getting bzwtools

Discussion, updates, modifications, etc for the various map editors...
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Warinthestar
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getting bzwtools

Post by Warinthestar » Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:40 pm

i have blender downloaded and everything but i cant get the bzwtools for it? i dont know if it something to do with my computer or not but i cant get to the website to get the tools. any help?

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Post by Legolas_ » Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:05 am

We now have a wiki available to the public. Its website is: http://my.bzflag.org/w/.

At the wiki, there are categories. In the categories there are articles. If you read the articles that relate to your question, you can answer your question.

Here is the link to the wiki article for bzwtools: http://my.bzflag.org/w/BZWTools

On that page is links for downloadind BZWTools. There is also some information on how to install them.

The internet is a powerful tool. If one has access to all this information, one might suggest he uses it before asking questions that can be answersed by looking for a few (What did it take? 1 minute or so to find that site?) minutes. Google is your friend.

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Post by joevano » Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:04 am

warinthestar wrote:i dont know if it something to do with my computer or not but i cant get to the website to get the tools. any help?
The link you mention to download the tools, Legolas_ is broken and not working. warinthestar was not asking where to get them, he found that. He said he couldn't get to the website, and he can't. I became aware of this issue last week, but it appears that Teppic's web site, where the tools were hosted, seems to be down. warinthestar at this point in time, I am not sure where the tools can be gotten.
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Quantum Tank
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Post by Quantum Tank » Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:03 pm

I am having the same problem, could somebody notify me when the link is fixed, or when there is a new way to download it?

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Post by blast » Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:27 pm

Teppic has not been seen for a while.
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Teppic
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Post by Teppic » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:20 pm

blast wrote:Teppic has not been seen for a while.
Speak of the Devil and shall he not appear?

I've been having a few choice words with my ISP. The svn server is fine but the wiki is undergoing maintenance. I'll work out where some of the snapshots are and post here, or fix it, whichever is quicker...

EDIT:
Erm, new wiki, all the old content, just new install, and it still doesn't work properly, GRRR, but better than nowt so

http://craven.dyndns.org/wiki

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L4m3r
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Post by L4m3r » Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:12 pm

Teppic, if you would like a permanent host for bzwtools, let me know. You're more than welcome to park it on my webhost. :)
Optimism is just a milder alternative to denial.

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Post by Winny » Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:53 pm

Ill work on putting BZWTools on the BZFlag wiki, if thats OK with you, Teppic.

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Post by joevano » Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:24 pm

Winny wrote:Ill work on putting BZWTools on the BZFlag wiki, if thats OK with you, Teppic.
Sorry, the wiki only hosts photos nicely. Haven't figured out how to get it to host files for download. They would need to be staged somewhere (say in Drupal ;) ) and then you could link to them from the wiki.
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Winny
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Post by Winny » Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:47 pm

donny_baker wrote:
Winny wrote:Ill work on putting BZWTools on the BZFlag wiki, if thats OK with you, Teppic.
Sorry, the wiki only hosts photos nicely. Haven't figured out how to get it to host files for download. They would need to be staged somewhere (say in Drupal ;) ) and then you could link to them from the wiki.
Indeed. I was just saying, take the info from teppics site and put it on the wiki. The file could be hosted elsewhere.

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Post by macsforme » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:11 pm

Would something like this belong in the bzflag source svn tree?

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Post by JeffM » Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:02 pm

the author has not chosen to turn the code over to the main project, so we can not include it in our tree, we don't own it.

We would gladdy include it if author wished to.

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Teppic
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Post by Teppic » Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:35 pm

Winny wrote:Ill work on putting BZWTools on the BZFlag wiki, if thats OK with you, Teppic.
Sure, that's fine. If you create an account at my wiki you can probably cut and paste most of the formatted pages into yours.
JeffM wrote:the author has not chosen to turn the code over to the main project, so we can not include it in our tree...
That's not strictly true, it is GPL'd so you can do what you like with it.

On both points above though, my code and my wiki, as far as I am concerned, are not finished.
With this in mind my SVN server will contain the code until it is 'done' and my wiki will mirror any required changes in documentation. If at some point I do consider that development is no longer active (both code and documentation) then the following statement will not hold true.
Teppic wrote:I don't mind what you do with the code and/or the documentation with regards to mirroring, as long as it is kept up to date, there is nothing worse than trying to use out of date documentation and/or out of date code
Obviously this of more of a request that a requirement as everything is GPL'd.



On an almost unrelated subject, development of the tools and documentation has stagnated somewhat. (the upgrade of the wiki and some new pages being added recently aside)

There are a number of reasons for this.
1 ) My intimate familiarity between the both of the systems involved (blender and somewhat less the .bzw format) makes it very difficult for me see where things could be made more user friendly; I recognize this as having to be the driving force behind any continued development of BZW Tools (besides bug fixes and possible new features due to 2.2)

2 ) There have been no bug reports for over 6 months, despite my finding things on odd occasions I have imported maps to see what they look like (and subsequently fixed BTW)

3 ) I don't know who, if anyone, is using it. The original exporter (the single file of abortion like hacks that made a .bzw file) was written by me for me, and I know some others used it too. The tools as they are know are written 'properly' in such a way that new stuff can be added easily, but it does what I want it to do, and no-one has asked for it to do any more.

