News: Z-Net 3 is back on track

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Today I finished up work on getting the Qt code version of ZN3 back to where I stopped off at on the old scrapped version. As far as I can tell right now, everything I accomplished in that version has been covered again. Sadly, along the way I found some design holes that stood out that I still didn't fix. Most revolving around the addon's though. At the moment I'm still using the non-Qt addons. I plan to rewrite them in Qt, but my hope is to also support addons written in other languages.

A goal of ZN3 is to allow people other then me to create addons for use with the program. My primary focus right now is on addons that add netplay launching support for emus and games, but I hope to facilitate others later on in the design of the program.

Now that ZN3 is back to were it was, next I can focus on things such as refining the addons to remove those holes in the design. That could be what I work on next. But thee are several things I need to fix up. Like the avatar support. In both versions of ZN3, avatar support is incomplete. It will display one if you have it, but won't download it if you don't. I've decided to mimic the KVirc AVATAR protocol. Theres no IRC standard for such things, so you kind of have to pick and choose your own. At the moment it's setup to match that AVATAR protocol exactly, but I may modify it. I think I remember finding it lacking something. Anyway, the protocol allows you to either DCC an avatar from a user, or users can specify a URL. I might not support the DCC method at all. I'm not certain yet. At the moment I have no size restrictions set, for dimensions or file size. But I will later. For now though it's nice to see that I can easily resize the dimensions of a pic down. 64x64 pixels is what I'm going with for now, but should be able to be easily adjusted later if needed. As a bonus, I got animated gif avatars working too! Well, at least I can support them. I may remove it later before release. Depends if I feel people would abuse such feature to much or not.

Speaking of animated gifs. I got them working in the chat buffer too! I don't like the code used to do it to well, but it works, and performance hits are minimal, or zero if you minimize the window. Such support would mostly be for animated emoticons. I don't expect them to flood the chat buffer as much as they do for my stress testing. But I should plan for over use as much as possible. The whole emoticon feature is something I've been reluctant to add. Those and colors I've notice people tend to over use when they have access to them. They think their being cool or funny, and instead are just being annoying. Doing things like posting a big wall of emotes. Heck, some of you may have seen me use my rainbow text script. That's a perfect example of how things could be annoying. I'll probably work into the design to allow channel ops/owners to disable use of things like these if they want. And beyond that, they can always have bots that monitor text. I intend for individual rooms to have their own rules that are enforced by their own mods. Not me. Me and any Z-Net mods would just be covering rooms for addons I make, and even then I may try to pass off responsibility to others.

Well anyway. Since ZN3 is back to were it was, that means it's able to launch netplay games again! But with my recoding I've realized how much refinement of the procedure and protocol I still need to do. During design I find myself asking myself questions a lot. Like "Could this be done better?". Sometimes the rough idea I have vaguely outlined in my head doesn't quite convert as well to the quality I thought it would, right away. There may be aspects I just couldn't visualize until I'm seeing things in front of me.

I don't think there's going to be a lot of additions and advancement for the project in the near future. Instead I'll probably be working on refining and redesigning things until I'm happy.

Below is a updated pic to show where the project is at now. It's not to much different from the last one, visually. So I made certain to show some other bits. Like the Select a Game menu button in action That's the blue button in the message window. The red one pops up a similar list for the options windows, like shown at the bottom. (It's ugly, I know.). All the megamans are a animated gif looping. While in a still pic you can't see animations, it's intended to show off the feature. Compared to the last pic, the numbers next to Emu names in the list are new. They represent how many users are in that room. The blue and red buttons in that window are for adding/deleting friends FYI. And I'm sure someones gong to wonder about it sooner or later. The thing that looks like an dummy advertizement at the bottom of that window, is just that. It's a development place holder for an advertizement. The project and website has costs, and this should help cover them where the website ads alone have failed.

Before moving on much more, I may take a break. I've been grinding away pretty hard at this, so a break might do me some good. I may even try fixing the protocol signing problems with ZNI again.


Unknown said...

It will have 4 player co op?
Because when using zsnes is not possible, only using 2 computers with 2 people each one.

Unknown said...

excellent site my bro, this project is amazing too, best regards

Unknown said...

bro I think u need works with Android, this SO movil need a znet soft.

DarkAkuma said...

Linux, Mac, and Android support are not ruled out. But that's something for the future. After Z-Net 3 is finished and ready for Windows.

I can say for now though that, at least I'm considering future multiple OS support in my design decisions.

And I also do have to warn. Don't get your hopes up to much with multi-OS support. The emulators themselves would still need to support cross talk, like one person on Windows playing with another on Linux. I haven't researched that, but I don't think many emus used to support that. And now I think only a few do.

And as for DruidVorse's question... I've decided to start ignoring that question. It happens WAY to often for a question that takes just a basic understanding of Z-Net to know the answer to.

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