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Category: Outdated LotRO InterfacesLotRO Character Journal Gadget for Adobe AIR
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Name: LotRO Character Journal Gadget for Adobe AIR   Popular!
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Date: 07-17-2011 01:30 AM
Size: 604.60 Kb
Version: 0.7 (beta)
Rate File: 5 out of 5 with 1 votes  
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Characters being Preloaded
 
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Stat panel and Tooltip shown
 
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Adding characters to the widget
 
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Basic view
 
Description
This is no longer being maintained. Please see this thread for more information

What is it?

Similar in spirit to my Windows Sidebar gadget, this serves as a way to add and keep track of your characters - right from your desktop. While there are many, many upsides to using Adobe AIR over Windows Gadgets, there is one downside that should be mentioned. You will need to install Adobe AIR before you can use this Widget.

System Requirements

Simply any operating system that can run Adobe AIR. This includes not only Windows 7/Vista but also Windows xp, OS X and Linux.

Installation

Once you download and install Adobe AIR, simply open lcj.air, and the installation dialogue will display. Follow through the process, and you'll be able to run it immediately.

Note: Because I did not have this widget professionally signed - it will display a scary looking message, stating that the Publisher is not known. Yes, it obviously accesses the internet - but the only files it accesses on your computer is the database file it creates to store your characters. Even still, it is better to be safe, than sorry - so if you have any concerns, I will not be offended if you don't use this

First Use

In order to track your characters, first you have to add them. This is accomplished by simply clicking the cursive "i" you see in one of the top corners of the widget when your mouse pointer is over it (which specific corner it shows up in, depends on your OS). Clicking this will "flip" the widget over, allowing you to enter your character's name, pick the server, and add it to the list. Once added your character will be validated (to make sure it exists) - appearing with a yellow background at first, followed by (hopefully) a green one. If you get a red background, it means your character couldn't be found - and you should check your input. Once you're done adding characters, hit OK, and the widget will "flip" back to start loading data.

Former EU characters should be able to be added, however until such a time that Turbine completes the process of providing data for those characters, LCJ may not find your character.

General Use

Most things are pretty easy to figure out without a 1500 page manual. Mousing over a slot will display its tooltip, the bottom buttons display basic stats, crafting and PvMP information - in that order, and your Character's name, level, class icon, and kin name are displayed on the main widget.

There are a couple of things though that do require a bit of explanation:

Navigation

While the swipe motion was an interesting idea in theory, it just wasn't working reliably enough in practice. So, instead, it was replaced by not one, but two methods of navigation

1) Buttons - in the place of the swipe panel, there are now two buttons where the kinship name is displayed. Click the right half to view the next character and the left half to view the previous one. Mousing over the areas will display the respective arrow as an overlay.

2)Mouse Wheel - In addition to basic clicking, you can now flip through your characters with the mouse wheel. Scrolling down will navigate to the next character, and up to view the previous one.

Server Status

The little bubble around your level will start out grey, but will quickly turn to another color (most likely green). This is the server status indicator - and while green = good, and almost everything else = bad, should be easy enough to figure out on your own, here's a breakdown of what the colors actually mean:
  • Red: Server is Offline
  • Orange: Server is Closed
  • Yellow: Server is Full
  • Green: Server is Up
  • Grey: Default color - usually seen when status is first being checked, or when there's no server to check (i.e. when the gadget isn't displaying a character)
  • Any other color: Zombies.

Features
  • Basic Character Information
  • Equipped Inventory
  • Tooltips created using direct visual and layout references from the game itself.
  • Monster Player Support
  • Crafting Information (Professions, and Mastery/Proficiency numbers)
  • Basic Stats (Armor,Morale,Power,Stats,Mitigations,Resistances, Avoidances)
  • PvMP stats, including rank, rating, and progress to the next rank.
  • Server Status

Change Log

v0.7 (7/17/11)
  • The swipe method for browsing characters has been replaced with right and left navigation buttons in the same location.
  • Browsing via Mouse wheel is now supported as well

v0.6 (7/13/11)
  • Players with characters on Laurelin and Gwaihir were being unfairly snubbed - this has been corrected.

