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New book about customizing the WoW UI


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#21 Opioid

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 11:24 AM

Yeah, unfortunately modern journalism never made the distinction. Hacker, some few years ago meant person able to analyze, understand, configurate and operate the complex computer systems. Nowadays, it's most likely portraying a guy who eats junkfood all day, lives in a cellar and does illegal stuff with computers.

Big difference. The war about proper use of words has been a lost cause for a long time now. Lots of people still call themselves hacker and most often that's meant in the old sense.


An internet-savvy forum of reasonably intelligent WOW players should aim for a higher standard than mainstream media. We certainly don't enforce fourth grade readability standards, among other things.

#22 cladhaire

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 12:51 PM

In short (and a bit evil, for which I apologize), I much rather just write a self:RegisterEvent("foo") and concentrate on the event handler instead of finding out how events work, writing my own event manager and then go to the event handler which I need to do in any case. And that's just a simlpe case, I don't really want to localize spell names in all languages, I couldn't even do it outside german and english. Yet all I need to do now is to get Babble-Spell for example and I have a maintained, working and proven solution. I just don't need to invest time there. Divide and conquer, really. Concentrate on what you want to do new stuff, don't reinvent X for the umpteenth time. It's there, it works already, it's in use other places. If there is a bug, other people will very likely find it before you even know there is one and it will most likely be fixed before you ever get bitten by it.


Consider that even with Ace, you really can't do anything without understanding the API. Consider that the API has no official documentation, and you have to pick things up on your own from Blizzard's code in the default UI. Libraries are all well and good, but they help you one small (trivial) aspect of mod development. If using self:RegisterEvent() is somehow easier for you than making your own event handler, then I'd have larger questions about whats going on. Writing addons is easy. Very easy.

I think libraries are great, but in this case, Ace just adds a mythical level of abstration that isn't necessary to something that's already incredibly simple. You wanna talk inter addon communication? Sure, that should absolutely have a library. Event registration, not so much, especially not the 1000 lines of code Ace uses for it.

Oh and my day job, software engineering. My PhD work? Pedagogy in introductory computer science.

#23 Harem

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 03:53 PM

Cladhaire, I've enjoyed your mods, and have been using them for a long time now (PerfectRaid, Clique). This book looks pretty interesting, and I just might pick it up just to support your work that you've given out to the community over the last several years.

Good luck with the book!

#24 cladhaire

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 03:54 PM

Thanks, I'm glad that someone other than me finds my mods useful =)

#25 Dakous

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:14 PM

An internet-savvy forum of reasonably intelligent WOW players should aim for a higher standard than mainstream media. We certainly don't enforce fourth grade readability standards, among other things.


If I were a gambling man, I'd lay money on claidhaire's title getting misunderstood far more often - even by his target audience - then would probably be keen. Will that lead to more sales ("Sweet, cheat codez for the wows! $$$ching ching$$$") or less ("I'm sorry, I'm looking for a development handbook!") is an exercise for the reader, I suppose. The entire linguistics debate is irrelevant to the pragmatism that (and this is supposing a statistic I heard from another MMO developer is true as generalized) fewer then 1% of a game's players use the official forums. Insert fractions to get to EJ and then EJ mod to explain to them that us old folks use the term "hack" to just mean widger around with.

At any rate, thanks for the mention, claidhaire, I wouldn't have known about this any other way, and now the book is going on the Christmas list to myself. I'll also sneak in this opportunity to say, thank you for PerfectRaid and Clique.
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#26 Ultramagnetic

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:18 PM

It would go a long way towards credibility for your book if Blizzard came out in favor of it. Or at least they could make some kind of statement to the effect that you won't violate your TOS by using what you find in the book. I guess Wiley would have to work a deal of that kind, not you the authors.

#27 Shadowed

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:30 PM

I somehow doubt cladhaire would release a book that would get you banned, it's a book based on the addon system and info for that, not speed hacks.

#28 Chicken

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:32 PM

I somehow doubt cladhaire would release a book that would get you banned, it's a book based on the addon system and info for that, not speed hacks.

We know that, but Joe Average probably doesn't even know who Cladhaire is supposed to be, let alone that (one of) the names on the book's covers is the real name of Cladhaire. Not to mention they think hacking is some bad evil thing done by people posting keylogger links on the forums.

Than again, I'm not sure if Joe Average would be in the market for a book about modifying WoW's UI.

#29 Cryect

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:42 PM

Heh, nothing on www.wowace.com for downloadable addons?
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#30 cladhaire

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 05:37 AM

Not sure what you mean. The reason wowace wasn't covered directly in the book is becuase its absolutely and 100% not appropriate for the average user. The addons which are released on wowace.com are of a beta nature, and require someone who is skilled and understands ui customization to get the most out of. A number of ace addons are clearly covered in the book, but they are pointed to the larger mod release sites (worldofwar, wowinterface, curse) since each of those sites has a direct filtering process for the addons, and communities built around helping new users download and install addons.

I don't show them how to check Cosmos alpha out from the trunk either, because that just wouldn't make sense in this case. I know WUU and whatever other executable you run may help you keep your UI up to date, but directing them towards an executable (there are what, at least five different ones now?) we'd be doing them a disservice. If an author wants their addon available for mass consumption, it should be released.

#31 Dan Gilbert

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:37 AM

Not to mention they think hacking is some bad evil thing done by people posting keylogger links on the forums.


I think Wiley's marketing research team has determined that, for the time being, "hacking" vaguely equals "cool" and "money." If I was in a good mood I'd say they were using it in the Snow Crash sense. I think they're vaguely missing that fact that WoW players may have a different response, however you must admit, it does do exactly what it's supposed to (which is to catch your interest).

#32 Dan Gilbert

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:40 AM

It would go a long way towards credibility for your book if Blizzard came out in favor of it. Or at least they could make some kind of statement to the effect that you won't violate your TOS by using what you find in the book. I guess Wiley would have to work a deal of that kind, not you the authors.


I know for a fact that Wiley's lawyers talked to Vivendi's lawyers at some point. However, the exact nature of these discussions is unknown to me. I believe they might have examined a draft. I do know that Blizzard wasn't exactly wild about the title. For legal reasons, I know that Blizzard wasn't able to endorse the book, at least not before it was finished / published. That had nothing to do with the TOS though; there's really nothing in the book that could get you banned.




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