More Problems

January 23rd

This thing just keeps getting worse and worse. The original Encounter Editor assumed that every encounter would be between the protagonist and a chosen actor. I can maintain that basic structure here, but now I have to specify the Antagonist for every encounter. That’s going to require a new input structure, a popup menu that will have to be associated with every NextEncounter.

But first, I’d like to take a moment to explain some of the infuriating problems I have been having with software. I need to prepare a standard tree diagram, something looking like this:


This is a mathematically clean version of a tree; the kind of tree that I would use would have some irregularities in it, and perhaps a few crossover connections. I’d like to use some drawing software to do this. 

I’ve been using a delightful program called Omnigraffle for many years. I’ve paid for the upgrades and I know it well enough to do everything I need to do without hassles. Unfortunately, a month or two ago, OmniGroup, the vendor of Omnigraffle, refused to adapt it to the latest version of OS 10 (High Sierra). The adaptation didn’t give anybody else any trouble. I suspect that Omnigroup decided to force everybody to upgrade to the new OmniGraffle Pro, for a cool $99. It was certainly a dirty trick. Worse, the initial reviews of the new version at the Apple App Store were negative: eighteen 1-star reviews versus five 5-star reviews. So I went looking for something else.

First I tried to use Pixelmator, another trusty old painting program. It has some drawing facilities (making shapes), but they’re too primitive to be useful here.

OK, let’s fall back on Tinderbox, a program specially designed for people designing text adventures. I bought it last year as an experiment for Siboot planning. It is one of those programs that’s so powerful that it’s hard to learn. After fighting my way through the many user interface obstacles, I eventually got it working. So when I fired it up to use it for this task, I got a message demanding to know my registration number. Wait a minute, I already gave you the registration number when I first bought the program. What gives??? Apparently it threw away the registration information when I upgraded to High Sierra. So I dug through my email archives looking for the registration number, but could not find it. Great. There went $250. 

So I searched the web for reviews of drawing software. I found a number of promising candidates, and after reading a bunch of reviews, settled on MyDraw, a program with top reviews. So I paid $66 and set it up. What a shock! This is a Windows program through and through. It’s about as anti-Mac as a program can be. Some of the standard key commands that are universal on Mac applications simply don’t work. The thing is ugly as sin, and the user interface is a disaster. I’m sure that, with enough study of the reference material, I could probably solve the national debt, but it’s just too complicated. I don’t have time to spend weeks studying the damn thing. Another $66 down the tubes. 

So I went back to look at OmniGraffle. I found some reviews from January that were much more positive. So I decided that maybe I should go with OmniGraffle.

And another day wasted.