User:Grg-n-Sox

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About

Grg-n-Sox, also known as Grg with optional underscores on either side. It really depends on what is allowed for the given context. He is a lazy fuck who actually rarely plays NetHack but enjoys rouge-like games and has NetHack as the only game fit to be played on his mobile cellular device (which is quite a complement as few apps reach the quality requirements for being installed on his root-less Motorola Droid). Although he rarely installs NetHack thanks to servers hosting the game. However, his primary server to play on is not a public one. If he ever plays on a public server, it's nethack.alt.org but he usually plays on the in-house servers hosted by Computer Science House at RIT, as he is a member of the organization.


Current Projects Related To NetHack

So the first thing I saw actually when I stumbled across alt.org was the Dudley's Dungeon webcomic there. (Okay, so I actually saw the player statistics first. I mean god damn, how do some of these guys ascend in over half of their games?) So I am looking through these and thinking these are awesome and wondering who makes them, only to realize that the comics are user submitted through a generator known as Dudley D-I-Y or diydudley.php, originally written by the host of the first generation of Dudley's Dungeon webcomics, Dion Nicolaas, and the current version made and maintained by paxed. (I do realize there is a another second generation host of Dudley's Dungeon but he didn't appear to change the generator in any way from Dion's.) So I decided I wanted to make a comic. It was then I ran into my first issue with the second version of the generator which actually caused me to learn a lot about character encoding.

The thing is, for my first comic, I wanted to see how a die-hard NetHack community reacts to a cross-rouge-like game reference, and not just to another game that's been already used quite a bit like Angband. (What exactly it is will be revealed when the comic is finished... if it ever finishes, as you'll find out from the upcoming problem description.) So turns out the game I am trying to make reference to in my comic makes heavy use of characters found in the Windows OEM Code Page 437. It's basically the character set that includes the standard ASCII characters and all the Windows alt code characters, although in further reading on the subject, I started getting really confused between code page 437 and code page 850 but I am just going to assume alt codes are mapped to code page 437 at that is that and I will not even attempt to figure out what the 0-prefixed ones are mapped to, even though it would be a straight forward article lookup on Wikipedia. I've been doing too much reading on character encoding.

So anyways, I've basically been trying to figure out how to generate a Dudley's Dungeon comic containing Alt-codes. My research has shown that while the new version of the app at alt.org does not support alt-codes, the old version might have since there were two reported incidents of comics being approved by admins that contained the yen character, which requires an alt-code. Alt-coded characters seem to get through on the new version if you type the alt-coded characters in directly into the code file _AND_ have to assign a color to it. Typing an alt-coded character through the edit panel will just get removed the moment the edit panel loses focus. Also once the alt-coded character has been inserted through the code file, you cannot do any editing to it through the pen file or the alt-coded character will be removed, possibly with others. Unfortunately this does mean that any file containing alt-codes pretty much needs to have the code file created separately from the generator's editing environment. However, I will be doing three pieces of research to try to figure this out, and they will be carried out in order. First, the analysis of the the old and new generation sites to determine the used character encoding. I have to imagine with Dion's website at it's homepage requiring non-ASCII characters for his native language, that the site was set up to easily accept non-ascii characters. While HTML specifications allow escape sequences for any Unicode character, regardless of character encoding, that fact does not help us since we are not editing HTML here. Anything entered is left as is unless it is an html sensitive ASCII character like < & and >. So typing in ¥ would be interpreted as five separate symbols on your Map section of your code file. It would help a lot though if it turns out the site supports utf-8 and the alt-codes actually no long insert it as an 8-bit extended ASCII character but rather as a utf-8 character. The second thing I am doing is making a command line tool for generating code files for the Dudley's Dungeon comic generators. The third and very much optional thing I might do is try to figure out a patch for the generator (assuming I can simply patch it though changing html character encoding and javascript fiddling).

But yeah, that's what I am working on.