DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

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Roareye
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#41 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:37 am

Tested Dream Passport 3 and PlanetWeb 2.6X to find out what the codes do.

PlanetWeb is absolutely useless. Worst on-screen keyboard, same shorter site size as Dream Passport, worst and least useful browser menu (Start instead of the LT and RT menus) and none of the avefront codes work at all on it. Is it an issue with version 2.6X, or a general issue with PlanetWeb, I have no idea. Every single avefront code comes up with the following error;
This version of the browser does not support this kind of document.


If this is just an issue with version 2.6X, can someone send me the latest official release version and I can test it on that. It is possible the custom PlanetWeb on XDP is just bad all by itself. I'm in the UK so I never got to use PlanetWeb prior to joining this community.

Anyway, all codes (including those that did nothing or crashed the Dreamkey browser) work in Dream Passport 3, except the menu, smail, push and setup ones. These don't work on any browser so I don't know how they became known as codes to begin with. Here's what each code does on Dream Passport 3;

Code: Select all

DREAM PASSPORT 3 (JP)
x-avefront://--- commands

dream/util/visit = Page History (Brings up new web page of page history during this logon)
dream/proc/menu/bookmark = View Bookmarks
dream/proc/menu/jump = URL Address Bar (To type new url)
dream/proc/menu/mail = View Emails

dream/proc/menu/help = Brings up Help Pages on the disc
dream/proc/menu/option = Browser Options Screen
dream/proc/menu/connect = Starts connecting to the internet (instantly connects if already connected)
dream/proc/menu/disconnect = Disconnects you from the internet
dream/proc/menu/exit = Reboots the browser to the title screen
dream/proc/menu/back = Goes back a page
dream/proc/menu/forward = Goes forward a page (if you have gone back a page)
dream/proc/menu/reload = Reloads the entire page (including all frames if page has frames)
dream/proc/menu/zoom = Zooms into the page (works on whole page, including all frames)
dream/proc/menu/file = VMU Manager
dream/proc/menu/sntp = Adjust Time and Date
dream/proc/menu/modem = Modem Settings screen

dream/proc/menu/chat = Brings up Dricas and IRC Chat options, Dricas is offline when you select it. IRC goes to an email-style screen where you can load an IRC from a VMU

dream/proc/menu/urlchat = Goes to Chatrooms screen (Currently offline)

dream/proc/menu/pmsg_list = Private Messaging/ch@b System (Seems to be offline, may have connected to a unique SEGA server built specially for it

dream/proc/menu/accountinfo = Connection Fee information page, currently offline

dream/proc/menu/provider = ISP Settings Screen

There are commands such as;
[i]x-avefront://---.menu/start[/i] and [i]x-avefront://---.smail/list?type=N[/i] and [i]x-avefront://---.push/list?type=A[/i] and [i]x-avefront://---.setup/list[/i]
None of these work. They simply come up with a [!] message stating URL FAILURE


Interesting that there are built-in chatroom features exclusive to the Japanese browsers, including IRC load ins.
Help Pages are built into the browser, so it may be possible to "fix" this feature on Dreamkey with a patch. The code works but the pages are either missing or mislabelled in the files - which causes the browser to enter a dead loop where you can't reconnect properly until you reboot it.

Connection Fee pages were stored online, but nowadays this would be a useless feature and while Dreamkey understands the code, they clearly never intended to use it as the text is missing from the on-screen display. I wonder if it would be possible to repurpose it for Dreampi information, but that would be above my skill level.

Chat Rooms via Dricas could potentially be revived by rebuilding the webpages, though implementing it outside Dream Passport (even into Dreamkey) would be much more difficult, since the chatroom codes do literally nothing. If we can rebuild the pages, then IRC could definitely be revived as it simply uses stored IRC addresses on the VMU, but proc/menu/chat would need to be revived on Dreamkey to get the most out of it and to see the system in anything but Japanese).

Of more interest is the Private messaging system (Known as Buddy in Dreamkey and ch@b in Dream Passport), which I've never seen used before but is fully translated between the two. Not sure how it functions, but if you want to see it on your DC browser, the full code is;
x-avefront://---.dream/proc/menu/pmsg_list

I have an update coming soon, but I can say I have the testcity working now! Animated GIFs run a bit slow when there are several on display, but considering the same page was completely broken only yesterday, I can live with that. There's a relatively wide (scrolls horizontally) background, 12 animated GIFs with links to other pages with blank gifs used to place them into position - all on top of the previously loaded navigation frame and announcements frame.

