VASL Map Online Problem/Suggestion Form

BigAl737

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Ahhh my favorite nemesis bd25. There’s lots to bd25 that doesn’t behave like the good boards do.

What scenario were you playing? I might be able to make an overlay for it.
 

sunoftzu

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Ahhh my favorite nemesis bd25. There’s lots to bd25 that doesn’t behave like the good boards do.

What scenario were you playing? I might be able to make an overlay for it.
There's quite a few problems.

Broken terrain doesn't work in hill hexes. (ASL 81, J 80, OB 7)
Ground Snow doesn't take effect (A 23).
Cannot change colors to ETO.
It would be good if Hammada could be removed/changed (A 39).

I know it might be a bit rich for me to say, but I think this board needs to be re-made.

(the older VASL versions of it worked fine, other than the Broken Ground transformation failed to take full effect on hill hexes - IIRC)

John.
 

The Purist

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That is an excellent idea. The terrain depicted fits more than just the desert. There are a lot of river valleys betwixt the Volga and the Meuse that could use that board with ETO terrain (woods, brush, paths, etc.).
 
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The Purist

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Al,

I was playing around this morning and came up with two board 25 "scenarios" where the colours would make a difference in appearance.

First one is for a central European scenario.


14781
This second one is for a Don River scenario Aug 42 (Steppe Terrain). Maybe a future project could have all the Steppe colours the same.

14780
 

BigAl737

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Commissar Piotr

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Hello map elves!

Any chance to give the DASL boards an overhaul, specifically the ones from Hedgerow Hell as grain do not look like grain on the other DASL boards and it is hard to know wether it is grain or a hill. Also look at the color of the buildings so they correspond to the other DASL boards.
Boards f, g and h can neither transform grain to plowed fields but it is possible on board e.
Thanks!
 

von Marwitz

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Inspired by another thread, I am once more proposing a function that allows for automatic updating of VASL-files from older versions to the current one.

This function should include:
  • Automatic re-pulling of all counters without losing counter Labels, Names, and flags and retaining the position of the playing area or margins as the central and most important function.
  • Same for Draggable Overlays
  • Automatic changing to the most current mapboard available of the given maps from vasl.info while retaining Environmental Conditions and Terrain Alterations.
  • If something cannot be updated automatically, a notification about what this is (as to allow people attempting this to manually adjust what the auto-mode cannot handle)
  • Versioning information for every VASL file included in the file (as to make more transparent what features are supported in the given VASL file and which ones might be obsolete / not yet implemented). This could allow to later 'cascading auto-updates'.
I think that this improvement, albeit not directly related to play, has long passed from being a mere gadget to becoming a fundemental enhancement if it could be implemented to VASL.

To illustrate this, see the cross-post below:

============================

As a long-time VASL "crafter" who has done app. 2000 VASL setups, WITH ALL ORDERS OF BATTLE, SCENARIO VICTORY CONDITIONS, AND ETC, ETC, INCLUDED, with a constant problem of "Setup Obsolescence" and "Setup Obsolete" hassles going all the way back to the good old days of VASL4.whatever, I now have more VASL setups than I can manage. I thought I could finish this in my lifetime, and now I'm so far behind I can never die!
This is very impressive!

And it illustrates what the community could have had now, if VASL included some sort of script which can handle the automatic updating of VASL files (with VC/SSR excluded for copyright reasons).

Imagine not only having the ASL Scenario Archive but along with it your 2000 VASL setups up to date! Add my 300 and those of others... It would be an absolute boon.

Even if the updating function could not catch 100% of the issues by maybe only 95%, if the versioning is apparent, it could become a community effort to catch the details missing or to correct errors in given pre-made setups when they are loaded and checked before play.

That said, I believe the anti-obsolence effort, which is impossible to stem individually the manual way (and a PITA to boot) could be successfully tackled by an update function as part of VASL which includes a clear version-tag of the file in combination with the possibility for everyone to access and correct the setup files on a site such as the ASL Scenario Archive website if an error is spotted.

I'll cross-post this in the VASL-Suggestion thread because I really believe this function would evermore become a fundamental improvement of VASL.

von Marwitz
 

Pacman Ghost

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I am once more proposing a function that allows for automatic updating of VASL-files from older versions to the current one.
I can't upvote this enough. Like yourself, I spend a lot of time making my setups look good, and it infuriates me beyond belief to know that they will degrade over time, and eventually become unusable because back-compatibility is not something that's considered to be important.

My knowledge of the inner workings of VASSAL is not great, but my understanding is that the problem lies there, and not in VASL. It stores the characteristics of each counter in the save file along with each counter, which means that as those characteristics change and expand over time, if you load an old save file, you get the old set of characteristics of that counter, at the time the scenario was saved, which may or may not work with later versions of VASL.