4 ) I don't make a lot of maps, I think my count is 4, the original V 1.x map, the tree in the valley, the D'n'D' one with lava bridges and the big sphere, and lastly the A*A Bridge crossing map. Apart from the first these have all been 'proof of concept' and bug testing sandboxes for the toolkit, as well as 'This is what you can do with Blender and BZW Tools'. As far as I have seen nobody has 'run' with these examples.**

BZW Tools is in active development, and there is help available for anyone who wants to use it*. V2.x is your software, V1.x was written for me, V2.x was written and is maintained for you, but it is true now as so often in life 'If you do not ask you do not get'

*There are people here who can testify what help I'll give if you ask

**AFAIK the only other person to make extensive use of meshes on maps is Louman, I look at most of his stuff and he certainly doesn't need a demonstration of what the game engine is capable of.
Did anyone notice (not the new arrivals, probably including you too Winny) the similarity between the D'n'D' map and JeffM's April fools joke of a few years back? (sadly no longer viewable IIRC)

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Post by gnu-sense » Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:19 am

Teppic wrote:BZW Tools is in active development, and there is help available for anyone who wants to use it*. V2.x is your software, V1.x was written for me, V2.x was written and is maintained for you, but it is true now as so often in life 'If you do not ask you do not get'
Please forgive me if you've addressed this anywhere, and I haven't found it, or I did but lost it again.

I tried following the instructions you gave for a Macintosh install, and encountered the following:
  • (a) the default scripts directory did not exist; I had to create it (mkdir .blender)

    (b) using the svn install instructions, there were not .pyc files downloaded, so the instruction about removing .pyc files did nothing.

    (c) Running blender, it seems to locate the scripts (there is a BZWTools item in object, import and export submenus), but nothing under system so I could not follow your instructions further.

    (d) Trying to run the scripts in the other sub-menus does something (buttons appear in the UI), but you can't fully execute them because you get errors (Python error; check console -- where is that console even? I can't find it).

    (e) Other attempted fixes (checking permissions on the .blender directory, checking the locations of the default directories in user preferences) didn't result in any improvement.
Do you have any suggestions as to what the problem[s] might be?

Blender is a somewhat complex program and has a steep learning curve (unless, perhaps, one is familiar with other modeling software. It reminds me a teeny bit of Flash, which I also find extremely hard to learn. I actually got a lot further editing in plain text, by cribbing from other .bzw files for other maps, especially Viper's Two Castles). I would suspect that difficulties of using blender might have a lot to do with the reason you haven't gotten many feature requests. People probably need a really basic tutorial first, to let them see the possibilities, so that they can experiment from a little bit of knowledge, before they can do enough to be able to make intelligent feature or bug-fix requests.

Thanks for pushing the envelope,

gnu-sense

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Post by Teppic » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:16 am

gnu-sense wrote:
  • (a) the default scripts directory did not exist; I had to create it (mkdir .blender)
    Can you supply the location of the directory you created and I'll add it to the instructions
    (b) using the svn install instructions, there were not .pyc files downloaded, so the instruction about removing .pyc files did nothing.
    .pyc files are from a previous install (if you have one), I will again adjust the documentation to make this clearer
    (c) Running blender, it seems to locate the scripts (there is a BZWTools item in object, import and export submenus), but nothing under system so I could not follow your instructions further.
    Try this
    (d) Trying to run the scripts in the other sub-menus does something (buttons appear in the UI), but you can't fully execute them because you get errors (Python error; check console -- where is that console even? I can't find it).
    If you run blender from a shell, then you will see the debug messages, I hope one of the helpful Mac users can shed light on running from a shell for you.
    (e) Other attempted fixes (checking permissions on the .blender directory, checking the locations of the default directories in user preferences) didn't result in any improvement.
    Without debug messages I have nowhere to go from here ATM, sorry.
If some kind BZBB admin could move these posts to a new topic that would be greatly appreciated, thx.

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Post by gnu-sense » Sat Jul 28, 2007 3:36 am

I have to try to make this brief, so please forgive the lack of certain details. A couple of general points, however are relevant.
Teppic wrote:Try this
This helps but not quite enough. Part of the information is burried on another page where it is indicated that some scripts that the BZWTools depend on are missing from the standard install of Blender. Installing these allows me to get further, but the toolkit is not completely functional yet. I have it on two systems, with two different behaviors: one where it will probably work when I figure out what the textures and other directories should be set to (I managed to export the default cube as a mesh, at least), another where it fails even though I followed the same install procedure/attempted fixes (the System>Edit Script Configuration menu item now appears, but the resulting screen lacks a menu item for BZWTools; similarly Object>BZWTools brings up a partial/defective interface).

