[rfk-dev] bugs

Peter A. H. Peterson pedro at tastytronic.net
Sun Oct 28 08:37:19 PDT 2012

So I have built and am running the new robotfindskitten! Hooray!

Eric S. Raymond, I'd like to present to you, as a token of the
consortium's esteem and gratitude, this small statue of robot:


However, and with no lack of gratefulness expressed or implied, I have
some comments:

Genuine bugs:

0. I second Tim Allen's complaint. However, you can test it without
installing by running 'src/robotfindskitten' from the build directory
and it will find the NKIs.

1. There is no canonical success message. cf. the stable version.
After the success animation, the status line should look something
like this:

robotfindskitten v1.7320508.406                                                        
You found kitten! Way to go, robot!               j#                                  

(for j values of kitten)

2. The version string above the playfield should include the tertiary
NKI number. (See above.) However, perhaps that should be automatically
calculated from the available pool of NKI now that they are external?

3. NKI typo -- Unless Shaddam the 4th has an emporium, he is more
appropriately an emperor. (I have no idea how old that NKI is.)

Nitpicks -- devteam please comment:

I have to admit that I am something of a robotfindskitten purist...
even more than some on here. For example, leonardr has wielded his
progressive views on rfk on multiple occasions to talk me down from a
ledge. So, take these comments with a grain of salt -- but I'm curious
to hear how other long-time kitten finders feel:

1. I think one quit key is enough, say, q. We can make both Q and q
work without explicitly listing both cases. The long list of escaping
keys seems excessive and makes the intro screen kind of wordy. Also, I
think that ^C can be implied.

2. I don't like how "In Glorious Color" stays in the status line
until you touch the first NKI. It kind of breaks the spell for me,
because it's not status -- but there it is, masquerading as one! 

3. I'm actually not sure how I feel about having the NKI messages in
color -- I'm not sure it's a UI enhancement. Some colors are great for
NKI color variety but I find a little harder to read. And I find the
color changes to be a little distracting a la #2 above.

4. I'm not sure that I like the bounded playfield. It uses up
real-estate and is a UI change that I'm not sure anyone was asking
for. On the other hand, it does imply a certain boundedness to the zen
plane, which I can appreciate in that it lends clarity to the
representation and implies that field won't resize given a larger
window. My personal jury is still out on this one. Comments?

Most of these last four are inevitable, given UI changes in a projec
that's been mostly stable in this regard for over 10 years.

Thanks again,


Peter A. H. Peterson
Graduate Student Researcher
Laboratory for Advanced Systems Research
University of California, Los Angeles

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