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Brandishwar

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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What I told him:

I require an endorsement from OOO because the client in its current form modifies a couple YPP files (getdown.txt, digest.txt, which contain parameters that tell YPP what to load) in order to load my client as a Java assistive technology. I've sent in asking if I change it so that I modify the JVM instead, if it will be accepted, but have not got a response.

I'm doubtful this would snag you a ban, though obviously I'm not OOO and don't make that decision. If you feel the risk is too great, by all means keep using the slower OCR client. =)


To quote the Puzzle Pirates Terms of Service, section 6, subsection 13:

 
6. Restrictions. You agree not to do any of the following prohibited actions:
....
13. modify any files or use any game hacking/altering/cheating software or tools, including scripting or macroing software, or attempt to disassemble the game client and/or decipher the data transmissions between Yohoho!'s client and server. These activities will result in immediate termination of the Player's Account and may subject you to civil and/or criminal liability.


As your client modifies files distributed as part of the Y!PP game client, anyone who uses it risks being banned from the game.
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On Viridian as Arcturis, Captain of The Rum Running Dragons and King of Demons and Damsels
[Jul 14, 2009 12:01:28 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Loren_S

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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Furthermore "modify the JVM instead" matches "decipher the data transmissions between Yohoho!'s client and server" most likely.

I would be EXTREMLY surprised if your java-client gets an ok. The intention might be helpful, but it would open such a can of worms that OOO can't allow it IMHO.
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CoatOSilver, Captain of Forget About It, Retired King of ©©©, Sage
[Jul 15, 2009 2:54:15 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Brandishwar

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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Furthermore "modify the JVM instead" matches "decipher the data transmissions between Yohoho!'s client and server" most likely.


It could, depending on what his client does to become a "Java assistive technology". Plus in order to know how to make his code an "assistive technology", there are implications of reverse engineering -- only digging that hole deeper. I don't see any way OOO is gonna provide an endorsement on this one -- it's too questionable.

But at the same time, placing the requirement against modifying files and reverse-engineering their technology serves a secondary purpose: copyright protection.
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On Viridian as Arcturis, Captain of The Rum Running Dragons and King of Demons and Damsels
[Jul 15, 2009 6:03:23 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Burninat0r

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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Furthermore "modify the JVM instead" matches "decipher the data transmissions between Yohoho!'s client and server" most likely.

WARNING: GEEK SPEAK AHEAD

Think of what I'm doing as a screen reader. That's what a Java assistive technology is meant for. If how I'm accessing the data is against TOS, then having your computer read the entries to you out loud is against TOS.

"modify the JVM" consists of editing one file, accessibility.properties, to load the program when YPP starts, instead of the current method (easier for the end user, since no administrator privileges are needed) which modifies YPP control files to get it to launch.

The problem here is that for a Java program to get access to the accessible context freely available to the OS, it currently has to be launched in the same JVM via the javax.accessibility.assistive_technologies JVM property.

The reason I didn't write it originally to just add the accessibility.properties file is that it's much more complicated: You have to figure out which installed JVM the user is using, and you have to get administrator privileges on some computers. It would basically mean the user has to figure out where to put the files. We know how users are at figuring that sort of thing out.

However I might end up writing a version that does that eventually, anyways.
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Burninator

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[Edit 2 times, last edit by Burninat0r at Jul 15, 2009 6:55:39 AM]
[Jul 15, 2009 6:16:00 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Loren_S

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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It's actualy irrelevant. Alone the fact that we discuss it here, means that there is a good chance that OOO would want to approve, or not approve, the use of the client. As there is no official appoval yet anybody using it faces the risk of a ban due to "unauthorized tool".

I only can advise people of high chance that use of this might get them banned. Of course everybody has to decide for them themself.

I personaly deem the risk too high. But I deem the risk of speed-hacks, bilgebots etc. too hight too, and other people use them.
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CoatOSilver, Captain of Forget About It, Retired King of ©©©, Sage
[Jul 15, 2009 8:31:55 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Brandishwar

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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As your client is currently distributed, it violates the ToS because, as you said, files are being modified. I don't need to "think of what [you're] doing as a screen reader" to see that plain truth.

Even if you "modify" the JVM in the way you've stated to load your application instead of how you've currently got things set up, OOO could still object to your tool as it would then be running concurrently alongside Y!PP within the same process. This approach that you've taken is certainly questionable.
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On Viridian as Arcturis, Captain of The Rum Running Dragons and King of Demons and Damsels
[Jul 15, 2009 6:45:53 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
justbulldog



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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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The new client works like a charm.

Much faster, fewer quirks. Takes about 5 minutes to do one arch.
[Jul 15, 2009 8:28:33 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BehindCurtai

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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I am not a ringer. But this is my understanding:

We've had a well-known, "good" player banned for modifying a file that wasn't actually part of the client, but a cache/marker file created by the game during play, as a way to avoid having to go down to the computer lab and using new computers to make some additional labor alts for a labor army.

