May 26, 2018, 12:55:40 AM

Author Topic: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status  (Read 47155 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kay Wolf

  • Cadet
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Armageddon Unlimited Mercenary Combat Command
  • Unit: Armageddon Unlimited
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2014, 11:40:30 AM »
Holy smokes, I'm glad to help in any way I can.  Were I a true programmer, and not just an intermediate web designer, I would see about joining the team.

Offline Shadowwolf Jerricho

  • Mechwarrior
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
    • Kell Hounds
  • Unit: Kell Hounds
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2014, 04:40:00 PM »
Great job guys, keep up the good work. We really appreciate what yall are doing. I am looking forward to the new NBT.
Shadowwolf Jerricho
Commanding Officer
Kell Hounds

Offline Xavier

  • NBT Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1208
  • Karma: 22
    • View Profile
  • Unit: NBT
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2014, 09:59:36 PM »
This week I spent time getting the current state of the backend and frontend onto a test server, so that the dev team can poke around and make suggestions, etc. I also implemented a basic (typical) account registration "workflow": user fills in registration form, account goes into "recovery" mode awaiting activation, user gets activation email, clicks link to finish account setup, account is active. Purely functional, not at all secure or protected against attack or spammers, but at this stage, I am only looking for basic functionality; the rest can be added later.

Next I want to work on a basic "unit application" workflow. Unit listing page would have a column allowing a user to request an open unit (and only registered accounts would be able to do this -- part of the workflow to make it easier on the admins); one-click application, and request goes into the league admin's pending queue for further action. The overall idea is to streamline the unit setup process, by eliminating the massive amount of work it took in past NBTs, for both prospective unit and league admin. Requiring active NBT automation accounts in order to request a unit is part of that.

Once that is done I intend to turn the rest of the devs loose on what we have now, solicit suggestions and discussion about the the best way to do this, that and the other (relative to what is in place), and on the basis of that, implement, improve and harden. After that (possibly during it as well) I will start the forces management bits and we can start thinking about a good time to open up the automation to "beta" users (arbitrary users in the wild are much better at breaking things than those whore built them ;) ). During that time I'll be implementing jumpship and basic attack/battle mechanics, after which time we can think about a PLT.

The plan is not to make everyone wait for a finished, polished product (which, with just one developer, would take several more months) but instead, to roll out what we have when we have it, get started with some basic systems, and flesh it out from there, as we go along. There will be bumps, and headaches, and missteps doing it this way, but hopefully we can pull it off smoothly enough that it's not a factor.

We'll also be making the client code available, so that anyone who wants to pitch in and help flesh out the web client can do so. I'll also try to have some basic NBT API documentation as well, but I can't promise anything (with just one of me, the focus still has to be on getting the code done).

Offline Derv

  • NBT Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 458
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
  • Unit: NBT
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2014, 10:26:06 PM »
Alright, sounds good. As for the Megamek league, do I need to provide any more additional information to ensure that the automation is molded to fit both MWO and Megamek?
GRANDIOSE DELUSIONS

Offline Xavier

  • NBT Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1208
  • Karma: 22
    • View Profile
  • Unit: NBT
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2014, 10:36:59 PM »
We're still in the steel-and-conduit stage of construction, so if there is anything significantly different between the two then let me know. I'm guessing there will be more divergence in the rules than in the low-level details (planets, ships, forces, units) and I am thinking about a pluggable rules engine anyway, but if there is anything at the rules level you want to make sure I am aware of, it's never too early to say. ;)

Offline Derv

  • NBT Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 458
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
  • Unit: NBT
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2014, 10:40:39 PM »
outside of the different units, none I can think of right now. Maybe, oh right, the ability to track individual pilots for mechs so we can have games where the pilots aren't all just 4/5. 4 means it requires a 4 for gunnery, 5 for piloting. If we could come up with a random pilot generator, or a way to track experience of individual units (whether they be mechs, BA, tanks, etc), then that would be more than awesome. That was a serious problem with the last NBT-Classic.
GRANDIOSE DELUSIONS

Offline Kay Wolf

  • Cadet
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Armageddon Unlimited Mercenary Combat Command
  • Unit: Armageddon Unlimited
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2014, 10:34:19 AM »
Let me start off by saying thank you, for the work you're doing, for the work that everyone doing work on this is doing.

Quote
Next I want to work on a basic "unit application" workflow. Unit listing page would have a column allowing a user to request an open unit (and only registered accounts would be able to do this -- part of the workflow to make it easier on the admins); one-click application, and request goes into the league admin's pending queue for further action. The overall idea is to streamline the unit setup process, by eliminating the massive amount of work it took in past NBTs, for both prospective unit and league admin. Requiring active NBT automation accounts in order to request a unit is part of that.

