Sunday 19 August 2018

Importing, what a load of work!

I started working on the 'Import' function of Spell Engineer today. I see the 'Import' part as being the USP of the Engineer Suite - to take a chunk of text and automatically sense where everything should go so that transferring a Spell, NPC, etc to Fantasy Grounds is the work of 2 or 3 clicks. It is fundamental to what I want the package to do.

Spell Engineer has been done in entirely the opposite order to NPC Engineer, and for the most part has benefited from that.

NPCE started life as a script for extracting information from a text file. It didn't even have a GUI in its earliest incarnation, and certainly no way to enter all the information from scratch. Slowly, it grew - GUI for the Import, GUI for all the information, user input for everything, graphical whizzbang then parsing.

SPE knew it was going to do all of the above from day 1, so the first action was to create the GUI (to inform me of the information needed), make it user friendly, then deal with the output and parsing so that it was functional. Now I have to build in the import and it feels so much harder! There's a fair bit of coding just to even see the results of anything I do, and 2 buttons to click each time, and so on. I am glad it's a relatively small data set otherwise I'd need to find a neater solution to my workflow.

Pfffft, first world problems, eh? I'll shut up and get on with it :)  The news here is that 'Import' is being worked on!


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