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 Pueblo/UE Project News

[Yeah, yeah, very nice. Show me the downloads!]

Tuesday, 15 November 2005
  Just to keep people updated: updates to the world list are currently frozen. Feel free to send stuff in -- it's all going into a queue which I will get to when I can -- but currently I can't do any updates.

For the curious, it's not my usual extreme procrastination this time, but rather that I simply don't currently have anything to update the list. The recent changes to the database backend at SourceForge mean that the method I was using to update the list previously doesn't work any more, so I'll have to rewrite the update software to do things a bit differently. Which will take a while. But rest assured that it will not be forgotten about.

Oh, and I am trying to get another release out vaguely soon. Honest!
Sunday, 30 October 2005
  I've just committed a whole bunch of changes to the website (which I've been working on for a while now). Mostly this was just to clean up some of the back-end code a bit, rather than any overt changes in behaviour. There are still a few changes pending, and of course it's possible that I've accidentally broken something along the way. I'd appreciate feedback about any problems (or even just suggestions) you encounter.

As far as noticable changes go -- apart from a few minor formatting changes (especially to the World List Update Wizard, which has had probably the biggest makeover), the only really new thing is the Search function in the World List. It now supports binary searches, meaning that you can search for specific phrases, or forbid a certain word from appearing in the results, etc. It's a little experimental at the moment, but it seems to work well enough.
Sunday, 17 April 2005
  As some of you may have noticed (but nobody mentioned), about half of the World List vanished yesterday, for a few hours. Turns out that during an update my computer overheated and locked up. Sigh. Anyone would think that it was still summer. In any case, it's back up now, and again, all outstanding change requests have been actioned (meaning that if you made a request which hasn't appeared yet, then it probably got lost during the email hiatus, and you will need to resend it).

In other news, the new feedback system appears to be operating properly (and fully automated too), so I have removed the warning notices.
Sunday, 13 February 2005
  A week or so ago, SF completely disabled outbound mail, rendering my workaround inoperative. I have now rewritten most of the system to use a different mechanism for sending the mail, which should at least mean that I shouldn't lose any more mail. It's not completely automated yet (meaning that it might take a little longer than normal for me to receive messages), and while we're in the transition period I think I'll leave the warning notices in place (just in case SF breaks it again). But hopefully it should all be fine now.

On a related topic, I have now either actioned or responded to all World List submissions that I have received, and responded to all other feedback posts that I have received. So if you have not received a response to your post (or seen your update shown on the World List), then most likely your message got lost, and you will need to send it again.
Friday, 7 January 2005
  I've installed a partial workaround for the mail problems. It's only partial because it only occasionally manages to get the email to me -- I haven't really had consistent results. Still, I guess it's better than nothing. If you're actually paying sufficient attention to be reading these news items, then you should probably still send feedback through the mailing list (or direct email), as if you use the feedback system it won't be obvious to you whether or not it actually worked. Unfortunately it doesn't return any sort of error when things go wrong (so I can't pass that along to you), it just loses the message :-(  
Tuesday, 4 January 2005
  Since the 'done' pile from the List has been mounting up a bit, I've updated the Incoming! page to show the features currently slated for the next release. Feedback is welcome, although since the feedback system is still down, you'll need to either email me directly or send them to the pueblo-users mailing list.  
Monday, 3 January 2005
  It has come to my attention that version 2.61 of Pueblo/UE will not run on some systems, complaining about a missing library or missing dependency. Specifically, it won't run on Win95, Win98 (original), or WinNT (pre-SP6a). It will run on Win98SE, WinNT SP6a, WinME, and Win2K/XP/+. This is caused by the MFC 7.0 library hard-linking to another library that doesn't actually exist on the older systems. The solution (from my end) appears to be to use MFC 7.1 instead, meaning that I'll have to drop support for Visual Studio 2002 and switch to Visual Studio 2003 instead. On the user end, if you can't upgrade (for example on 98 and NT, by installing the appropriate service pack), then you might as well keep using 2.60 until the next release. To be honest, I'm surprised that I didn't hear about this a lot sooner -- I know for a fact that there are a few people still running Pueblo on Win95..... perhaps they just haven't upgraded yet. (And no, the delay wasn't due to the feedback page being down -- I heard about this prior to that, and have been testing and evaluating workarounds since then.)

