Date: 1993-10-31
From: Paul
Subject: Alex Status

I'm sending you this latest copy of Alex mostly as a teaser. There's no new functionality; in fact, there's a lot less than in your last copy - so don't throw it out just yet.

Major missing functionality:

  • Only one world may be generated per run (and thus the settings box is useless - except in advance, through ResEdit).
  • "Save as text" is not implemented.

Positive attributes:

  • Your improved Settings dialog box is used.
  • Your icon is used.
Do you detect any speed differential from the C version? I kind of expect this version to be noticably slower; this should be much easier to detect on your machine (or better yet, Betsy's) than on mine.

Now, then: why don't you provide me with a souped-up "About" box?

Changes I'm thinking of for the "Settings" dialog:

  • Change the "land probability" selection from two integers to a scrollbar that would go from 0 to 1 (0 to 100?) and return a single number. Or should we limit the range a bit more, say from .6 to .9? We could label the extremities "Mostly sea" and "Mostly land", or some such.
  • Add a starting sparks "Spark size" selector; this could go from 1 to 5 or 10. Come to think of it, it might be interesting to experiment with "spark patterns". Lets say you select 5 for the starting size. These 5 could be arranged in various patterns:
  • 12345     1       1
              2      234
              3       5
Do you suppose this would make a discernable effect on the generated worlds? My initial thought was to always make the initial clump a square (hence only 1,4,9 would be legal values). Maybe this is too restricting...

What else is in your high-priority wish list? Here's a start:

  1. Multiple worlds per run
  2. Ones-and-zeroes file
  3. Number borders
  4. 18x12 cells (is this right?)
I recorded the tape a few hours ago. It'll go out tomorrow/Monday.