August 22nd, 2001 - I've decided to give these old pages a new home. The content is old, but perhaps it is still useful.

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[Al's Place]

Last Update: Friday, August 31, 2001 8:03 PM

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This page will contain information about some of the programs I have been working on lately. I am primarily an OS-9 programmer having published many items through my former company, Sub-Etha Software.

FTPem Due to problems with GeoCities disconnecting on my ftp transfers when I tried to upload multiple files in "batch" mode, I created a quick DOS program that does it for me by making a connection for each and every file. This is a bit slower, but WORKS even on a server that is having problems such as that one was.

ip I am working on a program that allows me to take HTML files and "filter" through them inserting my current IP address then upload them to a server, all done automatically. I'm using this now for my online and webcam pages so visitors can jump to a link that takes them to servers running on my machine while I am dialed into the internet. As it progresses, more and more features are being added. It uses a config file listing which files should be processed and uploaded based on profiles you can configure. It's pretty powerful, and I hope to roll in features of my HTML-preprocessor into this program as well, maybe even combing them into one full featured HTML processing utility.

html I am currently working on an HTML pre-processor that allows #include and other C-style directives in "template files" which are used to generate the actual HTML files. I am in the process of developing this program and all the web pages you are viewing are now being processed with it. So far, so good. I am sticking more features in it, and if you'd like a copy to help test, just let me know. I hope to have it available for download soon.

WebGen My former project is the WebVenture Generator. It allows easy creation of virtual "tour" HTML pages. All you have to do is provide image files, an .html template, and a map file and it does the rest.

Suppose you have a five location "area" such as this:

       [ 1 ] --- [ 2 ]
         |         |
       [ 3 ] --- [ 4 ] --- [ 5 ]

Each room will require four image files, one for each direction you can be facing. All files used will contain the same "root" name, such as "GAME_". The image files would therefore end up being called:

        GAME_01N.JPG - image for room 1 when facing North
        GAME_01S.JPG - image for room 1 when facing South
        GAME_01W.JPG - image for room 1 when facing West
        GAME_01E.JPG - image for room 1 when facing East

A map file is also required which shows how the rooms are connected. The lines of the file contain the room number you would be in if you went in the corresponding direction. 0 means there is no room in that direction.

        GAME_.MAP file:
	* This is a sample .map file
	* (Formate: "n,s,w,e")
        0,3,0,2	* room 1, East goes to room 2, South goes to room 3
        0,4,1,0	* room 2, South goes to Room 4, West goes to room 1
        1,0,0,4	* room 3, North goes to room 1, East goes to room 4
        2,0,3,5	* room 4, North goes to 2, East goes to 5, West goes to 3
        0,0,4,0	* room 5, West goes to room 4

The map file can also now contain "overrides" which specify alternate image files for each room direction, as well as room description text. A sample might look like this:

	1,2,3,4	* Room direction data
		DESC=You are in a room with a door on the North wall.

In this example, when facing North, the image file "door" would be shown. All other directions would show the "wall" image file. This allows you to have "generic" images used rather than requiring actual distinct images for each location and each direction.

Finally, there is a template HTML file required which will be used to generate all the new files. You make a standard HTML file but include certain "keywords" which will be replaced by the appropriate code in the new pages. For example:

        IMAGE - gets replaced by the image name for the current room
        FACING - inserts direction you are facing for that room ("North")
        DESCRIPTION - puts in a special room description from the map file
        MOVEL - the html page for the room left of where you are
        MOVER - the html page for the room right of where you are
        FORWARD - the html page for the room in front of you
        BACK - the html page for the room behind you
        TURNLEFT - the html page for the same room, but facing to the left
        TURNRIGHT - the html page for the same room, but facing to the right
        TURNAROUND - the html page for the same room, but facing behind you

The program will omit any line containing a keyword that doesn't apply. For example, if the current location has no "room" in front of it (i.e., you cannot move FORWARD), it won't put the line with that keyword in the output file. For this reason it is important to ensure that all keyword lines which may be omitted in this manner contain NO OTHER html code that will need to be there. Consider this example:

        <img src=IMAGE.jpg>
        <a href=FORWARD.htm> Click here to move Forward </a>
        <a href=BACK.htm> Click here to move Back </a>
        <a href=MOVEL.htm> Click here to Move Left </a>
        <a href=MOVER.htm> Click here to Move Right </a>
        <a href=TURNLEFT.htm> Click here to Turn Left </a>
        <a href=TURNRIGHT.htm> Click here to Turn Right </a>
        <a href=TURNAROUND.htm> Click here to Turn Around </a>

This might produce the following code for Room 1 of this "area":

        <img src=GAME_01N.jpg>
        *** this line omitted since there is no room FORWARD from here ***
        <a href=GAME_03N.htm> Click here to move Back </a>
        *** this line omitted since there is no room LEFT from here ***
        <a href=GAME_02N.htm> Click here to Move Right </a>
        <a href=GAME_01W.htm> Click here to Turn Left </a>
        <a href=GAME_01E.htm> Click here to Turn Right </a>
        <a href=GAME_01S.htm> Click here to Turn Around </a>

Hopefully you get the idea. I will try to have a better explanation here in the near future. In the meantime, if you think this program might be of use to you, drop me a note!

Check out this SAMPLE I created of Disneyland's Main Street!

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