Website feedback is still down at the moment; I suspect that most of the SourceForge admins are on holiday. Sigh.
Friday, 31 December 2004
  As if my own personal email problems at the beginning of the month weren't enough, it appears that mail generated from the website isn't getting through at the moment, and hasn't been since around the 20th. Sigh. That means any bug reports, comments, or world list changes sent since then have just disappeared into a black hole somewhere. It's still down at the moment, so don't try to resend stuff through there. I'm about to post a message to pueblo-users, both to provide additional contact details and to serve as a test to make sure that the list itself is working. So if you do have any problems, the mailing list is your best bet at the moment.  
Thursday, 9 December 2004
  As some of you might know, I've been having trouble with my Internet connection recently (I had exceeded the transfer limit, meaning that it was costing megabucks to do anything -- and then there were lots of delays and other problems when trying to switch to a different plan). As a consequence, I'm seriously behind in my email. I'm very slowly working my way through things, so have patience. There've also been a small number of emails (around the start of November) that glitched, losing the actual text of the message -- but fortunately I still have the headers, so I should be able to ask people what they were about. Please don't send your message again unless I specifically ask for it -- I promise I will get through all messages!  
Thursday, 28 October 2004
  I've been meaning to do this for a while, but I finally got around to it :-) I've added a new page to the TOC on the left (Privacy), which takes you to a document describing in detail some areas of potential privacy concern in the software and website. This is not new information -- it's been in the readme and in the About box basically forever. But you don't see either of those until you've already downloaded or installed the software (respectively), so I figured it wouldn't hurt to also provide the information up-front. Not that anyone seems to have been bothered by any of this -- or at least not yet :-)  
Sunday, 3 October 2004
  As the more observant of you may already have noticed, the 2.61 source was checked into CVS four days ago (though due to SourceForge's delayed mirroring it wasn't publically accessible until three days ago).

In addition to that, at the request of a few people I have also uploaded a source archive file, containing all the Pueblo/UE sourcecode (and also already containing the libmng source, so that it need not be downloaded separately). This should help those of you interested in looking at the Pueblo source but not comfortable using a CVS client. You can find the archive on the Source page.

I've also updated the Incoming page, post-release. Basically that just means that I removed everything under In the Can, since they're in the release now, and no longer "incoming."
Saturday, 25 September 2004
  Well, I didn't quite make it on time, what with falling ill (and my copy of the Sims 2 arriving), but here it is at long last. Pueblo/UE 2.61 is out!

Unfortunately this confirmed what I was afraid of -- the 2.60b release doesn't perform the version check correctly on startup. That means that people with that version will not be notified by Pueblo itself about this new version. Hopefully word will spread through other channels, such as regular visits to the website or being subscribed to the announcements mailing list, but in all likelihood there's going to be a lot of people stuck on 2.60b for quite a while. Sigh.

Anyway, with any luck I'll update CVS sometime in the next few days.
Sunday, 12 September 2004
  Okay, libmng 1.0.8 is out, and I've been busy recently finalising several bugfixes and minor features that I wanted to get into the next release. It's not quite done yet (I need to do more testing), but I'm hoping that I'll have 2.61 out within a week.

Anyway, in the interim I've updated the Incoming page to show you what you're going to be getting in the new release -- at least the major updates, anyway. There are a couple of minor fixes that didn't make it onto the list.
Saturday, 24 July 2004
  Two more polls have been added to the left. Now don't be fooled: while they're very similar to other questions I've asked in the past, they're actually trying to get slightly different information. It turns out I needed a bit more info than the previous polls allowed.

The topmost poll is intended to work out whether 'options' need to be saved per-character or just per-world, once I finally get non-global options, that is :) 'Options' covers basically everything in the Preferences dialog (including colour scheme and TinTin file) -- it does not, of course, refer to the connection settings -- obviously different characters will have to have different username/passwords! :-) I hasten to add that this question is aimed more at what you want than what you've got, since Pueblo only has global options at the moment.

