Still Swinging

Ryan Sonnek bio photo By Ryan Sonnek

It’s been a while since my last blog entry, and I hope you’ll believe me when I say that I’ve been busy for the past month or so

I may have had a break from blogging, but I’ve still been busy coding. Over the past month, I’ve had plenty of time to dive back into shard. In particular, I’ve been working on a new swing application to replace the laminated grid sheets and dry erase markers that I’ve been using as a battle grid for the past ten years.

I haven’t seen any decent applications out there like this which is quite a surprise. The new 4th edition DnD tools appear to have something going on in this area, but we have quite a wait before those are available and more than likely, they won’t run on linux. Grrr…

This has been a great opportunity to get back into client side Java development. I’ve been exclusively doing web development for quite a while, so it’s been a nice change of pace. Getting back into using the Swing API’s has taken a bit of time, but I’m going to try and stick with it and avoid the Spring Rich Client library like the plague.

I do miss Wicket quite a bit though. There are a lot of similarities between Wicket and Swing, but I think the Wicket API is much nicer. There’s something very odd about Swing where you’re mixing layout and behavior together that just makes me feel a little dirty. If only “Swing 2.0” could go back to the drawing board and take the lessons learned from all of the great UI frameworks out there and remove the cruft that is there today…

The application is still early, but I’m hoping to get a webstart version posted sometime soon. For now, you’ll have to build it from CVS to experience it’s greatness. So far, it’s fully functional with a few nice features:

  • drag and drop moving of tokens around the grid

  • creating obstacles on the grid can prevent movement along grid paths

Features in the works include:

  • display length of path for moving tokens around the grid

  • zooming in and out of the grid to display as much or as little as desired

If anyone has ideas for a project name, let me know. I’m looking for something that goes well with the shard-phoenix and the shard-minotaur project names. Maybe, shard-cyclops with the tagline, “I’ve got my eye on you”?