Free and Open Source real time strategy game with a new take on micro-management

Miscellaneous Current Issues

From Globulation2

Jump to: navigation, search

This wiki page is a part of a listing of Current Issues with Using Globulation 2; see that page for an explanation of the status of the listing. The material here has been placed on its own page due to problems with wiki pages beyond a certain size.

Issues with the Map Generator and Map Editor

  • It would be helpful to have a control that deletes anything (leaving only grass, sand, or water), not just things of a specific kind. A common need I have for a randomly generated map is to wipe out all growing things near a starting hive to prevent AI death by overgrowth.
  • Related to the point just above, the map editor “delete” button only works on globules and buildings. It would be less confusing for it to work on anything that can sensibly be deleted, which includes resources.
  • In the map editor, “d” should delete the selected item the same way it does in the game, for consistency of the interface. There should also be a corresponding delete button in the item's status display. (This is distinct from the current map editor “delete” button.)
  • It is confusing that “deleting” sand or water means the same as “creating” grass. It seems to me that grass/sand/water shouldn't have “deletion” as an option, or if this option is allowed and it is selected then the GUI should switch the selection to “creation” of grass and flash the new selection to show that is how it is interpreting “deletion”.
  • “Creating” grass or water on an area that is already that type should not remove resources on that area. (This can easily happen when using a large brush.) (I suppose for sand this issue is irrelevant as there will not already be any resources on sand.)
  • “Creating” grass/sand/water should never remove globules. (I suppose for non-swimming/flying globules creating water under them should ask whether to delete them or give them basic swimming, or at least warn about the problem?)
  • It would be helpful to be able to drag items around, the way you can drag flags around in the game. This feature could even reuse the same code. A common need I have for a randomly generated map is to move the starting hive and workers to a more suitable location (the right distance from resources to easily access them while avoiding being immediately swallowed by growth, which is especially important for not-so-smart AIs). Right now you have to delete and recreate, which is tedious (especially if many attributes of the object have been given non-default values).
  • In the map editor, it would be nice if the ownership of an item already on the map could be changed using a radio control in the item's status display. Right now, you have to delete an item and create a new item that is identical except for belonging to a different player.
  • Quitting the map editor with unsaved changes should prompt for saving them.
  • The map editor documentation (on the Wiki) needs to be almost completely rewritten due to vast changes in the user interface. Bradley reports that the only thing that is still valid at all is the part about scripts.
  • The documentation for map editing would be improved by including additional hints about fixing randomly generated maps. For example, it is important to make sure there are gaps in the stone along the coastline that are close enough to similar gaps on the other islands. Otherwise it is almost impossible to get across the gaps. Another example is that it is important to balance the amount of wheat near the starting hives and the distance of the starting hives from this wheat. And I am sure there are other things that should be done as well.

Documentation Issues

  • The documentation (this is mainly the Wiki pages) inconsistently uses “globuls”, “globules”, “globs”, and “units”. It would be better to use just one of these words throughout to reduce user confusion. Kai prefers “units”, or maybe “globs”. I like either “globules” or “globs”. For shortness, “globs” and “units” are best. I like “globs” better than “units” because the ordinary English meaning of the word “units” could easily also include buildings. I haven't heard from anyone else regarding their preference. Regardless, a single word should be chosen and used consistently. A similar remark to this one was made in an earlier year as part of a usability evaluation (mainly covering the tutorial?). (The Wiki page for the usability evaluation by Ellen Reitmayr seems to have disappeared.) If there were a definite decision on the preferred official term, then someone could implement the changes.
  • In general, I have the feeling that the information on the Wiki is highly incomplete. For example, the tutorial mentioned that higher level inns feed faster, but this is the only place I have seen this information. This puts players who are not developers at a disadvantage, as they have no easy way of knowing these things. It would be better if players did not have to read the source code for this kind of knowledge.

Other Miscellaneous Issues

  • Standard X Window System copy-and-paste with the mouse does not work for the file name entry field when saving a game. I'm guessing it doesn't work with any text entry fields. It would be better if this worked. (Using a standard toolkit like Qt or GTK+ would solve this problem.)
  • The tutorial script needs various grammar and spelling fixes in the messages it prints for the player. (This will be easier to do once the script is a separate file inside a zip archive.)
  • glob2 fills up my hard disk with log files and as a result all sorts of other programs start failing. The log files in ~/.glob2/logs continue to grow even when glob2 is paused. I left glob2 running overnight paused and it filled my hard disk.