Modifying getdown.txt and other files that are part of the game would almost certainly trigger these issues. We've gotten OK's for sword drop color issues, etc, only.

Repeat: The ringers have said that, in general, mods to make the visual aspects easier to use by people with visual disabilities is OK, but they have also said to run these changes by them. They have NOT OK'd changes intended to address dyslexic concerns when those changes introduced additional color information. (Yes, I'm referring to tinting the melts. We never got an answer to changing the swords themselves used in the SF blocks.)

As to your other approach for loading your client: You are not modifying the game itself at all, as I understand it. You are using a Java technology designed to permit screen readers to enable your OCR software to work in a client-portable (mac/linux/microsoft windows) fashion, and OOO has already said that OCR software that does not press any screen buttons is OK. I think that this second system is ok, enough that I would be willing to use it, but I won't use the "modify getdown" version.
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"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

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Brandishwar

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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As to your other approach for loading your client: You are not modifying the game itself at all, as I understand it. You are using a Java technology designed to permit screen readers to enable your OCR software to work in a client-portable (mac/linux/microsoft windows) fashion, and OOO has already said that OCR software that does not press any screen buttons is OK. I think that this second system is ok, enough that I would be willing to use it, but I won't use the "modify getdown" version.


I agree that the "modify getdown" version of his client, as I've said previously, is problematic, and anyone using it is risking account termination. This also means that Burninat0r had to, himself, modify the appropriate Y!PP files to get his client working...

I would agree that the client he has created would not normally be a problem, if it is installed to operate in such a way that any files distributed by Three Rings are not affected. I've looked at the source code for the new OCR client. It is a program that is designed to use the accessibility features of the JRE to harvest data from the Y!PP client. It is certainly an interesting approach, but the question comes down to whether it is legal within the Terms of Service for Puzzle Pirates.

And this new approach is questionable. And part of what is making it questionable, in my opinion, is what had to happen during the development of this client to make it operable -- i.e. what details of the Y!PP client had to be "discovered" so the accessibility featurette could be properly developed?

Intriguing to say the least, but also questionable.
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On Viridian as Arcturis, Captain of The Rum Running Dragons and King of Demons and Damsels
[Jul 20, 2009 2:17:11 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Burninat0r

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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And this new approach is questionable. And part of what is making it questionable, in my opinion, is what had to happen during the development of this client to make it operable -- i.e. what details of the Y!PP client had to be "discovered" so the accessibility featurette could be properly developed?

Intriguing to say the least, but also questionable.

I'm not going to debate whether or not it is questionable, but I will point out Ceph suggested that another developer look into Java Accessibility to read information for another use.

Obviously that doesn't change much. ;)

I will look in to releasing a non-game-modifying version when I get the time.
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Burninator

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[Jul 20, 2009 6:10:44 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Brandishwar

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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I'm not going to debate whether or not it is questionable, but I will point out Ceph suggested that another developer look into Java Accessibility to read information for another use.

Obviously that doesn't change much. ;)

I will look in to releasing a non-game-modifying version when I get the time.


The use in question likely involved individuals with disabilities and how to make the game more accessible to them. An example of this would be a visual alert (such as flashing the edges of the screen) when the officer's whistle is blown as a way of helping those who are deaf.

But no, it doesn't change much in your case.
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On Viridian as Arcturis, Captain of The Rum Running Dragons and King of Demons and Damsels
[Jul 21, 2009 3:11:51 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Burninat0r

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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I'm not going to debate whether or not it is questionable, but I will point out Ceph suggested that another developer look into Java Accessibility to read information for another use.

Obviously that doesn't change much. ;)

I will look in to releasing a non-game-modifying version when I get the time.


The use in question likely involved individuals with disabilities and how to make the game more accessible to them. An example of this would be a visual alert (such as flashing the edges of the screen) when the officer's whistle is blown as a way of helping those who are deaf.

But no, it doesn't change much in your case.

I hate tarting in TTQA, but:

Please stop assuming that you know everything. You're being a bit of a barrelstopper, and your constant attempts to prove to everyone that you know what you're talking about don't mean that you DO know what you're talking about.

The use in question did NOT involve that, and since you have no idea what the use was, please shut up.

Thank you, and please go back to your own commodity tracker thread.
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Burninator

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[Jul 21, 2009 11:39:55 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Brandishwar

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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Please stop assuming that you know everything.


I posted speculation on how the accessibility features of the JRE might be employed for Y!PP -- in hindsight, I should have used the word "probably" instead of "likely", so that is an oversight on my part. But assuming I know everything... not the case.

