Sunday, August 4, 2019

What's New

Since finishing off Dragon's Lair, I've actually been sidetracked working on the CollectorVision Phoenix (, which is coming out soon. I've done a basic loader for the ColecoVision that will hopefully work well enough for people. We'll see when you get it!

Since that's done, I'm trying to get my todo list started. It's sobering to look at that list, do the math, and realize I will not likely finish it. Stupid mortality. ;)

You can look too! Then vote on what I should do!

Unrelated to the task list, I just published a new version of Flipterm, in case anyone was using that. Flipterm is a text-based MUCK client. A MUCK is comparable to a MUD, and that probably doesn't help you at all. ;) MUD stands for 'Multi-User Dungeon', and before everything was a first-person shooter, this is what an MMORPG looked like. It was a lot like those old Infocom text adventures, except there were other people in the room as well.

Imagine a modern chat room or Discord server, but without the GIFs.

Anyway, FlipTerm is derived from the old GMud, and I started working on it back in 2002. It was pretty much stable since then, only minor fixes, but I was finally asked to make a few improvements, and took it as an opportunity to update the codebase.

Oh my god it's an awful codebase. It started rough, and then I was clearly learning as I went, not only MFC and MDI, but C++ itself. 

Anyway! Upgraded* the code to Visual Studio 2017, which came with a whole new MFC mindset for MDI that took a few days to get updated. Should be only minorly visible, though for free it did bring a new docking paradigm that has snazzy looking controls, and tooltips are nicer looking. It also, for free, fixed the docking preview on high DPI (ie: 4k) monitors, as that was kind of messed up.

(* - haha, "Upgraded". I fixed the parts that didn't work and left the rest as-is. I'm not that crazy!)

From the user point of view, the enhancements are:

- updated docking to modern version - fixes high DPI and provides better(?) user feedback
- removed MCP and the plugins. Nothing important ever used any of them.
- mouse scroll wheel works on the main output window and not just the input window (the one thing that did bug me for the last ten years or so ;) )
- word wrap settings now reformat the view when you resize the window (huzzah!) (unless you are using the fixed 80-column mode, but I'm not sure why anyone would anymore.)
- when you start a log after logging in, then log back to the beginning, the formatting of the old text is as-received instead of as-formatted, which makes logs more consistent.

Not much, really, but several nights of deep diving to get it all working with the new system. Hopefully good for another ten years!

Grab it over on Github here:

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