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RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 3/6/2015 3:40:22 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
March 5, 2015 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Versions
Version 1.3.3.0 was made an Official Release in February. That version fixed several important bugs in the solitaire and head-to-head modes of play but was primarily concerned with NetPlay for Barbarossa. Under NetPlay, that version still has some known problems with naval operations. For the most part it should be able to play through the 5 turns of Barbarossa, provided naval combats are avoided.

I gave the beta testers new versions: 1.3.3.4 and 1.3.3.5 during the month. For those versions I fixed problems with Conquest, Air-to-air Combat, and Anti-aircraft Fire. About half the changes were for NetPlay and still others were corrections to new bugs in Solitaire and Head-to-head play after the NetPlay changes were made.

Bugs
My record keeping of reported bugs is up-to-date for all three data streams: emailed bug reports, bugs reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, and bug reported in posts in the Tech Support forum. New bug reports are rare. I’m mostly catching up on old bug reports. The only exceptions are when the beta testers discover new problems caused by changes for NetPlay.

I’m currently working on 1.3.3.6, which is almost exclusively focused on NetPlay naval combat bugs. Those are driving me crazy because fixing them seems to be like playing whack-a-mole. Today I got some solid evidence that the underlying causes have to do with the air-to-air combat and naval combat timers. Both of those combat types use timers which are turned on and off at various points in the sequence of play.

For example, during an air-to-air combat, players need to make decisions, such as selecting which unit receives the result of a combat die roll. Once a decision has been made, the program turns on the timer (on both computers) so a general purpose routine executes to determine what happens next. The timer routine branches based on which sub-subphase of the air-to-air combat was just executed and which player needs to make the next decision. There are also places where the program needs to roll the dice. Intermixed with the ‘standard’ sequence of play is a side branch for using surprise points to change air-to-air combat differences (only for port attacks and naval air combats) and the need for both sides to arrange their air units at the start of the combat. Sometimes the arranging of air units is skipped simply because a player only has one fighter and/or bomber.

Primarily, the difficulties arise at the end of each combat round where players get to decide whether to continue fighting or not. In some instances all the units have been eliminated from a combat because they were cleared through, aborted, or destroyed. In that case, it isn’t necessary to ask about players Staying or Aborting from the combat. Spending surprise points comes up frequently during a naval combat, especially a naval air combat.

Basically, there are a lot of possibilities and both computers need to be perfectly informed about what has happened and able to determine what happens next. To do that, the program needs to enable the NetPlay timers so the computers can receive information from the other player. But turning the 5 timers on and off correctly is non-trivial: there is a main timer to control the sequence of play, 2 timers to control NetPlay communications, a timer for air-to-air combat, and a timer for naval combat processing.

I continue to work on NetPlay - dreaming of the day when I can work on the AIO code exclusively.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in February.

AI Opponent (AIO)

Peter S. has pretty much completed the formulae for setting the absolute Combat Value (CV) for air units. Units with a higher CV will be given pilots before those with a lower CV. Obviously, for fighters the air-to-air factor is most important. How to differentiate based on other factors, such as range, is more subjective. But we want the AIO to have one formula for the absolute CV for each unit in the game.

What he is working on now is the decision making process for choosing in which hexes the USSR units should be placed at the start of the Barbarossa scenario. He wants to have several variation (i.e., strategies) for how the USSR sets up its units. I am more concerned with choosing the best setup possible every time. A good case can be made for both sides.

Another aspect of choosing where to place units is to take into consideration the USSR reserves and reinforcements, especially those that arrive at the beginning of the second turn. Of course that means calculating how many build points will be available for the USSR at the end of the first turn. Following that logic path, the AI Opponent must be able to estimate the number of factories and resources the USSR will hold at the end of the first turn.

I’m not spending more than a couple of hours a month on this - commenting on what Peter is doing and providing some advice. Peter has already written a little script (in LAIO - Language for AI Opponent) for choosing setup hexes for the USSR.




_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 61
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 4/5/2015 7:53:22 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
April 5, 2015 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Versions
Unfortunately, no new Official Releases or Open Beta versions were released in March. Every time I thought I had a version ready to be released as an Open Beta the beta testers found at least one fatal bug that needed to be corrected. There was no sense in making an Open Beta available just to have customers immediately encounter known fatal bugs.

I gave the beta testers versions 1.3.3.6 and 1.3.3.7 during the month. For those versions I fixed a couple dozen bugs, most of which were for NetPlay: processing anti-aircraft fire and the naval combat abort queue.

The most difficult (and important) change for solitaire was to fix a problem with naval interception combats of units aborting from a naval combat. The code for nested digressions can become quite convoluted. For example, I was working from a saved game where the Axis collapsed Vichy France (a digression from the Land Movement phase) and then a series of Free France naval groups were forced to rebase (a second/nested digression) through the Western Med, where they were intercepted by the Italians (a third/nested digression). Processing the first group went perfectly, but the second and subsequent groups were having difficulty when aborted from naval interception combats (a fourth/nested digression). Once all the code corrections were made, the program enabled the Allied player to rebase a series of the Free French naval groups, fight through any naval interception combats, abort naval units (potentially by both sides), and ultimately return to the Land Movement phase for the Axis.

Bugs
My record keeping of reported bugs is up-to-date for all three data streams: emailed bug reports, bugs reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, and bug reported in posts in the Tech Support forum. New bug reports continue to be rare. I’m mostly fixing problems reported by beta testers caused by code changes for NetPlay.

In the beginning of April, I provided the beta testers with 1.3.3.8 but they found yet another problem with multiple air-to-air combats that halts the game. These areas of the game: air-to-air combat, anti-aircraft fire, and naval abort queue processing, each required significant changes to support NetPlay. Getting everything perfectly coded to support the Solitaire and Head-to-head modes of play as well has been quite difficult. The reason these phases/subphases are so complex is because the decision makers switch back and forth irregularly depending on die rolls for search and combat results. Use of surprise points interjected into the naval combat and port attacks are particularly aggravating for NetPlay processing. The number of variations for these combats is so large that running through even a small portion of the possibilities takes a long time. Given that for NetPlay testing two computers (and hopefully two people) have to be playing the game simultaneously, the time required is multiplied by 2, 3, or even 4 - compared to debugging Solitaire bugs.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios

Nothing new in March.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Peter S. and I worked out good starting locations for the USSR units in Barbarossa. That includes which units to scrap. We’ll probably want to add some variations to the starting setup locations for the USSR, but I really would prefer to have the best setup possible, rather than have the AIO give itself known weaknesses from the very beginning of the game. Because the scenario is only 5 turns long, there are only 4 Production opportunities and the last two have severe limitations of what can be produced, since the game ends so quickly. Peter has written some logic as to what unit types should be built by the USSR based on how well/poorly the Germans are doing in capturing Russian cities. That all looks quite reasonable to me.


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 62
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 5/4/2015 7:31:04 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
May 3, 2015 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Health
I was in Philadelphia for a week at the end of April for my annual follow-up on my retinal melanoma. The doctors said I should return in 2 years for a final checkup. That’s about as good as it gets at my age. But those days away from Honolulu meant that I had less time than normal in the month for working on MWIF.

Versions
The Open Beta version 1.4.0.0 was released in April. Though there haven’t been complaints specifically for that version, the beta testers did find one fatal bug that I need to fix before releasing an official version (most likely that will be version 1.4.1.0).

I gave the beta testers versions 1.3.3.8, and 1.4.0.1, and 1.4.0.2 during the month. The last had the most fixes: 22, occurring in a wide diversity of phases in the game (e.g., land combat resolution, collapsing Vichy, breaking down and reforming SS units, convoys on Sentry staying at sea).

Bugs
My record keeping of reported bugs is up-to-date for bugs reported by the beta testers in the private development forum and bugs reported in posts in the Tech Support forum. I am behind in updating my task list for emailed bug reports.

Since I returned from Philadelphia, I have been investigating old bug reports that have lingered on my task list for many months. Roughly half of them were either never bugs or had already been fixed (i.e., I hadn’t removed them from all task lists ). Surprisingly, most of the others were in very old CWIF code - just never encountered in the years of beta testing.

After fixing a few more bugs in Supply (mostly having to do with when to recalculate supply after units move) I will be giving NetPlay more testing in its two player version in May. I’ll also whittle away at some of the older bugs on my task list. That’s in preparation for beginning work with a fresh slate on the missing optional rules.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in April.

AI Opponent (AIO)

Nothing new in April.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 63
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 6/3/2015 10:06:50 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
June 3, 2015 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Future Plans
I am working with Erik to put together a report on future plans for MWIF. That should be available in mid-June (or so).

Versions
I gave the beta testers versions 1.4.0.3 through 1.4.0.10 during May: 8 versions, about 2 per week. I expect version 1.4.1.0 to be available as a Public Beta either Friday (June 5th) or early the following week. Once that has been available for a week or two, it should become an official release.

Meanwhile I’ll work on the dozen NetPlay bugs that have been reported (primarily by the beta testers) with the expectation of making version 1.5.0.0 available as a Public Beta in mid-June. That version will need 4+ weeks of availability for customers to run NetPlay before it becomes an official release.

Testing Solitaire I can do by myself on a single computer. Just restore a saved game and run through the steps that led to a problem. With a few debug commands added to the source code, I can fault isolate problems, make changes, and retest. For NetPlay, I need to have two computers, two saved games (they are slightly different for the two players), and preferably two people to run the games to recreate the reported problems. Each step of adding debug commands and rerunning the program has to be done with two computers, and usually two people. The net result is that within any given amount of time, much less testing can be done for NetPlay, compared to Solitaire. It’s less by almost an order of magnitude. Given all the optional rules, scenarios, possible player actions for their countries and units, plus the randomness of die rolls, there is very likely to be problems that the beta testers and myself haven’t encountered. Having a solid Solitaire version base should help a lot. Previously, when testing NetPlay, we would run into problems that also existed in Solitaire. That isn’t happening anymore.