v0.5 (6/20/11)
  • Fixed an issue where monster characters would cause the app to hang during loading
  • Fixed an issue where non-monster characters would cause the app to hang during loading, if they did not have any gear equipped.
  • Added support for European Servers You will not be able to add any EU characters until Turbine turns on the data feed for those servers/characters. However, once they do - this should work fine.
  • Fixed a typo with the Dwarrowdelf server in the settings, that would prevent characters from that server to be added

v0.4 (5/30/11)
  • Fixed an issue where the app would hang while loading - due to issues with preloading the icons
  • Slot/Tooltip icons are now resampled for better appearance.

v0.3 (5/29/11)
  • Character data comes directly from Turbine's API - for better (more reliable) or worse (more stuff to load).
  • Sensitivity was increased on the navigation slider
  • The widget will once again have a taskbar icon - as there really was no good way to hide it, without causing some obnoxious usability issues.


Known Issues
  • If you flip to the settings, select an existing character to edit, but flip back before making any changes - the next time you flip back to the settings, that character will still be in "edit mode" - leaving you unable to add/edit any other characters. Simply hitting "Save" or "Cancel" underneath the text box will return it to normal
Archive List (Old Versions)
File Name
Version
Size
Author
Date
0.6 (beta)
604.29 Kb
Digital_Utopia
07-13-2011 02:15 PM
0.5 (beta)
604.24 Kb
Digital_Utopia
06-20-2011 12:53 AM
0.4 (beta)
460.84 Kb
Digital_Utopia
05-30-2011 07:05 PM
0.3 (beta)
460.80 Kb
Digital_Utopia
05-30-2011 02:35 AM
File Statistics
User Rating:
5 out of 5 with 1 votes
Downloads: 5208
Views: 26366
Favorites: 8
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Last Modified: 04-10-2012 03:45 AM by Digital_Utopia    

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Unread 12-02-2011, 05:13 PM  
Digital_Utopia
The Undying
 
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Alright, upon looking into this, by being able to look at the data feed for a character experiencing this issue, this appears to be an issue with the data feed itself, where crafting information is missing entirely from the feed for those characters. Since this is on Turbine's end, I'm unable to do anything about this, other than hoping they fix it as soon as possible.

On the other hand, it appears that some of the new RoI stats have made it to the feed, including finesse. With that in mind, a new version of both Character Journal gadgets should be available sometime over this weekend.
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Unread 12-02-2011, 11:47 AM  
Adder
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Re: Re: Crafting info not showing

Quote:
Unfortunately, HeadsUpCanuck has yet to respond to my request - so hopefully you can. In order to get to the bottom of this, I need to look at the data for a character that's experiencing this issue. So, if you can respond (either here or via pm) with one of these characters and their server -I can check to see whether this is something I can fix, or something that Turbine needs to. Thanks in advance!
Sent you a PM with the info. Thanks for looking into this.
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Unread 12-02-2011, 04:17 AM  
Digital_Utopia
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Re: Crafting info not showing

Quote:
I just installed this and really like. It does seem to be more useful (and faster after the initial data download) than the sidebar gadget, and the use of the wheel nav is great! Unfortunately, I'm experiencing the same issue that HeadsUpCanuck had. I've loaded my 9 characters on my primary server but none of them shows any crafting info. The window shows the message...
even though they all have and most are at Expert level or higher. I have not logged into the game yet since installing this widget though. Perhaps the info will update then? Or is it something else?
Unfortunately, HeadsUpCanuck has yet to respond to my request - so hopefully you can. In order to get to the bottom of this, I need to look at the data for a character that's experiencing this issue. So, if you can respond (either here or via pm) with one of these characters and their server -I can check to see whether this is something I can fix, or something that Turbine needs to. Thanks in advance!
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Unread 12-02-2011, 12:50 AM  
Adder
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Crafting info not showing

I just installed this and really like. It does seem to be more useful (and faster after the initial data download) than the sidebar gadget, and the use of the wheel nav is great! Unfortunately, I'm experiencing the same issue that HeadsUpCanuck had. I've loaded my 9 characters on my primary server but none of them shows any crafting info. The window shows the message...
Quote:
This character has not chosen a vocation.
even though they all have and most are at Expert level or higher. I have not logged into the game yet since installing this widget though. Perhaps the info will update then? Or is it something else?
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Unread 11-02-2011, 05:46 PM  
Digital_Utopia
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Quote:
Hi there I am wondering if it is an issue with my installation but when I attempt to see my Crafting statistics the drop-down says "This character has not chosen a vocation". Is there a reason why I would see this message? It lists this as a feature but for me it doesnt want to work. Thx in advance.
Please PM me the name and server of the character you're having an issue with, and I'll check it out!
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Unread 11-02-2011, 03:09 PM  
HeadsUpCanuck
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Hi there I am wondering if it is an issue with my installation but when I attempt to see my Crafting statistics the drop-down says "This character has not chosen a vocation". Is there a reason why I would see this message? It lists this as a feature but for me it doesnt want to work. Thx in advance.
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Unread 10-08-2011, 04:26 AM  
Digital_Utopia
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Quote:
EDIT: I've logged that character on and off a couple times, to see if it would change anything. And lo and behold... LotroChar finished loading