Once I've got it tweaked a little, I'll be able to take what I've got and actually build the pages as they should be. But great news! Even the most complex page runs smoothly on real hardware via the 33k modem! Quite a happy chap right now lol

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DarkHarlow
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#42 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:43 am

I am looking forward to trying it! What a great job you are doing. Thank you very much for your effort!

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Roareye
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#43 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:27 am

DarkHarlow wrote:I am looking forward to trying it! What a great job you are doing. Thank you very much for your effort!

Thanks man ^_^ Lots of work to do but I think it'll be worth it :D

So I've made a site update, including testcity now working flawlessly (takes a little extra time to load and GIF animations are slow, but that's standard for the DC browser). Here's some shots of the city working in Dreamkey 3.0 on real hardware using a 33k modem;
DA-Test005.jpg
DA-Test006.jpg


I've made some alterations to the navigation and announcements bars, which I'll outline here;
NAVIGATION BAR
Controller = Dreamcast games, currently goes to testcity
Two Heads = Community page. This will include Leaderboards, DLC and Game Night Schedules
Mega Drive and PC Engine = Dream Library Emulator. This isn't working yet, and if I can't get it working then I'll remove these two. Any help getting the Dream Library emulator to load and run on the site would be greatly appreciated.
Two Heads with Letter = Private Messaging/Buddy/ch@b system. I need help with this, which I'll outline later in this post.
Letter = Email system. Works perfectly.
VMU = VMU Memory Manager, useful for making space for site-based DLC downloads. Works perfectly.
Clock = Adjust time and date. For anyone who needs to correct their internal clock. Works perfectly.
Cog = Browser settings.
Question Mark = Help pages. These don't work on Dreamkey so I may remove this, unless we can find a way to add these into a disc image. Music is possible too, but again that will come with a mod of Dreamkey's browser, which I'm not able to do.


ANNOUNCEMENTS BAR
Orange = Game Night schedules, should display the closest upcoming game night. Anyone can log onto the site and immediately see what game to play and when. Takes you to the schedule community page.
Red = DLC, showcasing the latest rediscovered or created game DLC. Takes you to the DLC community page.
Purple = Leaderboards/Rankings, hoping to treat these like the Game Night schedules - having weekly challenges across different games. Takes you to the community rankings page.
Blue = Site Updates, whenever there is an important site update, this will be updated. Takes you to the update.


PRIVATE MESSAGING SYSTEM
I mentioned I need help with this. When you activate it, you get the following page appear;
DA-Test007.jpg

There are three options. Buddy List and Find Someone on Page doesn't work (comes up with an error).
Search For Buddy tries to connect to a site (URL not shown) but the connection fails.
DA-Test008.jpg


I can only assume this was an internal SEGA URL that connected you to a private messaging system, but that site is long since dead. Does anyone know anything about this system? Any hints on where it goes, the URL etc would be mega helpful. It would be awesome to recreate it and have a private messaging system available on the Dreamcast :D

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Roareye
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#44 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:16 pm



Here it is in motion at this stage. The page loads are likely faster here because I didn't reboot the browser, it seems the page information is stored to cache so going back to pages loads almost instantly. Load times aren't very long anyway, and this way I go to show you the site a bit faster.

Community Pages is a new design, but I quite like it. I can do different designs for different pages too (Different backdrops for different games etc), and managed to find a way to create the illusion of the semi-transparent black background to the table (something the Dreamcast browsers can't do or support). The terrible Retro Games page (with the red background) will be deleted eventually, it's just a test page.

You can see the Private Messaging system I spoke about here too. It's currently offline, any help to restore it would be great.

What do you guys think so far?

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Roareye
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#45 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:33 pm

Discovered something very unusual about the DC browsers and how they deal with animated GIFs.

It seems that the DC browser can handle transparencies in GIFs but doing so slows the animation to an absolute crawl. This is visible in my videos above with the animated character sprites moving in slow motion - most notable in Ryo Hazuki.