The second question is aimed solely at those people who actually want to/are compiling the Pueblo/UE source code. If you haven't already or don't intend to compile the source soon (say, within a month or two), then please either ignore the poll or pick the first option. For the few people who actually are interested in compiling the code themselves, this question is mainly so I can get a feel for which compilers out of the 'supported' ones that you're using, or whether you've actually written your own project/makefile just so you can compile with a different compiler. In the latter case, I'd appreciate an email (use the Feedback link on the left) letting me know which compiler -- and if you could supply your project/makefile, I could add it to the main distribution ;)

.... And apparently the rumours about libmng were false. Or at least they seem to have the same idea of "soon" that I seem to demonstrate. Well, for the moment I'm still just plugging away at the documentation. I'm up to the HTML reference now, which is fairly slow going, as I'm cross-checking the docs with the code and with actual field-testing, so I can document what Pueblo actually does.
Wednesday, 14 April 2004
  With the help of Dan Greening (former Chaco CEO), chaco.com is now back up. There's no actual content there, of course, it's mostly just links back to here. But hopefully this should sort out some of the old links scattered across the Internet... :-)

At the moment only the index page exists; I'm planning to add a smarter redirection thingy later so that it will catch more of the old links. Once I figure out the best way to do that, of course :-)

In release news, I'm mostly just waiting for the next version of libmng to be released. Rumours say that it probably won't be very long now.....
Saturday, 20 March 2004
  Time for another update, methinks. I've updated the Incoming page to include a couple of extra features in the can, and I've cleared up the backlog on the world list yet again :-)

I'm still working on the documentation, but I'm starting to lean in the direction of making a new release anyway -- after all, it's getting dangerously close to a year since the last release. (Holy crap! Have I really been working on the documentation for a year?!?) In addition, I have a strong suspicion that I accidentally released 2.60 with the version checking code disabled, meaning that when I finally do release 2.61 it won't be automatically detected by Pueblo/UE. But I won't know that for sure until I actually release it ;-)
Monday, 29 December 2003
  I recently fell behind on World List updates, so I spent quite a while today catching up. In addition, I fixed a minor bug in the "Recently deceased" section that made it erroneously list a few worlds that were marked as extinct months ago.

In other news, world authors should be pleased to know that I think I've found (and fixed) the main problem with sending ANSI codes while in HTML mode, so the next version of Pueblo/UE should make things a little neater :). Work on the new documentation is progressing; as stated on the Incoming page that's the main Pueblo thing I'm working on at present.
Tuesday, 14 October 2003
  I finally got around to updating the Incoming page; it's now up to date, post 2.60b. I don't think I've left anything out, but since I'm not near the Pueblo buglist right now, I could have forgotten one or two things. There's nothing terribly exciting on there for now, at any rate...  
Saturday, 11 October 2003
  I've added three new polls to the left; basically just to give me a feel how many of you are using Pueblo in a multi-user environment, since several of the features I have in mind to work on are for the benefit of such people. Of necessity, the polls themselves are a little terse, but here's some more detail on each one, and what I'm hoping to find out:

Firstly, how many worlds you're frequently connecting to. By this I mean connecting *often*, for example each time you run Pueblo/UE. Don't count worlds you visit once in a blue moon or ones you only connect to once or twice and then give up on. I'm interested in this so I can work out the average "active" length of the Personal World Lists.

Secondly, whether a given installation of Pueblo/UE is used by more than one user, and whether or not those users have independent Windows logins. I'm planning a modification to how the Personal World List stores its information, and want to know whether I need to keep things separate across multiple users on a computer.

Thirdly, whether you personally connect to worlds using more than one login per world. I'm not interested if you use different logins on different worlds -- what I want to know is whether you have two different logins on BlogMUD, and you commonly use both of them. Once again this is related to the PWL; the current support for autologins to multiple accounts on a single world is cumbersome at best, and I've been thinking on ways to improve this.
Saturday, 5 July 2003
  Whoops! Turns out there were a couple of problems with yesterday's release:
  (1) The MCCP status flag in the statusbar wasn't getting cleared properly when you disconnected from a world that used MCCP, thereby causing a bit of confusion.
  (2) Due to an incompatibility between MFC 6.0 (what I'm releasing with) and MFC 7.0 (what I'm debugging with), the terminal type negotiation wasn't getting sent out correctly, but was getting cut off halfway through. This meant that any world that asked for the terminal type would thereafter not accept any further commands.

Both of these problems have been fixed, and I've released the fixed version as "2.60b". So all of you early adopters had better go get that version instead :-)
Friday, 4 July 2003
  Thy patience hath been rewarded... Pueblo/UE 2.60 is now available.

