How to script UI

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Cookbook, and tips. Feel free to add new help.

How to link a text node with a scrollbar?

	text mailclient

		/* called every time the view into the node change (scroll position or number of line change)
		onViewChange {
			*node:parent.mailclient_scroll@fullsize = <fullsize>
			*node:parent.mailclient_scroll@fullsize = <viewsize>
			*node:parent.mailclient_scroll@current = <viewpos>

	vscrollbar mailclient_scroll {

		/* called when the user play with the scroll */
		onChange {
			*node:parent.mailclient@viewpos = <current>

The onViewChange event is called when the content of the control "move". The content itself do not change, but we display more or less lines, or we scroll it.

How to group nodes together?

You can use a panel to group nodes. That means if you move/hide the panel, you move/hide every other node inside this panel, too.

The syntax for setting properties to the panel is almost the same as for a window.

	panel soldier_info {
			visiblewhen "mn_show_employee == 1"
			pos "700 380"
			size "300 400"

		string pwr_lbl { pos "10 3"  string "_Strength:" }
		string pwr_val { pos "285 3"  string "*cvar:mn_tpwr" align ALIGN_UR }
		pic pwr_brd { pos "14 18"  image "ui/bar_border" }
		tbar pwr_bar
			pos "17 18"  current "*cvar:mn_vpwr" gap_width 3 texl "3 0" image "ui/bar_attribute"
			size "250 16"	max 100

This example comes from hire.ufo.

How to display a part of an image file?

You can use a pic node and texh and texl properties.

Assume you are using a picture with the dimensions 128x32 that includes 2 buttons - each of a size 64x32. One of them is used for highlighting the other one (remember the node events). The first button (the left one) uses the texl coordinates texl "0 0" and the texh coordinates texh "64 32" because it starts at pixel 0 for x and y and go 64 pixels in x direction and 32 pixels in y direction. The hover part of the current button was placed right beside the current item at x 64, y 0 - this leads to a texl of texl "64 0" and texh of texh "128 32"

How to set an excluderect?

THis example come from hud.ufo. It show a part of the background GUI, where we exclude two rectangle to allow to click on the battlescape (instead of in the pic node). Excluderect position are relative to the node pos "0 0" mean the top-left rectangle start at the top-left of node. Number of excluderect per node don't have limit.

	pic bar_team
		image	"hud/bar_teammember"
		pos	"512 0"	size "256 56"	texh "256 56"
		blend	true
		excluderect { pos	"168 18"	size	"44 47" }
		excluderect { pos	"168 29"	size	"89 36" }

How to use params into condition?

ATM there is 2 way to use params. The first way is to use <...> with a number. <1> mean we use the first param of a function (func, confunc). It is deprecated, but it is the only way ATM to concatenate text with param (for example "Welcome to my <1>").

The second way is to use reserved word param1... Then with an example:

if (param1 != 0) { ... }

String or number comparison?

We dont use the same operator for string and number (because it is more easy to compile it like that :-). Patch to remove that is anyway welcome.

If we want to compare the param with a string we must use eq or ne.

if (param1 eq "foo") { ... }

If we want to compare the param with a number we must use ==, !=, <=, <...

if (param1 == 0) { ... }

How to create a composite model

A "composite" model is a model with many submodels. For example, actors are splited into body and head, and we can also add weapons.

To script the GUI, we need a main model (the model where to link submodels) This model define tag (named anchor) used to set position and orientation of submodels. It need position and size like any other nodes; but submodels dont need it.

A submodel dont need a lot of properties. Here we can see a scale, the default value is already 1, but we can custom it to have a bigger head or weapon.

	model body
			visiblewhen	"*cvar:mn_show_employee >= 1"
			model		"*cvar:mn_body"
			skin		"*cvar:mn_skin"
			anim		"stand2"
			angles		"0 70 90"
			scale		"6.7 6.7 6.7"
			pos		"469 382"
			size		"200 355"
			origin		"0 -40 0"

		model head
			model		"*cvar:mn_head"
			skin		"*cvar:mn_skin"
			tag		"tag_head"
			scale		"1.0 1.0 1.0"


How to associate a key with an action into a window?

If it is a personal key (only u will use it) open your own "base/keys.cfg" (near the directory where save game are). Else open the game "base/keys.cfg" (where the "ufo" binary is).

Then, add/remove/edit bindui command lines. You should look at "base/ufos/ui" to use right node path.