Saturday, 24 November 2012

BattleScribe 1.13.03b Released!

Here we are with another update - with some nice new features. It's currently available for desktop and Android devices, but will soon be available for iPhone too, once it's approved. I'll post here again when it becomes available.

The main additions are around sharing and importing data files. This has always been the biggest barrier to entry with BattleScribe - it's a pain to dig around the internet for data files, and can be confusing for new users to get set up. The idea is to make things a bit more "viral" or "peer to peer", where users who are already set up can send all their files and repository URLs to others in one go. A new user can import the file sent to them and voila! Everything is configured and they're good to go.

What this means is that if you want to help a friend get set up with BattleScribe, you can hit the Share BattleScribe button and send them an email that includes a link to download the app and a file that they just have to click to get the whole thing set up - much easier!

To this end, I've basically added a new file format which is an entire repository of data files all bundled together into a single file (with the ".bsr" extension, for the techies among you) which can be sent around by email for example.

The other major improvement is for those who create and maintain data repositories - finally Data Indexer has had a major overhaul and is much better than it was.

  • When clicking Share BattleScribe, you are given the option to include your data files. Your files and repository URLs are bundled into a "repository file" and attached to your email (or uploaded to DropBox or wherever else you decide to send it).
  • Clicking a repository file on an email (or in another app, such as clicking a link to one in the browser or in DropBox) will fire up BattleScribe and automatically import all the data contained in it including any repository URLs.
  • Clicking any other data files from a browser, file manager or other app will send it to be opened in BattleScribe, which will import it for you. 
  • Some apps (such as your browser) will try to open the file themselves and just show you it's contents. In this case, you can hit Share and send it to BattleScribe from there. This also works for an online repository's "index.xml" file.
  • You can now (finally) install BattleScribe on an SD card.
  • Improvements to the speed and reliability of saving - it should no longer lag when switching between screens.
  • Fixed a bug where if you had a corrupted/broken roster file, you wouldn't be able to open any other rosters. Broken rosters are now ignored.

  • You can import BattleScribe data from a repository (.bsr) file from the Manage Data dialog.
  • Much (much!) improved Data Indexer, which you can now access from the Manage Data dialog (see separate change list below) via the Share Data button.
  • Manage Data can now be accessed from the menu in Game System Editor and Catalogue Editor.
  • Editors will now prompt you to update your repository if you have changed your files. This is really important! If you don't re-create your repository when you change files, none of your users will get your lovely new files!
  • Editors now flag many more data file errors for you to fix - making sure you don't end up with broken files...
  • Links to shared entries can now have a category, so a single shared entry representing a unit can be used in multiple categories.

Data Indexer
  • More options so you can specify where the data for the index comes from. You can choose to use all your current data, or specify a specific folder manually.
  • More options to specify where the repository gets created. You can create it "in place" (ie the same location it's getting the data files from), specify a specific folder manually, or choose to output to a single .bsr repository file (for emailing or whatever).
  • Data Indexer now remembers all your chosen settings - repository name, input/output options and paths to data file source and destination folders/files.
  • All data files get updated to the latest format and individually zipped correctly when creating a repository.
  • Command line usage added. You can run "java -jar DataIndexer.jar [repository name] [input directory] [output directory]" to create a repository from the command line.