Monday, December 18, 2017

Installing a developer version of Traveller Tracker

Not for the faint of heart, but there is a way to run this before it gets published. You will need to download some large software and sign up for Github, so if that does not scare you off...

First, you will need to be running Windows 10.  As the end goal of this is a Windows App Store (otherwise known as a Universal Windows Program or UWP, or sometimes I think UA for Universal App [Microsoft has got to have the worse marketing and naming departments in the world]) it currently only runs on Win10.  As the .Net run time is becoming more platform independent, at some point in the future there could be another version that could run on a Mac, or Linux, as well as Windows. But first things first.

I also recommend getting Git For Windows - this will install the Git client on your system. Doing this means that it will be easier to keep up with updates to the source code. Otherwise you have to down load everything every time I make a change.  Git for windows:

Next, you may need a Github account. I am not 100% positive you do but it does make some things easier I think. 

Go to my Github Traveller repository (henceforth known as a repo) - and on the right hand side there is a button to clone or download the directory.  If you have Git installed on your computer, use the clone option.  I recommend making a Git directory in your Documents folder, but that's up to your personal preferences. Cloning a repo means that, with a single command at the Git bash shell on your Windows computer (assuming you've installed Git for Windows) you can get all the updates, and only the updates.  Save off this directory. Unfortunately this will also bring down a few dead end directories, but you can get rid of those.  The code in question is TravellerTracker.

So now you have a few dozen directories with a lot of files. To make sense of all this, you will need to download and install Visual Studio - Use the community version - it is free and very useful. If you are not a developer, it can be a bit daunting. It is also a very large program so be prepared to wait a while to get it installed. And it seems to be updated on a weekly basis which is also time consuming - not sure why all the tech companies have gone form a yearly update cycle to a let's release things a lot that are broken and fix it next week with a fix that breaks other things...but I digress.

So open VS2017 (Visual Studio 2017), and open a directory. Open the TravellerTracker directory.  I think it will ask if you want to make a solution, if it does, say yes. This will help speed up things next time.  Then hit F5, or click the green arrow that should say Local machine I think, and it will compile then run the program for you.

I have glossed over a few of the steps, so when there are questions, and yes there will be questions, just let me know and hopefully I'll be able to help.

What I am also hoping to happen is that if a few people manage to get this running locally, they can give me help on what it needs to do. I tend to look at things from a developer viewpoint and not a user viewpoint once I get started (and I've been writing code professionally for 30+ years, almost as long as I've been playing or at least playing with Traveller!)

I'll also have to document how to use the software a bit. Once you get started I think it makes sense, but until you get started it may seem a bit...empty.

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