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RE: MWIF Monthly Reports

 
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RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 8/3/2019 3:12:45 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21851
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
August 2, 2019 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Product Releases
The beta testers received a few new versions in July, but there were no new versions released to customers. I’m working on getting a Hot Patch out early in August for customers with the same changes that the beta testers have already had for the last few weeks.

Program Development: Delphi Rio (version 10.3)
My new computer system is fully functional except for a couple of rarely used applications still on my old machine.

The Delphi Rio Interactive Development Environment remains a little flaky. It compiles all the code cleanly and then builds a new correct executable (MWIF.exe) but ends the process by crashing the IDE. On the old system it did the same thing and I thought it was because I was running both Delphi EX8 and Delphi Rio on the same machine. But the new machine was a virgin when I installed Delphi Rio. None of the files from Delphi XE8 is on the new computer system, I’ll have to go back to Embarcadero and get them to look into this some more. After all, I’m paying them $800 a year to provide customer support for Delphi.

I‘m still maintaining two copies of the MWIF source code. One for the old version of the Delphi Interactive Development Environment (IDE) called XE8. That is on the old computer. I run it when I need to make a version for release to customers. The beta testers are working with the version created using Delphi 10.3 Rio.

If I can build up enough confidence in the Delphi Rio executable, I’ll make a MWIF,exe version using it for the next Public Beta. However, that version requires a new set of BPL files be included when it is installed on the customers’ computers. BPLs are the Delphi/Borland equivalent to Microsoft’s DDLs.

Bugs
This past month I have done some work on my task list for emailed bug reports. But every time I catch up, a few more dribble in. Mostly I have been fixing bugs reported by the beta testers over the past couple of months. With that task I have been somewhat successful in cleaning up a variety of weird/unusual problems.

Next up is to go through the bugs reported in the Tech Support forum and correct any of those that are reproducible. With NetPlay bugs I have found converting the GAM files from NetPlay mode to Head-2-head play works more than half the time. That lets me debug the problems without having to set up and run a second computer to recreate the problem.

As of today, Slitherine has partially fixed the problem with creating New Posts (for the Seeking Opponents data base) in the NetPlay Private Forum. We almost have that fully functional again.

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

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in July.


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 121
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 9/6/2019 10:33:55 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21851
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
September 6, 2019 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Product Releases
One Hot Patch (version 3.0.3.0) was released in early August for customers. Meanwhile, the beta testers received a lot of new versions. We are now up to version 4.0.0.29 for them testing MWIF compiled using Delphi Rio (version 10.3). I am presently working on creating another Hot Patch for customers using the old version of Delphi (XE8). That will be version 3.0.4.0. A comparable version (4.0.0.30) will be available to the beta testers compiled with Delphi Rio.

If those two versions run cleanly for a week or so, I’ll send off version 4.0.1.0 (created using Delphi Rio) to Matrix Games for release as a Public Beta for customers. My expectation is that will appear for all players in mid September. It will require players to install a set of BPLs besides the usual MWIF.exe. But because it will be a public beta, the installation of the additional files will be handled automatically as part of the install.

In addition to fixing a bunch of bugs in the game, I added the 2 Die 10 Land Combat Results Table to the Help menu. See the screenshots below.

Program Development: Delphi Rio (version 10.3)
My new computer system remains fully functional except for a couple of rarely used applications still on my old machine.

The Delphi Rio Interactive Development Environment is still a little flaky. I have learned that if I merely do a full compile - and NOT a full build - the IDE creates an accurate MWIF.exe without trouble. The difference between the two ways of creating the MWIF.exe, is that a build also creates all the BPLs for the MWIF specific libraries. BPLS, are Borland’s file extension for what Microsoft labels DDLs. Basically, they are binary library files that the primary program (i.e., the executable - MWIF.exe) accesses when it executes. I only have to make changes to the MWIF specific libraries once every couple of years, so leaving the BPLs unchanged is perfectly fine.

I am hoping that the public beta version 4.0.1.0 runs cleanly and I can put Delphi version XE8 firmly in my rear view mirror, never to be used again.

