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README.md

tgui

Introduction

tgui is a robust user interface framework of /tg/station.

tgui is very different from most UIs you will encounter in BYOND programming. It is heavily reliant on Javascript and web technologies as opposed to DM. If you are familiar with NanoUI (a library which can be found on almost every other SS13 codebase), tgui should be fairly easy to pick up.

Learn tgui

People come to tgui from different backgrounds and with different learning styles. Whether you prefer a more theoretical or a practical approach, we hope you’ll find this section helpful.

Practical Tutorial

If you are completely new to frontend and prefer to learn by doing, start with our practical tutorial.

Guides

This project uses Inferno - a very fast UI rendering engine with a similar API to React. Take your time to read these guides:

If you were already familiar with an older, Ractive-based tgui, and want to translate concepts between old and new tgui, read this interface conversion guide.

Pre-requisites

You will need these programs to start developing in tgui:

MSys2 closely replicates a unix-like environment which is necessary for the bin/tgui script to run. It comes with a robust “mintty” terminal emulator which is better than any standard Windows shell, it supports “git” out of the box (almost like Git for Windows, but better), has a “pacman” package manager, and you can install a text editor like “vim” for a full boomer experience.

Usage

For MSys2, Git Bash, WSL, Linux or macOS users:

First and foremost, change your directory to tgui.

Run bin/tgui --install-git-hooks (optional) to install merge drivers which will assist you in conflict resolution when rebasing your branches.

Run one of the following:

  • bin/tgui - build the project in production mode.
  • bin/tgui --dev - launch a development server.
    • tgui development server provides you with incremental compilation, hot module replacement and logging facilities in all running instances of tgui. In short, this means that you will instantly see changes in the game as you code it. Very useful, highly recommended.
    • In order to use it, you should start the game server first, connect to it and wait until the world has been properly loaded and you are no longer in the lobby. Start tgui dev server. You’ll know that it’s hooked correctly if data gets dumped to the log when tgui windows are opened.
  • bin/tgui --dev --reload - reload byond cache once.
  • bin/tgui --dev --debug - run server with debug logging enabled.
  • bin/tgui --dev --no-hot - disable hot module replacement (helps when doing development on IE8).
  • bin/tgui --lint - show problems with the code.
  • bin/tgui --lint --fix - auto-fix problems with the code.
  • bin/tgui --analyze - run a bundle analyzer.
  • bin/tgui --clean - clean up project repo.
  • bin/tgui [webpack options] - build the project with custom webpack options.

For everyone else:

If you haven’t opened the console already, you can do that by holding Shift and right clicking on the tgui folder, then pressing either Open command window here or Open PowerShell window here.

Run yarn install to install npm dependencies, then one of the following:

  • yarn run build - build the project in production mode.
  • yarn run watch - launch a development server.
  • yarn run lint - show problems with the code.
  • yarn run lint --fix - auto-fix problems with the code.
  • yarn run analyze - run a bundle analyzer.

We also got some batch files in store, for those who don’t like fiddling with the console:

  • bin/tgui-build.bat - build the project in production mode.
  • bin/tgui-dev-server.bat - launch a development server.

Remember to always run a full build before submitting a PR. It creates a compressed javascript bundle which is then referenced from DM code. We prefer to keep it version controlled, so that people could build the game just by using Dream Maker.

Troubleshooting

Development server doesn’t find my BYOND cache!

This happens if your Documents folder in Windows has a custom location, for example in E:\Libraries\Documents. Development server has no knowledge of these non-standard locations, therefore you have to run the dev server with an additional environmental variable, with a full path to BYOND cache.

export BYOND_CACHE="E:/Libraries/Documents/BYOND/cache"
bin/tgui --dev

Note that in Windows, you have to go through Advanced System Settings, System Properties and then open Environment Variables window to do the same thing. You may need to reboot after this.

Developer Tools

When developing with tgui-dev-server, you will have access to certain development only features.

Debug Logs. When running server via bin/tgui --dev --debug, server will print debug logs and time spent on rendering. Use this information to optimize your code, and try to keep re-renders below 16ms.

Kitchen Sink. Press Ctrl+Alt+= to open the KitchenSink interface. This interface is a playground to test various tgui components.

Layout Debugger. Press Ctrl+Alt+- to toggle the layout debugger. It will show outlines of all tgui elements, which makes it easy to understand how everything comes together, and can reveal certain layout bugs which are not normally visible.

Project Structure

  • /packages - Each folder here represents a self-contained Node module.
  • /packages/common - Helper functions
  • /packages/tgui/index.js - Application entry point.
  • /packages/tgui/components - Basic UI building blocks.
  • /packages/tgui/interfaces - Actual in-game interfaces. Interface takes data via the state prop and outputs an html-like stucture, which you can build using existing UI components.
  • /packages/tgui/layouts - Root level UI components, that affect the final look and feel of the browser window. They usually hold various window elements, like the titlebar and resize handlers, and control the UI theme.
  • /packages/tgui/routes.js - This is where tgui decides which interface to pull and render.
  • /packages/tgui/layout.js - A root-level component, holding the window elements, like the titlebar, buttons, resize handlers. Calls routes.js to decide which component to render.
  • /packages/tgui/styles/main.scss - CSS entry point.
  • /packages/tgui/styles/functions.scss - Useful SASS functions. Stuff like lighten, darken, luminance are defined here.
  • /packages/tgui/styles/atomic - Atomic CSS classes. These are very simple, tiny, reusable CSS classes which you can use and combine to change appearance of your elements. Keep them small.
  • /packages/tgui/styles/components - CSS classes which are used in UI components. These stylesheets closely follow the BEM methodology.
  • /packages/tgui/styles/interfaces - Custom stylesheets for your interfaces. Add stylesheets here if you really need a fine control over your UI styles.
  • /packages/tgui/styles/layouts - Layout-related styles.
  • /packages/tgui/styles/themes - Contains all the various themes you can use in tgui. Each theme must be registered in webpack.config.js file.

Component Reference

See: Component Reference.

License

Source code is covered by /tg/station’s parent license - AGPL-3.0 (see the main README), unless otherwise indicated.

Some files are annotated with a copyright header, which explicitly states the copyright holder and license of the file. Most of the core tgui source code is available under the MIT license.

The Authors retain all copyright to their respective work here submitted.