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Goodbye consoles

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Most of my programs always start out with a console in one form or another to monitor data and to edit and update variables while the program is running and is usually in some sort of shell window or the program itself. This is all fine and good but I felt that it was very limiting to me. I could of just left things internal to the programs and do my own gui to edit things and such but this can be such a development and maintenance nightmare just for tweaking and debugging. Move over consoles since I would like to introduce panels. My idea comes right from the realm of cPanel and Plesk for website maintenance. I now included a small library into my projects that puts a small HTTP server in my programs that now gives me a nice web interface for all my data, options, and commands. It is simple and secure but gives me so much more than my old consoles could ever do. Not only is is good locally but since all of my clients are remote I can now edit, tweak, monitor, and debug a program live while on the phone with them as well as making reports that much easier. Right now for everything it sits at around only about 80k of memory usage total. Here is a link to a dump of my Debug Control Panel as it would look if you connected to a program. Options and files have been renamed or removed to protect the innocent. Feel free to ask any questions you many have.
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Guest Anonymous Poster


Yeah - web-based interfaces are nice, I use it too. You don't have to worry about how the text will be drawn, if it will fit on a screen, etc. You get graphical & structural abilities, and remote control as a bonus!

The web-console in the largest app I develop at work became so extended, we designed a registration mechanism for all reports.
Every report has a life-cycle ofcourse, so when the report becomes available, it registers itself in a global framework (much like the menu-items in your average windows app) and once the report cannot be produced anymore (because it's resources are about te be deleted) it unregisters itself.
This way, the html front-page allways offers an up-to-date index on all currently available state-reports of the server.

On another note: Next to your journal, I also follow the journal of Ysaneya, specifically the developments in his Infinity Engine project (fl-tw.com). I can't help but notice the similarities between your two projects; Couldn't you two share your experiences in procedural programming?

Also, I found the piece you wrote about procedural climate very interesting. Do you have any plans on building dynamic weather on top of that foundation?

And could you show us some 3D screenshots of your procedural planet code already?

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Anonymous Poster this is the type of feedback I love to get but I just wish I knew who you where other than just another Anonymous Poster. Also I have not yet even talked with Ysaneya as I think our target goals maybe different and the numerous other business reasons that maybe involved as well but it is still a possible idea to pursue. For 3D screenshots I am working on getting my artist to make better textures other than just what I am proceduraly generating to have some good looking ones. As for the dynamic weather system it is currently under review.

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