    There is no official way to stop glob2 from doing this. I can periodically empty the log files (e.g., by copying an empty file on top of them) while I am playing, but this is very tedious. I can stop glob2 completely by making the directory ~/.glob2/logs unwritable by me. (If I do that, then glob2 stops making log files and instead spews all of that data to stdout. It is enough to redirect stdout (not stderr) to /dev/null to get rid of this.)

    It seems to me that it would be better if there were a command-line option or user preference to control this. And, unless someone is going to make the code do something reasonable when the disk fills up (or even better, do something before it gets completely full), I think the default should be for writing to the log files to be off.

  • BUG?: 0.8.22 and 0.8.23 seem slower than 0.8.21. Maybe this is just the issue with using a lot more memory? It is not clear.
  • BUG: glob2 uses CPU time like mad even when it is doing nothing. For example, when it starts up and displays the main menu, nothing whatsoever is happening but glob2 is taking more than half of the CPU. It also heavily uses CPU in the middle of games even when the game is paused. I'm guessing this is a bug in the main event loop.

    This exact same bug has been reported before (and the report has been closed without doing anything) as bug 11422 (“Waiting loop of main screen takes too much resources”).

  • BUG: If the disk is full, glob2 will happily save a game as an empty file on the disk without warning the user at all that the saving failed.

  • BUG: glob2 version 0.8.22 uses more than a gigabyte of memory just to edit or play an already-existing 512 by 512 map it created. The virtual memory used is about 1.6 gigabytes. Shortly after loading the map it reports around 1.0 to 1.2 gigabytes resident, which I assume means that other programs running on the machine needed to quickly reclaim half a gigabyte just to keep running. Basically everything else on my machine gets paged or swapped out during the process of loading the map, which takes quite some time. After I quit the game or editor, it appears that all of the memory is recovered because glob2 goes back down to 50 megabytes of virtual memory (the amount it was using before entering the editor).

    Note that I can use glob2 version 0.8.22 to create a 512 by 512 map using only 80 megabytes of virtual memory. However, after I save the map in a file and exit the initial editor session, if I try to load the new map again to edit or play it, the memory usage goes to 1.6 gigabytes again.

    In comparison, glob2 version 0.8.21 uses about 80 megabytes virtual memory and about 60 megabytes resident memory to edit a 512 by 512 map. And glob2 version 0.8.21 plays a 512 by 512 map using about 170 megabytes virtual memory and about 120 megabytes resident memory. I have never seen glob2 version 0.8.21 use more than 180 megabytes of virtual memory.

    This is a memory usage increase of about a factor of 20. The difference shows in that it takes just a couple of seconds to load a 512 by 512 map with 0.8.21, but up to a minute for 0.8.22.

    This is bug 19601 (“gigantic memory usage increase to load maps in 0.8.22”).

  • The “Swarm” should be called a “Hive” instead. The English word “swarm” is just wrong for what clearly acts as a “hive”. The word “swarm” would be reasonable to describe the entire population of globules.

Bug Tracker Issues (Savannah)

  • General comment about this category: This category includes issues with the project bug tracker, which is currently based on Savannah. It might be a good idea to file these issues as bug reports against the Savannah bug tracker. If the tracker is changed (and there have been some proposals for this on the mailing list, e.g., to lauchpad.net), I think it would help to keep in mind the issues I mention. Changing the bug tracker would have problems, so it had better be a big improvement to justify it. If there is a switch to a new bug tracker, it would be helpful if the old bug tracker remained in place, but with all edits banned. This would allow old URLs in archived e-mail messages and Wiki pages pointing at specific bug reports to continue to work. (Even better would be to import all of the old bug reports in the new tracker and somehow automatically forward all of the old URLs. But that would be hard!)
  • Comments in bug reports are listed in reverse chronological order. This is illogical and hard-to-read for bug reports. Is there some way to get the comments listed in forward chronological order instead?
  • Duplicate bug reports do not seem to be linked automatically. It would be much better if marking a bug report as a duplicate required specifying which other bug report it is a duplicate of and made links both ways between the two bug reports. (For example, Bugzilla automatically adds a comment to both bugs with a hyperlink to the other bug.) Not having this feature means that the effort put into a bug report which gets marked as a duplicate can be effectively lost, because one can not find the duplicate report from the main bug report. It seems there is no way to get this feature with the Savannah bug tracker? One must instead add a comment by hand to each bug report pointing to the other.