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Development meanderings


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Last week I let myself get sidetracked in building a new development virtual machine for Harpoon and other programming.  It all started as a result of some functionality added to one of my programming tools that leverages MS Edge Chromium.  Edge Chromium is a watershed for integrating a web-browser with your traditional thick-client applications like Harpoon.  

Anyway, that led me to commit to leaving my warm, cozy, Windows 7 development virtual machine behind.  I have multiple Windows 10 development VMs but none outfitted as completely as the Windows 7 one (CI/CD, MS Office for the Platform editor, etc.).  

The what-ifs, otherwise known as the might-as-wells kicked in from that point.  Harpoon Classic has been built with Visual Studio 2013 for quite a few years now after reluctantly leaving the zippy Visual Studio 2010.  New development machine, "I wonder how easily it would compile with Visual Studio 2019?"  We lose the ability to run the game on Windows XP but gain some other efficiencies and developer happiness.  By the way, it turns out the conversion wasn't too tough.  The medium sized rock was figuring out how to maintain binary format compatibility while changing the default memory alignment from 1-byte to 8-bytes.  It hasn't been tested end to end yet but existing scenarios and saved games load just fine.

This migration will be mostly complete in the next 7-10 days after which I can get back to changes you care about.

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My real job took over any Harpoon time there for a couple of weeks...  Have I mentioned VS2019 integrates some really nice profiling tools that I was too lazy to otherwise use?  The other day spurred by a telephone call (what's that!) with one of the original computer Harpoon players, I started a new ExportDLL to revive dead bases (and switch their side) with promising initial results.  

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