Bugs
For the first two weeks of August, I focused on fixing bugs reported in Tech Support and by the beta testers. I was able to clear more than 20 of those, which was roughly 2/3rds of those reported in the past 4 months What remains are either obscure bugs or quite difficult to reproduce. For the following 3 weeks I spent all my time on NetPlay bugs. Some of those were way more difficult to resolve than I would have preferred. Here is one fix:

Substantially modified the routines for naval air combat, specifically for the air-to-air combat dice rolls. By splitting some routines into their component parts, I was able to better control when messages (i.e., Game Record Logs - GRLs) about dice rolls and other events are sent from one player to the other. The main problem these changes corrected was that at times the computer wasn’t rolling the dice for the attacking player (the defending player rolls first) - or rolling twice for a player. Other fixes include: (1) correcting the program halting after the first player decides whether to Abort or Stay in an air-to-air combat, (2) eliminating a spurious second prompt for a player to decide whether to Fight or Abort after a round of naval combat, and (3) getting rid of an occasional extra display of the Anti-Aircraft Fire form (the player owning the attacking bombers should always decide which bombers suffer the damage of the AA fire - and only once).

For a short period of time in August, the Seeking Opponents data base in the NetPlay Private Forum was working correctly again. But when Slitherine modified the overall appearance of their web site, it again became inaccessible. I need to send them some information so they can get that back in working order. For now, everyone can continue to able to play NetPlay games normally. It merely requires ignoring a single message when starting about being ‘Disconnected’, which only applies to the Seeking Opponents database.

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

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in August.





Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 122
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 10/4/2019 7:35:42 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21851
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
October 4, 2019 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Product Releases
As of today, the Seeking Opponents data base in the NetPlay Private Forum is accessible again. They just had to restore the data from backup.

One Hot Patch (version 3.0.4.0) was released in early September for customers. Meanwhile, the beta testers received a few new versions. We are now up to version 4.0.0.32 for them testing MWIF compiled using Delphi Rio (version 10.3).

There were some problems with 3.0.4.0 which I have fixed. Similarly, further testing of NetPlay revealed a couple of obscure bugs that I corrected. My plan is to review the recently emailed bug reports (Mad Excepts) for versions 3.0.x.x and see if I can figure out what caused those problems. It is difficult without saved games accompanied by a description of what the player was doing prior to the Mad Except error. But sometimes a clear vision of the situation arises out of the fog.

Once I have done my best with the emailed bug reports, I’ll post a new Hot Patch and let players run it for a week or so. If all looks well, I’ll send off version 4.0.1.0 (created using Delphi Rio) to Matrix Games for release as a Public Beta for customers. That version will require players to install a small set of BPLs besides the usual MWIF.exe. Because it will be a public beta, the installation of the additional files will be handled automatically as part of the install.

Program Development: Delphi Rio (version 10.3)
My new computer system remains fully functional except for a couple of rarely used applications still on my old machine. Having run it for 3 months I am now appreciating its increased performance for even routine tasks. At about the same time my internet provider changed the layout for their email server. That was very annoying at the time, since nothing was where I expected it to be and even some of the icons had been changed. But after adapting to the new stuff, I now see that it is an improvement and I can get work done faster and with less mouse moves/clicks.

I am 8 months into using the Delphi Rio Interactive Development Environment and have gotten used to where its quirks are (“Don’t do this!”). I like it better that the old one. Using white text on a black background really helps my eyes. The moral of all this is that changes are a pain - but usually they are for the better.

Bugs
I am up-to-date on all emailed bug reports as of the end of September. Likewise for the Tech Support posts. I need to look at the beta tester bug reports again - it’s been a few weeks since I examined those fully.

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

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in September.


< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 10/4/2019 7:36:27 PM >


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 123
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 11/10/2019 3:39:47 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21851
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
November 9, 2019 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

I’m really late with this month’s report - sorry about that. I was in California with my chorus for a competition in October and pretty much lost a week of work. Luckily we missed all the fires, though a few chorus members were stuck in Los Angeles over night because of all the power outages.