Version 1.4.1.0 has ~70 bug fixes since 1.4.0.0. See the list below, which is as of today. I expect to finish making one last change for overseas supply calculations this afternoon.

Bugs
My record keeping of reported bugs is up-to-date for bugs reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, and those sent in via email. The last are primarily Mad Except errors which the program sends in automatically - when the player permits that to be done.

When a bug is reported manually, it typically has a commentary provided by the player and most of the time a saved game with instructions on how to recreate the problem. Oftentimes, there is an accompanying discussion in the Tech Support sub-forum by other players and the beta testers. That is especially true for bugs reported by the beta testers in the Development forum. All the additional information helps me tremendously. Best cases are when it is determined that the bug isn’t a bug. And when there is work for me to do to fix a problem, the more context I have with which to work, the better.

Mad Except bug reports have a screenshot 90+% of the time, which lets me see the turn, impulse, phase of the game, and who was the deciding major power. Tons of other information can be gleaned from screenshots too; for example: the scenario, whether it was a NetPlay game, what forms were being used, the weather, and so on. Best of all, Mad Except reports identify precisely which line of code failed, with the call stack detailing the sequence of routines executed that led to the failed line of code. But still, I need to read tea leaves to figure out what the player was trying to do on the map, or with a form, when the problem occurred. Saved games with instructions are best, because then I can made the program fail on my computer - with the same Mad Except report. That also lets me test my changes to make sure they fix the problem.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in May.

AI Opponent (AIO)

Nothing new in May.



Release Notes for Version 1.4.1.0

Reinforcements

1. Enabled the US to bring in the Northern Ireland territorial unit as a reinforcement in Northern Ireland.

2. Fixed a problem with placing Communist Chinese reinforcements on the map in Off-City hexes.

Declaration of War
3. Reenabled calling out reserve units which were not called out at the first opportunity (i.e., when a declaration of war was made).

4. Modified the Declare War on Major/Minor forms so the button Declare War is larger. The Ok - Done button is no longer the most obvious button. These changes are to help prevent the player from clicking on OK - Done (closing the form) when they actually want to declare war on the selected major power/minor country.

5. Fixed a problem with aligning minor countries when both Germany and Italy can align Spain and after Germany chooses to align Spain, Italy has no more minor countries available to align. Previously the program had gone into an infinite loop trying to let Italy align a minor, but finding no minor for Italy to align. The code for aligning minors is particularly complex because it has to handle the case where Italy has no minors to align unless Germany first aligns Bulgaria, which then enables Italy to immediately follow and align Yugoslavia.

6. Fixed a rare problem in the Align Minor Country subphase where skipping a major power would eliminate that major power from aligning any minor during the subphase, instead of simply skipping it and letting it align a minor country after other major powers on its side had decided about aligning minors.

7. Fixed a problem with DOW subphases not advancing through multiple major powers.

Air Operations

8. Added code so that if a unit with Sentry status is picked up to move, then it no longer has Sentry status. This enables air units to return base normally after performing an air mission. It is also likely that this affected other aspects of moving units with Sentry status.

9. Fixed a problem with Solitaire where if the all the bombers in a port attack are aborted then the game would halt with the end-of-phase button disabled.

10. Enabled flying CAP to hexes which contain enemy units. This change affects hexes where an invasion has taken place prior to a paradrop, as well during Ground Support for hexes being invaded from the sea and/or air.

11. Disabled the ability of carrier air units loaded onto transports from participating/flying in a naval air combat.

Land Operations

12. Fixed a problem with land combat resolution where the loss of invading unit(s) was not being subtracted from the number of losses the attacker must take. This error only occurred when the notional unit was not included in the combat.

13. Fixed a problem with the number of losses taken by the attacker not subtracting the losses incurred by the invading units when an invasion failed (by air or sea), due to the defender only taking 1 loss and still having units remaining in the invaded hex.

14. Fixed a problem with calculating the effects of terrain on a defending engineer’s contribution to City Die Roll Modifier. For example, the benefit of Mountain terrain doubles instead of quadruples the engineer’s combat factors when calculating the City DRM.

15. Fixed two problems with calculating the combat odds when an armor unit invades from a sea area. The first problem was that any non-marine unit also invading was not being halved (as it should have been). The second problem was that the presence of the invading armor unit in the invaded hex was setting the flag for there being defensive armor in the hex - the program wasn’t checking whether the armor unit belonged to the defending side. Both problems occur rarely and the latter only caused a miscalculation when there were attacking Red anti-tank divisions in the attack.

16. Fixed a problem where a minor country which a major power surprised by declaring war was not being surprised by units belonging to the major power’s aligned minors. For example, Germany DOWs Yugoslavia which means that a Yugoslavian HQ should not be able to use defensive HQ support when attacked by Hungarian units (which are aligned to Germany).

17. Changed the capabilities and combat factors for armored marines so they are: (1) halved when invading, and (2) cannot cross all-sea hexsides or lake hexsides.

18. Fixed a problem with the Invading flag not being cleared after land combat resolution. This correction is primarily for older saved games.

19. Fixed a problem specific to the Guadalcanal scenario with invasions into New Caledonia causing units to become disorganized.

20. Fixed a problem with deciding about notional units when the invaded hex belongs to a completely conquered major power. This only occurs when an error occurs during the complete conquest of a major power (e.g., Italy) and hexes outside of Italy remain controlled by Italy - although Italy is no longer a in the game.

Naval Operations
21. Fixed a problem where a damaged game might prohibit a convoy to stay at sea even though it had Sentry status.

22. Corrected the code so the restrictions on which convoys can merge are fully enforced. For example, Netherlands convoys controlled by the Commonwealth can no longer be merged with United Kingdom convoys. Similarly, disorganized convoys cannot be merged with organized convoys.

23. Fixed a problem with multiple digressions returning to the correct place in the sequence of play after the following series of events: multiple land combats, advance after combat with multiple units capable of advancing, overrun of multiple naval units, attempted interception of naval units fails (or is not attempted), naval units move into a friendly port. Previously the program returned to selecting the next land combat to resolve. Now it correctly returns to the advance after combat subphase so more units can advance.

24. Enabled loading units from a coastal hex when a naval unit is moved from a higher section box to a lower section box in a sea area.

25. Fixed a problem with initiating naval combat during the naval combat phases when the US Entry Options for US Refutes Naval War Zones and/or Unrestricted Naval Warfare have been selected.

26. Fixed a fatal error when emptying a sea area of combat naval units for one side (e.g., during a Return to Base phase).

27. Added a check to avoid a possible fatal error moving naval units after some had stopped in a sea area.

Supply
28. Fixed a bug for some damaged games where the Baltic States capitals were not acting as Secondary Supply Sources for their conqueror (the USSR).

29. Fixed a problem with supply using minor country HQ’s that can trace to a primary supply source in their home country but have to trace overseas to reach a primary supply source for their major power’s units. This occurs mainly in Finland where Mannerheim can almost always reach a primary supply source in Finland overland but has to go through the Baltic Sea to reach a German primary supply source. It could also come up with Spanish and Yugoslavian HQs when those minor countries are aligned to the Commonwealth.

30. Fixed a problem where minor country HQ was able to trace a supply path through enemy ZOCs on behalf of its controlling major power’s units - because the controlling major power was not at war with the enemy units exerting the ZOC. For example, Mannerheim was able to trace a supply path through Russian ZOCs because Germany was not at war with the USSR. The program now checks that the secondary supply source (e.g., Mannerheim) is not at war with the units exerting the ZOCs, instead of checking whether the HQ’s controlling major power (e.g., Germany) is a war with the units exerting the ZOCs.

31. Fixed a problem with the optional rule Limited Overseas Supply where major powers were sometimes not able to use each others’ convoys et al to trace supply through a sea area.

32. Corrected a couple of instances where undoing a move did not update the supply status of enemy units.

33. Added some code to display units as out of supply instead of simply leaving the name of their supply source blank and displaying no status indicator.

34. Fixed a problem with railway supply paths being able to trace through enemy partisan units.

35. Fixed a problem in supply where the capitals of conquered countries were not being recognized as secondary supply sources.

36. Fixed a problem where some carrier air units aboard carriers in ports were incorrectly being shown as out-of-supply.

US Entry
37. Added checks to avoid non-fatal errors in the US Entry Pool form when there are no more markers in one or both of the US Entry Pools and some markers are suppose to be moved into the Tension Pool. Also made similar changes for when there are no markers in a Tension Pool and some are suppose to be removed.

38. Fixed a rare problem where a US Entry marker was being removed after the USSR entered Eastern Poland, although Poland had already been aligned with the USSR.

Oil
39. Added a check to avoid a fatal error when showing the Use Oil form.

40. Fixed the problem with using the last drib of an oil point to reorganize a final unit that requires precisely the amount of oil remaining in the oil point.

41. Added a check to avoid a non-fatal error when displaying units in the Use Oil form.

42. Enabled using oil to reorganize units that have to trace across a straits hexside when using the optional rule Limited Overseas Supply and there are neither friendly convoys/naval transports/amphibious units nor enemy units capable of blocking supply in at least one of the sea areas which the straits cross. For example, Italian units in Sicily can now be reorganized using oil in Italy when there are no units whatsoever in the Italian Coast.

Production Planning
43. Removed the Return Unused Convoy button from the Production Planning form except during the Preliminary Production Planning phase. That is the only time that the button’s ‘setting’ is used to mark convoys as returning to base.

Peace
44. Added code so that when the USSR occupies the Baltic States, Germany becomes the controlling major power of the occupied Baltic State(s).

45. Fixed a bug where the USSR was not gaining control of Bessarabia after peace with Rumania was enforced. The same bug affected enforcing peace with Finland and the Finnish Borderlands.