Yep, it's still compatible with Win95/NT and supports full alpha transparency (though a little more sluggishly). However one thing it doesn't support (much) is being run in 256 colour mode. Hopefully everyone out there can at least manage 16-bit colour, if not 24 or 32 bit.

And oh yes, I think I've finally nailed the bug that occasionally causes Pueblo to freeze during startup! So there's another cause for celebration. As always, full details are in the What's New section of the help file.

Incidentally, I've already checked the updated code into CVS, but SourceForge are doing a time-lapse thing at the moment to try and conserve bandwidth, so it may take a little while before you will be able to see the new code.
Tuesday, 1 July 2003
  I've just modified the TOC on the left slightly; the 'Pueblo' section has been renamed to 'Client'. I felt this was more helpful, since really this entire site is about Pueblo/UE. It also might help people who stumble across the World List by accident to discover that they can get the client software here as well :-)

Anyway, in other news, it looks like no more votes regarding MNG have come in for a while, so I've closed the poll. 17% of the votes were for full support, 32% for partial support, and 47% for no support. So the winner is..... full support.

I can hear the shouts of confusion from here (precognitively, even, since as I'm typing this nobody knows about it yet!), so here's my reasoning. This whole issue has been about removing support for an existing feature. What I really wanted to know was how many people were still using that feature (namely the ability to run on Win95 or NT). The survey said about 50% want to retain at least partial support. So, either 50% of the people who actually care enough to have subscribed and voted get disappointed or I keep support for 95/NT. That's an easy decision. :-)

Now it's decided, do I do partial or full support? As it happens, I've been looking into the issue (and trying a few experiments) recently, since I've had a little more spare time recently -- mostly because I don't want to deal with unpacking the myriad of boxes I have stacked all around me at the moment. As it turned out, libmng did most of the really horrific work for me, and the way it was designed it's actually easier to support full alpha transparency than it is to do only binary transparency. Go figure.

To cut a long ramble.... well, shorter... MNG has now been implemented in both 95/NT and 98/2000+. There are a few minor behavioural differences, but nothing serious. After a little more testing, and one other bugfix I have planned, I think I'll call a freeze on the code and start doing all the other silly little things that go toward creating a release (such as finding where I put the installation program). I won't be upgrading to HTML Help this time around; the HTML docs are nowhere near complete, and I think you've all been waiting patiently long enough :-)
Monday, 16 June 2003
  Well, here I am again :-). I've been quite busy recently what with work (my job) and with moving house, so I haven't had much time to put towards Pueblo/UE. Answering emails is about the best I've been able to manage. I'm still not entirely certain what the best approach for handling MNG images on Windows 95 and NT is; so I thought I'd put up a poll!

For those not familiar with the issue, here is the short version: I've added support for MNG images (which are an animated image format superior to GIF, among other things allowing alpha transparency). The trouble is that Win95 and WinNT don't support alpha blending out of the box, so I either have to write extra code for them (big pain), stick with binary transparency (meaning different behaviour on different OSes), or just drop support for those OSes entirely. (Dropping just the MNG capability on 95/NT is not an option.)
Saturday, 22 March 2003
  You're probably starting to wonder just what the heck is going on, so I thought it was about time for another news update :-)

Over the past month I have implemented a vast quantity of features and bugfixes (well, relatively speaking, anyway) -- in fact so much so that I'm leaning towards making the next release of Pueblo/UE a 'minor' release (instead of a 'patch' release, which they have been so far). This would push the version number up to 2.60 :-)

Anyway, in order to keep people informed, I've created a new page (Incoming!) that contains the list of stuff I've been messing with, and which should be in the next release. Feedback is welcomed.
Wednesday, 5 February 2003
  Well, that does it. The Source Is Out There . . . .

With 2.53 I think I've resolved most of the most serious issues with Pueblo/UE (excluding why I can't seem to get it to run properly on Visual C++), so as promised I've checked in all the source into CVS. You'll also note a new page listed to the left; that's a small FAQ that I've put together (though perhaps I should have called it "Questions Nobody Has Asked Yet But They Probably Will". Nah, doesn't quite have the same ring to it...) that goes over what I do to build Pueblo/UE. Hopefully the programmers among you should be able to follow it, if you feel so inclined....
Monday, 3 February 2003
  Okay, here you go! Pueblo/UE 2.53 has finally been released. Those of you with Pueblo/UE 2.52 should already be aware of this, thanks to the version checking code that was included last time :-)

Among other things (including telnet:// URL support, finally!) the GIF display bug should now be fixed, so hopefully there won't be any more crashes when you connect to a Pueblo-enhanced world.

