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  1. #1
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    [Plugin] Blackboard

    This plugin creates a "blackboard" window that is shared among your friends. You can put text, images, shapes, etc. on the blackboard, and the data will be transmitted through a user chat channel to be displayed on your friends' screens. This could be helpful, for example, in a raid, for coordinating plans of attack.

    This early version is a proof-of-concept to gauge feasibility and interest in further development.



    For more information and to download it, please see the plugin's home page at lotrointerface.
    Thurallor, Warden of Landroval
    Author of plugins: SequenceBars, Reminders, others

  2. #2
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    This would be really useful for explaining certain raids and their mechanics. The only problem is convincing people to install a plugin...
    Chromite/Grumbletocks/Grumbletunes/Schrade on Landroval, Chromite on Arkenstone, Appendage on Brandywine

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChromiteSwiftpaw View Post
    This would be really useful for explaining certain raids and their mechanics. The only problem is convincing people to install a plugin...
    Exactly. But I'm hoping that at least some raiding kinships will use it.

    If not, meh. I enjoyed making it.
    Thurallor, Warden of Landroval
    Author of plugins: SequenceBars, Reminders, others

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurallor View Post
    Exactly. But I'm hoping that at least some raiding kinships will use it.If not, meh. I enjoyed making it.
    Have to change the name though; that one is considered racist these days (have to call them chalkboards round here).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarbro View Post
    Have to change the name though; that one is considered racist these days (have to call them chalkboards round here).
    Thurallor, Warden of Landroval
    Author of plugins: SequenceBars, Reminders, others

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurallor View Post
    Sadly, I live in the UK, and used to work in education - where the idiots in power believe it is so, and issued rules banning blackboard, black bin-liners, Baa Baa Blacksheep etc.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarbro View Post
    Sadly, I live in the UK, and used to work in education - where the idiots in power believe it is so, and issued rules banning blackboard, black bin-liners, Baa Baa Blacksheep etc.
    Somebody needs to do a Google on Blackboard to see how "banned" Blackboard is in education establishments.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altair6 View Post
    Somebody needs to do a Google on Blackboard to see how "banned" Blackboard is in education establishments.
    Most of the local schools were so worried about a teacher saying the B word by mistake, they ripped out all the chalk boards and replaced them with dry marker boards.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarbro View Post
    Most of the local schools were so worried about a teacher saying the B word by mistake, they ripped out all the chalk boards and replaced them with dry marker boards.
    You actually believe that's why blackboards were replaced by whiteboards?

    And you actually think all usages of the word "black" -- meaning the color black -- are deprecated by a significant number of people?

    How then, pray tell, are we supposed to refer to "the color that shall not be named"?
    Last edited by Thurallor; Aug 18 2019 at 08:45 PM.
    Thurallor, Warden of Landroval
    Author of plugins: SequenceBars, Reminders, others

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarbro View Post
    Most of the local schools were so worried about a teacher saying the B word by mistake, they ripped out all the chalk boards and replaced them with dry marker boards.
    No, they weren't and didn't. They just modernised. You can't use a blackboard as a projection screen for one and whiteboards don't produce clouds of chalk dust. Same reason kids don't use slates and chalk in class any more. (Like I did when I started skool.)

    Too much Daily Mail, I think.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurallor View Post
    You actually believe that's why blackboards were replaced by whiteboards?

    And you actually think all usages of the word "black" -- meaning the color black -- are deprecated by a significant number of people?

    How then, pray tell, are we supposed to refer to "the color that shall not be named"?
    Dark Gray ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair6 View Post
    No, they weren't and didn't. They just modernised. You can't use a blackboard as a projection screen for one and whiteboards don't produce clouds of chalk dust. Same reason kids don't use slates and chalk in class any more. (Like I did when I started skool.)



    Too much Daily Mail, I think.
    Good thought, everything you say about whiteboards is correct, but the schools were so strapped for cash, they kept asking the parents to pay for things that should be covered by government funding. The Primary nearest to us was teaching several classes in a corridor, as they didnt have enough classrooms, and couldnt afford any more temporary buildings in the playground.

    At the time, as someone who was visiting a large number of these schools daily, only 2 had fitted projectors to go with ONE of the new boards; and after spotting them leaving it running the screen saver - they were horrified when I pointed out the limited bulb life, and £200+ replacement costs for the projector model installed.

