Continuing on…

The GUI is almost finished. I’m hooking up the configuration saving right now, and I still have to do the dice buttons. It’s coming along nicely. Of course, I did this already, 20 years ago!

I decided to use an .ini file instead of the Registry for config. TableMaster being what it is, it should be as portable as possible. Registry-based configuration is naturally tied to a specific computer. Therefore, it will be using an .ini file instead, so you can put the whole thing (including all your favorite tables) on a thumb drive and take it with you. Plus that will make it a lot easier if I want to port it to another platform in the future, which is a definite possibility.

Of course, this is the easy part, but it had to come first before I can start building the table engine itself. It looks like I’ll be moving on to that next week. Things are coming back to me a lot faster than I expected (I haven’t really programmed in anything that isn’t Perl or PHP since the original Wintertree days) and I’m remembering “oh, yeah, that’s how I did that” (sometimes interspersed with “… but why?).

A little TableMaster history: Back in the day, the table engine was actually a separate program; in fact, that program — GENERATE — originally existed without any sort of front end at all. When I built the original for myself, it just ran off the MS-DOS command line: GENERATE 10 GEMS. Things were so much simpler back then, eh? After all, when I started development on this, there was only Windows 3.1 and that was just a shell over MS-DOS. The first Windows front end was written in Visual BASIC, and it didn’t work very well; Visual BASIC didn’t work very well. I chucked that and TM remained a DOS program (I have to give a shout-out here to my old friend Bill Swallow for his excellent MMI library, which I used for most of the screen handling in TM/DOS) until Borland Delphi came out in 1995.

I suppose I should be coding instead of reminiscing. Given the number of people who are reading this (current count: 0) compared to the number who will buy TableMaster when it’s ready (hopefully some number > 0) it would seem to be the more profitable course of action, certainly. But here I am, listening to Celtic music and taking a break from TableMaster coding, and all of a sudden it’s 22+ years ago. Except I don’t have to worry about running a BBS for support nowadays!

Random historical trivia: my first development machine for TableMaster was a 6 MHz 80286 with Hercules monochrome graphics, 1 meg of memory, a 5.25″ floppy drive (which I still have somewhere!), and  a 20 meg hard drive.