Re: [pcgen-xml] It lives! And is reborn!
- Keith Davies wrote:
>It's probably a matter of preference. The first section as I'veIn fact, in our discussions, section 2 will be the last to be
>described it is *necessary*. The second section isn't, but is useful.
>I don't like mixing optional data and required data in the same
>containers, especially when it isn't evident through examination which
>Also, frankly, the first section as described is pretty easy to
>implement. The second will be harder and probably more error-prone.
>There's a certain amount of overlap between them and probably code
>reuse, but we can prove the first section fairly easily. The second
>will be more work.
implemented, as there are potentially major code hurtles. Section 2 is
a debugging to IMHO, intended as a log so that we can more easily detect
errors. I don't see a real use for section 2 outside pcgen developers.
>I see no reason why you couldn't generate the third section "as at" aIndeed, we essentially do now, the third section is for most intents and
>particular transformation (right after 4th level, say), despite having
>10 levels of information present. In fact, you could generate *just*
>the third section, without including either of the others.
purposes already implemented - it's called base.xml. My goal here is to
be able to drive exports completely from the new pcg format, as well as
allow other programs to transform section 3 into usable input for their
Here is how I see the sections:
Section 1: this is designed to tell pcgen how to build a character.
This is meant purely for internal pcgen consumption. Using this and
cdom, there is no reason that we can't show a character at multiple
points in their development. This section will be absolutely necessary
if I want CDOM to happen.
Section 2: This is a log, and as such is mostly useful as a debugging
tool. This section in the hardest one to implement (for internal pcgen
reasons I don't want to go into right now). This section contains a log
of decisions and their consequences. It's really mostly useful for
Section 3: This is for export, as well as import. This section allows
us to show a complete character, sans lst data, and sans decisions. It
can be used for exports, it can be use to generate character sheets, and
it can be used to build an object structure in pcgen such that we can
import read only characters from other programs.
- andargor wrote:
>I would strongly suggest that the character should be saved in aOk, my position on this is that we probably shouldn't. By being xml, we
>format based on a "de facto" XML standard for the sake of not
>reinventing the wheel, and interoperability. I have been citing
>OpenRPG for some time. (get it here:
>Look in the OpenRPG\orpg\templates\nodes\d20character.xml file for the
>format they use.
>It could be another format, such as Twin Roses' or DMGenie, it doesn't
>really matter, as long as tools out there can support the format.
>I realize that PCGen might need "internal representations" or
>additional info within the character just for PCGen. This is where the
>power of XML comes in: you just add a <pcgen version="x.x"> section
>and include whatever extra "mechanics" are needed by PCGen. The other
>tools that support OpenRPG will simply ignore it, and use the common
>OpenRPG data to import.
>Please let us be truly open, and allow PCGen to finally be able to
>work with other tools.
>As for data sets, that's an entirely different discussion, but we'll
>get to that eventually. I suggest you look at Frugal's stuff in this
>list. He is in the process of revamping his XML based character
>generator, and some ideas could be reused or expanded upon for the
>future of PCGen.
>Needless to say that I'm excited about this... :)
are being open, and we can certainly build xslt to transform to other
formats, but we need more and different information then these programs do.
Section 1 is absolutely necessary. period.
Section 2 is not
Section 3 is IMHO utterly necessary, as I intend to drive our Sheet
exports off of it, and it makes a perfect interchange format, as it will
literally contain *all* the final data about a character, with zero
information that is driving the pcgen program.
Having looked at OpenRPG's format, their format is purely an internal
program representation, and (IMHO) not useful for really anything else -
it depends on things that are basically internal needs of their
program. What I intend with section 3 is essentially a representation
of a character that is utterly complete, and would result in the
capability of transforming into really any other data format that uses
xml. Furthur, if we *find* something that it can't be transformed to, I
would see us as adding to out format to make it capable of that kind of
Finally, with this kind of transformation capability, we could finally
add the ability to save characters in these other formats, much like you
can save as rtf in word. The problem here is that these other programs
(OpenRPG, DMGenie and Twin Rose) were not designed as interchange
formats, and were designed with their programs in mind. I want to break
this model, and design a format that can function as a full interchange
format (section 3), and have sections designed in this format for other
usage (section 1 and 2). That being said, I would seriously consider a
section 4: external Apps. An optional section (since all the sections
are optional) that can contain the character, already transformed for
OpenRPG, DMGenie, Twin Rose, etc.
This is getting somewhat stream of consciousness now, but I could see us
developing one top level format that is intended to embed any number of
other formats, and then consider sections 1-3, and any other formats to
each be their own xml format, that is embeddable in the upper level
pcgen xml document.