    This was years ago, the number of projectors has gone up since, although I dont know by how many per school now, as I stopped those visits 4 1/2 years ago; my daughters school (440 pupils) now has a few classrooms so equipped - although government regs no longer allow the schools to ask for cash from parents for operational costs, so they have a "Friends of" network, running events to raise the cash.


    Not a Daily Fail reader, what I mentioned was direct from OFSTED, the quango in charge of school regulations and educational requirements for under 12's in the UK. The "guideline", was issued perhaps 8-10 years ago; I forget exactly.

  12. #12
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    Thumbs up User chat & reusable code

    Guess this means you found a viable way to use user channels for plugin communication. That is the sort of thing that could belong in a "community lib of shared code" of some kind.

    I'm new in plugin coding, but I have noticed alot of plugins use a "util" folder for common, shared code. Is this the only standard, or is there some kind of central repo for keeping track of known shared components or workarounds?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarbro View Post
    Not a Daily Fail reader, what I mentioned was direct from OFSTED, the quango in charge of school regulations and educational requirements for under 12's in the UK. The "guideline", was issued perhaps 8-10 years ago; I forget exactly.
    We live in the internet age, and nothing is ever truly forgotten any more.

    If such a "guideline" were issued 8-10 years ago, even if OFSTED changed its mind and scrubbed all references to it from its web site, you would still be able to find a huge mountain of lingering evidence of it with a simple Google search. Certainly there would be a Daily Mail article, but also there would be web forum discussions in which people decried the idiocy of it. There would be copies of the guidelines posted on other education-related web sites, etc.

    None of this exists. The only comment from any government entity on the topic that I can find is here:
    A significant number of teachers expressed varying degrees of unease with terminology around race-related issues. Phrases such as 'Should I say a mixed marriage?', 'Can I use the word coloured?' and 'Can I still use the term blackboard?' reveal the confusion that exists.
    I.e., the researchers highlighted it as a question asked by a teacher who was "confused".
    Thurallor, Warden of Landroval
    Author of plugins: SequenceBars, Reminders, others

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muddo View Post
    Guess this means you found a viable way to use user channels for plugin communication. That is the sort of thing that could belong in a "community lib of shared code" of some kind.

    I'm new in plugin coding, but I have noticed alot of plugins use a "util" folder for common, shared code. Is this the only standard, or is there some kind of central repo for keeping track of known shared components or workarounds?
    There is no such standard or central repository. Lotrointerface has the facilities for it (you can make an SVN repository with access by multiple authors), but so far no one with the motivation, time, and social skills has tried to do it. One of the main obstacles is the complexity of installation. If a plugin depends on a library, that's another step users have to execute before they can use the plugin. LOTRO Plugin Compendium takes care of this for you, but not all users have that program. And there are difficulties that arise when different plugins depend on different versions of the library. (Not insurmountable, but difficult.) You could include a complete copy of the library in your plugin zip file, but that solution has its own drawbacks.

    Each individual author tends to build up his own utility bag over time. In my plugins, there is a "Common" folder for components used in multiple plugins. Those should be reasonably modular, and anyone who wants to use them is welcome to do so. To deal with the problem of different plugins depending on different versions of these files, I append a version number to each filename, e.g. "Utils_8.lua". Garan prefers a different approach that is probably better: Keeping all files for each plugin separate, duplicating files where necessary.
    Last edited by Thurallor; Aug 20 2019 at 03:48 PM.
    Thurallor, Warden of Landroval
    Author of plugins: SequenceBars, Reminders, others

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurallor View Post
    We live in the internet age, and nothing is ever truly forgotten any more.

    If such a "guideline" were issued 8-10 years ago, even if OFSTED changed its mind and scrubbed all references to it from its web site, you would still be able to find a huge mountain of lingering evidence of it with a simple Google search. Certainly there would be a Daily Mail article, but also there would be web forum discussions in which people decried the idiocy of it. There would be copies of the guidelines posted on other education-related web sites, etc.

    None of this exists. The only comment from any government entity on the topic that I can find is here:
    I.e., the researchers highlighted it as a question asked by a teacher who was "confused".
    If you really believe everything is saved....... so naive.