46. Fixed a couple of problems with enforced peace (Rumania and Finland) where the step of setting flags for that occurring was being skipped when there were units (i.e., Germans) to Relocate from those countries.

47. Fixed a problem in Liberation where a country could be liberated more than once in the same phase.

48. Fixed a problem with Liberation if the decision is made to return territory in a minor country originally controlled by France (e.g. Tunisia) to France. Previously, some of the hexes in the minor country were left as controlled by the liberator.

Player Interface

49. Removed some ineligible units from the Selectable Units form for the Naval Air phase.

50. Changed the Choose Carrier (on which to land) form to “Stay on Top” so it won’t be hidden by the Air-to-air combat form.

51. Set all the Help Message forms to StayOnTop so they appear on top of other forms. The sole exception to this is if there is another StayOnTop form visible and you click on that - which may cause the Help Message form to become hidden underneath the second form.

52. Changed the code for centering on sub-countries (e.g., New Caledonia) so the detailed map centers on the specified sub-country instead of the capital of the controlling minor country/major power.

53. Fixed fatal errors that occurred when pressing F1 while certain forms were being displayed: Setup, Select Units, Save Oil, Naval Combat: Choose Section Boxes, Choose Naval Combat Type. For these forms a flag was erroneously set so the program was going out to the operating system (i.e., Windows) looking for a Help file. The program typically does nothing when F1 is pressed while a form is being displayed. You need to close the form(s) to enable bringing up the Players Manual. Each form has its own Help button, which brings up information specific to the form.

Game Save/Restore
54. Fixed a problem with restoring old games saved during the Conquest, Liberation, and Surrender phases with the end-of-phase button being shown as disabled.

55. Added some checks to avoid problems with the End-of-Phase button being disabled under unusual circumstances (e.g., when restoring partially damaged games due to unprocessed units in the Naval Abort Queue).

56. Fixed a rare problem where clicking on the End-of-Phase button during the Allied Minor Support phase did not advance the sequence of play. This would only occur after restoring a game that was automatically saved during the Allied Minor Support phase.

57. Continued processing the current phase (which typically advances to the next phase) when a saved game is restored during: End of Turn, Final Reorganization, Minor Support, and Victory.

58. Fixed a problem with control of Gibraltar when restoring saved games in which Gibraltar had been taken by the Axis - which then aligned Spain. Previously when restoring a saved game, the program did not set the flag that the Axis had taken Gibraltar until after a number of other flags whose value depended on which side controlled Gibraltar. This affected moving Spanish units outside of Spain (i.e., the limits on moving minor country units outside of their home country) and could also affect routing resources through Gibraltar.

59. Fixed a problem with restoring saved games where the Screen Layouts file stored with the saved game is not found. The program now restores New Game.SLY, and if that file cannot be found, it creates it.

60. Fixed a problem with restoring saved games after a Synthetic Oil Plant in non-port coastal hex (e.g. El Agheila in Libya) has been destroyed.

61. Added code to repair damaged games at the start of the Partisan phase by removing partisan units from the Setup Tray at the beginning of that phase. I am not sure how the partisan units were left in the Setup Tray, but this now avoids the problem of ‘extra’ partisan units appearing.

Other
62. Fixed a minor problem with the Lending form where switching major powers using the button for doing that on the form could cause the list of possible trade partners to be incorrect when subsequently clicking on New Trade Agreement.

63. Corrected the Reform Units form so the possible corps units are displayed correctly when the second (and third) divisions are clicked on. I also clarified the text so it is clear whether the second or third division is being combined with the first division to produce the list of possible corps units that can be reformed.

64. Corrected the data file for the terrain in Fukuoka (hex 78, 159) from Forest to Clear. It appeared visually on the detailed map as Clear, but the data file had it as Forest. The simplest way to fix this was to make it Clear in the data file as well. Note that the Main form’s data panel was showing the hex as Forest (it was using the data file entry) as was the global map visually. All combat calculations were using the data as well. Now the hex is considered Clear for all purposes.

65. Fixed a problem with not all the possible divisional units being displayed when breaking down an SS unit if the optional rule for Unlimited Breakdown is Off.

66. Corrected the calculations of partisans for Siberia. Prior to this change, partisans would never appear in Siberia.

67. Corrected the data for control of Albania and 4 other hexes in the Mediterranean specific to the start of the Decline and Fall scenario. They had been assigned to Italy - which no longer exists in that scenario. Now they are controlled by Germany - as they were historically.

68. Fixed a minor bug that generated an error message when terminating the game during a Relocate Units digression.

Cosmetic
69. Corrected the Main form display of the current phase after Vichy France is collapsed - when there were no overrun units - so the phase name shown is what it was before Vichy was collapsed.

70. Corrected the message for why an air unit cannot rebase to a land hex when the range to the hex is between triple the unit’s range and double the unit’s range. The incorrect message shown, when triple the range could not be used because of the presence of enemy combat units in a sea area, was Stacking Limits Exceeded. Now the message is about the hex being out of range.

71. Fixed a problem with the warning message when trying to move a minor country air unit outside the country in violation of the restriction on how many minor country units can leave their home country.



_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 64
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 7/7/2015 12:43:18 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
July 6, 2015.

I started this month with a head cold. I'll post the monthly report when I can think clearly. There is a new official release in the works - should be available this week - version 01.04.05.00.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 65
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 7/9/2015 6:39:45 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
July 8, 2015 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Versions
Versions 1.4.1.0, 1.4.3.0, and 1.4.4.0 were made available as Public Betas in June. Version 1.4.5.0 should be available as an Official Release this week. There were a number of bugs reported with those Public Beta versions, hence the delay in making the official release.

I gave the beta testers versions 1.4.1.1, 1.4.2.1, 1.4.3.1, and 1.4.4.1 during June, about 1 per week.

I have the NetPlay bugs under 10, but I need to get that count to zero before making version 1.5.0.0 available as a Public Beta. That Public Beta will need 4+ weeks of availability for customers to run NetPlay before it becomes an official release.

Bugs
My record keeping is up-to-date for bugs: reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, and sent in via email.

The NetPlay bugs are diverse:
• In air-to-air combat, the combat round number advances by two: 1, (2), 3, (4), 5, ...
• AA fire by a land AA unit causes the unit to only be disorganized on the firing (Allied?) player’s computer.
• In one saved game, an overstacked digression occurs, but which hex is overstacked cannot be found.
• The program halts a naval surface combat when both sides have units to abort (after the first side aborts).
• Restoring a saved game in the middle of spending surprise points halts the game when that form is closed.
• Saving build points for the Axis causes them to appear as saved oil points on the Allied computer.
• When neither computer sends a message to the other for ~10 minutes, the server connection is lost.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios

Nothing new in June.

AI Opponent (AIO)

Nothing new in June.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 66
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 8/10/2015 5:02:36 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
This is not one of my standard monthly reports.

My development computer system died on July 20th.

I had purchased a replacement for that old (2009) system back in February 2014, but my plan to switch over in July 2014 never happened because I was constantly making changes to the code for the released product.

But when the Power supply failed (or it may have been the motherboard), the path of least resistance was to transfer everything from the old machine to the new machine.

Switching the hardware was amazingly easy. It only took one day and since the hard drive on the old system was unaffected, I simply took it out of the old system and put it in the new one. It is disk G on the new machine and I didn't lose any files.

But then I needed to copy over all the software I use. That took a couple of days, partially because I upgraded by version of WordPerfect and CorelDraw. Then I spent a couple of days purchasing the latest version of Delphi (XE8) which is the software I use for editing and compiling the source code for MWIF. Backups all around took another day.

Since then I have been focused exclusively on getting MWIF compiled using XE8. That hasn't been easy -to say the least.

I started with Delphi 2 back in the early 1990's and this is my fourth major upgrade: 2004, 2006, 2010, each of which took 4-6 weeks. It's been 5 years since I last upgraded Delphi and a lot has changed since then. The 3 software packages that I use for MWIF had not been upgraded by their authors since roughly 2011, so I had to make the changes to compile under XE8 for all that code myself. At one point I had 468 warning messages about lines of code that were incompatible with the new Delphi compiler.

Anyway, I have been hammering away at getting a clean compile and I am pretty close now. I have a half dozen modules that complain about stuff and I know how to make those go away - it just takes time to perform the edits and recompiles. I am using 4 libraries and they have to be compiled in series. Any change to one of them requires recompiling all of them before I can try recompiling the main MWIF source code.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

===

As should be obvious, I can't make any changes to the code until I get Delphi to give me a clean compile of all the code for MWIF.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 67
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 8/12/2015 8:53:57 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
I now have the new (XE8) Delphi compiler working, which means I can edit and recompile MWIF. Having done that, I uploaded a new version of MWIF (02.00.00.00) for the beta testers tonight. We'll see what problems they discover with this recompiled MWIF. Once it passes their review, we'll upload a version of MWIF as a Public Beta - ASAP.

< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 8/12/2015 9:54:28 AM >


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

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Post #: 68
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 9/4/2015 9:50:02 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
September 4, 2015 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Versions
Version 2.0.1.0 was made available as Public Betas in August. Version 2.0.1.1 was made available to the beta testers immediately after 2.0.1.0 was released as a Public Beta.

I’ll give the beta testers version 2.0.1.2 this morning. That version has my fixes for all reported NetPlay bugs. I want to do more testing for NetPlay - specifically, the later scenarios. I also want the beta testers to have a go at running NetPlay using that version. Once we have a version that passes further NetPlay testing, we’ll make it available as a public beta. I’m guessing mid-September for that.

Bugs

My record keeping is up-to-date for bugs: reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, and sent in via email.

There is a bug with oil points not being saved that needs to be fixed. Now that I have cleaned my slate of NetPlay stuff, I’ll fix that - and include the correction in version 2.0.1.3 for the beta testers this weekend.