> Section 1: this is designed to tell pcgen how to build a character.Ah hah! Now I get it. If this was explained earlier, I apologize for
> Section 2: This is a log, and as such is mostly useful as a debugging
> Section 3: This is for export, as well as import. This section allows
> us to show a complete character, sans lst data, and sans decisions.
not understanding. Put this way, it makes excellent sense, though I
might prefer it if the presence of the second section were a
configuration option. I don't feel very strongly about that, though.
In your design, I'm assuming that it would be possible to generate a
"section 3" from any set of levels in section 1, e.g. if I have 10
levels, but I want a sheet that shows what the character looked like at
Good stuff. I wish I had more time to help with it.
> > andargor wrote:the
> >I realize that PCGen might need "internal representations" or
> >additional info within the character just for PCGen. This is where
> >power of XML comes in: you just add a <pcgen version="x.x"> sectionwe
> >and include whatever extra "mechanics" are needed by PCGen.
> From: "Devon Jones" <soulcatcher@...>
> Ok, my position on this is that we probably shouldn't. By being xml,
> are being open, and we can certainly build xslt to transform to otherprograms do.
> formats, but we need more and different information then these
Honestly, I don't think you two are that far apart on this. andargor's
<pcgen version="x.x" /> element is Devon's "section 1".
> > andargor again.This would be Devon's "section 3". The end product of all the
> >Please let us be truly open, and allow PCGen to finally be able to
> >work with other tools.
calculations and other stuff that PCGen does, in a format that can be
transformed to virtually anything anybody else needs. If a piece of
info isn't there, it can be added (as long as PCGen processes that
Publishing the schema to section 3 enables other programs, should they
wish to do so, to publish transforms that can be used to use that data
in whatever way they want.
- Brass Tilde wrote:
>Section 2 will take a long time, and may never be fully realized.
>Ah hah! Now I get it. If this was explained earlier, I apologize for
>not understanding. Put this way, it makes excellent sense, though I
>might prefer it if the presence of the second section were a
>configuration option. I don't feel very strongly about that, though.
Section 2 may not appear it, but it's *hard*
>In your design, I'm assuming that it would be possible to generate aPrecisely, we can even contain if we wish, more then one section 3, and
>"section 3" from any set of levels in section 1, e.g. if I have 10
>levels, but I want a sheet that shows what the character looked like at
if we can get the code fast enough, that may end up defaulting to that
for each level. If not, it'll be optional.
>Good stuff. I wish I had more time to help with it.
> > In your design, I'm assuming that it would be possible to generate aI'll reiterate someone else's point here though, that some things are
> > "section 3" from any set of levels in section 1, e.g. if I have 10
> > levels, but I want a sheet that shows what the character
> > looked like at level 9.
> Precisely, we can even contain if we wish, more then one
> section 3, and if we can get the code fast enough, that
> may end up defaulting to that for each level. If not,
> it'll be optional.
*not* necessarily level dependent, such as one's possessions. It *is*
true that most people gather those things over the course of their
careers, so a strict "point in time" snap-shot section 3 would show
different equipment for each level.
However, in the case of losing one or more levels, the equipment would
need to be retained, and displayed for the new lower level. Not a
showstopper by any means, and not terribly difficult to implement I
imagine (I can think of at least one way to do it right now). The whole
thing implies a sequence to the character, even if part of that sequence
is going backwards!
Again, good stuff. Keep up the good work.
- On 10/3/05, Brass Tilde <brasstilde@...> wrote:
> I'll reiterate someone else's point here though, that some things areThey were right, of course. Sections 1 and 2 are strictly level-based
> *not* necessarily level dependent, such as one's possessions. It *is*
> true that most people gather those things over the course of their
> careers, so a strict "point in time" snap-shot section 3 would show
> different equipment for each level.
information; possessions or other point-in-time information ("broken
arm") is separate. I don't know if this really belongs in section 3
or not, but seems parallel. Points in time also don't generally
correspond to level transitions. (If you require training in-game to
learn/advance skills, then levelling up earns skill points, and the
decisions on spending them happen outside the levelling process.)
I suspect that full point-in-time rollback should reasonably be
considered out-of-scope for the data format. This sort of
functionality is easily enough implemented using copies of the data
files, either directly on the filesystem or using an external revision
Which is not to say that it's a bad idea to included other timestamped
information: "Noon, 12 Octember 2345, -1 STR damage (permanent) from
cursed ray gun." But that's game time; real-world time should still
be handled externally. There's a lot of messy interactions between
game time and real-world time, and more tricks to pull if the game
world isn't on the Gregorian calendar.
Fred L. Drake, Jr. <fdrake at gmail.com>
"Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless." --B.F. Skinner