    The UK government is so incompetent, they accidentally destroy stuff they are SUPPOSED to save. Just ask the Windrush generation.

    Besides, OFSTED operates as a Quango, so supposedly outside of government control, and not subject to the same FOI and data retention requirements. They regularly come out with a load of dangely bits, then do a complete 180 degrees, 12 months down the line, and deny it was ever any different.

    If you really want to track it down, your best best is back issues of Nursery World Magazine, the unofficial mouthpiece of the agency. You dont HAVE to subscribe, but as OFSTED dont publish their latest manifestos anywhere else - it is the only place you are likely to find anything useful.

    As the unofficial motto goes, "Registering with OFSTED is entirely voluntary; except you are not allowed to run any sort of childcare if you dont".

  16. #16
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    name change

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurallor View Post
    Well, there is that minor detail that /bb conflicts with another plugin called BevyBars. LOL

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illepokok View Post
    Well, there is that minor detail that /bb conflicts with another plugin called BevyBars. LOL
    Didn't know that, thanks for mentioning it. I'll change it.
    Thurallor, Warden of Landroval
    Author of plugins: SequenceBars, Reminders, others

  18. #18
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    Version 0.9 is now available at lotrointerface.

    Version 0.9 release notes:

    New features:

    • Added an icon. You can now minimize the blackboard window. (Known issue: The location of the icon isn't saved, so it'll appear in the middle of the screen each time you load the plugin.)
    • You can now change the background color and opacity of the window.
    • You can now specify whether to allow other people to edit your blackboard (in the Settings menu).
    • Added a "Resync" option (in the Settings menu) to retransmit all data, in case a new person joins the channel.

    Bug fixes:

    • Fixed Color Picker general flakiness.
    • Fixed a bug that didn't allow selecting text in a text shape.

    Other changes:

    • The chat window command is now "/bkb" instead of "/bb", to avoid conflicting with BevyOfBars.
    • The window is now a simple rectangle instead of the classic Lotro window. I may add in the option in the future to choose the classic look.
    Last edited by Thurallor; Aug 23 2019 at 12:53 AM.
    Thurallor, Warden of Landroval
    Author of plugins: SequenceBars, Reminders, others

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarbro View Post
    Have to change the name though; that one is considered racist these days (have to call them chalkboards round here).
    At one stage there was a big deal about it; I was in education too (still am). It was about ten years ago or a bit more maybe, about the same time teachers in school started teaching children to sing “baa baa woolly sheep” instead of “baa baa black sheep”. Forget the fact that the song works better with the alliteration, people were worried about the connotations of being the “black sheep of the family” and people potentially making the connection to race. It was in the late 90s, early 2000s, when we first started hearing the term “political correctness” all the time. They didn’t pull out the blackboards for this reason, but there was a period of time when teachers were actually told they had to say “chalk board” or just “board”.

    Since then I think things have got a bit more sensible, especially as everyone says “whiteboard” and nobody says “dry marker board”. Nowadays there is a virtual learning platform called Blackboard and even institutions that Ofsted inspects with that name too.

    So Yarbro - you are actually right about this, but the mindset has changed back to being a bit more sensible in that regard - maybe in the 4 years or so since leaving education.

    I’m an alien, an illegal alien: I’m a Gondorian Captain in Rohan...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheArtilleryman View Post
    At one stage there was a big deal about it; I was in education too (still am). It was about ten years ago or a bit more maybe, about the same time teachers in school started teaching children to sing “baa baa woolly sheep” instead of “baa baa black sheep”. Forget the fact that the song works better with the alliteration, people were worried about the connotations of being the “black sheep of the family” and people potentially making the connection to race. It was in the late 90s, early 2000s, when we first started hearing the term “political correctness” all the time. They didn’t pull out the blackboards for this reason, but there was a period of time when teachers were actually told they had to say “chalk board” or just “board”.

    Since then I think things have got a bit more sensible, especially as everyone says “whiteboard” and nobody says “dry marker board”. Nowadays there is a virtual learning platform called Blackboard and even institutions that Ofsted inspects with that name too.

    So Yarbro - you are actually right about this, but the mindset has changed back to being a bit more sensible in that regard - maybe in the 4 years or so since leaving education.
    Thanks for that; I could never figure out why WHITE boards and WHITE bin liners (yes, they did actually change the colour for a while), were more acceptable than black.

