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Shifty-eyes
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 20

Old July 8th, 2014, 02:15 PM
Not literally, of course. But I do find that, in general, there is a serious disconnect between those who do and those who do not. Its not just an issue with HeroLab, but also in many other professional applications.

Why this post?

Simply stated, I kind of know what I want to do with HL, but there are a lot of specifics that aren't documented.

For instance, I'm having a problem creating a monster with Sneak Attack damage (Pathfinder rules). Its not a new problem—someone else complained about it roughly a year ago. Obviously the programmers at Lone Wolf have a lot on their plates to solve regarding new systems, new rules to old systems, various critical bugs to solve and so on.

So back to sneak attacks for monsters: I kind of understand how to add a user input field, but not quite. The same goes for various variables used in other situations, syntax used in particular situations and so on.

I have not seen an "HL Editor For Dummies," nor is there a decent tutorial out there for us non-coders to figure out some of these devilish little problems that we're willing to solve if only we knew slightly more about how to code for HL than we can glean from the forums and by blindly applying random solutions.

Any thoughts from either LW or the community on how to learn more regarding a DETAILED tutorial or API (something like this: https://developers.google.com/maps/ )?

Thanks!

-Ken
Shifty-eyes is offline   #1
ShadowChemosh
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Old July 8th, 2014, 02:51 PM
Man if only their was a cool Community Created "FAQ" about Pathfinder and the editor. If it had a Glossary of Terms that covered wording like bootstraps and user files that would be sweet! Or better yet a break down with FAQ's that included where to find help. Or even better a four part YouTube video that introduces a person to the editor and scripting.

If only those things existed!

Trying to be funny but I guess it could come across as me being an asshat!

Hero Lab Resources:
Pathfinder - d20pfsrd and Pathfinder Pack Setup
3.5 D&D (d20) - Community Server Setup
5E D&D - Community Server Setup
Hero Lab Help - Hero Lab FAQ, Editor Tutorials and Videos, Editor & Scripting Resources.
Created by the community for the community
- Realm Works kickstarter backer (Alpha Wolf) and Beta tester.
- d20 HL package volunteer editor.
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bodrin
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Old July 8th, 2014, 03:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowChemosh View Post
Man if only their was a cool Community Created "FAQ" about Pathfinder and the editor. If it had a Glossary of Terms that covered wording like bootstraps and user files that would be sweet! Or better yet a break down with FAQ's that included where to find help. Or even better a four part YouTube video that introduces a person to the editor and scripting.

If only those things existed!

Trying to be funny but I guess it could come across as me being an asshat!
Asshat.

I understand your frustration Shifty-Eyes,

I bought HL early in its release cycle, before Pathfinder was even on the scene.

Learning to code D20 was an uphill struggle, but with lots of perseverance copying / studying, and experimenting it eventually became clearer what worked, what didn't and what was confusing,

Along came Pathfinder and it's Pathfinder version editor, although not perfect, made leaps and bounds with macros, new easier coding features and with an enormous database of officially added content that can be copied / modified and tested.

The best advice I can give you is try something small, test it, ask questions if it doesn't work.

We're a friendly bunch, apart from shadow who's an asshat

Dormio Forte Somnio


Community Created Resources :
Data Package Repositories :
d20pfsrd
Custom Character Sheets
Community Server Setup (Packs)

Hero Lab Help- Video Tutorials and Pathfinder FAQ

Created by the community for the community
bodrin is offline   #3
Shifty-eyes
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Posts: 20

Old July 8th, 2014, 06:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowChemosh View Post
Man if only their was a cool Community Created "FAQ" about Pathfinder and the editor. If it had a Glossary of Terms that covered wording like bootstraps and user files that would be sweet! Or better yet a break down with FAQ's that included where to find help. Or even better a four part YouTube video that introduces a person to the editor and scripting.

If only those things existed!

Trying to be funny but I guess it could come across as me being an asshat!
You know, it does come across as an asshat response. WHY? I've been trolling about on these forums for a couple of years and never came across those before.

Perhaps a smart thing would be to include those links within the documentation…or, better yet, include those links in an easy-to-find location…like the "Help Menu," which doesn't do that job very well.

Sorry, but no one likes to basically called a dumb-ass in a forum like this.
Shifty-eyes is offline   #4
ShadowChemosh
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Old July 8th, 2014, 08:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shifty-eyes View Post
You know, it does come across as an asshat response. WHY? I've been trolling about on these forums for a couple of years and never came across those before.

Perhaps a smart thing would be to include those links within the documentation…or, better yet, include those links in an easy-to-find location…like the "Help Menu," which doesn't do that job very well.

Sorry, but no one likes to basically called a dumb-ass in a forum like this.
It's a sticky thread on the Pathfinder forums and it's in my signature. I can't do anything about HL help pages as I don't work for LW. The videos use to be linked on the HL website but have not checked if still their.

I am a full time programmer in the real world so mark it up as programmers are evil!