I also want to look into the emailed bug reports and see if there are some of those that can be fixed quickly. It would be very nice to reduce/eliminate emailed bug reports - which get sent whenever the program ‘crashes’.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios

Nothing new in August.

AI Opponent (AIO)

Nothing new in August.

====
EDIT: I was having trouble getting FireFox to upload attachments, which is why this monthly report was split into 2 posts - see below for the second post.

< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 9/5/2015 2:46:26 AM >


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

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Post #: 69
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 9/5/2015 1:41:48 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

This screenshot shows the analysis for a Barbarossa game following a naval combat where there were 2 naval groups aborting after the combat finished. On the right you can see the game record logs (GRLs) that were sent between the two computers.

I learned to use the highlighting feature of HyperSnap to figure out what was happening over the internet. The GRLs sent by the Axis player are on the top and the those he received are on the bottom. Each line is a single GRL, which begins with some text and is then followed by a list of comma separated numbers. The actual GRL is just the numbers. I have the program add the text to this form, which corresponds to the first number, so I can figure out what the GRL is all about. For instance, the top GRL is type 179, known internally as NCSY, which indicates the decision made by the German player whether to include his submarines in the naval combat. The 290685 is the Entry Number, which is followed by 0s, and -1s. Those translate as Yes, include the German submarines.

The key numbers for the highlighting are the entry numbers. The second GRL transmitted was sent by the Allied computer and received by the Axis computer. It is the top line in the bottom list, with an entry number of 290693. While the numbers are not always contiguous, they are always increasing. If I see a duplicate entry number, then I know that something is wrong with the code. There were 3 more GRLs received from the Allied side (highlighted in yellow) before the Axis sent a reply (highlighted in green). Then the time line has the Allied send one response (in green), the Axis sends one (in purple), and so on, switching back and forth between the top and bottom in groups highlighted in the same color.

What was going wrong with the program when I made this analysis is shown in the bottommost GRL: PhDo, 290919. That GRL shouldn’t be switching to the Choose Sea Area subphase (-1, 3, 0, 8). The -1 indicates switch subphase, the 3 indicates a naval combat phase, the 0 indicates the first naval combat subphase (Choose Sea Area), and the 8 indicates that the USSR sent the PhDo [Phase Done]. That would have been the correct GRL if there were more sea areas for the USSR to select for a naval combat (Naval Combat by Phasing Side). Since there weren’t, it should have sent a GRL to switch to Naval Combat by Non-phasing Side.

If you read through the GRLs, you can see that both the USSR and Germany select units from the Naval Abort (UAQS), start a digression to move them (SDig), move them into port (TNM), and then terminate the digression (DeDo). Going back up in the GRL lists, you can see that this was a submarine combat (NCTy, with the last number =1), or more simply, by the NcbA (ASW combat) and NcbS (submarine combat) GRLs.

By the way, there are 585 different GRL types.




Attachment (1)

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Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

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Post #: 70
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 10/2/2015 3:28:17 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
October 1, 2015 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Versions
I gave the beta testers versions 2.0.1.3 and 2.0.1.4 in September. They (and myself) found some more problems with NetPlay which is mostly what I worked on in September.

I gave version 2.0.1.5 to the beta testers today. After some more testing over the weekend, we’ll make its equivalent (2.1.0.0) available as a Public Beta early next week (October 5th - 7th).

Bugs
My record keeping is up-to-date for bugs: reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, and sent in via email.

I fixed the recently introduced major bug with oil points not being saved. I also looked into emailed bug reports and fixed some of those fatal errors that required little time and effort on my part. One lingering bug I took care of this past month was for repairing Red factories. The rules for how factories get repaired depend on what optional rules are being used and whether the factory was damaged due to enemy action or is inoperable because it was captured. I was confused about all that and had the code for repairing captured factories also used for repairing those that were damaged (e.g., by strategic bombing). Now the code has all the requisite branching logic for the various situations that can arise.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios

Nothing new in September.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in September.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 71
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 11/6/2015 4:57:29 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
November 5, 2015 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Versions
I gave the beta testers versions 2.0.2.1, 2.0.2.4, 2.0.2.5, 2.0.2.6, and 2.1.0.1 in October.

Also in October, versions 2.0.2.0 and 2.0.2.3, were made available as Public Betas. 2.1.0.0 was released as a Hot Patch for 2.0.2.3, but even that had a minor bug which I wanted to fix (there was an easy work-around, but I found the defect very annoying). So, version 2.1.0.3 is presently in the Matrix Games queue to be released as a Public Beta. We’ll give that version a couple of weeks and if it looks okay, we’ll make it an official release/upgrade.

Bugs
My record keeping is mostly up-to-date for bugs: reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, and sent in via email.

As can be seen by reading through the Release Notes for the various versions made available this past month, almost half the changes were for NetPlay (57 fixes). I also spent some time reviewing reported bugs in Air Operations (7), Land Operations (4), Naval Operations (14), Peace (12), and Production (8). In actuality, I spent a lot more time on the Air/Land/Naval Operations than is indicated by the number of fixes. That’s because for each of those categories, I eliminated a dozen or so reported bugs as either “no longer bugs”, or “never was a bug.” That cleaned up my task list of old reported bugs somewhat, without me having to make any changes to the code. I was looking specifically at reported bugs where I had saved games available. There are still a lot of items on my task list that are more opaque: it I can’t reproduce a bug, then oftentimes I can’t determine if it is real or not.

I have Search and Seizure mostly working, but that is not quite there yet. Hopefully one more past through that code and I’ll be able to draw a line through that item on my task list.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in October.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in October.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 72
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 12/2/2015 5:41:24 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
December 1, 2015 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Versions
In November, version 2.1.0.3 was made available as a Public Beta and version 2.1.1.0 was released as a Hot Patch.

I also gave the beta testers 12 new versions in November: 2.1.0.4, 2.1.0.5, 2.1.0.6, 2.1.0.7, 2.1.0.8, 2.1.1.1, 2.1.1.2, 2.1.1.3, 2.1.1.4, 2.1.1.5, 2.1.1.6, and 2.1.1.7.

We expect to make another Hot Patch available this week (the first week of December) and have an official update for World in Flames in mid-December.

Bugs
My record keeping is up-to-date for bugs: reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, and sent in via email.

Summarizing the changes I made in November:
NetPlay 17 (many different phases of the game)
Naval 14
Peace 6
Setup/Reinforcements 5 (these were mostly for Fascist Tide)
Supply 6
Air 6
Land 4
Production 3
Initiative 2
Other 2
Save/Restore 1

That is far fewer fixes than I made in October and the difference can be attributed to the large amount of time I spent testing NetPlay playing Fascist Tide.

I took another crack at making Search and Seizure operational but I was still unsuccessful in making this ready. The new problem I ran into was getting it to work for NetPlay.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
In November I beta tested Fascist Tide using NetPlay with one of the beta testers. We got as far as Jul/Aug 1940. In all we had 8 sessions for a total of 30+ hours. Along the way we discovered a few NetPlay bugs, which I fixed. That is partially the reason there were so many versions posted for the beta testers in November - I had to upload new versions for my opponent beta tester so we could continue our ‘game-in-progress’.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in November.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 73
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 1/5/2016 3:45:35 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
January 4, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Versions
In December, versions 2.1.2.0 and 2.1.3.0 were released as a Hot Patches.

I also gave the beta testers 6 new versions: 2.1.1.8, 2.1.1.9, 2.1.2.1, 2.1.2.2, 2.1.3.1, and 2.1.3.2.

We expect to have an official update for World in Flames in early January. We would have done that in December, but Matrix Games/Slitherine had many other games to release during the short holiday month.

Bugs
My record keeping is up-to-date for bugs: reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, and sent in via email. I also was able to merge all those data streams into my Master Task List. Currently I have the following counts for bug reports.

Emailed: 226 (26 with saved games)
Beta Testers: 122
Tech Support: 104
Master Task List: 366 (117 with saved games)

Note that the master task list count does not equal the total of the three bug report data streams due to redundant reporting. There is undoubtedly even more redundancy even within the Master Task List, but I won’t know that until I investigate each bug report and compare it with others.

In general, about one third of the bug reports I investigate are actual bugs that I need to fix. The other 2/3rds either never were bugs, are redundant, or have already been fixed. There are also a small percentage that I set aside as opaque because I simply do not have enough information to figure out either what the bug report is about or why it happened.

I tend to work on bug reports with saved games since I can clear them faster - and with more certainty of the outcome. Because most of the emailed bug reports arrive without saved games, they are more difficult to reproduce. Investigating them always takes additional time. As a result, the vast majority of them are old: only 24 are from the last half of 2015. I also have a preference for fixing recent bug reports. They are known problems with the current code. Older bug reports oftentimes have already been fixed, but I just haven’t figured that out yet.

In December I spent a lot of time investigating 20+ bug reports that turned out to not require any code changes. But everything goes faster now that I have the Master Task List in tiptop shape. For example, in the first 3 days of January I cleared 23 items.

Summarizing code changes I made in December:
Peace 6
NetPlay 5 (different phases of the game)
Naval Operations 5
Land Operations 3
Factories 2
DOW, Supply, Lend Lease, Partisans, Use Oil, Production, Cosmetic: 1 each.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
In December I made some more progress on coding the missing special rules for both Fascist Tide and Day of Infamy. The changes needed for production are mostly done, but the Transfer Pool rules will require completely new code to override the standard movement rules for naval units.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in December. However, any changes made for NetPlay also apply to making the AI Opponent operational, since both modes of play require informing human players about moves made by other players.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 74
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 2/9/2016 3:38:00 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
February 7, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Versions
In January, the official update version 2.1.4.0 was released. I also gave the beta testers 3 new versions: 2.1.3.3, 2.1.4.1, and 2.1.4.2.