But to take that speculation and make the assessment that I am "assuming [I] know everything" and making "constant attempts to prove to everyone that [I] know what [I am] talking about" is going a little far, and it leads me to another point of speculation.

Given that you said I should "go back to [my] own commodity tracker thread", I'm wondering if your response stems from my outspokenness against your new client. Admittedly my initial approach could have been better, expressing in that initial post the fact that Y!PP files are modified instead of leaving it up to you to provide what you told me.

In hindsight, I could have also started out by expressing my reservations to you by PM instead of in this thread and let the arguments ensue there. If you have taken offense by this approach not being employed, then I shall and do apologize. But, again, your assessment went a little far, especially since I haven't written much since that initial post expressing my reservations.
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On Viridian as Arcturis, Captain of The Rum Running Dragons and King of Demons and Damsels
[Jul 22, 2009 11:48:20 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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I'm not going to debate whether or not it is questionable, but I will point out Ceph suggested that another developer look into Java Accessibility to read information for another use.

Obviously that doesn't change much. ;)

I will look in to releasing a non-game-modifying version when I get the time.


The use in question likely involved individuals with disabilities and how to make the game more accessible to them. An example of this would be a visual alert (such as flashing the edges of the screen) when the officer's whistle is blown as a way of helping those who are deaf.

But no, it doesn't change much in your case.


FYI, the "use in question" was for reading duty reports while avoiding OCR, and yes, Ceph specifically suggested Java Accessibility for bypassing OCR in that case. That makes it very similar to the PCTB case, and indeed, I'm waiting on the same petition before releasing the new duty report reader (which works by reconfiguring the JVM, not the game).

 
And this new approach is questionable. And part of what is making it questionable, in my opinion, is what had to happen during the development of this client to make it operable -- i.e. what details of the Y!PP client had to be "discovered" so the accessibility featurette could be properly developed?


There's a Java Accessibility Utility called Monkey that lets you traverse the Swing and Accessibility trees of a running Java program. That plus a lot of patience and trial and error is enough to figure out where the relevant text is.

Details aside, as one of the people who worked on tools like this, in general I'd recommend simply waiting for a response from the Ringers before using this tool (or my duty report reader, which is unpublished for similar reasons). If we had a good idea about what the ruling would be, we wouldn't have asked in the first place ;) If you do choose to use it, keep in mind that you do so at your own risk; while we're hopeful that the tool will get approved, by no means can we guarantee it.
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
Puppetar by Tilinka
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by tanonev at Jul 29, 2009 2:02:26 PM]
[Jul 29, 2009 1:56:40 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
TheRack

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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Changes on Ice... Data Capture tool not working arrrgggg!!!!!!

Was that a little melodramatic?
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Cephalopod, on poker, wrote: 
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Period. End of story.

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fjc7



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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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I assume you are talking about the v5 windows client. I don't have Ice access. What fails? Can you submit a defect to www.sourceforge.net/projects/pctb2 along with the files dumped by the client when in debug mode (turn on debug in the tools menu, try capturing, then grab the files that are logged to the AppData\Roaming\PPAOCR directory... especially the .tif ones)? If so I may be able to debug it based upon those files. If not I guess I'll look at it when it stops working on a dub ocean.

Yuhu on Sage
[Sep 2, 2009 9:12:30 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
TheRack

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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No defect or bug... The ringers are about to change the shoppe interface...
----------------------------------------
Cephalopod, on poker, wrote: 
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: it isn't rigged.

Period. End of story.

[Sep 3, 2009 3:34:03 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
barlennan



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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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]No defect or bug... The ringers are about to change the shoppe interface...[/url]


Ummm... crap.

And I just sent off the persimmon commods to get added, too.
[Sep 3, 2009 8:51:03 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
barlennan



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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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]No defect or bug... The ringers are about to change the shoppe interface...[/url]


... AND it seems that most of the changes coming down the pike were suggested by the Bad Idea Bears.

Wonderful.
[Sep 3, 2009 9:05:47 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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Now might be a good time to ask OOO again about whether using the Accessibility API is all right. Updating that client to work with the new interface shouldn't be much of a hassle.

Perhaps if more people voiced interest in the new client, OOO might look at the issue more promptly? :P
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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Burninat0r

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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Since I don't have ice access at the moment, I'll update the java client after this is released to production.
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Burninator

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[Sep 6, 2009 6:05:10 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Fjandr

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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Unless I'm missing something (and I'm not a Java programmer by trade, so it's quite likely I am), how in the world would running two programs in the same JVM violate the ToS?

So long as the second program did not interfere with the client-server data stream and just passively accessed the information available to the client it would not be modifying the game whatsoever and so would exist in the same class of programs that are currently acceptable for use alongside the Y!PP client.