Product Releases
As of yesterday, the Seeking Opponents data base in the NetPlay Private Forum is accessible again. This problem has been on again, off again over the last couple of months. The latest fix was to remove a Redirect pointer in the Slitherine/Matrix NetPlay server that was referencing a non-existent source for the database. After removing the spurious Redirect pointer, the server was able to ‘find’ the Seeking Opponents database - and all is well. The most recent post I saw was from October 30th.

No Hot Patch was released in October for customers. Meanwhile, the beta testers received a few new versions. We are now up to version 4.0.0.38 for testing MWIF compiled using Delphi Rio (version 10.3). I will try to post a Hot Patch this coming week (version 3.0.5.0) generated using the old Delphi XE8 - which will have source code identical to that used to create the impending version 4.0.0.39.

Program Development: Delphi Rio (version 10.3)
My new computer system is fully functional, although eventually I should transfer over a couple rarely used applications from on my old machine (e.g., CorelDraw).

Because the versions of MWIF created using Delphi Rio require replacement BPL (a.k.a. DDL) files, I am holding off on generating a Delphi Rio MWIF - version 4.1.0.0 - as a Public Beta until I see a version generated under the old Delphi (XE8) running with no issues. Presently, that would be version 3.0.5.0.

Bugs
I made a serious pass through all the remaining emailed bug reports in 2019, without finding anything of note to change. Mostly I inserted a few checks to avoid non-fatal errors (these pop up when quitting the game when the program is expecting a form to be completed (e.g., Choose Action).

After spending a lot of time looking into Supply calculations taking too long, I came up with only a couple of small changes. The program had been trying to find paths between supply sources belonging to cooperating major powers and aligned minors. For example, Germany typically has Italy as a cooperating major power and Rumania as an aligned minor country. All that code was useless. Cooperating major power supply sources and aligned minor country supply sources can never be on the same supply path. That’s because they do not cooperate (e.g., Italy does not cooperate with Rumania). So I trashed about 1500 lines of code (commented it out actually). That should speed things up a little.

Another bug I explored for supply calculations taking too long was from an old game. 10 days of effort later I figured out that the game was damaged. An old bug having to do with France being completely conquered and then rising from the dead when one of its old minor countries is liberated, left the Relationships data between major powers and minor countries all screwed up. [That bug has long since been fixed.] France was recorded as being at war with a slew of still-neutral minor countries (e.g., Switzerland and Turkey). The program was treating hexes in those minors as possible supply routes for both sides (Axis and Allied). A ton of time was spent searching uselessly for supply paths.

All in all, my time spent looking into speeding up supply calculations wasn’t fruitful. I have an internal time monitor for supply calculations, breaking it down into a dozen or so pieces. The amount of time spent on each piece is reported so I can tell where the program is expending the most effort. But that depends on the individual game. In some games, a lot of time is spent determining whether Secondary supply sources can trace a path to Primary sources. In other games, it is the search for Overseas supply paths that burns the time. In yet third instances, searching for Tertiary supply paths back to Secondary is where the program takes excessive time. Very frustrating to not be able to identify one place that misbehaves in every case.

So, I have put working on speeding up supply calculations in abeyance for the nonce. That means that working on the optional rule Isolated Supply has also been set aside.

I’ll now select another missing Optional Rule to implement.

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 #: 124
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 12/3/2019 12:57:00 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21851
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
December 2, 2019 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Product Releases
No Hot Patch was released in November for customers. Meanwhile, the beta testers received a few new versions. We are now up to version 4.0.0.43 for testing MWIF compiled using Delphi Rio (version 10.3).

I have a new Hot Patch ready to compile (version 3.0.5.0), but I need to write the Release Notes. Also, because it needs to be generated using the old Delphi XE8, I have to copy the modified source code over to my old computer and compile it there. Version 3.0.5.0 will use source code identical to that used to create version 4.0.0.43.

Program Development
I made some improvements to the Pools form and the View Units form. For the Pools form, I added a small table that shows the number of convoys and pilots lost by each major power during the turn. Those counts are reset to zero at the beginning of each turn. The table appears when viewing the Destroyed Pool.

In addition, I changed the layout for the Pools form, so instead of seeing 4 by 13 units (52) on a small screen size (1024 by 768), it now shows 6 by 9 units (54). That is a minuscule increase but there is a larger payoff when the form is resized horizontally. That can be done if you have a wider monitor. For each new column you now see 6 more units instead of 4. In Barbarossa, 15 columns shows all the units in the USSR force pool. 21 columns shows all the German units.