Will players still be able to select a unit they want to play in, or will they only be allowed to join in open units?  Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if I do understand correctly, you're basically saying the League Admins will be doing all of the work placing people?  I would have thought you would want the Unit Commander's to set up and take applications and, on approval by the Unit CO (or their designated representative), then the account would go to the League Admins for approval?  Or, am I misunderstanding altogether, and what you're talking about is just the coding for the more basic processes, and those will be fleshed out, later?

Quote
The plan is not to make everyone wait for a finished, polished product (which, with just one developer, would take several more months) but instead, to roll out what we have when we have it, get started with some basic systems, and flesh it out from there, as we go along. There will be bumps, and headaches, and missteps doing it this way, but hopefully we can pull it off smoothly enough that it's not a factor.

This is what I'm worried about concerning my questions a minute ago, is that maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit.  PGI have said they want to support 'third-party' leagues as much as possible, so I presume there will be room in the NBT-MWO automation for what they're dropping?

I know it's a lot of questions, but those who can't do, ask, right?

I think my biggest concern, both with MWO and MWT -as Armageddon Unlimited is going to be involved in both of those and, perhaps, other games- is with the unit interface.  Now, PGI are developing a Merc Unit Creation module, which I expect to be out either the first or second Tuesday of August -no, they have not been explicit to say that, though in Dev Vlog #6 it was hinted at that immediately after the module, in the next couple of months, they would be refocusing on other areas of CW-, and I am utterly clueless -and champing at the bit, it's fair to say- how it will look or the level of functionality it's going to have.  I am hoping for the best and preparing for disappointment. 

I know you guys have likely tossed back and forth a couple of ideas for unit management tools, but have nothing concrete, at this time, nor should you have, but one thing I've always -and I mean since 1997- wanted to see was a system where options and modules are available for COs to use, but they either have to set up their own Merc Unit Management Interface, whatever it is they want to use, perhaps picking and choosing them from a series of pre-built modules, or have tutorials made available for how to set up, and make work, their own modules from scratch, basically, or both.

This is just an idea, just something to make some folks go "Hmmmm".
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 07:39:29 PM by Xavier »

Offline Xavier

  • NBT Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1208
  • Karma: 22
    • View Profile
  • Unit: NBT
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2014, 07:43:37 PM »
Quote
Will players still be able to select a unit they want to play in, or will they only be allowed to join in open units?  Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if I do understand correctly, you're basically saying the League Admins will be doing all of the work placing people?  I would have thought you would want the Unit Commander's to set up and take applications and, on approval by the Unit CO (or their designated representative), then the account would go to the League Admins for approval?  Or, am I misunderstanding altogether, and what you're talking about is just the coding for the more basic processes, and those will be fleshed out, later?

The unit application process described above is for the unit as a whole (and would be used by the CO/Khan, as applies).

The flow I have in mind for individuals is that registered users can request to join any unit. Unit leaders will be able to approve or deny those request at their leisure.

The goal is to have as little admin involvement at this level as possible, and make it as self-managing as possible.


Quote
This is what I'm worried about concerning my questions a minute ago, is that maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit.  PGI have said they want to support 'third-party' leagues as much as possible, so I presume there will be room in the NBT-MWO automation for what they're dropping?

I can't answer that without knowing what that would entail, but the goal is to make it much simpler to extend and enhance the new automation than is possible with the current one.

Quote
I think my biggest concern, both with MWO and MWT -as Armageddon Unlimited is going to be involved in both of those and, perhaps, other games- is with the unit interface.  Now, PGI are developing a Merc Unit Creation module, which I expect to be out either the first or second Tuesday of August -no, they have not been explicit to say that, though in Dev Vlog #6 it was hinted at that immediately after the module, in the next couple of months, they would be refocusing on other areas of CW-, and I am utterly clueless -and champing at the bit, it's fair to say- how it will look or the level of functionality it's going to have.  I am hoping for the best and preparing for disappointment. 

I know you guys have likely tossed back and forth a couple of ideas for unit management tools, but have nothing concrete, at this time, nor should you have, but one thing I've always -and I mean since 1997- wanted to see was a system where options and modules are available for COs to use, but they either have to set up their own Merc Unit Management Interface, whatever it is they want to use, perhaps picking and choosing them from a series of pre-built modules, or have tutorials made available for how to set up, and make work, their own modules from scratch, basically, or both.

