TableMaster Gets Hexed

First, no news on the forum front. Still need to dig into that on a system level. I was going to be going after that today, but a little issue of hexes, or at least hexadecimals, came up.

Since the beginning, some TableMaster players have been Traveller referees. If you’ve played Traveller, you know that not only can your character in fact die during character creation, but if it does survive, one of the things produced is the Universal Personality Profile, a string of hex digits. And, since TableMaster is not system-specific, there was never any way to really do this with TBL.

So, of course, now there is. I added a new command this afternoon: .HEXIFY

Yes, the touch of the person who decided the inverse of .INDENT should naturally be .OUTDENT is obvious here. But I had to call it something.

.HEXIFY will take a given numerical value and put it, converted to hexadecimal, in a specified text variable.

.HEXIFY {SomeNumber} AS {SomeString}

That would take, say, “10” in the user variable {SomeNumber} and put it in {SomeString} as “A”. You can see how this would be handy for not just Traveller, but any game that generates hex values for stats, or anything else.

That has led to the realization that .JOIN is just plain awkward in some uses. So, once I work out a few details (it will have some limitations due to operand order that .JOIN doesn’t) I’ll be adding .ATTACH, which basically works like .JOIN but backwards. So…

.ATTACH {SomeVar} AFTER {SomeOtherVar}

…will append {SomeVar} to {SomeOtherVar}. Due to the limitations I mentioned, the first operand is going to have to be a variable; possibly in the future, I’ll do the somewhat more extensive work needed to allow it to work out what actually is a variable and what isn’t, to allow for flexibility.

There are several other things I want to add, like .ACTUAL to treat a table in another directory like this one, .SCREEN and .ASK for user input, possibly some more .DEFAULT options, and, if I’m feeling really ambitious, text lookup lists, about which more in their own post one of these days.

Plus, of course, I’m still sorting out some of the server migration issues. I’m not sure where some of my email has gotten off to, there’s the whole SQL thing, and I’ve been talking to a *nix command line more in the past 48 hours than I have in the past ten years. (and I’m still untangling the mess from my late aunt’s estate, which made Tax Day all sorts of fun)

And the fonts. They’re growing out of hand.

And I finally figured out how to make TableMaster do maps, of a sort.

And there’s the Town of Draymoor, the Table Pack I promised in 1996. Still working on it! At this point, it’s looking like it’s going to be unique Table Packs — that is, no two alike, with different town specifics in each one. You’d better bet this is going to be a limited edition, with me having to burn the CDs one-off.

And the Advanced TableMaster Guide. That’s going to be a digest-sized book with printed versions of the tutorial and language reference, a series of articles on table construction techniques and helpful hints, and the thing I’d buy it for myself: a Table Maker’s Thesaurus, excerpted from the thousands of words for things like personality characteristics, synonyms for colors, types of wood, etc., that make up the listing I’ve been compiling for years.

I remember sleep….