As my third little side project, I modified the View Units form (Ctrl - U). It can now be resized vertically. With a monitor that has 768 pixels vertically, the form shows 14 units in a single column. My monitors have a vertical resolution of 2160. When the form is expanded to fill that monitor vertically, 27 units are visible.

Because the versions of MWIF created using Delphi Rio require replacement BPL (a.k.a. DDL) files, I am still holding off on generating a Delphi Rio MWIF - version 4.1.0.0 - as a Public Beta until I see a version generated under the old Delphi (XE8) running with no issues. Presently, that would be version 3.0.5.0.

Bugs
I am up-to-date with bugs reported via email and in the Tech Support forum for World in Flames. For bugs reported by beta testers, I am up-to-date except for three that I need to understand a little better before I can add them to my task list.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Added the code for Kamikaze pilots for the Japanese. Began work on the Rough Seas optional rule.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in November.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 125
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 1/7/2020 8:07:59 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21851
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
January 6, 2020 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Product Releases
Hot Patch 3.0.5.0 was released in December for customers. Later in the month that was superceded by a Public Beta version 3.1.0.0 and, just before Christmas, Hot Patch version 3.1.0.1. Also during December, the beta testers received 5 new versions, the latest being 4.0.1.3. As before, the versions for the customers were compiled using Delphi XE8 and the beta tester versions using Delphi Rio (Delphi version 10.3).

Program Development
Because the versions of MWIF created using Delphi Rio require replacement BPL (a.k.a. DDL) files, I am still holding off on generating a Delphi Rio MWIF - version 4.1.0.0 - as a Public Beta until I see a version generated under the old Delphi (XE8) running with no issues. Presently, that is version 3.1.0.1.

Bugs
I am up-to-date with all bugs reported in December: via email, in the Tech Support forum for World in Flames, and those reported by beta testers, There are always a few more dribbling in. Lately I have been more successful in staying current in reviewing new bug reports. I’ve even been able to go back and tackle some of the older bug reports.

In December, the older ones I have been looking at are for NetPlay. In my game with Gerry, and other NetPlay games played by beta testers, naval operations have been getting rather intense. The US is fully in the war, and Italy has just been conquered. What all that means in game terms is that naval movement and combat in the Pacific has been constant every turn, almost every impulse. Not to be neglected, the Commonwealth and Axis have continued to fight it out for control of the Mediterranean. Virtually every aspect of naval movement and combat has been getting a rather thorough testing. Odd problems have popped up, which I have been hammering down, sort of like ‘whack-a-mole’ at times. Whenever I go after fixing one of these, I check to see if anything similar has been reported previously. Many times I can fix the old and the new with a single set of changes to the code.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios
Nothing new in December. I’ll get back to working on these in January.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in December.


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 126
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 2/10/2020 7:41:36 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21851
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
February 9, 2020 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Rats, I am late again with the status report. My chorus responsibilities are heating up. I’m scheduler and dispatcher for the Singing Valentines this coming week: which quartets go where when to sing to whom - spread out all over the island of Oahu.

Product Releases

Not much progress in January. The beta testers received 4 new versions, the latest being 4.0.1.7.

Bugs
The new players that purchased World in Flames during the Christmas sale are generating some discussions.
And, once again I am lagging with bugs reported in January: via email, in the Tech Support forum for World in Flames, and those reported by beta testers. I catch up and them fall behind. There seems to be a pattern here.

I continue to work on the Naval stuff for NetPlay. Those bugs are difficult to nail down and fix; sort of like trying to nail jell-O to the wall. Over time I was able to prove that several of them no longer exist, and to fix a couple of them, but I still have 3 that refuse to go away.

Missing Optional Rules & Half Map Scenarios

Nothing new in January. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to working on these in February.

AI Opponent (AIO)
Nothing new in January.


_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 127
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 3/6/2020 6:49:55 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21851
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
March 6, 2020 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Product Releases
Small progress in February. The beta testers received 3 new versions, the latest being 4.0.1.10.