And in case you're curious, the download this time is called pueblo253a.exe; the 'a' has no significance, it's just that there was a glitch when I tried to upload the file and it wouldn't let me upload it again using the same name.

Oh, and one final thing: the more observant of you might notice that the download for 2.53 is smaller than that for 2.52; that's not a mistake, and no, it's not missing any features -- I've just upgraded the installation software and now it's using better compression.
Update, that evening: Miral blushes in shame.
Turns out that it was a mistake, after all... while I have increased the compression level on this version it didn't actually make as much difference as I first thought -- the size was so different because the upload had broken. Since I was doing this early in the morning and I was in a hurry to get to work, I didn't notice in time. The news update above was done while I was at work, so couldn't compare file sizes and realise my mistake that way. Sigh.

Anyway, long story short, I've taken off the broken 'a' version and replaced it with pueblo253b.exe; you'll note this one is actually a few bytes larger than 2.52, after all.
Saturday, 1 February 2003
  While modifying the website to support the upgrade procedure (one of the many things I need to sort out before releasing 2.53), I felt a little inspired, so I added a search capability to the world list. It's fairly primitive, but it's better than nothing, I'm sure! :-)

In case you're curious, I was looking something up in the MySQL documentation for some of the database changes I needed, when I happened across the chapter on FULLTEXT indexes. I quickly saw that I could use it to fairly easily add a simple search capacity to the World List, which is something I've been wanting to do for quite a while. Unfortunately the version of MySQL at SourceForge is too old for me to implement a nice boolean search system...
Thursday, 30 January 2003
  I'm just not having much luck with the port to Visual C++; sure, everything starts out fine, but the program invariably crashes when you disconnect from a world, and I'm having trouble finding where the problem is. So today I decided to just say "Screw it!" and switch back to Borland C++. After a few minor hiccups (turns out that Borland's MAKE really doesn't like the presence of COFF object files, which I guess stands to reason), the prerelease 2.53 is compiling and running fine now; and no more GIF troubles! (Fingers crossed)
So, just a bit more tweaking to get the version-check and upgrade stuff going, and I should (finally!) have a release :-)
Wednesday, 6 November 2002
  You've probably noticed the long silence... there are a couple of reasons behind that. The first, of course, is the dreaded interference of Other Stuff -- there's not really much way around that. The second is that I've been experimenting with porting the code into Visual C++ 7, primarily because the debugging facilities available there are significantly better than what I had before.

I've had partial success with the GIF bug; I found exactly what was causing the crash (Pueblo is expecting a record that apparently isn't always present), and put a patch in place that prevents the crash. The trouble is, the affected graphics still don't display correctly -- it appears to be some sort of palette problem. I'm getting very near the point where I'll just rip the entire renderer out and stick in some third-party library code; the only real problem is that I'm not sure what's up with the whole GIF licensing issue. I might end up having to remove GIF support entirely.......

Anyway, during the port I found a few boolean type inconsistencies, which I have now corrected; there's a good chance that they were behind some of the weirder bugs that have been reported. On the downside, Pueblo/UE seems a lot less stable now; memory leaks and crashing weirdness have crept in all over the place. I'll have to sort those out before I can release 2.53. And finding memory leaks is always fun :\.
Friday, 26 July 2002
  This probably isn't terribly newsworthy, but I thought I'd mention it anyway. I changed the site code around a bit so that it no longer hides the 'Docs' and 'FAQ' links until you click on 'Pueblo'. There's no real need to try and save screen space, and it was just getting annoying.

Dreadfully exciting, I know. But hey, it's 1:30 am, what else do you expect? :-)
Wednesday, 10 July 2002
  I haven't had much luck tracking down that bug (thus far it's only been reported to occur at the Virtual Writing Center MOO). So rather than make people wait any longer, I felt that it was time for version 2.52.

