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[Freeciv-Dev] Re: topology RFC (again)

[Freeciv-Dev] Re: topology RFC (again)

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To: freeciv-dev <freeciv-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: topology RFC (again)
From: Jason Dorje Short <vze2zq63@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 00:03:46 -0500
Reply-to: jdorje@xxxxxxxxxxxx

"Ross W. Wetmore" wrote:
> Ok, let's go through the third example since you seem to be basing
> your whole map system to fit this sort of odd GUI case.
> Before we really get into it, let's first think about the normal
> wrapping maps and gui windows. If the normal map wraps at xsize
> and we have a gui window larger than xsize we could keep filling
> in tiles for as long as we want to extend the GUI window, but
> they would all be duplicates of those in the first xsize positions.
> We don't do this for several reasons and thus normal GUI windows
> are typically allowed to grow only up to the standard map limits.
> The largest active portion of any GUI window is a standard map
> sized rectangle.
> Now you cleverly notice that if the GUI window is not aligned
> with the wrapping directions, but is at say pi/4, then extending
> the GUI window in one dimension only can in some special cases
> cover the entire map by projecting itself through multiple
> virtual images in a sort of candy cane or barber pole effect.
> This is quite an interesting representation, but is it useful for
> game play in Freeciv? Do we want the whole system to be based on
> contraints imposed by handing this model?
> First, think about scrolling up the GUI window. Tiles will move off
> the top part of the window, and appear one or more wrapped images
> to one side. Put another way, adjacent tiles to the upper corner
> might be 1/3 and 2/3 down the map along the top and bottom edge.
> The current iso dislocation is bad enough, but adding multiple
> loops around the candy cane to confuse it even more is not really
> that great a feature to be basing your design model on.
> Now, think about candy caning in general. Depending on the width
> of your stripe, and the length to width dimensions of the underlying
> standard map, you may find that you can exactly fit a single
> normalized set into a stretched rectangular stripe. However, most
> of the time, stripes as they wrap around will start to overlap in
> part previous several wrap lengths back in the window. You might
> be able to keep on wrapping until you eventually include all tiles
> and some different multiples of times. Or you may find that after
> wrapping once or twice, you just duplicate the same stripe and
> some tiles are never hit.
> This means that the fundamental mechanics of deciding how many tiles
> fit in the GUI window and how many times some are being duplicated
> becomes a pretty hairy arithmetic exercise. If you follow the agreed
> constraints not to duplicate tiles then you are going to have quite
> a time.
> It should be clear by this point that trying to wrap positions
> into arbitrary sized shapes is really a very foolish and expensive
> process. This is going about things ass-backwards.
> You really want to first insure your shape is an N sized object.
> This takes care of all the multiple image problems you have as a
> simple constraint.
> You next want to decide what shapes are reasonable for UI or memory
> purposes, i.e. for doing pragmatic things. It might actually be
> quite useful to have a linear vector for memory storage, though this
> will put severe limitations on the length to width ratio, and probably
> needs to be at least a double vector if you are wrapping objects
> that need to have even dimensions.
> For UI, you really don't want the length to extend any more than the
> maximum wrap dimension to minimize the odder characteristics of
> candy caning. You really want to pick the "standard" form for the
> UI that is an N-sized (typically rectangular because GUI windows
> are rectangular, but possibly rotated) object whose dimensions are
> approximately the same as the natural map wrapping dimensions. The
> "unnormalizing" operation will take a map position and unwrap it
> into the N-shape offset from the map coordinates of window origin.
> If your GUI window is not large enough to hold this full map image,
> you clip, and if it is too large you add black tile borders. Even
> if you can squeeze more unique tiles into the black space in one
> dimension, it is not necessary for the game and not advisable for
> the above reasons. The user is better off stretching the other
> direction to get a less confusing map representation, and not
> allowing stupid actions helps encourage this behaviour.

You make some very good points.  I'm not sure I agree that
"candy-caning" is bad, but I can certainly see why it would be
confusing.  Similarly, I think it would be better to show tiles multiple
times, but I can see why this too would be confusing.

Refusing to candy-cane really wouldn't be any worse than the current
topology, which will also flatly refuse to draw some coordinates some of
the time.  Just make a very small map and look at it in iso mode, and
you'll see!  However, there is nothing in the code indicating that this
is intentional; I think it's just bad math.

> Finally, once you have the ability to work with native iso maps
> that are rectangular in iso coordinates, as opposed to rotating a
> normal map into a display where the wrapping dimensions are at
> skewed angles to the GUI axes, you should never need to worry or
> have any desire to use these things.

I can see no advantage to using "native" iso coordinates versus using
flat (cartesian?) coordinates.  While striving for an arbitrary-graph
map system would be nice, there's really no reason to do it for this

> So, you need to ditch the _rect part of normalize_map_pos_rect() and
> get back to doing things in a nice clean layered fashion :-).

Actually I think the "rect" is confusing you.  It means "flat" as
opposed to "iso", not that we are specifically looking for a rectangle
(which normalize_map_pos_iso/unnormalize_map_pos also do).

> Cheers,
> RossW
> =====
> At 04:45 PM 01/11/02 -0500, Jason Dorje Short wrote:
> >The third example showed that without giving dimensions to the set, it
> >will sometimes fail to find to find a position that you are looking
> >for.  Or, as I said before: "we don't just want a subset of a
> >representative set, we want a different representative set".  Here's a
> >simple example: suppose we have an overhead-view GUI.  It calls
> >unnormalize_map_pos to wrap positions into a representative set with the
> >following shape:
> >
> ># # # # #
> ># # # # #
> ># # # # #
> ># # # # #
> ># # # # #
> >
> >But, suppose the GUI window has the following shape:
> >
> ># # # # # # # #
> ># # # # # # # #
> ># # # # # # # #
> >
> >In this case, it is quite possible that an position along one of the
> >bottom two rows of the representative set would actually have wrapped to
> >be in one of the right three columns of the GUI window.  But if we only
> >use clipping, we'll never know this.  The full example I gave showed a
> >case where this happens using an iso-rectangular torus map; it can also
> >happen using a flat-rectangular torus map and isometric view.
> [...]
> >
> >jason

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