Even worse, counters are identified by a unique ID, but VASSAL has a tendency to change those ID's (!?!? :wtf: ), which is a major headache for me with vasl-templates, because for every new release of VASL, I have to figure out what these ID changes are and try to map any new ID's to the old ones, so that vasl-templates save files will continue to work.

These two things are tricky to work-around (and there are probably other foot-bombs in there that I don't know about), so I suspect that we won't see back-compat addressed. Either VASSAL would need to re-design its save file format, and whatever constraints that cause it to change counter ID's (unlikely) or VASL would need to provide some way of upgrading a version N save file to version N+1 (extra work), and these kind of things tend not to work reliably when upgrading from version N to N+10.

Sigh...

Imagine not only having the ASL Scenario Archive but along with it your 2000 VASL setups up to date! Add my 300 and those of others... It would be an absolute boon.
I added the "upload your scenario to the ASL Scenario Archive" feature to vasl-templates to encourage this kind of thing, but TBH, given the problems I described above, I don't know how useful it's going to be over the longer term :-(
 

uckelman

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I'm curious, have you guys ever tried the Saved Game Updater?---because the situation you're talking about it what it's for, and Brent would be interested to know about it if it doesn't work for you.
 

Pacman Ghost

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I'm curious, have you guys ever tried the Saved Game Updater?-
It was a long time ago, but no, it didn't work for me.

The Saved Game Updater looks like it works by counter name, and position in the counter palette, which is always going to be unreliable :-( It's good that we have this tool, but the problem is that we need it in the first place.
 

von Marwitz

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I'm curious, have you guys ever tried the Saved Game Updater?---because the situation you're talking about it what it's for, and Brent would be interested to know about it if it doesn't work for you.
Yes, I have used it. But that was long time ago.

The trouble is that it did not work well in practice and here are some reasons why:

1. The Saved Game Updater only works with a 'raw' VASL, that is one without any Extensions installed.

Pretty much no one runs VASL without any Extensions, so in practice no one can use the 'Saved Game Updater'.
The workaround would be first to deinstall all Extensions (or rather temporarily rename the Extensions folder and create a new empty one), then run the function and afterwards delete the empty new Extensions folder and once more rename the original one. This includes closing/restarting VASL, which draws on the Extensions folder.

Furthermore many scenarios need some Extensions, so uninstalling them will cause issues.

2. All Names and Labels given to counters got lost in the process.


Just now, I have tried the function once more to check if it works better now.

I used a VASL File v633 created 11. May 2017 as a base, which I opened with VASSAL v3.4.6 & VASL v6.6.1

In this case, opening worked fine despite having an image from an external source in the net in one of the draggable overlays.

Sometimes, there are issues in opening VASL files with images from external sources, which caused VASL to crash. Until recently, I thought this was caused by the external source of the image being no longer available. But this does not seem to be the definite problem, because testing around, I was able not able to open a VASL file with such a reference to an external source despite it still being available. Yet in a version of my file without the draggable overlay containing the information, the VASL file did open. I think I posted here elsewhere about this. But I digress...

Here is how the file originally looked in v633 (old .png created with VASL back then sized down for posting here):

15227
Here is how it looked after opening the v633 file with v661 (I was somewhat surprised because I thought this would not work for pre-v651 files any more):

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Noted differences circled in red:

  • The EVP Tally Draggable Overlay looks somewhat screwed.
  • The numbers of the SSRs within the black cricles have changed to a much darker tone almost indiscernible from black. The HTML code for one of these is this: <font size=3> &#10102; </font>
The rest looked like it should.

Next, I tried in the VASL Controls Window <Tools> Refresh Counters.

In the Test Mode, I got this message:

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Next, I closed down VASL, renamed the Extensions folder and created a new empty one.
Started everything up, tried again. This time:

15230

I am not sure what the 'Use counter names to identify unknown counters?' function, which I checked really signifies, but it lowered the number of counters that 'cannot be refreshed' from 3 to 1. Unfortunately, it is not specified/shown which counter(s) cannot be refreshed. Back in the days when I was last meddling with this, I found the number sometimes being significantly higher, so the trouble was that after doing the 'automatic' refresh with this function, I did not know what remaining unrefreshed counters I would have to do manually.

Now follows the result in VASL after the Refreshment (in next post):


von Marwitz
 

Pacman Ghost

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Noted differences circled in red:
  • The EVP Tally Draggable Overlay looks somewhat screwed.
  • The numbers of the SSRs within the black cricles have changed to a much darker tone almost indiscernible from black. The HTML code for one of these is this: <font size=3> &#10102; </font>
The rest looked like it should.
If this is all that wrong, I would say that's pretty good. But I'd be more concerned about the counters working properly e.g. if you right-click on them, do you get the Casualties Bin stuff?
 
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