I am working on creating a Public Beta version for NetPlay Ready! Right now I’m going through the 14 subphases for creating Vichy France making sure all the changes to country relationships, hex control, and unit status when Vichy France is created executes once on each computer. Once I have finished alpha testing that for version 2.1.4.3, I’ll upload it to the beta testers for beta testing. Only after the beta testers have had a go at the modified code will a version become available as a Public Beta.

Bugs
My record keeping is up-to-date for bugs: reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, and sent in via email. But I haven’t had the time to merge all those data streams into my unified Master Task List.

Summarizing code changes I made in January:
NetPlay 6 (different phases of the game)
Naval Operations 6
Land Operations 5
Production 5
Use Oil 4
Factories 4
Save/Restore Game 3
Quit 3
Air Operations 2
Breaking Down/Reforming Units 2
Vichy 2
1 each for: Supply, Lend Lease, Lending, Production Planning, Cosmetic, Screen Layouts , and Reorganization.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios

In January I made more progress on coding the missing special rules for both Fascist Tide and Day of Infamy. In total there were a dozen significant modifications for these scenarios. There is one last set of changes needed for production (for the US in Fascist Tide), plus the coding of the special reinforcement rules for Day of Infamy. Then there are the Transfer Pool rules that require code to override the standard movement and some combat rules for naval units.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in January.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 75
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 3/3/2016 3:03:05 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
March 2, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Travel
On March 9thm I will be leaving for a cruise around New Zealand and then across to Tasmania and a few days in Australia. I won’t be back home in Hawaii until late in March. Because my laptop doesn’t have all the tools I need to modify the MWIF source code, there won’t be any updates for anyone (including beta testers) until early April. But there should be a Public Beta available before I leave.

Versions
In February, I gave the beta testers 3 new versions: 2.1.4.3, 2.1.4.4, and 2.1.4.5.

I’m making a few more changes to the code for the Public Beta version 2.2.0.0 for NetPlay Ready! It should be available for downloading in the Members section later this week.

Bugs
My record keeping is up-to-date for bugs: reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, and sent in via email. Merging all those data streams into my unified Master Task List is unlikely to get done until I find idle time while aboard the ms Noordam crossing from New Zealand to Australia.

Most of my time in February was spent rewriting the processing of the 14 subphases for creating Vichy France to support NetPLay. As part of those changes, I added a new subphase at the start of the creation of Vichy France, brilliantly named: Begin. So there are now 15 subphases. All the code for transitioning through various subphases has required laborious reworking for NetPlay: DOW, land combat, naval combat, air missions, anti-aircraft fire, and air-to-air combat. Forming Vichy France was no exception. It just hadn’t received much testing for NetPlay until this year.

Summarizing code changes I made in February:
NetPlay 10 (different phases of the game)
Naval Operations 3
Vichy 3
User Interface 3
Liberation 2
1 each for: Use Oil , Save/Restore Game, Supply, and Production Planning.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in February.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in February.


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 76
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 4/11/2016 4:35:02 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
April 10, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Travel
For most of March I was on a cruise around New Zealand and then across to Tasmania and a few days in Melbourne and Sydney. The ship’s Wifi was abysmal making it very difficult to even simply read posts and email. Trying to edit files on the 14" laptop screen was also a shock to my sensibilities after working with my normal two 36" monitors. All in all I got virtually no work done - but I think that is what vacations are suppose to be all about.

Since I returned, it has taken me a couple of weeks to merely get my task lists back in order.

Versions
The Public Beta version 2.2.0.0 for NetPlay was made available in early March. I also gave the beta testers 2 new versions: 2.1.4.6 and 2.2.0.1.

Bugs
As of today (almost mid-April) my record keeping is up-to-date for bugs: reported by the beta testers in the private development forum, reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, and sent in via email. I’ve also merged all those data streams into my unified Master Task List.

Three bugs were reported for NetPlay using the latest public beta version. I am working on those and a few other important bugs reported for version 2.2.0.x. Once the beta testers have had a week to work using a new version with those problems fixed, we’ll release another public beta. The goal is still to get a public beta that runs cleanly for NetPlay for several weeks so we can make an official new version available with a clean NetPlay.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in March.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in March.

< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 4/11/2016 4:36:55 AM >


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 77
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 5/6/2016 2:03:10 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
May 5, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Versions
The Public Beta version 2.2.1.0 for NetPlay was made available in April. I also gave the beta testers 4 new versions: 2.2.0.2, 2.2.0.3, 2.2.1.1, and 2.2.1.2.

Bugs
As of today my record keeping is up-to-date for bugs reported in posts in the Tech Support forum and sent in via email. But I am a few weeks behind in recording bugs reported by the beta testers in the private development forum.

The Public Beta 2.2.1.0 was clean of NetPlay specific bugs (to the best of my knowledge). Sadly, there was a newly created bug in Use Oil for which I just released a Hot Patch yesterday: version 2.2.2.0. I would really appreciate players testing NetPlay using version 2.2.2.0 to see if there are any problems with NetPlay that the beta testers and I have missed.

Summarizing code changes I made in April:
Production Planning 6
Vichy 4
Air Operations 4
Player Interface 4
Land Operations 3
Save/Restore Game 3
Naval Operations 2
Peace 2
1 each for: Setup, Action Choice, Use Oil, Production, and Quit
NetPlay - zero


The above list reflects tim e spent cleaning up the last few important bugs in air and land operations and then focusing on Vichy and Production Planning. By working on bugs in one phase of the game (e.g., Vichy) I am much more efficient. That’s because after investigating the first couple of bugs I remember a lot of the details for how a section of code works.

Vichy is now clean but there is still work for me to do on Production Planning. The other major areas I want to focus on in May are Naval Operations, Peace (e.g. Liberation) and Supply.

The way my world spins is that while I am focused for a week or so on 2 or 3 phases of the game, bug reports come in for a wide variety of other areas. Now some of those aren’t actual bugs that need fixing (for a host of different reasons). But they get added to my task list and remain there until I can spend a few minutes checking out whether the problem is real or not. In some ways it’s like while weeding the lawn in one part of the yard, the weeds continue to grow in the rest of the yard. Clearly the key here is to either for me to weed faster or for the weeds to stop popping up altogether.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in April.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in April.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 78
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 6/7/2016 9:56:09 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
June 6, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Versions
In May versions 2.2.2.0 and 2.2.3.0 were made available as Hot Patches, which fixed some problems with the Public Beta version 2.2.1.0. I also gave the beta testers 4 new versions: 2.2.2.1, 2.2.2.2, 2.2.2.3, and 2.2.3.1. I will be giving the beta testers version 2.2.4.1 today and there will be a new Public Beta this week or next - version 2.2.4.0. We’re releasing these new versions primarily to fix NetPlay bugs and a few bugs newly created in recent versions. In the process of making those corrections, I also made changes to some other bugs, either newly reported or reported many months ago.

Bugs
As of today my record keeping is up-to-date for bugs reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, sent in via email, and reported by the beta testers in the private development forum. My master list, which merges all 3 of those bug report sources, is also up-to-date.

Summarizing code changes I made in May:
NetPlay 3 (various phases)
Supply 3
Use Oil 2
Production 2
Vichy 2
Air Operations 2
1 each for: Production Planning, Land Operations, Save/Restore Game, Naval Operations, US Entry, and Initiative.


I processed most of the bugs reported that had to do with Production Planning. The major areas I want to focus on remain Naval Operations, Peace (e.g. Liberation), and Supply.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios

Nothing new in May.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in May.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 79
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 7/5/2016 4:45:13 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
July 4, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Program Development
In June I bit the bullet and made the conversion to Windows 10. Specifically, I converted my primary development computer operating system to Windows 10, updated the Delphi Interactive Development Environment (IDE) to the current version to support Windows 10, and upgraded the Mad Except software to version 4.0.15 to support Windows 10.

Versions
In June version 2.2.5.0 was made available as a Public Beta. Also released were the Hot Patches 2.2.6.0 and 2.2.7.0 (in early July actually). I also gave the beta testers 4 new versions: 2.2.4.1, 2.2.5.1, 2.2.6.1, and 2.2.7.1.

There will be a new Public Beta this week or next - version 2.2.8.0. As we did last month, we’re releasing these new versions primarily to fix NetPlay bugs and a few bugs newly created in recent versions.

Bugs
As of today my record keeping is up-to-date for bugs reported in posts in the Tech Support forum, sent in via email, and reported by the beta testers in the private development forum. My master list, which merges all 3 of those bug report sources, is also up-to-date.

Summarizing code changes I made in June:
NetPlay 7 (various phases)
Air Operations 8
Land Operations 5
Naval Operations 2
Production 2
Save/Restore Game 2
1 each for: Use Oil, Supply, Production Planning, Player Interface, Conquest, and Quitting the game.

The major areas I want to focus on remain Naval Operations, Peace (e.g. Liberation), and Supply. However, I still try to fix any bugs reported for the latest versions. So recent bug reports are getting priority over older ones. That is somewhat inefficient because new bugs tend to be scattered over a bunch of different phases of the game. When I focus on a group of bugs reported concerning a single phase, I can get a lot more fixes made.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in June.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in June.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 80
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 8/7/2016 12:33:08 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
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August 6, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Bugs
In July I spent 3+ weeks working on Supply. That was mostly spent on tertiary supply, to make sure all possible supply sources are correctly identified. There were only a handful of bugs, but those were very difficult to locate in the 18,000+ lines of code devoted solely to calculating and displaying supply. In effect, I went over and over code that was working perfectly, looking for the few places where the logic had a fault.

I am late posting this report (as usual), so I will just give 4 examples of the supply calculations working correctly, which had been failing - before my ordeal of searching for the less than 10 wrong lines of code in the 18,000+ lines of supply code.