As always, full details of changes are in the help file and in the online documentation. And just in case you were wondering, I very nearly posted this on Tuesday again! But I discovered a weird little bug that quite fortunately had a fairly simple resolution...
Tuesday, 18 June 2002
  Wouldn't you know it? I was just about to release version 2.52 when I received a report about a crash occurring soon after connecting to a world, and unfortunately the problem still seems to occur in the candidate Pueblo 2.52. Sigh. I'm going to hold up the release until I've got a fix (or at the very least a workaround) for this.

I've also just noticed that for some weird reason I've posted more news items on Tuesday than on any other day. Go figure :)
Tuesday, 4 June 2002
  I'm pretty sure now (like 99% positive) that I've found and squashed that bug on closing windows. It actually turned out to be something completely different than I first thought, which is possibly one reason why it was so tricky to track down. The fix will be included in Pueblo/UE 2.52, which will be out as soon as I finish adding a couple of features; one that was requested and one which I think is a necessity.

Anyway, that closing window bug (and its resolution) irritated me so much that I thought I'd post a little rant about it on a separate page, including an in depth discussion of it. Enjoy :-)
Saturday, 18 May 2002
  Some users have reported crashes when closing Pueblo/UE windows; the reports I've received seem to be related to an annoying little bug that I thought I had stepped on and squished ages ago (it was one of the issues that delayed the release of 2.50 for so long). Well, I think I know where the sucker's hiding, so as soon as I get a chance I'll pull out my Sword of BugCleaving and go hunting.

In the meantime, I've posted a possible workaround to this problem on the FAQ page.
Tuesday, 30 April 2002
  Well, it beats me. After further testing on version 2.51, the bug preventing the window locations being saved properly on Windows XP appears to have been resolved. Normally, that's a good thing. But I have no idea how it happened, as I haven't actually done anything to fix it yet! So while it seems to be gone for now, it's possible that this bug may resurface at some later time. Sigh.  
Saturday, 27 April 2002
  Version 2.51 of Pueblo/UE has just been released. This is primarily just a bugfix release, and corrects a few annoying issues that somehow survived into version 2.50.

Full details can be found in the changelog. Also, one bug remains unresolved: on Windows XP systems (and possibly also NT/2000, though I'm not sure) it appears the size and position of the main window is not being saved correctly (despite working properly in 95/98). We're working on this one; in the meantime, if you are affected by this bug the simplest workaround is simply to maximise the window on startup.
Wednesday, 24 April 2002
  The help file for Pueblo/UE has now been put online in HTML form. This is pretty much the same (if anything, less complete) as the help included with Pueblo/UE, and even uses lots of weird little Java applets to try and behave like Windows Help.

One useful offshoot of this is that you can now read the changelog for Pueblo/UE without having to download and install it. To view the online help file, click on the "Docs" section in the TOC to the left (it's inside the Pueblo section).

One final note: surprise, surprise, the first release contains a few bugs. Nothing particularly serious (at least nothing reported), but I just thought I'd let you know that version 2.51 is in the works. Most of the bugs have already been corrected - there's just a couple of really annoyingly elusive ones to go.
Monday, 1 April 2002
  Okay, I admit it, I'm slack. But I have a Real Life(tm) too, which unfortunately keeps interfering. (I have, incidentally, been updating bits and pieces of this site periodically, just nothing significant enough to warrant another news entry. So it's not quite as bad as it first appears!)

Happily, however, the initial release candidate of Pueblo/UE seems to be behaving itself properly (I thought so a while ago, but discovered some problems), so it should be coming out really soon. Later today, even, if I can get the relevant parts of the website up to scratch.
Okay, here we are at the end of the day, and we have a release! That's right, to celebrate April Fool's Day in my typical contrary way I've finally got the genuine article out there :) - there's still a few holes in the website, but all the really critical stuff is there now.
Tuesday, 30 October 2001
  Now that the client itself seems to be behaving (mostly), I've turned my concentration to developing this website... :)

For the moment, I'm trying for a similar style to the original Chaco website, although I might change things around later on...

Website copyright © 2001-05 by Ultra Enterprises.
Chaco, Pueblo, and the Chaco logo were trademarks of Andromedia, Inc. (About)
Ultra Enterprises, UE, Pueblo/UE, and the UE logo are trademarks of Gavin Lambert. (About)