I hadn't been online on that particular one in ages, since it's just a placeholder, but he had been online before. Anyways, problem solved, no need for more research
I'm glad that you found the cause, and it is very possible that because that character hasn't been logged in for a long time, that there might be something screwy going on with the data. However, since I have that character info (thanks to the notification email) I'll still take a look at the data to see exactly what's tripping up the widget. just in case there's something I overlooked.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 08:23 AM  
Koios
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EDIT: I've logged that character on and off a couple times, to see if it would change anything. And lo and behold... LotroChar finished loading

I hadn't been online on that particular one in ages, since it's just a placeholder, but he had been online before. Anyways, problem solved, no need for more research

Last edited by Koios : 10-07-2011 at 11:48 PM.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 04:32 AM  
Digital_Utopia
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Quote:
I have an issue with this application. When I start it up, it starts loading my selected characters, but it gets stuck on loading the last one. And by that I mean: it keeps loading indefinitely, without ever completing. I can't edit that character out until it's done loading, but it seems that it won't get done loading unless I edit that character out. Any ideas?
Tough to say right off the top of my head, but let me know (either here, or via PM) what the offending character/server is, and I'll take a look at it!
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Unread 10-04-2011, 04:06 AM  
Koios
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I have an issue with this application. When I start it up, it starts loading my selected characters, but it gets stuck on loading the last one. And by that I mean: it keeps loading indefinitely, without ever completing. I can't edit that character out until it's done loading, but it seems that it won't get done loading unless I edit that character out. Any ideas?

Last edited by Koios : 10-04-2011 at 04:08 AM.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 06:16 PM  
TristanLawksley
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Adobe AIR Error

Quote:
To tell you the truth, I'm a bit frustrated myself with AIR and its numerous issues. The main reason I went with it was due to its cross-platform nature, and the fact that its developed by a known company. The latter I felt was important in order to even expect someone to download a 3rd party app. Right now I'm kinda stuck with it; but in the future, I may look into adapting LCJ to Mac OS X's desktop widget format, which I believe can be handled on Windows/Linux via the Kludget Engine.

Again, sorry for all the problems - I hope your experience on Linux is a vast improvement
Eh, the problems I think all come back to AIR and there was no way you could have foreseen the issues. It happens. As far as Linux goes I'm still getting Wine set up and all that I need in that department. Adobe AIR for Linux might be a no-go. I went to the site for the Linux package and I got a notification on install that it was a " bad package " so I stopped there for now... at least I think so.

If you port it using the Kludget Engine and get it working for Linux -- That'd be pretty awesome. I don't think I'm the only one that would use the Linux version, but who knows.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 04:15 PM  
Digital_Utopia
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Adobe AIR Error

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[Update: July 19, 2011]

I attempted to install the Adobe AIR via safe-mode, as admin and as admin user -- both failed. After several manual uninstalls, reinstalls, a phone call to Adobe, and general frustration I'm going to take this as an opprotunity to switch to Linux full time. Once I get LOTRO going there, I'll attempt the add-on and Adobe AIR for Linux and see if it works for me. Adobe is discontinuing Adobe AIR for Linux after the current version -- will that be an issue with this add-on in the future?

In regards to Adobe Tech Support, if you need assistance don't bother. You can shell out $30.00 for the tech call, but I was informed that they're not trained to handle Adobe AIR issues. Then there's that whole thing about paying for support on a free product that doesn't work you from the start... Which is another issue entirely.
Yeah, I was kinda afraid that their support would be less than helpful :/

As far as the difference between future versions of AIR, and the last supported version for Linux - I don't foresee that being an issue with this gadget. From the first version on, I've compiled it for Adobe AIR 2 (as opposed to even AIR 2.5) - and I can't think of any reason why I would need to change that target.The code for the app itself is 99% Flash - with the only AIR centric features being the display settings and the database for storing user settings. So I doubt any future changes to AIR will affect this.

