Re: Graphical Bar Code?

From: Mathew Earle Reuther (
Date: 07/26/02

On Fri, 26 Jul 2002, Daniel A. Koepke wrote:
> I wouldn't recommend having bars of differing scales unless there's some
> visual clue of the scale.  Otherwise, it's impossible to read *any* of the
> bars without secondary information.

A typical bar will appear like so in my code currently:

  (The above example is a 3% per mark bar at 100%)

  [**********                       ]
  (The above example is a 3% per mark bar at 30%)

As you can see, there is a secondary visual aid, that being the opening
and closing portions of the bar, which I get by formatting my send_to_char
with something like "[%-33s]" for the 3 percent per mark bars.  It is my
belief that this provides enough of a cue to the maximum capacity that you
can utilize it, however I do see your point, and do somewhat like the
solution you provided in this latest message.  I'll probably end up
dropping it in and seeing what it looks like.

> Note that my point was simplicity, not exhaustiveness.  It's trivial to
> add all of these whizbang features to it, but I don't think its necessary
> for creating an attractive visual aid.  Moreover, I think it can detract
> from the purpose -- the more the user is distracted by its appearance, the
> less useful it is to them.

I was making an attempt at returning something to the list which would
allow others to perhaps use it or gain ideas from it.  Very obviously I
wouldn't actually suggest using H M V as bar characters for hits mana and
moves, that was merely an illustration.  However, if you were to want a
different character for something, the suggestion I made would allow you
to do it.  (It in fact does, it's running in my code at present.)

I merely thought that by adding those two simple (yes, very, because if I
can do it it's something any monkey can do) features to what you'd added,
it would allow the code to be used throughout the mud in order to do
different things.  Without those changes you would need to re-write the
function each time you wanted a different appearance.

Say your mud counts down spellcasting and you have it update every pulse
violence.  It also displays mana in a bar when you do a mana command.


> cast 'divine h'
Casting 'DIVINE HEALING' (10 Second Cast Time)
(pulse 2 seconds)
[<<<<<<<<  ]
(pulse 2 seconds)
[<<<<<<    ]
(pulse 2 seconds)
[<<<<      ]
(pulse 2 seconds)
[<<        ]
(pulse 2 seconds)
A brilliant glow surrounds NEWBIEGUY and he is suddenly fully healed!
Current Mana: [**********                       ]

See?  Here we have two different fill characters and sizes of bar.  They
are very much readable at a glance (though as I said, I do like the
background characters, assuming they don't make things look too busy,
we'll see) and I think relatively useful implementations of the same small

In this case adding a small bit of flexibility (changing 3 lines of the
original what, 10 or 12?) allows you to utilize the code in any number of
ways!  It's not an attempt to complicate or confuse, but rather to make it
MORE easy for a player to tell what's going on with the bar functions in


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