Re: [nbos] Some FM8 questions - a critical flaw
"Joe Frazier, Jr"
Wed Jul 25th, 2007
Mark Oliva wrote:

>>From: Joe Frazier, Jr [mailto:jfrazierjr-at-nc.rr.com]
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>I would assume it is not in the product because no one has ever tried it before and requested this as a feature. I personally would never be able to work in this way, so hat's off to anyone who can.
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>Could be. I've been mapping for a dozen years or so with CC2, CC2 Pro and CC3 and am looking at moving to FM8. If I remember correctly, you're a CC user too. Most of the CC mappers whom I know personally use this method to make vertical maps. I'm surprised you wouldn't be able to work in this way. Placing symbols and texts at an angle of 90° or 270° basically is no different from doing it at 0°.
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Nope, I bought the software version of the 2.0 core rules years ago and
played with the included trimmed down version back then and could not
get the hang of it. Likewise, I just started playing with the
Forgotten Realms atlas again and even in the viewer, it is a bit hard to
get used to the mindset. I may end up getting CC3 just for some extra
symbols, but I high doubt I can reset my mind to work in such a way as
to let CC be my main mapping program. This would be of even more
benefit once Ed gets the converter working and released.


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>This would probably be your best bet in the short term. You may want to even consider building a new top level menu for any converted to a different angle so as to keep them quickly findable,
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>The symbols I'm using all are CC3 PNG raster symbols, so the easiest route to take - if one is forced to take another route - probably would be to create a new symbol folder with all of the used PNGs in it and then simply rotate the original PNGs and save them.
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>That notwithstanding, I'd still argue that FM8 should have the following two missing abilities:
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>1. The ability to set one's own default symbol angle.
>2. The ability to set one's own default symbol scale.
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>These should be menu and dialog box options, not operations that require scripting.
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>FM8 is a superlative mapping program. These things should be in it. I'm not the only one who acquired it with the idea of possibly switching from CC3 to FM8. I know several other people who are doing the same testing right now. If NBOS wants to make its customer base grow - and I think it has a real chance to do so right now - it may need to take care of things like this that are a problem for some potential CC3 converts.
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>One of the many benefits to me of FM8 in comparison to CC3 is the considerably greater speed with which I can map. Yesterday, in mapping large areas of mountains and forests where I want individual symbol selection, I quickly determined that the lack of these abilities cancelled that advantage and made FM8 mapping much more time-consuming than CC3 mapping in this case.
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>It doesn't matter at all if other list members think tipped maps are sensible or not. That's totally irrelevant. It's the way the members or our project group work and will continue to work. From customer contacts, we also know a fair number of our customers work in the same manner.
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Actually, it does in a sense. While I cannot speak for Ed, in
software in general, companies provide features that it's or potential
customers want and that have a return on investment. At this point,
as far as I know, you are the only user who has asked for these
features. No one means to imply that you are "doing it wrong", just
that we don't work that way, or have never tried and that is one of the
reasons this feature is not in the product.

The best way to get any feature (assuming it is actually possible to do
and does not take programming many, many hours) is to let your voices be
heard. Find 10,15, 20 people who will say to Ed "I will buy your
program when it has feature X." Of course, there is still no guarantee
that Ed will be able to accomidate such as change at all or with in a
time frame by which you can wait, but this the best method.
Especially in a relatively small community(software map makers), 20
people have a hugh voice compared to the same 20 people who want a
certain feature in a certain operating system may people use daily, for
example.

As an example, I held off on several items for "my" map due to a few
features that were vitally important to saving me time. I bought FM 7
in Feb, and wanted to begin mapping parts of my GM's world and creating
submaps with more detail. Because of the "HUGH" time investment and
hassle this was to do in FM 7, I delayed working on this for several
months in anticipation of the new Export to Submap feature, I would have
assumed to already be in FM. Likewise, creation political boundaries
for an establish map was a hugh pain and I put that off also. The
difference here is that I map for fun, while you map for profit and thus
have a much bigger stake any time gained or lost.

Now, as the saying goes: "perception is reality". My perception is
that this this style of mapping does not make sense to me "right now",
but that may not be reality if I really got into (or it may stay that
way). Would you be willing to upload a small sample map using this
style so that others can better understand your approach as you may be
able to sway even more voices to your camp? I know I have learned
quite a bit just from downloading some of the maps already posted and
picked them apart component by component. There are a few techniques
used which I "never" would have dreamed of doing had I not looked at
maps others have contributed. These are things that I now plan to
start doing on every one of my future maps(where the need arises of
course).

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>Coming from the CC3 camp, I see no reason why I should do all kinds of scripting, symbol conversion or other operations just to set symbol scale and angle. I think the program should offer it. That's something NBOS should consider if it wants our business. Wasting time is one of the biggest negative factors that a program can have upon our project group. It's one of the three main reasons why we decided - after 12 relatively happy years - to consider moving from Campaign Cartographer to Fractal Mapper.
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For what it's worth, once the API is released (assuming Ed does not
offer a solution in the meantime), I would be willing to take a look at
what it would take to write up the custom tool. Of course, I can't
promise anything, but if I succeed, I would upload to NOX for everyone
to use.

Joe

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