Note To self: Read manual, code to match

Once in a while, it behooves one to read one’s software manual. Especially if one is the author. It’s amazing (and embarrassing) what can be lurking in there.

I’ve spent the past few days (has it been just a few?) working on the editing of the TableMaster manual. Working with what I recovered from the original AmiPro files has saved having to retype all of it, but that’s about as far as it goes.

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One more new command

When I started this project, I was firmly convinced that the original TBL was fully mature and I wouldn’t need to add anything to it. After all, I’d worked on the original for seven years; it already did everything anyone would need, right?

That was before .SQUARE, .SQUAREROOT, .CUBE, .DEFAULT (with four sub-commands), .BLANKLINE, and now .HR, plus all the output formatting codes and the force-linefeed code. Plus {$Pi} in the SysVars. Okay, I’ll stop now, really!

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Getting closer to launch

Some things really bring home to a person just what turning into a small software company actually involves. When I did this the first time, after all, the packaging I used at the first couple of conventions was, if I recall correctly, a plastic bag. And TableMaster (it had no Table Packs then) was on a floppy. By the time I went for real packaging for GenCon, it was about ten months from the start of the project. This time, it’s less than five (by comparison, that was the stapled-manual-and-plastic-bag stage). Now … well, TableMaster itself needs DVD cases, and the Table Packs need CD cases, and both of them arrived this morning.

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Newer New Commands (updated)

One of the nice things about writing your own programming language is that if you need a feature to write programs in it, you can add them to the language. (there are times I wish I could do that with Pascal) That happened this morning when I was working on some tables: I needed a TableMaster command that didn’t exist. Now it does.

So what’s new in TableMaster today?

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Updating Old Tables

Tables for TableMaster II are very similar, but not identical, to the originals. This may require some updating before some tables can be run. I’ve been working on this for several days now, getting all the tables from the Table Packs ready for release (and surfacing a few hitherto-hidden bugs in TableMaster itself) so I thought I’d write up some helpful hints on conversion for those of you who have old tables around and want to be able to use them with your new TMII.

Mostly, the changes consist of expansions, such as adding some new commands, allowing other commands to use expressions where formerly only literal numbers were permitted, etc. Those changes don’t affect existing tables. The ones discussed here, however, do.

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WTB: Clone

Just under two weeks to the TableMaster launch at MegaMooseCon, and I have enough to do for at least three people. I’m sitting here looking out my window at a red=bellied woodpecker who I think is dropping as much suet as she’s eating and trying to decide where to panic next. Er, I mean what to do next.

There is, however, a new feature in TableMaster that I can talk about while I’m letting all this simmer inside my skull for a bit.

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.GOBACK! .GOBACK! (and a snake picture)

So, what are my fellow Americans doing on this Independence Day weekend? I’m writing code. :)

Last week’s bug situation really threw off the schedule; when I should have been coding, I was playing telephone tag with various people and, well, dealing with the problems engendered by a voracious horde of six-legged creatures devouring my floor right out from under me. I was debugging my house, not my software! Now that the termites are (hopefully) terminated, I’m finishing up the last few bits of TableMaster II. This time, .GOBACK.

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