[WF-General] GSoC 2010 -- UI component library

Josh Roesslein jroesslein at gmail.com
Tue Mar 23 09:54:56 PDT 2010


My name is Joshua and I currently live in Wisconsin, USA. I am pursuing
a Bachelor's degree
in Computer Science. I enjoy developing open source projects with any spare
time available to me. I have always
enjoyed the game development area with particular interest in UI game
systems. So now onto what I have planned this summer....

This summer I would like to proposal a project to begin work on a high level
UI library built on top of the CEGUI library.
The purpose of this library is provide a collection of commonly used game UI
components. Think of it as the GTK or Qt tookit for games.
Why do this in a library and not directly in Ember? Well CEGUI already
allows us to host such a UI library on many rendering backends (opengl,
directx, ogre).
So why tie down this code to a specific game client when we could provide it
for use within any game client. I think developing the UI components within
a library
allows for maximum re-use of the code. Also this helps reduce code bloat in
Ember and keep the UI component development isolated. No longer do you need
learn Ember's code base to hack up a new component for your game.

I am still very much planning this out, but here is a rough game plan....

The first phase of this project is to examine Ember's current UI code and
determine what components
can be moved into the UI library. We should try to re-use as much of the
existing UI components Ember currently offers
and expose them in a clean API.

The next phase is to further expand the UI library by adding some new
components much needed in Ember.
These include better inventory UI components such as bags and stacks. I
would also like to get drag and drop of inventory items working.
Another component is "alert" bubbles used for showing help messages, game
events, etc. Also I would like to get a nice mini-map component
working that shows the players current position, markers of nearby items,
direction, zooming, etc.
Any suggestions for components you would like to see are welcomed. Much more
detail of these components and their API will be drafted out in future
mailings / the application.

Finally the last step is to refactor Ember to use the library replacing any
UI components it current uses in its code.
This step might have to wait post GSoC and instead focus more time on UI
component development.
Perhaps a demo application (ala kitchen sink) for the library would be nice.

At this time I would like any feed back on these ideas before I grind into
more detail in fleshing out my application.
Maybe I am just insane for proposing such an idea, so I'd like to know now
before I invest more time :).

Thank you for your time and I look forward to getting involved in the
Worldforge community.

Joshua Roesslein

IRC: #joshthecoder
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