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[Freeciv-Dev] Re: (PR#9818) Inland lakes and borders

[Freeciv-Dev] Re: (PR#9818) Inland lakes and borders

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To: mstefek@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: (PR#9818) Inland lakes and borders
From: "Jason Short" <jdorje@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 13:55:40 -0700
Reply-to: rt@xxxxxxxxxxx

<URL: >

Gregory Berkolaiko wrote:
> <URL: >
> On Thu, 26 Aug 2004, Jason Short wrote:
>><URL: >
>>- Continents are assigned by mapgen.  Continents do not respect land/sea 
>>boundaries.  Continent numbers never change.  Continents may even be 
>>named (clicking on the tile shows the continent).
>>- AI code that wants to look at land/sea boundaries will have its own 
>>internal data.
>>In this case the inland lake gets assigned to the same continent as the 
>>land surrounding it.  Of course the algorithm may be the same but to 
>>logic is moved to mapgen.
>>I only mention it again because nobody had any comments last time I did so.
> I only didn't comment because I saw no point in the proposition.  What are 
> the benefits?  I can only see costs...

1 Better behavior of continent-wide effects.  Small islands may be a 
part of a larger continent rather than their own continent.  Building 
land bridges to increase continent effects is no longer possible. 
Cities in the ocean may have different continents rather than one huge 

2 More realistic behavior of Earth scenarios.  It is possible to use the 
"real" continents.

3 Possibility to name continents.

#1 is the real benefit.  2 and 3 are just nice side effects.

I think we need to consider what continents are really supposed to do. 

- In the beginning, Freeciv was a civ1 clone.  Civ1 has continent-wide 
effects so continents were needed.  It was easy to count continents just 
by iterating over the landmass.  Note that civ1 does not allow terrain 

- Later Freeciv turned into a clone of civ2.  Civ2 has no continent-wide 
effects that I know of.  Of course civ1 compatibility was kept and so 
were continents.  To keep things sane the continents now had to be 
renumbered when terrain was transformed (which was surely never the 
original intent).

- At some point the AI code had the clever notion of using continents to 
determine connectivity.

- Recently this idea has been expanded to do the same thing for oceans.

The fact that continents are in many places referred to as "islands" I 
think shows that the original idea has been lost.  The main purpose of 
continents is to provide for continent-wide effects.  Continents are not 
the same thing as islands and people don't really expect them to be.

I'm not sure that fixed continent numbers is the answer but I think the 
current system isn't quite right.  When we try to generalize it (for 
instance, by having cities in the ocean) the problems creep up to the 


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