Just a heads up: Something screwy is going on, preventing characters from being loaded. The problem boils down to the script that handles the icons - it's throwing an error, which in turn is causing problems with the gadget.
Exact cause isn't known yet - and is further complicated by having connection problems on my end. I'll keep everybody posted, and let you know when things should be working fine. Sorry for the trouble all :/
Problem not completely solved - but it has been narrowed down to not being able to connect to the server to get the icon images. Until I get to the bottom of this, I've prevented error messages from showing - which will allow the gadget to load. However, until the problem is solved, all icons (except for the "?" icons) will display as black squares. The good news is, that once I do figure out the problem, your icons should return all on their own.
OOPS.. Guess the ADL.exe is not the reason then..... disregard this post
My best guess right now, due to testing with other sources, is that for some reason this is specific to Turbine's web server. Whether this is intentional or otherwise - I'm not sure, but regardless, it needs to be solved.
As far as I'm concerned, the best option I have at my disposal is to simply copy every single icon over to my server, and then load it from there. Anyway, I'll keep everybody posted - I will try to make this as seamless as possible, so hopefully you won't have to check back here just to see if it's working ;)
In the middle of downloading & copying over the icons - this will probably take quite a while, but hopefully sometime today you should start seeing real icons instead of the black squares.
Final Update - for now
You should start seeing real icons after the first time it updates, if you want to cut to the chase, just close and reopen it.
Although I'm slightly amazed that I haven't been getting bug reports left and right yet, a currently unknown exploit has resulted in complete item data loss, leaving both Character Journals non-operational. The data will be re-imported as soon as the exploit is discovered and patched up. I can't say how long this will take at this time, but I will keep everybody posted as soon as I know.
Sorry for the inconvenience; I hope to get things back on track as soon as possible.
In fact as the character data was not updated by Lotro until recently, i just tried again yesterday to use it and could not get any info to load.
I simply thought that Lotro made a boo boo :p
And i was patiently waiting :)
Ok, This is basically a news update concerning the fate of both journals - and a little something else thrown in for good measure.
First off, both the AIR and Windows Journals are still non-operational - mostly due to lack of free time, and more recently, temporary lack of hosting. So, my current plans are to simply go back to relying on data.lotro.com for the time being, as the temporary loss of both item, and more recently, hosting has made the methods for speed improvements fail spectacularly. So when the next update does appear, it will work again, but loading will be slower due to having to load more things at once.
Now that the bad news is out of the way, time for a little good news. Yesterday I was finally eligible for an upgrade for my mobile, and got myself an HTC Inspire 4G. Now, I realize that the average person couldn't care less about what phone I have, but it does mean one thing that may interest at least some of you. I now have the ability to design, build and test Android apps and Widgets!
So once I manage to get the AIR/Windows versions of the Character Journal operational again, the next plan is to start working on an Android version - well, ok, that's not quite accurate. Since an Android app is as the name implies, an application ,and not just a Widget/Gadget designed to sit on your desktop and take up a minimum amount of space, the app will be a bit more complex. Basically an Android version of LotRO Herald, if you will. Make no mistake, this isn't going to be some interpretation or port of this app, it will be my own design, layout and code - I'll just be "feature matching" to put Android users on equal footing with those who er - prefer the alternative.
I will be working on an update to both the AIR and Windows version over the weekend, and should be ready by Monday night. I will warn you again though, you will see a significant increase in load times. As much as I hate to do it, I really don't have the gas (or probably bail money) to drive out to Turbine's HQ, march in and demand that they design their data so it's a little more efficient to load and parse. :p
I've already released a couple updates for the original Windows Sidebar version - the 2nd was just to fix an oversight involving set piece names. AIR version should be ready to deploy a little later tonight, as it seems to be functional again (albeit taking longer to load characters - but that's to be expected).
Most of the work so far has been adding in a small army of functions designed to load up all the necessary data from Turbine's API, and then to merge them into one, to reduce the amount of changes to the bulk of the code.
This also meant that I had to change the way the progress bar was handled - since half of what's loaded per character takes place before the slot icon preloading.
The final change, which is still on deck, is to see if I can't come up with a better way of handling character navigation - as the current "slide" method has a tendency of being finicky. I may increase the sensitivity and/or include mouseWheel support, or even just scrap it all together and come up with some kind of click navigation. I'm not sure yet, but before the night is out I'll have it figured out.
Since, like I mentioned, I'm without a host for the time being, I'm most likely going to upload it to the Adobe Marketplace (for free of course) - more information will follow as it shows up.
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