Does that make sense?


Does the OS send an error message to the application that gives the application time to write this log? Or does an application come with some form of instruction file that the OS uses to write the log for it as specified?

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#870 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 3:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I wish that I had access to the Sims 2 source code, so that I could answer more definitely about what the game can and can't handle.


I think Dizzy has a way of reading the exe...

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#871 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 3:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
I am not convinced the people with crashing lots are wrecking their hoods, there is no evidence of accumulating errors emerging and some of these people are experimenting with deliberately crashing the lots over and over and over again.
I agree. We don't know whether the roof testing implies neighborhood corruption or not, although it's our best current evidence.

Unfortunately, there are only two ways to know whether the neighborhood is ever being corrupted:
1) Debug the source code. (Preferred method)
2) Test and test and test. (Our only alternative)

Even if we saw neighborhood corruption, we'd have no way of telling whether it was the lot shrinking code, or a problem with the existing game code unrelated to shrinking. That said, the lot shrinking code would be suspect if we could prove neighborhood corruption, since it's newer and less well tested.
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#872 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 4:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
I suggested 'maintain portals', I think that post was overlooked in today's frenzy.
I'm not sure what "maintain portals" means?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
if you want an empty lot of any given size, you can take a 1x1, sunnyside or original, and expand it with the tried-and-true LE capabilities. No stress involved, that way. I can't see why you would need to shrink an empty lot, myself.
Beach lots.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#873 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 4:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Even if we saw neighborhood corruption, we'd have no way of telling whether it was the lot shrinking code, or a problem with the existing game code unrelated to shrinking. That said, the lot shrinking code would be suspect if we could prove neighborhood corruption, since it's newer and less well tested.


The good thing is that there is a core group of testers who are testing very methodically so if the problem begins evolving it will be fairly indicative of being related to this activity.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#874 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 4:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
so, playing each shrunk lot per game-run can avoid potential corruption spread.among the same neighbourhood?
It depends upon whether you are using the same saved neighborhood or not. If there is any neighborhood corruption and you save the neighborhood, then we have to assume that the game saves the corruption. If you then use that neighborhood for further testing, that corruption would have the potential to work its way into other lots.

Of course, you need to run with the same lot(s) and neighborhood when you are looking for long-term corruption issues.
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#875 Old 4th Nov 2007 at 4:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I am considering making the following changes to the LA:
- The shrinking code will be disabled by default.
- The test version of the LA will have a config file available. In order to access the shrinking code, the user will have to edit that config file to enable shrinking.
- The config file will be unique for each machine that the LA runs on, which should prevent sharing of config files and encourage users to make the change to the config file themselves.

I'm hoping that this will discourage casual use, but allow dedicated simmers to continue to shrink lots. Would this work for people here? Does everyone here know how to edit a text file?

No problem with the text file approach.

When you say "test version", are you referring to 1.2.7.8? Or to the next version?

Also, where do the instructions go on how to do this, in your opinion -- into the download thread/post of the version with shrinking potential (whichever that will be)? Or in the shrinktutorial? Or somewhere else?

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
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