Well, the idea behind having a REST web API for the automation, besides enforcing the divide between the logic/data layer and presentation layer, is that anyone can build whatever interface they like against the API. If someone wants, say, an iOS app interface, they are welcome to build it. If someone wants to integrate select bits of the automation into their unit website, they can do that as well. The web UI that we are providing is simply, in the parlance, a "reference implementation". It's useful and fully functional, but it's meant to be an example, not the only version.

Offline Kay Wolf

  • Cadet
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Armageddon Unlimited Mercenary Combat Command
  • Unit: Armageddon Unlimited
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2014, 07:42:19 AM »
Thank you, very much, for indulging my questions.  Again, as well, thank you for undertaking this endeavor once again.  Compared to you I'm a monkey on a rock when it comes to things like this; however, I have a mind to think, imagination to dream, and as a result am looking forward very much to all of this.  Now, if I could JUST make it a full-time and lucrative job... hehe.

Offline Xavier

  • NBT Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1208
  • Karma: 22
    • View Profile
  • Unit: NBT
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2014, 10:52:23 PM »
So it's been a while, but it's not been without activity. Work crept in and took some valuable NBT development time so I didn't get as much done as I had hoped.

However, the bits I did get done forced a detour in progress. I had been working on the unit signup workflow and earlier design decisions came back to bite. Well, not so much design decisions, as design "put off til later"s. Turns out that now, is "later".

I had been parsing REST API calls manually and doing things the brute-force way with plain Java Servlets, knowing that full well I would end up having to use a REST framework to do the heavy lifting at some point. The framework I ended up implementing over a few days was RESTeasy (a JBoss framework although we're using Tomcat for this). Last night I got everything running again and can start making progress again.

Another benefit of implementing RESTeasy was that some non-RESTful things I had been doing, I was forced to stop doing. For instance, simplifying the API URLs, and removing the API version from the URLs (not so much non-RESTful as it was Just A Bad Idea).

For those interested, RESTeasy handles REST API dispatching using Java annotations on classes and methods. For instance, you can mark a class as handling a path (or part of a path) in a REST URL. Likewise for methods, and you can also mark methods as handling the various HTTP methods (GET, POST, etc). Paths can have variables in them, so handling variable URLs like

http://www.netbattletech.com:8080/api/unit/133

http://www.netbattletech.com:8080/api/planet/district/Alshain

is dead-simple to implement with RESTeasy, whereas the brute-force parsing (with a limited set of recognized URL patterns) I had been doing was already showing the strains.

So in the end, it was worth it; it had to be done sooner or later, it just turned out to be sooner. ;)

Offline Xavier

  • NBT Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1208
  • Karma: 22
    • View Profile
  • Unit: NBT
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2014, 10:30:38 PM »
So you might notice I've marked the starmap and unit signup as finished -- they are (basically, very basically) functional now.

I've also turned on the test site for the dev team to look at, so that we can start getting things in shape for an initial alpha (which means actual users and units get to start breaking it too).

From here out I'll be splitting time between implementing new features, and implementing dev team designs and recommendations (and fixing bugs!), so actual progress on new features might slow down a bit (yeah, I know -- how can it get any slower, Xavier!?!) but overall things will be better when everyone finally gets a crack at it.

Offline Kay Wolf

  • Cadet
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Armageddon Unlimited Mercenary Combat Command
  • Unit: Armageddon Unlimited
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2014, 07:58:36 AM »
This is pretty fantastic, and I can't wait to see if I can break it, when the time comes.  About that time, if you'll be seeking them, I might start putting in ideas for features -not requests, just ideas- for you guys to think about.

Thank you.

Offline Shadowwolf Jerricho

  • Mechwarrior
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
    • Kell Hounds
  • Unit: Kell Hounds
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2014, 03:34:58 PM »
The Hounds stand ready to break stuff!!
Shadowwolf Jerricho
Commanding Officer
Kell Hounds

Offline Derv

  • NBT Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 458
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
  • Unit: NBT
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2014, 10:14:10 PM »
Excellent news Xavier, keep it up!
GRANDIOSE DELUSIONS

Offline Yasuoka

  • Cadet
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
  • Unit: I will keep it hidden for as long as possible.
Re: NBT-MWO Automation Milestone Status
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2014, 03:36:46 AM »
So I was trying to find the old HPG uplink and get some nostalgia in, but instead I came across this!

Yes. yes. Yes.

You, you people are the reason for my renewed hope in humanity. I miss, so terribly, NBT.
The absolute best times I ever had playing any video game or in any league or tournament I have ever played in was NBT. So with that being said...

From those of us who know about this, and those of us who dont. Those of us who played in the past, and those of us who will play in the future. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you so very very much for your work and time spent to keep this jewel and buried gem alive.