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MML file decoding and map painting

 
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MML file decoding and map painting - 2/10/2015 1:43:35 PM   
kmitahj

 

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Seeing another map related thread I'm encouraged to ask myself...
I'm interested in format of MML files (that is textual, XML map files). Was lately looking into them trying to figure out if I would be able to draw correctly TOAW map based on CELL data. The results are mostly encouraging but there are still quite a few blind spots to fill and/or rough corners to cut. Hence my question: is MML format documented somewhere or otherwise decoded and well-known by the community? If so could you drop me the link please?

Of course If the answer is negative (have not found myself much by googling so far) and if there are people interested in MML format decoding I would be happy to share with them what (I believe) I found so far. I would hope that in that case mutual cooperation could bring interesting results including the ability to build new map related tools/extensions for TOAW.
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RE: MML file decoding and map painting - 2/17/2015 7:28:17 PM   
Telumar


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From: niflheim
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You may want to ask Bob or Ralph. Bob manipulated the map of his Soviet Union 1941 scenario with the help of the mml file so he might have some basic knowledge and Ralph (obviously) programmed the whole thing.

A tool that could convert scanned/digital maps (of course with the help of user input) into mml format would be very welcome indeed!

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RE: MML file decoding and map painting - 2/18/2015 2:35:24 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Telumar

You may want to ask Bob or Ralph. Bob manipulated the map of his Soviet Union 1941 scenario with the help of the mml file so he might have some basic knowledge and Ralph (obviously) programmed the whole thing.

A tool that could convert scanned/digital maps (of course with the help of user input) into mml format would be very welcome indeed!


I did manage to decode the XML map file for that little project I'm working on. But that was with a lot of help from Ralph. I think we have to consider that info to be proprietary. So, Ralph can reveal it if he wishes, but not me. Even Ralph may be constrained, since it is really Norm's info and therefore Matrix's.

< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 2/18/2015 3:38:58 PM >

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RE: MML file decoding and map painting - 2/18/2015 3:27:18 PM   
Telumar


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From: niflheim
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If this info is so 'proprietary' what is the use of the map xml file at all then?

It does nothing but translate the map into xml friendly format. Doing this is some kind of decryption which would render moot possible proprietary information issues imho (by its mere functionality).

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RE: MML file decoding and map painting - 2/18/2015 5:33:36 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 7979
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Telumar

If this info is so 'proprietary' what is the use of the map xml file at all then?

It does nothing but translate the map into xml friendly format. Doing this is some kind of decryption which would render moot possible proprietary information issues imho (by its mere functionality).


Well, it's obiviously not fully decrypted or no one would need help with it.

I'm not sure what its use was supposed to be, but we have to be careful not to release all the coding secrets or competitors can exploit them. And it's possible that that consideration wasn't thought of when it was first made available. I'm sure that this must be up to Ralph at a minimum.

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RE: MML file decoding and map painting - 2/19/2015 8:21:18 PM   
kmitahj

 

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Hi, thanks for your comments. Much appreciated!
I understand that people involved in TOAW development have their hands and mouths largely tied by NDAs or similar obligations. Frankly taking into account limited resources which can be put into development process I think it would be in the best interest of the company to encourage community to create third party tools and extensions and documenting existing data formats would be obviously large step in that direction. But that just my private opinion which may be plain wrong of course. And besides even if it is not wrong then because legal situation of TOAW is well.. complicated to say it gently it would be probably hard to find an entity with the right to make corresponding decisions anyway.

Nethertheless regarding MML data format legal limitations - as far as I understand - do not apply to the community as a whole and I'm pretty sure that format can be figured out by the community alone. In fact most of the columns of MML CELL data seem to be pretty easy to interpret as they map 1:1 to particular terrain tilesets. A few other are bit more complicated as they are bitfields where each bit must be decoded independently. Still few other columns are even more difficult to get a grip on as they seem to have no apparent visual influence on the terrain. Finding out their function may take more effort but at the end it shall be only matter of persistence and time invested. Hence was my initial question - I was hoping to save some time not reinventing a wheel if somebody already jumped through the same hoops.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Telumar
A tool that could convert scanned/digital maps (of course with the help of user input) into mml format would be very welcome indeed!

Indeed, that would be primary application I think - though I hope there could be other possibilities too. For example my personal starting point for interest in MML was an idea of creating game extension for TOAW which would take care of strategy/economy layer of war in more detailed and flexible way then it is possible in TOAW itself. Such extension would have to have its own map of course - possibly less detailed then base Toaw scenario itself (say 50km/hex instead of 10km/hex - strategy/economy issues simply does not need the same level of detail as combat). At first I was thinking about simply using as a map a bitmap / jpeg image exported from the base Toaw scenario but later come to conclusion that creating the map in same manner as TOAW itself won't be as difficult as I was afraid of at first. - that is as long as I can understand TOAW map format!


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