I expect to post a new Hot Patch (version 03.01.00.02) to the World in Flames forum today (March 6th). If that doesn’t generate any new bug reports, we’ll make it a Public Beta late in the following week

Bugs
I’ve caught up with all the various bug report streams: via email, in the Tech Support forum for World in Flames, and reported by beta testers. Nothing real exciting is being reported, other than some trouble with starting a new Guadalcanal scenario (which is fixed in today’s upcoming Hot Patch version).

I got some things correct in unusual Naval Interception Combats for NetPlay. Most of those involved nested digressions, outside of the standard sequence of play. For example, there was a problem with an advance after combat overrunning multiple naval units, which were then forced to rebase (first digression), were successfully intercepted (second digression), took losses from the resulting naval combat, and forced to abort (third digression). The program now correctly processes those digressions in reverse order of occurence: (1) continuing the naval interception combat (Yes/No asked of both sides), (2) aborts from the naval combat (both sides), (3) continuing to move the overrun naval units, and finally (4) continuing the advance after combat. In the last step, there were two major powers capable of advancing units into the combat hex. Once the advance after combat is completed, the program checks to see if there are any more land combats to resolve, and if not, it advances the sequence of play to Air Rebase. Tricky stuff to code, especially when considering that the game states on the two computers have to be identical throughout the entire process and the deciding major powers switch back and forth between the two sides depending on the die rolls, etc.

The last item on NetPlay Naval Combat bugs I want to fix (completely) is when the result of a naval combat (during a normal Naval Combat phase) causes units to abort through a sea area where they are successfully intercepted and forced to fight (a second naval combat), with the naval units eventually forced to continue aborting to a friendly port. There are several different points in those two naval combats (the original one and the naval interception combat) where units are placed in the Naval Abort Queue. Getting the program to process through the Queue in correct order when playing over the internet (i.e., NetPlay) fails at times. Both sides can have naval units to abort from both combats. I have 3 saved games where this problem has arisen (all different in some particulars) that I need to run through step by step, monitoring the Naval Abort Queue number for each aborting unit, to make sure the queue is processed correctly, and completely - until it is empty.

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 #: 128
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 4/1/2020 2:33:03 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21851
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
April 1, 2020 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Product Releases
I posted two new Hot Patches (versions 03.01.00.02 and 03.01.00.03) to the World in Flames forum in March. There were a couple of problems with the first of those versions, hence the second. If the latest doesn’t generate any new bug reports, we’ll make it a Public Beta in roughly a week. The beta testers received 3 new versions, the most recent being 4.0.1.13, which is comparable to Hot Patch 03.01.00.03

I really want to switch over completely to using the latest version of Delphi to compile and build the MWIF executable (MWIF.exe). It has been about 9 months that the beta testers have been running versions created using Delphi Rio (10.3), so it definitely generates a stable MWIF.exe. Up until now, all the versions released to customers have been created using the older Delphi XE8. Indeed, the glitch with my first attempt at uploading Hot Patch version 03.01.00.03 (internally it displayed the version number as 03.01.00.02) was caused by my updating the code on two separate computers. Turning off the old computer once and for all would be quite pleasant.

Hopefully in April, I will be comfortable enough with the code to switch all World in Flames customers over to version 04.01.00.00, created using Delphi Rio. That will have to be as a Public Beta, since the MWIF.exe will be accompanied by a new set of BPL files (a.k.a., DLLs). Installing the new BPLs deserves to be handled automatically by the Matrix/Slitherine installer, which is what the Public Beta versions use. Asking each individual customer to deal with the niceties of installing BPLs, would not be wise. Letting the installer do them all is best.

Bugs
I remain up-to-date with the 3 bug report streams: via email, in the Tech Support forum for World in Flames, and reported by beta testers. Aside from a couple of bugs in version 03.01.00.02, nothing in particular stood out as serious this past month.

