Vassal 3.1 User Guide - Draft

Attached is a draft of a Vassal User’s Guide in PDF format. Your review and comments are welcomed! This is the first stage of the 3.1 documentation project.

Some sections are marked TBD, requiring more information to complete.

These sections include:

-Vassal history and overview (same as for the web site)
-Using Quick Start (has this changed in 3.1?)
-Vassal system requirements
-Installing on Linux
-Connecting by Peer to Peer (since I have never done this successfully)
-General Preferences need a detailed explanation of each one.

If you can supply any of the missing information, and don’t wish to spam the forum, feel free to PM or email me and I will add it to the document.

Note that this is only a draft and primarily concerned with content, not necessarily format, so there is no cover page. The final format will look much more polished.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Looks good, but you need some screenshots. If you have any problems with that just ask.

  • M.

2009/3/18 mycenae <messages@forums.vassalengine.org (messages@forums.vassalengine.org)>

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After as brief read through, a list of many things but dont have time to detail them all right now.

Some immediate stand outs:

explains general card manipulation but nothing on general piece/counter manipulation other than right click commands.
How do I move a piece or stack? etc… Need more info on selection of pieces (shift click, window selection et. al)

Stack Viewer is not standard to all modules

module extension is .vext? I thought it was .vmdx (based on previous discussions)

Module Manager component - left out also manages extensions, saves and logs

Quick Start - isnt this supposed to be nixed?

Good start so far :slight_smile:

Thus spake “mycenae”:

I’ve uploaded some comments here:

nomic.net/~uckelman/tmp/vassal/comments.pdf

(Pages on which I had no comment have been omitted.)


J.


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Joel, what software did you do that with?

  • M.

2009/3/18 Joel Uckelman <uckelman@nomic.net (uckelman@nomic.net)>

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I would use Adobe Acrobat Professional but knowing Joel its probably something open source equivalent compatible

From: messages-bounces@forums.vassalengine.org [mailto:messages-bounces@forums.vassalengine.org] On Behalf Of Michael Kiefte
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 6:39 PM
To: VASSAL Engine Forums Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Developers]Vassal 3.1 User Guide - Draft

Joel, what software did you do that with?

I’ve uploaded some comments here:

http://www.nomic.net/~uckelman/tmp/vassal/comments.pdf

(Pages on which I had no comment have been omitted.)

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Thus spake Michael Kiefte:

Inkscape. You can import PDFs, scrawl on them, and then save them back out
as PDFs again.


J.


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It had never occured to me to use it that way. Thanks.

  • M.

2009/3/19 Joel Uckelman <uckelman@nomic.net (uckelman@nomic.net)>

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Thus spake Michael Kiefte:

It’s not really the ideal tool for annotating PDFs; that you can do it
is a side-effect of its capabilies to import PDF to SVG and export SVG
out to PDF.

Someday, when the GNU PDF library is further along, we’ll have tools
which were designed for PDF annotation.


J.


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This is all really good feedback; thank you for all the comments so far!

I still need information to fill in some of the blanks in the guide.

-Required Operating Systems: Are there any restrictions on which OS versions Vassal supports/recommends? Which versions of Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, if any?

-Need a complete description of how peer-to-peer connections are performed. (Personally I’ve never been able to make this work–has someone else?)

-Need descriptions of what each of the settings in Preferences > General does.

-Do module updaters work? Should we steer people away from creating and using them?

Thanks in advance.
Ed

On Mar 20, 2009, at 11:09 AM, mycenae wrote:

The limitation seems to be more one of which Java versions are
available. In the Mac world, that is tied to operating system
versions, so here goes for the Mac:

"Macintosh requires Mac OS X to run.
Version 10.3.x (Panther) only supports Java 1.4, so you are
limited to Vassal version 2.9.9
Version 10.4.x (Tiger) supports Java 1.5, so you can run any
current version of Vassal 2.9.9, 3.0.x, 3.1.x, etc.
Version 10.5.x (Leopard) supports Java 1.6, so you can run any
current version of Vassal 2.9.9, 3.0.x, 3.1.x, etc.


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Thus spake “mycenae”:

The sole OS requirement is being able to run Java 1.5.0_08 or later, though
we should recommend using 1.6 where available. (JREs prior to 1.5.0_08 have
a bug which causes some PNGs to load improperly.)

Linux: Any current Linux distribution will be able to run Java 1.5 or 1.6.

Windows: Java 1.5 runs on Windows 98 or later. Java 1.6 runs on 2000, XP,
2003, 2008 Server, and Vista.

  • Prefer memory-mapped files for large images?

When checked, large images are decoded and written to memory-mapped files,
rather then being stored in RAM; initial loading of large images will be
slower, but significantly less RAM will be used.

  • High-quality scaling:

Toggles between using the slower, high-quality Lanczos3 scaler and the
faster, low-quality bilinear scaler for scaling images.


J.


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They were broken in 3.0 but should work in 3.1. The procedure is roughly:

  • Both players go to Preferences->Server and select “Direct peer-to-peer”
  • Player 1 hits the “Connect” button. He’ll get a dialog telling him what his IP address is
  • Player 2 hits “Connect” He enters Player 1’s IP address into the dialog and hits “Invite”
  • Play continues normally, joining/leaving rooms and starting/synching games as if attached to the normal server

They work, but I think we should steer people away from them. They’re a support headache and saving bandwidth is not the priority it used to be.

rk

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