Saturday, November 14, 2020

Evennia 0.9.5 released!


As of today, Evennia 0.9.5 is out. Evennia is a Python based library and framework for creating text-based multiplayer games (MUD/MU*). 

This is a gradual improvement halfway between 0.9 and the upcoming 1.0. So if you have been keeping up-to-date with the master branch of Evennia over the last year you will not notice much difference from this release (time to upgrade if you haven't been keeping up though!). 

While an interim release, there are still a lot of things that has happened since v0.9: 

Webclient improvements

  • Big web client improvements (courtesy of contributor friarzen) - players can now save and restore pane layouts directly in the client (so you could have a separate pane for channel chatter, another for look-returns, two input panes etc etc). 
  • The layout changes makes it easier for devs to create default layouts to offer to players of their game. People in the Evennia community have already started doing very cool stuff with this, I'll try to gather screenshots for a future blog.
  • Allow to redirect video/music to separate panes.
  • Many other fixes, such as improving the input-history behavior.

EvMenu improvements

EvMenu is a powerful system for creating in-game text menus.

  • The EvMenu class was refactored to be easier to override. For example, all messages now go through EvMenu.msg which allows for easy customization. It also defaults to sending with a type of "menu", making it easier to redirect menus to seprate panes in the webclient.
  • In a node, EvMenu is now accessed via the much more logically named .ndb._evmenu instead of .ndb._menutree (the old name still works for backwards compatibility, but is deprecated).
  • New optional EvMenu template system for quickly building simpler EvMenus without needing so much code. This makes it easy to catch and parse arbitrary input from the user and redirect to the correct node as needed. Creating menu nodes as functions still work (and is a lot more powerful), this can be mixed with templating to create different effects.

New settings

  • INLINEFUNC_STACK_MAXSIZE is an integer that allows to control how big the inlinefunc nesting stacksize is.
  • New DEFAULT_CHANNELS setting to allow customization of which channels should be initialized on startup. This can be modified after initial server start.
  • CHANNEL_HANDLER_CLASS allows for specifying an alternative to the default ChannelHandler if wanting to change how Channels behave. 
  • SERVER_LOG_DAY_ROTATION defines how many days the server log should run before being force-rotated (default is seven days).
  • SERVER_LOG_MAX_SIZE specifies how big the log must be before it auto-rotates (even if SERVER_LOG_DAY_ROTATION days has not passed yet). 
  • PORTAL_LOG_DAY_ROTATION, PORTA_LOG_MAX_SIZE - equivalent for the Portal.

 Other improvements

  • The EvMore pager saw big performance speedups, making the viewing of large numbers of entries much snappier. You can now also paginate EvTables directly and create custom pagers by override the EvMore class (useful if you want to e.g. do a EvTable per-page).   
  • Improvement to the multi-match parser: Trying to get for example 3-box will now fail with a no-found if there are only two boxes in the room (before it would show the multi-match menu).  
  • New inside_rec lockfunc to recursively check if an object is inside another. Putting this on a room will thus also check the contents of any objects in the room, not only the contents themselves. Or if you had something in your wallet (a container).
  • New $random inlinefunc for producing a random number in strings.
  • TickerHandler.add() now returns a store_key to uniquely describe the ticker just added. The TickerHandler.remove() accepts a new kwarg store_key for removing the ticker - this makes it easier to manage tickers instead having to insert the full specifications of the ticker to remove it.
  • Many fixes to the spawn command and prototype functionality. The new spawn/raw flag will now return the prototype-dict so one can manually edit and copy&paste it.
  • The evennia.GLOBAL_SCRIPTS container will now contain all global scripts, not only those explicitly created with the GLOBAL_SCRIPTS setting. 
  • The list_to_string utility converts a list to a nice string-representation, such as ["a", "b", "c", "d"] -> "a, b, c and d". The function is renamed to iter_to_string (but old name still works) and now also works with generators and will not crash even when provided a single value.
  • A lot of bug fixes and stability fixes!

See the changelog here.


New documentation system 

The bigger change with 0.9.5 is that we are moving to a new documentation system. The details of the long road to do this is documented in my prervious post. The point is that we are stopping the use of the Github wiki in favor of statically generated documentation hosted on github pages. At the same time we also move the old website from Google-sites to Github. 

Check it out: 

 As for the docs, they will be maturing for a long time still. The old wiki will not be updated anymore, but it will also not be going anywhere in the short term. Version 0.9.5 of the docs is pretty much a copy of the wiki and I hope to not have to spend too much more work maintaining it since the wiki is still around.
New updates and documentation features will primarily be happening in the 1.0-dev version of the documentation. This will include refactoring all pages as well as a new intro-tutorial and many other things. 
But that's for future blogs ...


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