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Blacky
August 11th, 2013, 20:33
Is it possible to install a dev version (3.0alpha) alongside the production stable (currently 2.9.4) of Fantasy Grounds? Without it affecting the stable version.

I would like to test, and do some ruleset work on the 3.0 branch, but without each time I need the stable branch restoring a backup of my appdata, changing settings, redownloading FG packets, and so on.

Of course I can install in a different directory, and set a different appdata folder, but I'm wondering if there's some kind of hidden shared dll or registry settings or licence key thingie that would screw that up.

Trenloe
August 11th, 2013, 21:10
The settings that you see in the "Settings" window are stored in the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Fantasy Grounds\2.0. So, you would need to:


Install FG 2.9.4 "live" to the usual directory. Make a copy of the shortcut and call it FG Live
Open regedit and Export the Fanasy Grounds key (Referenced above) to a .reg file called fg_live.reg. Open the reg file in an editor (right-click -> edit) and remove the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Fantasy Grounds\2.0\History] and [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Fantasy Grounds\2.0\History] sections. Save the .reg file.
Install FG 2.9.4 live again, but to a new directory. Make a copy of the shortcut and call it FG Dev.
Change the data directory in the settings window to be a different directory to #1.
Change to dev mode and run an update. This will leave you with the installation in #2 pointing at dev and 3.0.
Open regedit and Export the Fanasy Grounds key (Referenced above) to a .reg file called fg_dev.reg. Open the reg file in an editor (right-click -> edit) and remove the [History] and [Products] sections. Save the .reg file.
Now if you want to use FG 2.9.4 (live) run the fg_live.reg file (double-click on it) and then start the installation from step #1 (FG Live shortcut).
If you want to run FG 3.0 (dev) run the fg_dev.reg file and use the installation from step #1 (FG Dev shortcut).

This will give you 2 separate installs with 2 separate FG data directories.

You will always have to remember which reg file you ran last, as this will determine what FG application shortcut you should run. If in doubt, just run the relevant .reg file again (it will just overwrite what is already there - it won't double up the data) before the correct FG application shortcut.

You may want to take frequent backups of the campaigns you are working on - just in case you forget and accidentally upgrade a live 2.9.4 campaign to 3.0.

Blacky
August 12th, 2013, 07:49
Gosh. I was asking myself why so little people were testing the test and dev releases, now I know.

Thanks, I'll try this.

unerwünscht
August 12th, 2013, 08:03
Blacky,
I almost always run in Dev mode, and would honestly suggest that anyone who wants to help the community should do the same. The simple fact is that bugs are still found (from time to time) even in the 'current release' so why not run in Dev mode, doing such will get you all the latest and greatest features, and will help Moon by giving the new builds more action.

Sure, doing this will most likely make you run into more bugs, but rarely are the bugs actually game breaking, and when they are game breaking Moon is typically very good at getting it fixed quickly. The advantages of the new features almost always outweigh the disadvantages of the bugs you do find. Also as more people use the development version, more community rulesets will be tested, and that will lead to better support on those rulesets.

So, in short, I think everyone should do their part, and use the dev versions. It might cause some minor issues with your game, but the benefit to the community in its entirety can not be over exaggerated.

Moon Wizard
August 12th, 2013, 08:27
Thanks for the support. Just to be specific, I would say to actually set to Test mode, rather than Dev mode.

I usually reserve Dev mode for alpha testing and internal testing. This is where I present the rough concept to the community developers, and get most of the big issues ironed out.

Once I move the new version to Test mode, I'm usually reasonably sure that the big kinks are worked out (though there are usually a few found in beta testing).

Thanks,
JPG

Blacky
August 12th, 2013, 08:29
I almost always run in Dev mode, and would honestly suggest that anyone who wants to help the community should do the same.
The devs don't:


Remember, this is an alpha release, which means that it is almost feature complete. However, you should expect minor to major hiccups, and I wouldn't use it for your live game yet until it's had a couple iterations.
I'm already cautious with production, stable releases of softwares when I sink hundreds (if not thousands) of hours into something linked to that software, leaning toward the Debian update style, but running alpha version software for my weekly campaigns?


Sure, doing this will most likely make you run into more bugs, but rarely are the bugs actually game breaking, and when they are game breaking Moon is typically very good at getting it fixed quickly.
I'm sorry, but “rarely” is at least once too many. There's a lot that can go wrong with online roleplaying: network down, stupid players showing late or not showing at all, etc. I will not add another layer to that.


The advantages of the new features almost always outweigh the disadvantages of the bugs you do find. Also as more people use the development version, more community rulesets will be tested, and that will lead to better support on those rulesets.
Sorry but that's just plain wrong. A lot, and I mean a lot of ruleset have no maintenance at all.

My main ruleset is Warhammer v2 french, and somewhere along the 2.8 or 2.9 releases FG broke the “view PC offline” tools. Never fixed. I haven't even reported it here because I know the answer: look inside your ruleset. Well I can't (half of why is no serious FG documentation), and no one is looking.

