December 3, 2008

Man I forgot to post this.

Plasma is already running on a server:

And it is available for review and/or help under Check the SVN trunk.

I’m currently working on the most awesome skin for plasma, full AJAX (well more AJAS, because it uses SOFU) usage, window management, drag&drop for items and a lot more. Can also be found in the Subversion trunk, the skin is called PlasmaOS.


Plasma Maps – Video

July 5, 2008

I made a small plasma feature preview this morning, about the Mapping features of Plasma.

Link (HQ-version)

I need a new mic.

Plasma – FLStat output

July 1, 2008

Plasma got a new output site, which is FLstat compatible. This means you can update your servers global statistics once a minute or even faster, cause the stats get updated everytime a player logs out or in and the page takes about 0.14 secs to render for 783 players.

Also includes all important Flstats settings: (Minimum rank, minimum days since last login, top N players, sorting, show filenames)

It even displays group membership (i.e clan membership) if needed. All live and very fast.

As soon as the Admin-interface is finished plasma will be released.

SofuJS – Release Canidate 1

March 9, 2008

Got it to work today.

It can read and write Sofu files, just like the other libraries.

I made a example JavaScript (no AJAX or server needed) Sofu Editor with TreeView and Value-Editor (so you don’t need to escape your values).

The Value-Editor is active after you click on a value in the TreeView.

You can try it out here (Javascript required, of course)

It works (as I tested it) in Firefox 2.0 and IE 7 (maybe more).
Try this Sofu file (for a little more complex example)

List = (
Map = {
	Content = "This is some demo content"
	OtherContent = (
			Content = "Some more content"
			Content = "Even more content"
	<> = "This Value has an empty key"

ECMAScript, Javascript, JScript and Sofu

March 8, 2008

Some say JavaScript is annoying and should be turned off in the Browser.
Some others say Javascript is a very ugly language to program with.I say they are both right.
I did one thing in Javascript till today (Plasma’s 3d map view to be exact), and I don’t liked it that much. Today I had one of those stupid ideas that take away your whole weekend (And more). After finishing the dokumentation of Sofu.Net (0.2.1), I thought: “Why not do Sofu in JavaScript?” and “How hard can it be?”.

Why Sofu in JavaScript: Sofu is a file format, JavaScript can’t access files. Makes not a lot of sense, does it….
Well there is one application. Since Perl and .net (escpecially ASP.NET) now can now work with sofu files, you can use it to send structured data to the client (Webbrowser). This is done mostly during AJAX calls to the server.
Lets review what other structured data formats are there for AJAX communication:

  1. XML: This is a big one, it has bindings to almost any language running on webservers, but it is quite slow to parse and it tends to get very big if you write understandable tags.
  2. JSON: (Java Script Object Notation) Its easy to generate in most, easy to parse for JS (unsecure if parsed wrong) but it doesn’t support references and circular data structures…
  3. YAML: ( This is the way to go, mostly. Its quite fast, a superset of JSON, safe and supports references. Has also bindings in almost every language (even .Net, but that one hasn’t been active for almost 2 years now).

So where does Sofu fit in?
Sofu also supports references and the same datastructures as YAML, and its smaller than XML. And there are bindings to .Net, Perl and D.

But mostly I’m doing it to see if I can do it.

Current progress:

  • Not documented for now (How do I document JavaScript anyway, is there a nice API doc tool like POD for perl or Sandcastle for .net)?
  • API is very much the same as SofuD or Data::Sofu::Object of (Or Sofu.Net if you write the first letter of each method in lowercase).
  • Still missing a way to overload “for (var x in SofuMap) {}”, but I guess there is none.
  • Output is also working. (Well into a textarea of the browser).
  • Parsing is due after I sleep.
  • No Binary Sofu (I don’t think its useful and/or needed).
  • No SofuML (SofuML output: maybe, Parsing: Nope, not needing the parsing problem again)
  • Rest is working fine.

Mac OS X and Vista and XP x64

February 27, 2008

After my boss using a Mac and me reading Applegeeks a lot I bought a MacBook (2 Ghz, 2GB Ram) last year. I switched my PC to Vista (x64) at the same time. And I must say:

I love my Mac. (Well it still has BootCamp but I’m rarely using it, thx to Wine).

I have been using Linux, XP, Vista and MacOsX Tiger last year and I really enjoyed just sitting in front of my Mac (its looking pretty). Everything I need I can get for it (Vim, D, perl is installed) or emulate. Even .Net development is easy.

Sadly it can’t run Freelancer, but neither can Vista (at least not in Multiplayer, I had avast installed and I won’t reinstall just for games). So I have been switching back to XP a lot. After I switched my Mainboard I had to reinstall Vista (and reactivate) but not XP x64 (not even reactivate).

I still think if it’s Windows you need, Xp x64 is the way to go, It has already the better memory management (I have 4GB RAM) and it’s got not that much trouble with root-kits or similar (they only attack the 32 Bit part). Every game works on it (FarCry looks better too) and it provides full Direct Sound acceleration.

Well I got an X-FI and thanks to ALchemy it works under Vista Direct Sound works under Vista, but any other Soundcard is just lost. The sound is sounding dead. I can make better FX with my mouth.
And Vista got another problem there, it randomly mutes speakers. (ALchemy/OpenAL is not affected). Sometimes my front speakers go off, sometimes the back, sometimes I just hear from the center. I have no idea what that is all about.

Stil Mac OS X is the way to go, it still looks prettier and after 2 days working with exposé you will miss it the rest of your life.

And its cheaper, too.

Sofu – SofuML

February 16, 2008

Got bored (again) and wrote SofuML and binary file support for Sofu.Net.

Don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like XML for saving structured data. XML is fine for doing layout and stuff, but if you don’t use proper indentation (as most exporters do) it looks kinda confusing. If you do indentation with tabs, it looks better, but than there is the whole white-space issue: Try saving a value with a leading whitespace, you can’t difference it from an indentation. Sure, you can use xml:space = “preserve” (20 or 22 more bytes in every element), but than you can’t use indentation again.

Than you will have to write the whole name of the element again in the closing tag, (more space used) Which only serves one purpose: To help the parser (or something). You can’t close any other tag than the last opened. This leads to XML elements getting named very short, which defies the whole readability purpose. (Anyone who has seen a MS-Word XML file will probably agree here)

One the other hand XML is a standard and the whole shebang around it has gotten quite powerful. XSLT (with XPath) is one example, no other data-format can be converted that easily (especially to produce HTML output).

That’s why I thought it would be neat to convert .sofu files to .xml files. and I called it SofuML. So you can transform it easily without having to code a program.

XML already brings a way to reference other element (in the same file) and the rest that is needed. (This will still keep the whole whitespace issue, but you can escape leading and trailing whitespaces. (The whole .sofu file will not be changed after being written and read again, but the final product after converting depends a lot on the parser)

Take this .sofu file for example:

somelist=(1 2 3)
somevalue="Hello World"

Will be converted to this:

<Element key="somemap">
<Element key="somelist">
<Element key="somevalue">
<Value>Hello World</Value>

This is not that nice and small, but you can use XSLT to convert it into HTML or even back to Sofu.

The XSLT to convert it to sofu is not complete, (I have found no way to escape keys and values if needed,) but it is funny anyways.

This is what happens if you put it through a compatible browser (IE or Firefox works great):, also check “View Sourcecode” and you will see its just the XML file.