A Predatory Creeper
Join Date: Dec 2002
D3PDA UI Thread
Since returning I kept procrastinating on creating an actual thread for the UI but here it is.
I am the original and current developer of D3PDA and actively play with it as my UI. In the past at some point between raids and work, I just didn't have time to keep it updated. Then I took about 10 years off from EQ, loaded story so I'll spare ya on that one.
My intent is to keep updating the UI with new features, refinement of it's existing features, and maintain what's become the iconic look of it. I am a very technical guy so the way I write and develop the UI reflects that heavily. I like to try out random weird ideas that seem like they might be possible, like the label stacking to produce text outlines (same idea could also create drop-shadows, glows, and similar effects).
Installing D3PDA is simple. Unzip the folder into your "EverQuest/uifiles". Optionally you may want to delete the "generator" folder if you want to shave 500kB off the install size, to me that's insignificant.
Inside the UI folder you'll notice a very different structure from your typical UI. There are folders for various windows as well the the window's EQUI xml files. In those folders are xml files used for those windows, logically arranged into a structure resembling what's in the window. For example the spell_window folder contains one file for each possible spell gem and one more for the book/casting gauge since they are visibly one piece. Even the individual stats get their own xml due to the complexity of setting up the text to appear like that.
Inside the EQUI.xml you'll find absolute confusion... or it seems at first glance. I figured out from testing that EQ will load those Include elements in bottom to top order. So they are arranged with default ui reference at the bottom (to avoid breaking on updates) and all my custom stuff going upward from it in the order it is required. Textures, animations, templates near the bottom with windows that use those near the top. Any additions you may want to make later should be added to the top of the list.
Some of the XML, like the chat window are copies of the default with a couple of small changes to make it play well with my templates. Others are the windows I have replaced which resemble more of a scene graph than your typical EQUI xml, that is they simply set up the scene for a given window with the actual elements elsewhere in their respective files.
The UI folder also contains a VSCode workspace that you can load to do any edits or just to look through it with the same view I have when I work on it. The only extra step would be to open the VSCode terminal and punch in 'tail -f UIErrors.txt' in the everquest folder to attach the log reader. If you change any of the files in the generator, like maybe change the color of a gauge or something, just hit F5 to build the changes. In the case of a group member's gauge set, this would clone the changes into the other gauges. It's not very well written, very quick and dirty but it gets the job done. Likely to get better as I need better features.
Feel free to post any bugs you find, suggestions you may have, or questions here. I make it a point to check in whenever I'm bored or waiting for something.
"Computers are like Air Conditioners, they stop working properly when you open Windows."