Saloon remote URL example

Some more great news from the busy world of The Saloon posse designer. I now have PDF export working 100%, complete with properly transparent HP values, Allegiance/Breed being “circled” to represent selected, and even nice touches like putting the version number in the bottom right corner. Check out an example PDF exported from the app. Pretty slick eh?

Of course you might be saying “But trucking around a PDF is annoying for forums and email”. Which is true. To that end I’ve setup what I call “URL loading”. This means you can pass in a specially crafted URL bursting with parameters like leader name, dinosaur type, etc. and The Saloon will read these and load a corresponding Posse. So for example for the Drylands United Cattle Company from the PDF above you could visit:
Looks a little messy eh? Normally you’d link it like “Hey guys check out my new posse!” and that looks mighty fine.

To access this feature for your own Posse just click “Save to URL” and copy the link that is generated and then paste it to your hearts content on forums, blogs, email, etc.

Another neat feature is the Load Recent Posses link that displays the 5 most recently saved Posses from ANYONE. That means you could go into the app right now and create a Posse and a user on the other side of the world could easily load that Posse. I like this feature as it helps make the app feel a bit more “alive” and is more of a community friendly element. Like I said it’s just the most recent 5, but if I get enough interest I might bump the number up to 20 or something.
Currently the list is cleared upon shutdown of the server, but I might look into persisting it into a text file or light database.

So yeah, pretty much all done now! All I need to do is provide the source code somewhere (probably as a WAR file that can be deployed but that also has the Java files in it). I like to this for webapps because who knows what will happen to me in the future, and it’d be great if the only copy of the source code wasn’t just sitting on my hard drive.

I figure I’ll start advertising the app and getting some feedback and more testing from actual users sometime next week. I’m super happy with how it all turned out and how quickly it came together, and I think it makes building a posse infinitely easier and funner to experiment and test different approaches.

(Also my apologies if The Saloon is a little slow; I’m hosting it off my wireless media center on a basic home internet package, so don’t expect unstoppable performance :) )

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