During March I looked back on all the bug reports from Tech Support since July 2019. I reduced the open bug reports from that list down to 6 - just counting those with saved games that can be used to reproduce the bugs. I want to merge my 3 spreadsheets/Word Perfect files into my Master Task List, which hasn’t been fully updated since the fall of 2019. Then I can prune redundancies therein and delete items for bugs that have since been fixed. A common occurrence is that I get the same bug report from different people and/or from different sources. There is nothing wrong with that. I prefer to have duplicate reports rather than not know about a bug. But it does mean that I need to spend some time reducing my master task list to just the “good stuff”. Or is that just the “bad stuff”?

Annoyingly, I didn’t get time to work on the last item on NetPlay Naval Combat bugs. What I want to fix (completely) is when the result of a naval combat (during a normal Naval Combat phase) causes units to abort through a sea area where they are successfully intercepted and forced to fight (a second naval combat), with the naval units eventually forced to continue aborting to a friendly port.

There are several different points in those two naval combats (the original one and the naval interception combat) where units are placed in the Naval Abort Queue. Getting the program to process through the Queue in correct order when playing over the internet (i.e., NetPlay) fails at times. Both sides can have naval units to abort from both combats. I have 3 saved games where this problem has arisen (all different in some particulars) that I need to run through step by step, monitoring the Naval Abort Queue number for each aborting unit, to make sure the queue is processed correctly, and completely - until it is empty.

Last week I did fix an Abort Queue Processing bug from solitaire play. That correction applies to all modes of play, so at least I won’t have to deal with it as a NetPlay specific bug.

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

AI Opponent (AIO)
We should have a new sub-forum (AI Opponent) added to the World in Flames main forum in the next week. What I want to do is gather all the AI Opponent threads scattered throughout the main forum and move them into the AI Opponent sub-forum. Then everyone can put in their opinions and advice on developing the AIO.

A ton of work has already been done by Peter (Pesk-Pesk) and myself on the AIO. Our next goal is have the AIO play either side of the Barbarossa scenario, using a fixed rule set. What rules, you may ask? Well, that is one topic for discussion in the AIO sub-forum.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 129
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 5/8/2020 3:21:19 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21851
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
May 7, 2020 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Product Releases

I gave the beta testers a lot of new versions in April. That was mostly due to me introducing new bugs with changes to fix old bugs: “Hello! I am here to replace a bug which no longer exists. My specialty is to prevent you from loading saved games!” In the end, the count of new beta test versions in April and the first week of May was eleven: 4..0.1.14 - 4.0.1.18, plus 4.0.2.0 - 4.0.2.5. My appreciation of the beta testers is ever increasing.

At this point I’ll finalize the next hot patch for release later today: version 3.1.0.4. In keeping with my previous plans, if the new hot patch doesn’t generate new bug reports, we’ll make it a Public Beta in roughly a week.

Then there is my desire to switch over completely to using the latest version of Delphi to compile and build the MWIF executables (MWIF.exe). For today, I’ll still use the older version of Delphi: XE8. You can look forward to seeing possibly two new Public Betas in May. The first will be compiled with Delphi XE8 and a later one compiled using Delphi Rio (10.3). The latter MWIF.exe will be accompanied by a new set of BPL files (a.k.a., DLLs). Installing the new BPLs for the second public beta will be handled automatically by the Matrix/Slitherine installer.

Bugs
I remain up-to-date with my 3 bug report streams: Mad Excepts reported via email, posts in the Tech Support forum for World in Flames, and reports from beta testers. Most of the new bugs were piddling little ones from typos and transitory logic failures by me.

Continuing my assault on old bug reports, I reduced my master task list bugs concerning Land Operations to two: for one I do not have a saved game, but it looks significant, and the other is not being able to switch units freely between stacks of land units that are full.

The first Land Operations problem is from a recent NetPlay game involving invasions plus other land combats, with the program halting during the Advance After Combat phase. It isn’t possible for me to recreate this without a saved game. If anyone runs across this and is able to recreate it, I would dearly love to have a saved game and instructions on how to reproduce.

The problem with not being able to switch units freely between adjacent hexes is #276 on my task list. Now I started numbering bug reports back in 2005 or so and started my numbering system at #100. So this bug is older than some of the people playing MWIF. After I got up to #9999, I renumbered all the bugs with numbers less than 1000, so I would have a fresh 900 numbers available. This means that this bug appears as #O276 on my list, the O indicating it is from the original 100 - 999 bugs

The only other two bugs that old on my master task list are O409 (incomplete implementation of the Search and Seizure rules) and O769 (the Detailed Map not refreshing correctly from time to time).