(1) Here the Allies are fighting northwards to Casablanca and going around the Axis flank in the Atlas mountains. The Axis controls Cape St. Vincent, which means that the Allies have to use the port of Cisneros in Spanish Sahara to reach the Cape Verde Basin. MacArthur is tracing to Eisenhower, who traces to Bradley, who traces to Gort, who traces overseas to Liverpool. MacArthur is crucial for the flanking operations east around the German front line. The top Supply Sources form for the Commonwealth shows Gort having to go the long way by sea, skipping Cape St. Vincent, to reach Liverpool. On the Supply Sources form below that, for the United States, Gort appears with a ‘C’ in his route type, indicating that for the US, the supply path is for a cooperating major power. Getting MacArthur to appear as a tertiary supply source was the main bug I fixed here. Another bug was that for France, shown below the United States Supply Source form, the program was not displaying any of the cooperating tertiary supply sources. This saved game was from Alex.

(2) Here the Axis is moving east to conquer Saudi Arabia. German and Italian forces have moved down the Hejaz railway to Medina, where von Bock is providing secondary supply. Balbo traces supply to Graziani who traces to von Bock who traces supply overseas to Vienna. The German Stuka is in supply from Balbo (along with an Italian land unit) next to the Saudi 1-5 cavalry unit. Note that the program is taking into consideration the weather effects on supply. Hence the Italian motorized unit south of von Bock is out of supply. Getting Balbo to be in supply was the bug here. This saved game was from Subeto.

(3) Here the war is going badly for the Germans in Mar/Apr 1944, with the Commonwealth and United States coming from the west and the USSR coming from the east. I have put the Allied HQs on top of their stacks. For the Commonwealth, Crerar is a secondary supply source tracing through Amsterdam and the North Sea to Liverpool. For the US, Crerar appears twice, once tracing overseas (the same path as for the Commonwealth) as a cooperating supply source. The second time he is shown as having an overland supply path to Nice. That involves both the Commonwealth and France as cooperating major powers. Of particular interest is that the Commonwealth units in Denmark are out of supply. Although there are Commonwealth convoys in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, the Germans still hold both Copenhagen and Kiel, which makes the Kattegat impassable to the Allies for supply. They can trace 4 basic path hexes to Frederikshavn, but that is too many because the overseas link requires one more. This saved game was from Courtenay.

(4) Here the Axis is marching across the desert to Iraq with their eyes on taking out Persia. Iraq is aligned to Italy and Syria is conquered by Italy. Damascus is a potential secondary supply source for both Italy and Germany, while Baghdad is only a potential secondary source for Italy. von Leeb traces to Balbo, who traces to Graziani, who traces to Cavallero (under the Italian 5-3 infantry corps), who traces to Damascus, which traces overseas to Genoa. Balbo has a ‘pure’ path back to supply, not involving any cooperating major powers in the supply path or links therein. The bottom Supply Sources form is for Iraq and shows Balbo twice, as a secondary supply source for Iraqi units because he can trace supply to Baghdad (a primary supply source for Iraqi units). The ‘A’ in Balbo’s path type indicates it is for an aligned minor country. This saved game was from Tobias.

This past month’s corrections to supply should speed up the calculations in some instances, simply because when supply paths are found, the program can stop searching. Also, once a valid supply path has been found, then the program always starts the next search by testing whether the old path still works. That can save a lot of time when recalculating supply.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 8/7/2016 12:36:39 AM >


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

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Post #: 81
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 8/7/2016 12:38:30 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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Joined: 5/19/2005
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(2) Here the Axis is moving east to conquer Saudi Arabia. German and Italian forces have moved down the Hejaz railway to Medina, where von Bock is providing secondary supply. Balbo traces supply to Graziani who traces to von Bock who traces supply overseas to Vienna. The German Stuka is in supply from Balbo (along with an Italian land unit) next to the Saudi 1-5 cavalry unit. Note that the program is taking into consideration the weather effects on supply. Hence the Italian motorized unit south of von Bock is out of supply. Getting Balbo to be in supply was the bug here. This saved game was from Subeto.





Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 82
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 8/7/2016 12:39:32 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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(3) Here the war is going badly for the Germans in Mar/Apr 1944, with the Commonwealth and United States coming from the west and the USSR coming from the east. I have put the Allied HQs on top of their stacks. For the Commonwealth, Crerar is a secondary supply source tracing through Amsterdam and the North Sea to Liverpool. For the US, Crerar appears twice, once tracing overseas (the same path as for the Commonwealth) as a cooperating supply source. The second time he is shown as having an overland supply path to Nice. That involves both the Commonwealth and France as cooperating major powers. Of particular interest is that the Commonwealth units in Denmark are out of supply. Although there are Commonwealth convoys in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, the Germans still hold both Copenhagen and Kiel, which makes the Kattegat impassable to the Allies for supply. They can trace 4 basic path hexes to Frederikshavn, but that is too many because the overseas link requires one more. This saved game was from Courtenay.






Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 83
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 8/7/2016 12:40:59 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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Joined: 5/19/2005
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(4) Here the Axis is marching across the desert to Iraq with their eyes on taking out Persia. Iraq is aligned to Italy and Syria is conquered by Italy. Damascus is a potential secondary supply source for both Italy and Germany, while Baghdad is only a potential secondary source for Italy. von Leeb traces to Balbo, who traces to Graziani, who traces to Cavallero (under the Italian 5-3 infantry corps), who traces to Damascus, which traces overseas to Genoa. Balbo has a ‘pure’ path back to supply, not involving any cooperating major powers in the supply path or links therein. The bottom Supply Sources form is for Iraq and shows Balbo twice, as a secondary supply source for Iraqi units because he can trace supply to Baghdad (a primary supply source for Iraqi units). The ‘A’ in Balbo’s path type indicates it is for an aligned minor country. This saved game was from Tobias.






Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 84
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 9/5/2016 2:04:51 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
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September 4, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Program Development
I have come to the conclusion that the reason it now takes me so long to fix bugs is that all the bugs that were easy to fix (for one reason or another) I’ve already fixed. What are left are reported problems/bugs that require a lot more time to investigate and figure out. For the past couple of weeks I tackled the few remaining Supply bugs reported by the beta testers when I gave them version 02.02.07.02 to test. I also looked into (and fixed a dozen or so of) the bugs reported by players with version 02.02.07.00.

I have uploaded version 02.02.08.00 for Matrix to make available as a Public Beta next week. The beta testers also have 02.02.08.01 with Debug enabled to put through its paces. Here are the release notes for 02.02.08.00. If it works well as a Public Beta for a couple of weeks, we’ll make it an official Update later in September.

[I on ordered 2 new Dell 3216Q monitors to supplement (then replace) my 2 Dell 3014 monitors. Once they arrive, I should be able to debug all the reported problems with using 3 and 4 monitors.]

=====================================================================

Release Notes for Version 02.02.08.00


Air Operations
1. Added a check to avoid a possible problem when undoing the rebase of a carrier air unit aboard a carrier during the Air Rebase phase.

2. Added a line of code to make sure the variable Current Air Combat is correct when switching to the next air-to-air combat after an air-to-air combat is completed. Previously the program would sometimes halt when switching to the next air-to-air combat.

Land Operations
3. Modified the Undo All command for the Land Movement phase so all land units belonging to the current major power have their Movement Points Used value reset to zero. This enables the player to correct a problem that occurred (I don’t know how) when some land units were erroneously marked as having used all their movement points.

Production
4. Fixed a problem in the Production Phase where saved build points belonging to Vichy France caused the program to bring up the Production form for Vichy France even though Vichy France no longer existed.

Production Planning

5. Added a check to avoid a fatal error in Production Planning when the Source Country for a resource is unknown [an obscure problem].

6. Added a check to avoid a non-fatal error when clicking on the Global Map form to identify a location on the map, but the clicked on pixel is outside of the global map area (e.g., clicking on the form’s border).

Supply
7. Fixed numerous problems with tertiary supply sources tracing supply to other tertiary supply sources.

8. Fixed a tertiary supply problem unique to the Rydz HQ, when it was tracing overseas supply to a Commonwealth primary supply source. Previously, the program would generate an infinite loop under certain circumstances.

9. Fixed a problem with displaying tertiary supply sources when the supply source is good for three cooperating major powers. Previously, the tertiary supply source may not have been shown on the form for one of the major powers - although it provided supply for all three major powers.

10. Added a ‘/C’ to the Supply Sources Display for tertiary supply sources for cooperating major powers where the supply path belongs wholly to a cooperating major power. For example, if von Leeb (tertiary) traces to Rommel (secondary), who traces to Berlin (primary), then von Leeb appears on the German display of supply sources as a ‘pure’ supply source. But on the Italian display, he appears with a /C, indicating that he is a supply source belonging to a cooperating major power.

11. Fixed a bug so when the capital of a conquered country is being considered as a possible secondary supply source, and there is no overland path to a primary supply source, the program first tries to find an overseas path to a primary supply source belonging to the major power that conquered the country. Previously the program had tried to find an overseas path to a primary supply source owned by a major power that cooperated with the conqueror.

12. Fixed a problem with supply where sometimes the first supply path found was not being recorded. This often was Copenhagen - the capital of a conquered minor country.

13. Added code so the USSR can trace supply through hexes controlled by other Allied major powers once Germany is completely conquered. Similarly, other Allied major powers can trace supply through the USSR once Germany is completely conquered. This is my (new) interpretation of the rule for tracing supply by and through USSR controlled hexes: if Germany has been completely conquered, then the USSR must have been at war with Germany - once upon a time. Note that this may take calculating supply more time once Germany is conquered since all the Allied major powers can then trace supply through the USSR.

14. Fixed several problems with recalculating supply that under certain conditions would cause an infinite loop.

15. Fixed a problem with supply where a fatal error would occur on very rare occasions when the program was calculating railway supply paths.

16. Added code to prevent a supply source from being added to a list of supply sources if it is already in the list. I am not sure, but I think this may have been the cause of some problems with otherwise inexplicable errors. At least the place in the code where the program failed concerned removing entries from the lists of supply sources.