However by chance I created an animated GIF without a transparent background, and it ran at full speed. I made a large animated GIF (for Dreamcast anyway, 313x136 pixels in size) with a mostly transparent background and it ran in slow motion. I've just saved it again but with a background (no transparency) and not only is the filesize a tiny bit smaller, but it runs at full speed.

I don't know what it is about the DC that slows down GIFs with transparencies, but it's incredibly obvious that's what's happening in my tests. It a repeatable thing too!

Also, cos I showed them in another topic I might as well show some progress here too.
preview007.jpg

preview008.jpg

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-drez01-
Tank Jr.
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#46 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:31 pm

I would like to help you repackaging DK3 with DP3 assets. I can also help you with booting games. PM me

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DarkHarlow
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#47 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:53 pm

Roareye wrote:

Here it is in motion at this stage. The page loads are likely faster here because I didn't reboot the browser, it seems the page information is stored to cache so going back to pages loads almost instantly. Load times aren't very long anyway, and this way I go to show you the site a bit faster.

Community Pages is a new design, but I quite like it. I can do different designs for different pages too (Different backdrops for different games etc), and managed to find a way to create the illusion of the semi-transparent black background to the table (something the Dreamcast browsers can't do or support). The terrible Retro Games page (with the red background) will be deleted eventually, it's just a test page.

You can see the Private Messaging system I spoke about here too. It's currently offline, any help to restore it would be great.

What do you guys think so far?


You have left me without words. Great job what you're doing. I would love to help you but I have no web programming knowledge. I told you about it a few posts back but I will tell you again. It would be great to help you with a Spanish translation. Although you may not believe it, every day we are more Hispanic users who are enjoying the Online and if this could be translated it would be wonderful. It would really be my pleasure to translate it if there is an opportunity for it. Thanks for your effort and dedication!

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Roareye
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#48 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:58 pm

DarkHarlow wrote:You have left me without words. Great job what you're doing. I would love to help you but I have no web programming knowledge. I told you about it a few posts back but I will tell you again. It would be great to help you with a Spanish translation. Although you may not believe it, every day we are more Hispanic users who are enjoying the Online and if this could be translated it would be wonderful. It would really be my pleasure to translate it if there is an opportunity for it. Thanks for your effort and dedication!


Thank you DarkHarlow ^_^ A lot of effort is going into this. To be honest I learnt very very basic HTML in the early 2000s, ran several Sonic websites. But my skill level at it was always bad, though I did know how to use sprites. Since this DC community brought me back to it, I've been rebuilding the official web pages and they've shown me coding secrets I had never thought of. I'm figuring out the limitations of the DC and using the official sites' code tricks and now I'm inventing some of my own to create pages with a more active and living feel to them. Also none of these pages use Flash. There's no Javascript, no Flash, no CSS code (DC can't understand CSS code) - each and every page is pure late 90s HTML code. I think you'll be surprised by some of the pages.

I'm happy to do a Spanish translation. The only pages that might be a pain is the Leaderboard pages, as updating multiple pages a month adds to the work. Outside of that, making a Spanish page is super easy. I'll finish up the English one, then when it's ready you can translate the pages and I'll create a Spanish/Hispanic variant (I know there are some differences between Spanish and Hispanic Spanish, like there are between English and American English). Thank you for offering to help! ^_^

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Roareye
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#49 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:50 am

Rolly wrote:The playing background music works in the DC browser with this code (i use this with my old compilation):

<bgsound src = "HTML.wav" loop = "- 1">

Hi Rolly, just a quick question on this background music code. It's not working. Does the music have to be built into the disc image? It won't read the music from the server at all. Tried MP3, WAV (at 8000Hz) and ADX formats and none will play.

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Xiden
Leonard Nimoy
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Re: DreamArena 2.0 - The revolutionary browser

Post#50 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:20 am

Roareye wrote:
Rolly wrote:The playing background music works in the DC browser with this code (i use this with my old compilation):

<bgsound src = "HTML.wav" loop = "- 1">

Hi Rolly, just a quick question on this background music code. It's not working. Does the music have to be built into the disc image? It won't read the music from the server at all. Tried MP3, WAV (at 8000Hz) and ADX formats and none will play.


Try a midi file instead. the wav files are so large they take forever to download over a dialup connection and I think after a certain size the dreamcast simply gives up on trying to get them to play at all.

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