    Sadly, these aberrations usually stem from one or two idiots and spread like a fungus; just look at what they did to poor old Noddy and his BFF, BigEars.

    Mind you, the next TV/Film adaptation will probably eliminate the name "BigEars" entirely; on the basis it is an insult.

    Another one that made me laugh, was the censorship of the Star Trek TNG pilot before it was allowed to be broadcast in the UK. one scene was edited to save UK politicos from getting upset.

  21. #21
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    Version 0.95 is now awaiting approval at lotrointerface.

    Version 0.95 release notes:

    New features:

    • There's a new button for setting the alignment (left, center, right, top, middle, bottom) of text.

    Bug fixes:

    • Fixed a bug that generated an error message when deleting a shape.
    • Fixed a bug that caused the title of a new window not to be displayed if it was too long.

    Other changes:

    • The icon position is now saved, and should be restored each time you load the plugin.
    • The plugin now compares your version of Blackboard with the version used by the creator of a blackboard, and generates an error message if you need to update to a newer version.
    Thurallor, Warden of Landroval
    Author of plugins: SequenceBars, Reminders, others

  22. #22
    This plugin has so much potential! But when I demo'd it with some friends, we found it to be inconsistent.

    When using the maps, sometimes they would disappear. For some reason, I couldn't send a blackboard window I'd prepared to one friend, but could to another friend (both were in the same userchat channel). Additionally, when in instanced content - I couldn't use the Detect Location for the Map - it would just pull up a black screen.

    So I'm hoping you keep working on it! Right now, I haven't found it reliable enough to use it, but would really like to have it available. Good work, and I hope you keep it up (:
    ~~Arkenstone~~

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ_JD View Post
    This plugin has so much potential! But when I demo'd it with some friends, we found it to be inconsistent.

    When using the maps, sometimes they would disappear. For some reason, I couldn't send a blackboard window I'd prepared to one friend, but could to another friend (both were in the same userchat channel). Additionally, when in instanced content - I couldn't use the Detect Location for the Map - it would just pull up a black screen.

    So I'm hoping you keep working on it! Right now, I haven't found it reliable enough to use it, but would really like to have it available. Good work, and I hope you keep it up (:
    Ha, I'm glad someone liked it. I stopped working on it because there was apparently no interest in further development. Even the raid group that was alpha-testing for me seems to have lost interest. I was motivated by the challenge of it, until I successfully proved the concept. After that, there didn't seem to be much point, so I kind of lost interest, too. I had big plans for it, though.

    At some point I do want to make at least one more release, with the ability to load and save "slides" so you don't have to use the clunky import/export mechanism. And maybe some bug fixes. I won't promise anything, though -- it will be a result of a combination of circumstances, including: I have some free time, I am bored, and I can't think of anything better to do.

    With regard to interior maps: Currently the plugin uses TerrainMap to get map images. So if TerrainMap doesn't work for that location, neither will this plugin. You can, however, find the asset IDs of interior maps manually, using Asset Browser or Image Resource Viewer, and add them to your blackboard as an image shape.
    Thurallor, Warden of Landroval
    Author of plugins: SequenceBars, Reminders, others

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Thurallor View Post
    Ha, I'm glad someone liked it. I stopped working on it because there was apparently no interest in further development. Even the raid group that was alpha-testing for me seems to have lost interest. I was motivated by the challenge of it, until I successfully proved the concept. After that, there didn't seem to be much point, so I kind of lost interest, too. I had big plans for it, though.

    At some point I do want to make at least one more release, with the ability to load and save "slides" so you don't have to use the clunky import/export mechanism. And maybe some bug fixes. I won't promise anything, though -- it will be a result of a combination of circumstances, including: I have some free time, I am bored, and I can't think of anything better to do.

    With regard to interior maps: Currently the plugin uses TerrainMap to get map images. So if TerrainMap doesn't work for that location, neither will this plugin. You can, however, find the asset IDs of interior maps manually, using Asset Browser or Image Resource Viewer, and add them to your blackboard as an image shape.
    Oh no ): I was worried you might've stopped! That's a shame, I looked briefly at the source files and it looks like there was a lot of work invested. But fair enough, if there wasn't any other interest \:
    ~~Arkenstone~~

 

 

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