So, for those who would know better than I, am I actually missing something here? (Also, this is not in reference to the current incarnation of the client that modifies control files, but to one that would be using the Accessibility API).
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Nemesis wrote "And by special request - it now auto-bans people who say "pilly" and "lucker"."

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[Sep 12, 2009 3:03:50 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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If I run my own program in the same JVM as the client, I (in theory) get access to all information in the client, including information that is stored there but not shown to the user. In theory, I could look at the client copy of the seed of the piece generator for swordfighting (say), and then know what several pieces are coming up next, instead of just the very next piece. This example is pretty clearly against the ToS, despite being completely passive and never touching the client-server connection.

However, there's little practical difference from other 3rd party tools, especially the closed-source ones; there is no guarantee besides the author's word that Trade Profiteer (for example; I don't mean to single it out, it's just the first one that came to mind) does not access the game state in an inappropriate manner. There are almost certainly libraries in other languages capable of doing the kind of state reading that the Accesibility API provides, and most of us would be none the wiser if a closed-source 3rd party tool were to leverage such a library. The last version of the PCTB client that I've seen (besides the installation process) does not access any game state inappropriately, so I'm inclined to say that it's safe for use, though like all other 3rd party tools, it is a "use at your own risk." Read the source or get someone you know and trust to read it for you to ensure that it does all and only what you expect it to do.
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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Fjandr

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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To further my derailment:

I would be surprised to find out that sensitive future state information was available trivially through inspection of the client during execution. If it was, I'd say that there would be a range of undetectable exploits out there for various puzzles. I suppose though that the Y!PP client itself could use the Accessibility API to report on the activities of any program run concurrently in the same JVM it is executed in. Obviously speculation, since I'm not familiar with the capabilities and limitations that exist therein.

Anyway, just a curious aside. I suppose I should ask that if you decide to reply it be in PM form, since this and my previous comment are really not germane at all to the overall thread. Unless, of course, you feel it adds something of general interest to the thread. :)
-shrug-
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Nemesis wrote "And by special request - it now auto-bans people who say "pilly" and "lucker"."

Fjandr
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Projects: Weathered Helm
[Sep 15, 2009 5:17:29 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
barlennan



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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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... and the new release has hit. PCTB is *broken* until we release a new client.
[Sep 15, 2009 6:18:16 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Burninat0r

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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To further my derailment:

I would be surprised to find out that sensitive future state information was available trivially through inspection of the client during execution. If it was, I'd say that there would be a range of undetectable exploits out there for various puzzles. I suppose though that the Y!PP client itself could use the Accessibility API to report on the activities of any program run concurrently in the same JVM it is executed in. Obviously speculation, since I'm not familiar with the capabilities and limitations that exist therein.

Anyway, just a curious aside. I suppose I should ask that if you decide to reply it be in PM form, since this and my previous comment are really not germane at all to the overall thread. Unless, of course, you feel it adds something of general interest to the thread. :)
-shrug-

It's actually quite possible, though the data would have to be exposed via public methods or variables in the classes. Any properly hidden data in private/protected areas shouldn't be readily accessible.
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Burninator

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fjc7



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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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It looks like scanning and uploading still works from islands. However, scanning from ship is broken (with v5 client). I'm working on a fix for that. Anything else that is broken?

Yuhu on Sage
[Sep 16, 2009 7:20:35 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
barlennan



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5.0.28, changed to work with the recent changes to the trading screens, is now available. Go to pctb.crabdance.com, go to help, and hit the "upload" choice to find the link to the download package.

A new Java client is in final testing, providing support for more platforms than just Windows. We'll let you know when it's ready for public consumption.
[Sep 22, 2009 12:11:46 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wawamew

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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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OK guys, here's the deal. So far I've been unable to get official OOO endorsement for my Java PCTB client, which means that I can't distribute it publicly. However, if you are interested and want to PM me, I will happily provide you with the link to download it.

Disclaimer: My client is not supported or endorsed by Three Rings, so use at your own risk.

The Java client is an order of magnitude faster than the current client, and also runs on all 3 platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux). The only slow point is waiting for the PCTB server to confirm a successful upload!

I've also built in an auto-update system, so when I need to update the client to fix bugs or address changes in YPP, the client will automatically update without a need to do anything.

Remember this is not endorsed by OOO, but send a PM if you'd like to try it.


Are you looking to fix this version which is not working now?
[Sep 23, 2009 6:14:10 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Burninat0r

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Joined: Mar 19, 2006
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Re: Pirate Commodity Trader... with Bleach! A new 3rd party tool Reply to this Post
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Are you looking to fix this version which is not working now?

Yes. Also, the new version doesn't modify any game files and thus I'll be able to distribute it more publicly. =)

Coming soon!
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Burninator

Very retired. Not coming back.
[Sep 23, 2009 3:27:10 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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