P.s. These are not the Paizo forums. We don't have drama or people being mean. I was kidding around and no one here is looked down on for asking a question. We all started out confused with with HL scripting. Some of us even stayed around after learning to try and help others. The title under my user ID says volunteer as in I don't get paid by LW.

Hero Lab Resources:
Pathfinder - d20pfsrd and Pathfinder Pack Setup
3.5 D&D (d20) - Community Server Setup
5E D&D - Community Server Setup
Hero Lab Help - Hero Lab FAQ, Editor Tutorials and Videos, Editor & Scripting Resources.
Created by the community for the community
- Realm Works kickstarter backer (Alpha Wolf) and Beta tester.
- d20 HL package volunteer editor.

Last edited by ShadowChemosh; July 8th, 2014 at 08:32 PM.
ShadowChemosh is offline   #5
RavenX
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Old July 8th, 2014, 11:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shifty-eyes View Post
Sorry, but no one likes to basically called a dumb-ass in a forum like this.
Says the person who started a thread titled "I hate coders"...

It took me a while but I did manage to get the Development Engineers to add a "documentation updates" into the to do list. I don't know how long it will take but I've been hounding the programmers for a couple years to do regular updates to the documentation files (two a year would be good) that contains all the new macros and other scripting elements that help people use the editor effectively. Many of the new things you've just pointed out are actually somewhat new now. At least as far as me finding out about them.

RavenX

Please do not PM me to inquire about datafiles I coded "for personal use" such as Exalted, World of Darkness, AD&D, or Warhammer 40K Roleplaying. I appreciate your interest, but I do not own the Intellectual Property rights to these game systems. Nor do I have permission from any of the Publishers to distribute the data files. As such, I cannot distribute the work I have done with community on these files. They are "for personal use" only. Thank you.

I am far too busy these days to answer emails. If you message me here there is no guarantee I will get back to you at all.
RavenX is offline   #6
Tasha
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Old July 9th, 2014, 11:25 AM
The post should be titled "I hate Coders who don't fully document their work". Which does seem to be an issue that Lone Wolf has with ALL of their products. The Help files are incomplete, hard to understand, the tools to add content aren't friendly at all. I wonder how much MORE user content would exist if they would spend some time finishing Documenting their Code and making the tools to add content easier to use.
Tasha is offline   #7
mirtos
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Posts: 865

Old July 9th, 2014, 12:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tasha View Post
The post should be titled "I hate Coders who don't fully document their work". Which does seem to be an issue that Lone Wolf has with ALL of their products. The Help files are incomplete, hard to understand, the tools to add content aren't friendly at all. I wonder how much MORE user content would exist if they would spend some time finishing Documenting their Code and making the tools to add content easier to use.
Programmers as a whole dont like to document. We do it when needed. Sad, but true. Most of us would rather be working on the next feature.

LW has a tendency to do two things:

1. Make things very customizable (good), and work on the next feature (also good)
2. Have the "figure it out approach".

The latter is because they do the former, and dont have the staff to do the latter. Its understandable, but can be frustrating. The thing, is unlike a lot of software out there, there is a large group of people that can help. And to make matters even better LW actually empowers these volunteers TO help.

Other software in general tends to be less customizable, or incredibly difficult to do so, so people dont even bother. (one of the reason i no longer use for example PCGen. I think HeroLab is miles above them in both features and the ability to edit.

Last edited by mirtos; July 9th, 2014 at 12:48 PM.
mirtos is offline   #8
RavenX
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Old July 9th, 2014, 05:55 PM
Documentation is less important at times than actually getting the software working properly. One of the problems is that LWD is understaffed for the workload total that they do. They have people doing different projects at different times with companies like Catalyst Game Labs and Paizo constantly releasing data that is officially licensed, it can be difficult at times to keep up with the constant slew of releases. Lone Wolf is not a large corporate entity that has 200 or more code monkeys working on things as they come out. That having been said, they are aware of the documentation issues and it has been on the to-do list for a while to get the documentation updated regularly.

RavenX

Please do not PM me to inquire about datafiles I coded "for personal use" such as Exalted, World of Darkness, AD&D, or Warhammer 40K Roleplaying. I appreciate your interest, but I do not own the Intellectual Property rights to these game systems. Nor do I have permission from any of the Publishers to distribute the data files. As such, I cannot distribute the work I have done with community on these files. They are "for personal use" only. Thank you.

I am far too busy these days to answer emails. If you message me here there is no guarantee I will get back to you at all.
RavenX is offline   #9
liz
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Posts: 961

Old July 9th, 2014, 10:27 PM
Thanks ShadowChemosh for pointing to your documentation. As RavenX mentioned, we have a small team working on data files and widely-requested features for Hero Lab (like the recent Encounter Builder and the upcoming iPad update). Additional documentation is definitely something we'd like to work on, but we constantly have to weigh the pros and cons for each item on the to-do list given our resources.

As your initial question has been asked and answered by myself and ShadowChemosh, I'm going to close this thread. If you have any additional, related questions, please PM me and I can reopen the thread. If you have unrelated questions, please start a new thread in the appropriate forum.
liz is offline   #10
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