While I did fix some NetPlay bugs in April, I didn’t get time to work on the NetPlay Naval Combat bugs. What I want to fix (completely) is when the result of a naval combat (during a normal Naval Combat phase) causes units to abort through a sea area where they are successfully intercepted and forced to fight (a second naval combat), with the aborted naval units eventually forced to continue aborting to a friendly port.

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

AI Opponent (AIO)
I added a new sub-forum (AI Opponent) to the World in Flames main forum in April. With the help of Peter, I was able to gather all the AI Opponent threads scattered throughout the main forum and move them into the AI Opponent sub-forum. Everyone is encouraged to add their opinions and advice on developing the AIO to that forum

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 130
RE: MWIF Monthly Reports - 6/1/2020 5:13:47 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21851
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
June 1, 2020 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

Product Releases
I released the Hot Patch version 3.1.0.4 early in May, which was followed quickly by Hot Patch version 3.1.0.5 to fix a significant problem in the previous version. At the end of May, I released version 3.1.0.6, which had several important corrections. In addition, I gave the beta testers 4 new versions 4.0.2.6 - 4.0.2.9 in the past month.

Next up is to send a Public Beta (version 4.1.0.0) to Matrix Games/Slitherine to make available for everyone to try. The code for that version should be very similar, if not identical, to version 3.1.0.6. The major difference is that the 4.1.0.0 will be compiled, and the executable built, using Delphi 10.3.

Version 4.1.0.0 will fulfill my desire to switch over to using the 10.3 version of Delphi to compile and build all MWIF executables (MWIF.exe). That MWIF.exe will be accompanied by a new set of BPL files (a.k.a., DLLs). Installing the new BPLs for the public beta will be handled automatically by the Matrix/Slitherine installer.

As a side note, Embarcadero announced this week that version 10.4 of Delphi is now available. To quote Lewis Carroll: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”

Bugs
I remain up-to-date with my 2 bug report streams: posts in the Tech Support forum for World in Flames, and reports from beta testers. Almost all of those bug reports are accompanied by saved games, which makes it much easier for me to make sure the bugs are bugs, and to fix them when they are.

Mad Excepts reported via email are vastly more ambiguous as to their cause. Which is why I tend to lag behind on investing my time to figure out what they are all about.

Important recent corrections are:

1. Added extensive in-line documentation to the code for air-to-air combat and fixed a bug with applying surprise points.

2. Fixed a problem with the Anti-aircraft Fire form reappearing during the return to base digression for a land based bomber that was just aborted due to anti-aircraft fire. Now the form only reappears after the aborted bomber has been returned to base and the digression has ended.

3. Fixed a problem with the program sometimes generating a fatal error after applying several results from Anti-aircraft fire.

4. Added a new section of code to check if major powers have sent enough Build Points to fulfill their trade agreements. If they have not, then additional build points are marked as Lost - No Path, and the number of available build points for the sending major powers is comparably reduced.

5. For NetPlay, added code at the start of the transition to a new air phase (e.g., port attack, ground strike) to set the air subphase to CAP prior to the call to AutoSave. This is so both players save the game as being in the CAP subphase. Previously, one player’s saved game would have the erroneous setting of Done. When the game was restored, the phase would then immediately advance to the next phase, instead of restoring to the CAP phase of the given air mission phase. This also applies to saved games using the Solitaire and Head-to-head modes of play.

6. For NetPlay, fixed a problem with applying anti-aircraft fire damage points to air units during port attacks. Previously, the reduction in naval air combat factors was only applied on one of the two computers. The other computer had the AA fire as having No Effect. That sometimes resulted in different outcomes on the two computers.

7. Fixed a problem with using oil to reorganize units where a major pwoer had no oil of its own available but could use oil belonging to a cooperating major power. Before this change, the major power without oil was not given the opportunity to use oil from a cooperating major power.

8. Corrected a problem where HQs were unable to find supply to primary supply sources of cooperating major powers (e.g., Italian HQ to German primary supply source).

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 #: 131
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