Quit
17. Added checks to avoid an error message when quitting a game in the middle of a naval combat.

18. Added a check to avoid a fatal error when destroying the game while the Action Choice form is visible.

Other
19. Made changes to the Action Choice form so a major power is limited to using only one Offensive Chit in an impulse.

20. Fixed a problem with the screen repeatedly flashing if the game is saved while the US Entry Pool form is visible during the US Entry phase.

21. Added a check for determining whether a port is controlled by the enemy to avoid an error when the port is not controlled by any major power or minor country.

22. Added a check (due to paranoia) to guarantee that units placed on the map aren’t inadvertently deleted from the master list of units in the game.

23. Added a check to avoid a non-fatal error if the player tries to use drag-and-drop on the Naval Review Details form. [World in Flames doesn’t use the Windows drag-and-drop function, but sometimes the operating system gets confused if the player tries to use it to move a unit.]

NetPlay
24. Fixed a fatal error when a naval combat is avoided using surprise points.

25. Fixed an occasional problem with finding the controlling major power for hexes in neutral countries. This change fixed a problem in NetPlay where the relationships between major powers and conquered minor countries and territories were sometimes shown incorrectly on the Relationship form for one side.

26. Added some code so search rolls for naval combats are displayed for the Axis player.


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 85
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 10/6/2016 4:47:16 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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October 4, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Program Development
I received and installed 2 new Dell 3216Q monitors to supplement my 2 Dell 3014 monitors. In doing so, I found that four monitors is too many for me to keep an eye on. I had to keep swiveling my head around to find everything. I’m now down to 3, which works quite well for me.

Version 02.02.08.00 was made available as a Public Beta in September. The beta testers received version 02.02.08.02 on October 1st. That version has the one necessary fix for a NetPlay Naval Combat bug. Once the beta testers give the all clear, I'll make a new version available as a Public Beta for testing NetPlay.

Bugs
I spent a lot of time in September getting the program to work correctly with 4 monitors. That became a priority for me because it was failing at times while I was testing other sections of the code with 4 monitors active. Getting the program to work with 4 monitors required writing ~1500 new lines of code to handle all the combinations of sizes and positions for the monitors. As far as I can tell, the code is solid for 3 and 4 monitors now. Mostly this involved Screen Layouts: putting the Main form, Detailed Map, Global Map, and various other forms in different positions on different monitors. I have noticed that most Window applications have trouble with this when the monitors are different sizes. What I was most concerned about was the tops of the forms being accessible - so they can be moved and resized whenever the player wants to do so.

In October I’ll be heading back to reviewing all recently reported bugs (i.e., in August and September). Besides those bug reports, I also want to clean up my list of reported bugs in Naval Operations (movement and combat). There aren’t that many but some of them look to be annoying. There are also a handful of items remaining on my task list for both Land Operations and Peace (e.g., Conquest and Liberation). But those are lower down on my priority list.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios

Nothing new in September.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in September.




_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 86
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 11/8/2016 1:15:59 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
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November 7, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

California
I was in California for 5 days last month competing/singing with my barbershop chorus at the Far Western District Contest. The link below is to a folder with pictures and video of our contest performance in Riverside, CA.

The video can be viewed at this website https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B6ixqitnfLkpdmJJSXpRRThRMmM

The 2 videos are identical, just in different formats. The MP4 file is smaller (by an order of magnitude) - but still takes a while to download. If you put the mouse over the graphic of the video, a download button will appear. The same is true of the jpg files. The other files are boring.

Look at the video first! While our first song is fairly standard barbershop fare (Love is a Tender Trap), our second song contains a surprise ending - which got us a standing ovation from the audience. The first two rows of the 'audience' are the judges (beyond the horizontal bar); which explains why they aren't part of our standing ovation. We came in 9th out of 17 choruses competing but placed first in our division (A) and would have placed first in the next higher division (AA). The chorus goes to the mainland rarely (the last time was 10 years ago) which is why we were assigned to division A. If we go back in the next few years we’ll be ranked as AA.

PS: I am in the back row, on the far right in a red shirt (as you view the video).

Program Development
Version 02.02.08.03 was given to the beta testers early in October. Sadly, the beta testers found yet another NetPlay Naval Combat bug (aborting units from combat). I expect to be able to give them 02.02.08.04 this week and make version 02.03.00.00 available some time later this month as a Public Beta for everyone. I really want to get more NetPlay testing underway using that version and we have some ideas about how to make that happen. The long term goal is to have version 03.00.00.00 released in January as an official update, free of NetPlay bugs.

Bugs
I spent most of October reviewing and working on bugs reported in Tech Support during the months of August, September, and October (through the 22nd). Towards that end I have cleared 23 of those reported bugs with 24 remaining. However, of the remaining 24 I only have saved games for 19. I may end up moving the other 5 to Opaque status - which means I have no idea how to recreate them, much less fix them.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in October.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in October.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 87
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 12/1/2016 5:48:11 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
December 1, 2016 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Program Development
Version 02.03.00.00 is now in the Matrix Games queue to be released as a Public Beta ASAP. This verrsion has corrections for all but the most obscure known NetPlay bugs.

What I would like to do in December is to start NetPlay games with customers versus the beta testers and myself. Those games would be using version 02.03.00.00. If new NetPlay bugs occur during those games, I would be sending out Hot Patches so everyone could continue playing. Having a beta tester or myself involved in each game will help with the process of identifying bugs, generating saved games for reproducing and fixing them, and modifying saved games (if necessary) for continuing to play the games.

Once version 02.03.00.00 is available, I’ll start a new thread in the World in Flames forum to set up those games. The beta testers and myself have discussed what those games would look like. For instance, I want to cover several different scenarios and use a variety of optional rules. Obviously the objective here is to put the NetPlay code through a diverse set of game situations to make sure it is free of bugs. If all goes well, there will be an official new MWIF version in January (03.00.00.00).

Bugs
In November, I continued reviewing and working on bugs reported in Tech Support during the months of August, September, and October. I also fixed the more serious bugs reported by the beta testers. Below are the Release Notes for version 02.03.00.00, which document the changes since the last public beta (verison 02.02.08.00).

I will continue to work through bug reports on my task list throughout December, but with priority given to any newly discovered NetPlay bugs.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in November.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in November.




Release Notes for Version 02.03.00.00


Air Operations
1. Fixed a fatal error in air-to-air combat during a naval combat phase when playing without carrier air units and all the units in a group (i.e., fighters or bombers for either side) have been destroyed, cleared through, or aborted, and a player decided to abort from the naval air combat.

2. Fixed a problem where an air unit was unable to return to base because a potential hex was being considered invalid because of Foreign Troop Commitment Limits. The hex in consideration had been taken by the enemy and then recaptured by the original owner. The United Kingdom had been the original owner but when recaptured the program was marking it as owned by the Commonwealth. In the program code the distinction was causing problems when trying to determine if the ownership of the hex had changed.

3. Fixed a problem with calculating the correct air-to-air combat values under the unusual circumstances that the phasing side had a fighter-bomber flying as a bomber, its side had no fighters, and the fighter-bomber was aborted/destroyed in air-to-air combat. Because the fighter-bomber returned to base (or was placed in the Destroyed Pool), its flag was reset as “flying as fighter”. This had been causing the program to not subtract one from its air-to-air combat value. The program now handles this case correctly.

4. Fixed a problem in the Guadalcanal scenario where the Japanese were not given the opportunity to port attack naval units belonging to the United Kingdom because the United Kingdom (as a country) is not part of that scenario. The correction now lets the Japanese perform air attacks (of all types) on units belonging to the United Kingdom because they are a Commonwealth member nation. This correction also fixes similar problems in the half map scenarios.

5. Added some code to make sure no air units are selectable at the beginning of the Commit Subs subphase of naval combat. Selecting them at that time could cause them to disappear from the map.

Naval Operations
6. Fixed a problem with a hex inland in Albania being shown as adjacent to the Italian Coast.

7. Fixed the problem with naval units initiating combat not being marked as such, and remaining organized after the search rolls and combat occur.

8. Fixed a minor problem with which sea areas are selectable for Naval Combat when the possibility of the Axis initiating combat with US convoys potentially carrying resources/build points to another Allied major power with which the Axis major power is at war. Previously a sea area would be incorrectly shown in the Select Sea Areas for Combat form for the Axis major power (e.g., Japan) to initiate combat (e.g., with a US convoy carrying resources to China). However, clicking on the Initiate Combat button would have no effect. After these code changes, the sea area does not appear on the form unless clicking on the button will actually initiate combat. That is, the check for whether a sea area appears on the form is identical to the check for whether initiating combat using the form’s button works. There are a bunch of US Entry Option rules related to this.

Land Operations
9. Fixed a problem with a completely conquered China causing Chinese partisans to be unable to move.

10. Fixed a problem with failed invasions where the number of units the attacker should lose according to the CRT result is less than the number of invading units - all of which are lost. For example, if the CRT shows 1 attacker loss when 2 units are invading, but the attacker failed to take the hex, then both the attacking units are lost. Previously, the program was confused by this situation and asked for an additional unit to be destroyed after all the invading units had been destroyed.

11. Added a check so Polish zones of control extend into Germany during the first impulse of Global War and Fascist Tide, even though at that time Germany is technically ‘neutral’ (i.e., not at war with any major power).

12. Fixed a problem with the USSR units not exerting a zone of control into hexes it controls when Finnish land units are moving. This bug was another case caused by the USSR being technically ‘neutral’ since it was a major power that wasn’t at war with another major power.

13. Modified the rail line data from north of Lake Peipus so it branches south one hex. This makes the MWIF European map match the World in Flames board game map.

14. Fixed a problem that was preventing Vichy units from retreating into Vichy controlled hexes. Note that this also affected shattered Vichy units.