I think the documentation needs a bit of a revamp. The wiki is characterized by incomplete and redundant information spread over several pages. It would help if the complete installation procedure -- for any system -- were in one page somewhere, as that would make it easier to see what a complete configuration looks like, and to understand what the procedure should look like from end to end.
Teppic wrote:If you run blender from a shell, then you will see the debug messages, I hope one of the helpful Mac users can shed light on running from a shell for you.
This turns out to be bad advice, as the Mac terminal app and blender and/or Python's interpreter interact very badly. Blender is forced into repeated whole-screen OpenGL updates that hide all of the UI elements, anytime the mouse hovers over one of them. The interpreter refuses to release the processor to perform the update until the mouseover condition goes away, hence it is not possible to interact with blender in this mode in any meaningful way.

It is possible to run blender in the normal way (double-click) and get the error log from the system console log (/Applications/Utilities/Console.app); the errors I get generally indicate that blender can't find one or another script. Oddly, setting the scripts directory in user preferences within blender doesn't seem to prevent it from looking for scripts in /Users/gnu-sense/.blender/scripts . Are there hard-coded or other strange paths in your scripts?

Another thing I have noticed is that the scripts are not terribly graceful when data is missing. For example, the BZW import script fails when image files for textures are missing. This effectively prevents one from re-texturing a map or object when one does not already have the existing textures available. A more graceful way to handle this than import failure would be to import the usable data and provide warnings and stub or default textures for the missing ones.
Teppic wrote:If some kind BZBB admin could move these posts to a new topic that would be greatly appreciated, thx.
agreed, but they are here for now.

Thanks again,

gnu-sense

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Post by Teppic » Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:10 am

gnu-sense wrote:I have to try to make this brief, so please forgive the lack of certain details. A couple of general points, however are relevant.
Teppic wrote:Try this
This helps but not quite enough. Part of the information is burried
I fail to see how something marked as READ THIS in the Configuring your Blender Setup::Special Mac Notes section is buried?
gnu-sense wrote: on another page where it is indicated that some scripts that the BZWTools depend on are missing from the standard install of Blender. Installing these allows me to get further, but the toolkit is not completely functional yet. I have it on two systems, with two different behaviors: one where it will probably work when I figure out what the textures and other directories should be set to
There is specific help on this in "First Time Setup::Default Paths for BZWTools"
gnu-sense wrote:(I managed to export the default cube as a mesh, at least), another where it fails even though I followed the same install procedure/attempted fixes (the System>Edit Script Configuration menu item now appears, but the resulting screen lacks a menu item for BZWTools
There isn't supposed to be one, it's just a test to prove you have setup blender properly as the script in question uses the same support libraries.
gnu-sense wrote:; similarly Object>BZWTools brings up a partial/defective interface).
Screenshot?
gnu-sense wrote:
I think the documentation needs a bit of a revamp. The wiki is characterized by incomplete and redundant information spread over several pages. It would help if the complete installation procedure -- for any system -- were in one page somewhere, as that would make it easier to see what a complete configuration looks like, and to understand what the procedure should look like from end to end.
There are two pages you need to read, Installation and Configuring, the setup is not trivial, and the documentation is designed in such a way that you have to read and understand it, the fact you remarked (b) using the svn install instructions, there were not .pyc files downloaded, so the instruction about removing .pyc files did nothing. means you didn't read the documentation, as it clearly states ~"and remove any possible .pyc files from the scripts/bzflag directory."
gnu-sense wrote:Oddly, setting the scripts directory in user preferences within blender doesn't seem to prevent it from looking for scripts in /Users/gnu-sense/.blender/scripts . Are there hard-coded or other strange paths in your scripts?
No, Users/gnu-sense/.blender/scripts is blenders custom scripts directory for you, and it will always look there, this this why there is explicit instruction to search for a known bundled script to locate the default scripts directory to properly configure blender
gnu-sense wrote:Another thing I have noticed is that the scripts are not terribly graceful when data is missing. For example, the BZW import script fails when image files for textures are missing. This effectively prevents one from re-texturing a map or object when one does not already have the existing textures available. A more graceful way to handle this than import failure would be to import the usable data and provide warnings and stub or default textures for the missing ones.
If you have configured BZW Tools properly then all you need to do is play the map in BZFlag and BZW Tools will find the cached textures. Import failure is the only way to ensure that people running without a debug console are aware there is an issue, which is normally related to bad configuration in any case.

You haven't really given any useful information for debug purposes, other than comments that suggest it isn't configured properly. Read this through, then attempt to configure the program properly whilst reading it through a second time. Once you believe you have it configured, if it still produces errors on the commandline (or in a debug console) then post them in full with a description of what you were trying to achieve, where it failed and any relevant screenshots.

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