There are several major game, best sellers, with no ruleset and others which had broken ones for years.


So, in short, I think everyone should do their part, and use the dev versions. It might cause some minor issues with your game, but the benefit to the community in its entirety can not be over exaggerated.
And I think the risks of silent data alteration can not be underestimated. Which are the worst kind of bug.

I already think I can give, and in fact give time outside my games to FG. My post here was to give even more. But not at the price of my precious data. Don't risk my precious, nobody touch my precious, my precious… !

As for the overall community, two things. First, you always have more community work with libre licences and open source. And secondly, I could turn your debate point around 180°: if the community is needed, why not a simple 30 years old mechanism of portable or at least directory specific and contained software which would allow us to install both without risking our data?

Blacky
August 12th, 2013, 08:31
double post for some reason

unerwünscht
August 12th, 2013, 09:11
The devs don't:

I am not even going to bother with responding to the majority of your post because you were rather more rude than what was required. However in responce to this one line, why don't you take a quick look at the post right before yours.

As for rulesets not being supported at all.... You are preaching to the quire bub. Just ask around I am positive someone can inform you what my opinion on this is. However one thing I can say is that Moon ALWAYS fixes any errors he causes with 3rd party rulesets when he is made aware of them.

Blacky
August 12th, 2013, 09:29
It was not my intent to be rude, but I don't take lightly to risking my personal data.

XpressO
August 12th, 2013, 09:42
Just stating the obvious here but I would recommend you just take a backup of your appdata folder and then try the Test or Dev version. This way your stuff is safe. Downgrading is just as easy as trying the other versions.

NOTE: I've been informed that the current alpha doesn't downgrade as it should so I would use caution. But normally it's just as easy as clicking a button :)

unerwünscht
August 12th, 2013, 17:38
Just stating the obvious here but I would recommend you just take a backup of your appdata folder and then try the Test or Dev version. This way your stuff is safe. Downgrading is just as easy as trying the other versions.

NOTE: I've been informed that the current alpha doesn't downgrade as it should so I would use caution. But normally it's just as easy as clicking a button :)

I believe backing up your app data folder will fix the 'current' issue with 'downgrading' back to the current release. Or at least it worked for me, however it could also be that Moon already fixed that issue.

Trenloe
August 12th, 2013, 18:01
Regarding the "run in test mode" discussion above...

This is fine - do it if you like doing this: getting early access to new features and helping out with community testing. What I would ask is that if you run into an issue, check if the issue is in the current "live" product to determine where you should be posting your problem on the forums - post in the laboratory if you are using the test version.

Over they years I have spent many hours troubleshooting people's issues without it being clear that they were actually running in "test" mode, not "live" where the issue didn't occur and I spent a lot of time try to recreate to help identify the issue.

So - if using "test", post issues in the laboratory thread and always be clear that you are using "test". If you like switching between "live" and "test" please double check which mode you are in when posting regarding issues.

unerwünscht
August 12th, 2013, 20:02
So - if using "test", post issues in the laboratory thread and always be clear that you are using "test". If you like switching between "live" and "test" please double check which mode you are in when posting regarding issues.

Addendum: Even if you are absolutely sure you have the most up to date version, please post your version number in the post regarding your issue (I am guilty of not doing this as well, and FG does not typically update the version numbers in test mode). The thing is updates have been known to get released shortly after someone has posted a bug, and things have gotten VERY confusing from that.

Blacky
August 15th, 2013, 02:06
The settings that you see in the "Settings" window are stored in the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Fantasy Grounds\2.0. So, you would need to:
<snip>
Works great, if anyone was wondering. A bit of a hassle, but less than other work-arounds.

Workaround needed, since I can't connect a 2.9.4 client to a 3.0.0 server.

Kapkomm1
August 19th, 2013, 16:55
Workaround needed, since I can't connect a 2.9.4 client to a 3.0.0 server.

And vice-versa, a 3.0.0 client will not connect to a 2.9.4 server. :(

I put 3.0.0 on my laptop to take a look...and cannot connect my laptop to my desktop.

TIBTK

Trenloe
August 19th, 2013, 17:29
And vice-versa, a 3.0.0 client will not connect to a 2.9.4 server. :(
That is usually the case - even for minor version differences, let alone a 2.x to a 3.x difference, so keep this in mind for future upgrades - players will need to upgrade/downgrade (if downgrading is possible) to the same version as the GM, you may be able to connect buT you could well experience issues from version mis-matches.

Moon Wizard
August 20th, 2013, 20:13
Yes, in order to be able to make larger changes to the system, we sometimes need to make changes to the underlying network communications or data storage structures. When this happens, I advance the version numbers so that the versions will not connect to each other, in order to prevent data corruption or other strange failure conditions.

Regards,
JPG

S Ferguson
August 20th, 2013, 23:39
In fact 3.0 will give you an error message if you try to connect to a 2.9.4 server.

Cheers,
SF

Acroyear
August 23rd, 2013, 06:43
Thanks Trenloe for the instructions!