15. Added a line of code so the detailed map doesn’t automatically center on the next selectable unit when moving the cursor over an invasion hex during the Ground Support phase.

Reorganization
16. Fixed a problem with reorganization where an HQ (or TRS or ATR) with insufficient points available was able to fully reorganize a target unit. After these changes, an HQ (or TRS or ATR) can still use it last remaining reorganization points, even when they are insufficient to fully reorganize a target unit - in the hopes that another HQ (or TRS or ATR) can finish reorganizing the target unit.

Use Oil
17. Added code to the Use Oil processing to record which oil points have been used. That data is then used when a player switches between including/excluding available oil from cooperating major powers, so the available oil correctly reflects oil that has already been expended. Previously, that switching caused all available oil to be reset to zero expended. This correction also eliminates the ‘cheat’ of saving and restoring a game in the middle of the Use Oil phase, which previously had the same effect of resetting all available oil to zero expended.

18. Removed the check for whether a major power has any available oil for reorganizing units before bringing up the Use Oil form. This change means that even though a major power has no oil, it can still try to use oil belonging to a cooperating major power. However, you might now see the Use Oil form with no units and no oil displayed. If there is oil available from a cooperating major power, clicking on the check box to use oil from cooperating major powers will bring up both all the current major power’s disorganized units and all available oil.

19. Increased the value of the search parameter for finding oil sources for disorganized units in the Use Oil phase from 50 to 150. At 120 is was still missing some of the oil sources that were far away, but legally reachable. I had lowered this number several months ago to speed up the search time in the Use Oil phase - I hope this change doesn’t cause that problem to reoccur.

Production
20. Fixed a problem with arriving naval units in the 1st cycle for an incompletely conquered major power not automatically going into the Construction Pool.

Production Planning
21. Fixed a tricky problem with changing which factory supplies a newly created Build Point to fulfill a trade agreement. The Production Planning form now implements and displays those changes correctly.

Peace
22. Fixed a problem with territorial units belonging to Vichy France remaining on the board after Vichy France is conquered. Besides fixing the original problem, the program now also checks for that condition when a game is restored, and converts ownership of those units to France.

Supply
23. Fixed a problem with calculating supply (i.e., an infinite loop occurring) when the capital of a conquered minor country (e.g., Warsaw) is recaptured during the Advance After Combat subphase of a land combat.

24. Fixed an obscure problem with calculating supply causing a fatal error sometimes.

25. Fixed a problem with tertiary supply when an HQ could not find a path to its own primary supply source, but could find one to an aligned minor country’s primary supply source, and therefore was not searching for a path to a secondary supply source. That is, an out of supply HQ was not searching to see if it could act as a tertiary supply source. This came up in China where a Japanese HQ was too far from a rail line to reach a port and then go overseas to Japan, but could reach the capital of an aligned minor country (e.g., Korea) and therefore was not finding (not even searching for) a path to a secondary supply source (e.g., another Japanese HQ which could find an overseas path back to Japan). The program now figures out that the HQ is a valid tertiary supply source.

Other
26. Fixed several problems with playing with 3 and 4 monitors. Even if the monitors are different sizes, the program is capable of placing the Main form, Detailed Map, Global Map, and “Detailed Map Assist forms” on 4 different monitors. By Map Assist forms, I mean the Naval Review Details and Summary, Screen Layouts List, and Map Views List. In general, most of the forms still appear beneath the Main form (when there is room). Personally, I find using 4 monitors confusing. I keep having to swivel my head around to find what I am looking for. 3 is about my limit - [clearly I have no future as a stockbroker].

27. Corrected some of the logic for displaying certain forms (Screen Layout List, Map View List, Global Map, Naval Review Details, and Naval Review Summary) so they appear within the available space for the monitor on which they are to appear.

28. Added numerous checks for the US Entry Options variable being valid before checking for the value of individual options (e.g., whether Resources to China has been selected). This was causing problems in old Guadalcanal saved games where that variable had never been initialized.

29. Added 3 new filters to the Unit Filter form. These are only available when in Debug mode and let you select units: Setting Up, Moving, and/or Removed. This helps to track bugs when units get stuck “On the Move” and “Setting Up”, and to eliminate all the “Been Removed” units when finding units not on the map.

NetPlay

30. Fixed a problem with the Axis player clicking on the OK - Done button on the naval combat results form before the Allied player - after a naval combat has been completed. That now operates the same way as clicking on the OK - Done button in the Land Combat Results form. The program sends a Game Record Log to the other players and once they have all closed the form, the program proceeds to the next subphase.

31. Fixed a couple of problems with declaring Vichy France when all the French minor countries go to Vichy.

32. Fixed a problem with flying naval air support for the Axis side. Previously the program would halt after the Axis player clicked on the End-of-Phase button.

33. Fixed several problems with ending naval combats. For instance, if all of one side’s naval units in the sea area were aborted/destroyed then the program was not proceeding to the next task of processing the naval abort queue.


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 88
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 1/6/2017 3:42:11 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
January 5, 2017 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Program Development
In late December Version 02.03.00.00 was released as a Public Beta. Rather quickly it was reported that there were substantial problems with that version, so a Hot Patch (version 02.03.01.00) was posted during the last week of December to fix those problems - and a couple dozen other items I had gotten to by then.

The delay in getting a functioning version of NetPlay available for players obviously delayed starting NetPlay games between players and the beta test team - myself included. So, those will start in January. In the interim, the beta testers have found a couple more problems with NetPlay which I want to fix before starting the competition. I’ll make version 02.03.02.00 available as a Hot Patch once I clear the current bug reports concerning NetPlay.

To repeat last month’s paragraphs:

What I would like to do is start NetPlay games with customers versus the beta testers and myself. Those games would be using version 02.03.02.00. If new NetPlay bugs occur during those games, I will be sending out Hot Patches so everyone can continue playing. Having a beta tester or myself involved in each game will help with the process of identifying bugs, generating saved games for reproducing and fixing them, and modifying saved games (if necessary) for continuing to play the games.

Once version 02.03.02.00 is available, I’ll start a new thread in the World in Flames forum to set up those games. The beta testers and myself have discussed what those games would look like. For instance, I want to cover several different scenarios and use a variety of optional rules. Obviously the objective here is to put the NetPlay code through a diverse set of game situations to make sure it is free of bugs. If all goes well, there will be an official new MWIF version in February (03.00.00.00).

Bugs
In December, I continued reviewing and working on bugs reported in Tech Support during the last six months of 2016. There are still 3 dozen from that time period on my task list - but for most of those I do not have saved games.

Working on another area of bug reports also took up a lot of my time in December. Those are Mad Except bug reports that get emailed to me automatically when the program fails on a player’s computer. Those are much more difficult to diagnose and correct. They have the Call Stack for which sections of code were executing when the failure occurred, including the exact line of code that failed. Most of them also include a screenshot, which usually provides a lot of information, especially if the Main Form is visible (e.g., phase of the game, deciding major power, game turn, etc.). However, without a saved game and instruction on how to recreate the problem, I am unable to reproduce the problem and have to guess as to what the player was doing/trying to do when the program failed. Roughly half the time I end up putting in a few lines of code to check for nonsense values (which are usually the cause of the program failure) and if any are detected, exit gracefully from whatever the program was trying to do.

The reason fixing emailed bug reports gets some priority from me is that if I don’t fix those problems, then players will encounter them again and again and I’ll keep getting more emailed bug reports for the same problem. That’s pretty strong motivation. But my ability to fix those bugs “for certain” is limited, so I don’t give them super high priority. That distinction goes to bugs reported in Tech Support (or by the beta testers) where I have saved games and instructions on how to reproduce the problem.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios

Nothing new in December .

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in December.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 89
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 2/7/2017 1:17:32 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21532
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
February 6, 2017 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Program Development
In January, version 02.03.04.00 of MWIF was released as a Public Beta. The beta testers received versions 02.03.01.02, 02.03.01.02, 02.03.01.03, 02.03.01.04, and 02.03.04.01 during the month. There was an inconsequential jump in the version numbers from 02.03.01.00 to 02.03.04.00, which was caused by a mistake in numbering 02.03.01.00 as 02.03.03.00 when it was released.

Bugs
During January, I continued reviewing and working on newly reported bugs in Tech Support and/or by the beta testers. I fell behind in keeping up with emailed Mad Except bug reports, but did check up on those that appeared serious. For Mad Excepts I am current up to Christmas, so I have all of January’s to examine in detail.

In my on-going quest to fix older bug reports, last month I hacked and hewed my way through bugs related to naval operations, getting the overall count down from 60+ to less that 30. Most of those remaining are without saved games, so I have trouble understanding whether they are real or not. And even more difficult is trying to reproduce them. Next up on my to do list are bugs related to Peace (Conquest, Liberation, and Surrender), specifically Liberation. Then I’ll work on Production Planning. As a point of reference, I progress through these alphabetically, and after Vichy bugs, I’ll start over again with Action bugs. Of course newly reported bugs can interrupt that sequence, side-tracking me to work on a phase of the game that appears to have a bunch of new problems.

Because I was able to squelch all the reported NetPlay bugs, version 02.03.04.00 was released as NetPlay Ready - or at least ready for serious customer testing. Roughly 6 games are in progress, or about to start. I (playing the Axis) started a Global War game against Zorachus99 on Saturday (February 3rd) and another one (as the Allies) against a different opponent today (February 6th). That’s partially why I am late with this monthly report. I also played through a full Barbarossa Solitaire before beginning those games - just to get myself up-to-speed on land combat tactics. I have played only one game of World in Flames since 1996, and that was Global War via NetPlay, which halted in early 1940.

There were some bugs reported for the newly started NetPlay games (by others) which I need to fix today/tomorrow so all the NetPlay games can keep moving forward.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in January.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in January.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 90
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