BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

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blast
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BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by blast » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:29 pm

I've been working on designed a user interface for my free map hosting. This is very much a work in progress, and it won't actually submit the form yet. It's just a static page. The "Mandatory Flags" section seems to work quite well. You can select multiple flags to add or remove by dragging or Ctrl clicking.

http://static.bzexcess.com/hosting/

Some feedback/comments/suggestions would be much appreciated on the page overall. Is there something I could do better? I'm planning to add a few more features, such as the ability to set BZDB variables, but suggestions of what to add would also be helpful.
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by Crallion » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:17 pm

I don't think that you really need to have the flag options etc., or any options for that matter. The variables are built into the map file anyway, so what's the point of asking if the tanks can jump/rico/CTF or FFA?

In other words, I think that you should take out the "style settings" and the "flag settings". Also, it would be nice to be able to upload a config. file. Otherwise, I think that it is a really good idea and it is done well.
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by Bambino » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:47 pm

I think it would be nice to add a permissions file with global groups.
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by blast » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:29 am

Crallion wrote:I don't think that you really need to have the flag options etc., or any options for that matter. The variables are built into the map file anyway, so what's the point of asking if the tanks can jump/rico/CTF or FFA?
You're assuming the map author has put that stuff into the map file. Many of them do not include an options block. Or, if they do, they don't include all the options. The plan, however, is to parse the map file and then lock certain settings from being changed. So I'll probably have the upload go first, and then show the configuration options afterward.
Crallion wrote:In other words, I think that you should take out the "style settings" and the "flag settings". Also, it would be nice to be able to upload a config. file. Otherwise, I think that it is a really good idea and it is done well.
I don't want to allow upload a configuration file. The main motivation for this UI is because my target audience doesn't really know how to make a configuration for the server. Even with the documentation, it can be a daunting task.
Bambino wrote:I think it would be nice to add a permissions file with global groups.
Since this is for my free hosting, there is no need for global groups. I will only be giving extra permissions to a single user (the author). Eventually when it's a full blown hosting service, I'll add group support.
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by Spazzy McGee » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:53 am

It's nice that when you add flags, the count increments by one - however it seems kinda unintuitive that when you click 'Remove', all of those flags are removed, instead of decrementing by one. Perhaps have a 'number of flags to remove' box, like with adding.

And you can still add jumping and ricochet flags, even if you check the jumping and ricochet server options... that's not really a big problem though, I guess. The server just ignores those flags right?

Does that make sense? Otherwise it's really good. Do you plan on adding any more options? Perhaps have a small selection of useful plugins. FairCTF, RougeGeno, etc. ?
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by blast » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:11 pm

Hmm, yeah, guess that would be better. I'll try to get a "remove X number of flags" in there tonight.

As for jumping and rico flags, I could always have the server-side script just ignore those when it processes the form, even though bzfs should just not spawn those flags automatically.

And I definitely want to allow plugins, but that might not make it into the first iteration of this.
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by clarahobbs » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:55 pm

That looks pretty good, blast. I can't wait until it's functional. I assume it sends you some sort of message so you can approve or deny the hosting. The one thing I think it needs, though is the ability to submit a server configuration file. I always make .conf files along with my .bzw files when I make a map, and put all settings (including server messages, flags, plugins, etc.) in there. The one thing I don't add is the description in the server list, so you need to have it check what all is in the configuration file (if anything), and give appropriate choices.
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by blast » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:06 pm

Yeah, that will be added eventually, but not for a while.
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by blast » Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:14 am

Spazzy McGee

I modified it so that a specific number of flags can be removed.
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by Spazzy McGee » Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:48 am

Blast: It's really good now. Functional, and easy to use.

You might want a colour scheme to separate it out a bit... but that's pretty low on the priorities list, I expect. If you need any PS work doing, PM me on IRC.
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by Mets » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:15 am

Looks pretty good blast, I like your BZTips blog too, hopefully it helps some of the newer players.

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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by Crallion » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:32 pm

When will it be ready to use?
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by blast » Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:36 pm

Crallion wrote:When will it be ready to use?
Not for a while yet. Just got started writing a config file parser in PHP. (for config uploads and for reading the option block in the map files)
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by blast » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:29 am

I know all about the second one there. It's just this:
http://bzflag.svn.sourceforge.net/viewv ... sion=19865

And I hope that first one has lots of sanity checks in place since it allows uploading a config file. ;)

Neither of those really suite my requirements. The first is too complicated and prone to errors, and the second is too basic. Both of them require that the user know how to configure a server.
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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by jpenguin » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:36 pm

I always use the second on to generate my *.conf file, and I am using the first one to host my map, although I have to reupload every 12hrs :-). II can't wait to see what you come up with, I would offer to help- but I suck at PHP.

You don't really need to know how to set up a server to use the first one- you can click 'auto-generate a config file'

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Re: BZExcess Hosting - UI feedback needed

Post by blast » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:11 pm

jpenguin wrote:You don't really need to know how to set up a server to use the first one- you can click 'auto-generate a config file'
Ah, didn't try that.
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