13 Feb 2004 elanthis   » (Journeyer)

Bass

So hey, I'm getting better. I'm at least at the point now that I can sit down, screw around on the thing, and have fun. Previously, practice was just an exercise in frustration. ;-)

I tried playing two of my father's guitars last night. The strings and frets are too close together. ~,^ Altho the much thinner guitar strings let one do things that one can't easily do with a bass. (I don't know the "music speak" names for said things, so I'll avoid making a fool of myself and try to describe them.)

PyCL

Not sure if I've written about PyCL in depth before or not. Being lazy and Advogato lacking searching, I'll just assume I haven't.l

PyCL (pronounced like pie-kl, similar to the green bearded dwarf Pikel found in R.A. Salvotore's F.R. books) is a MUD client written in (you guessed it) Python. It's not a full featured client; it's barely a "featured" client at all. It has full ANSI support thanks to vte, and is one of the few clients around to have a non-brain-damaged telnet implementation (required by ZMP.

The purpose of PyCL is basically to test out ZMP. Currently, I have an x-awemud package for ZMP that has all of three commands, but which are quite cool. Namely, the ability to define and update 'status bars', for things like health, round time, and so on. This makes playing AweMUD look and feel a lot better. The ugly prompt line can be removed, and the visual status bars (implemented using the GTK+ ProgressBar widget) can have their values updated without needing to fill the play window with status/prompt updates. The round time bar decreases by one every second, and health bar updates whenever health changes, etc. Very nice.

The status bars also offer four display styles: fraction, percent, count, and label. The styles are just how the numbers are shown. Each of the four has the bar's name (like Health or Round) in it. The 'label' type just leaves it at that. The 'fraction' shows the numbers used for the bar as a fraction (i.e., if you have 20 out of 50 health, you'd see Health: 20/50), percent shows the percentage value, and count just shows the current (numerator) value.

My only problem with the setup at all is getting the spacing between widgets right in the UI. I know what it should be (yay HIG) but it's next to fucking impossible to actually get the alignment and spacing right using GTK+/Glade. I would love to be able to specify widget padding per-side (versus just one value for the spacing on all sides) and to have finer control over when the spacing between two adjacent widget should stack or fold. I think GTK+ 2.4 has (will have) better support for this, but neither Glade nor PyGTK seem to be ready for this; at least not the versions in Fedora Devel.

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