To tell you the truth, I'm a bit frustrated myself with AIR and its numerous issues. The main reason I went with it was due to its cross-platform nature, and the fact that its developed by a known company. The latter I felt was important in order to even expect someone to download a 3rd party app. Right now I'm kinda stuck with it; but in the future, I may look into adapting LCJ to Mac OS X's desktop widget format, which I believe can be handled on Windows/Linux via the Kludget Engine.

Again, sorry for all the problems - I hope your experience on Linux is a vast improvement
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Unread 07-19-2011, 03:48 PM  
Digital_Utopia
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Quote:
the only thing which could be better is the long time you need to load the app - Lotro-Herald for iOS is ab bit faster...

I hope you understood what I want to say with my bad english
Since this is a desktop widget, and more likely just to stay running (and updating), that the smooth and instant display of characters by pre-loading all the images and data, was worth the extra load time.

With a mobile app on the other hand, a load on demand system - where data/images are loaded as they are needed makes a bit more sense. The trade-off of course, is image "pop-in" (as they are loaded) and loading spinners as you access different characters or tooltips.

That being said, I can look into my options for caching the data after it's loaded the first time, so subsequent loads will be faster - but how feasible that is, depends on what's at my disposal with AIR.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 02:45 PM  
Melaga
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the only thing which could be better is the long time you need to load the app - Lotro-Herald for iOS is ab bit faster...

I hope you understood what I want to say with my bad english
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Unread 07-18-2011, 09:10 AM  
TristanLawksley
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Adobe AIR Error

Quote:
If that doesn't work, then things get a bit more complicated - as it involves manually uninstalling AIR
Command completely dropped the ball, but I was able to get an error log on the uninstall:

Quote:
[2011-07-18:08:55:18] Runtime Installer begin with version 2.7.0.19530 on Windows XP x86
[2011-07-18:08:55:18] Commandline is: -uninstall
[2011-07-18:08:55:18] No installed runtime detected
[2011-07-18:08:55:18] Starting runtime uninstall. Uninstalling runtime version
[2011-07-18:08:55:18] Exiting due to error: [ErrorEvent type="error" bubbles=false cancelable=false eventPhase=2 text="Unhandled exception TypeError: Error #1009" errorID=1009]
[2011-07-18:08:55:18] Runtime Installer end with exit code 7
At the moment I'm backing up data, checking on Windows updates, and attempting the different routes of uninstalling that you mentioned. I haven't bothered to contact Adobe yet -- I want to see how far I can get on the issue before I have to deal with tech support.

Quote:
Finally, feel free to ignore that last bit about (re)installing Adobe Media Player - I can't think of any reason why that would improve anything, and I can't justify supporting the installation of additional cr*p just to make something else work. I mean, if you happen to use it - then by all means, but otherwise just try installing AIR again with the installer you've already downloaded. That is, of course, unless you're fed up with AIR all together by now - which I certainly wouldn't blame you for
Typically -- I avoid Adobe all together. In my experiences over the years, Adobe software has typically been resource hogs and didn't run as well as some of its competitors. When it comes to flash however... unfortunately Adobe is it these days. I'll suck it up for this add-on and get this all figured out ( I may have to bug you some more depending on where I end up at. ). I'll reinstall with a new download and see what happens... If nothing else, these posts may help someone else if they run into the same issue.

[Update: July 19, 2011]

I attempted to install the Adobe AIR via safe-mode, as admin and as admin user -- both failed. After several manual uninstalls, reinstalls, a phone call to Adobe, and general frustration I'm going to take this as an opprotunity to switch to Linux full time. Once I get LOTRO going there, I'll attempt the add-on and Adobe AIR for Linux and see if it works for me. Adobe is discontinuing Adobe AIR for Linux after the current version -- will that be an issue with this add-on in the future?

In regards to Adobe Tech Support, if you need assistance don't bother. You can shell out $30.00 for the tech call, but I was informed that they're not trained to handle Adobe AIR issues. Then there's that whole thing about paying for support on a free product that doesn't work you from the start... Which is another issue entirely.

Last edited by TristanLawksley : 07-19-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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