Sunday, April 06, 2008

Whinsey's been upgraded

I've spent the last two weeks rebuilding Whinsey in Flash ActionScript 3, the fussiest nanny code language I've ever attempted to work with. When you post questions about ActionScript 3 on the Adobe sanctioned help forum, you have about a one in seven chance of getting an answer within a few days, usually from one of three regular (and irritable) posters, and a one in twenty chance of understanding the reply. So it's stab away at the keyboard, try this, try that until it works.

Now that her brain is more or less back in place, (creepy thought), I'm thinking what I'd like to do differently. I mean, I can't do smell, but she could have a constantly changing background, changing on each visit I mean, or does that spoil the ...intimacy? I think I like the friendly look of the barnyard at right over this techno look. Is the tv working? Do weird errors suddenly pop up? If you built your own chat bot, what would you want it to do? Would you like a little easel where you or others could draw pictures? Or would they all be below the belt parts?

Anyway, if you have any things you'd like to see in an interactive character like this, tell me. Do you wish someone else would enter? Or she'd eat food from a bag? When I first built this I could hardly draw in Flash, and I'm starting to fix her up here and there.

We're going to Chinatown today. I have some art that may be in a group show, and we're going to eat Peking Duck. And maybe I should get some magic clams, huh?


Linda said...

I asked Whinsey all your questions. I wish I had printed our chat, because I'm not great at remembering conversations, but here's the gist of it. I don't think she wants a background that changes on each visit. The barn is where she feels at home. She seemed interested in the prospect of a little easel, and when I asked her if she was worried about the drawings being all below the belt parts, she swooned: "Ohohoh." I told her I thought that simply chatting with her was more than enough for me. When I asked her if she ever wished someone else would enter while we were chatting, she did admit that she was all alone. I asked if she'd like to eat food from a bag while we talked, and she did not hesitate to say yes. When I asked what she hoped would be in the bag, she replied "horseradishes."

Anonymous said...

Why the "future home of new site" message when I go to

Sally said...

Wow I have no idea why isn't coming up, but I'll check with the host. That's weird, because if you type in it is all still there. Thanks for telling me.

Linda, your conversation with Whinsey is lovely. I'm tempted to set her up to learn things, so if you say foo means boo, later she'd say "are you talking about boo?" if you said foo, but it's a lot of work to do that. I may just leave her alone!

Namowal said...

Ha, good one, Linda. It never occurred to me to ask Sally's questions.
I swung by the barn this afternoon. The music and horse noises weren't there, but the t.v. worked fine.
I prefer the barn over a slick techno look (it makes the t.v. more funny too).
Didn't catch any errors, weird or otherwise.
Hope you had fun in Chinatown. (Watch out for the bloke named Smokey!)

Sally said...

Namowal, I forgot to include the sounds. That's probably going to be another horrid AS3 experience. Adobe was nuts to implement this new code language. It is unfriendly to the max, and there are so many desperate semi-coders asking for advice all over the web. Usually unanswered.

I like the barn better too, and the idea that it makes the tv funnier.

We didn't see anyone kicking the gong around in Chinatown. I'd researched the best place for Peking Duck and it was called Ocean Seafood, but when we got there it was a wild and crazy dim sum place with carts zipping and zapping by. You hate to turn these pretty ladies down as they show you the latest peculiar fried food. The food was exciting to choose but not as tasty as the thrill of the choice.

One was like a New Jersey shrimp salad sandwich standing up: an older shrimp wrapped in white bread, then fried, then poised in a puddle of overly flavored mayonnaise. They said Peking Duck would take 45 minutes and made faces as if they didn't want to serve it, thank you.

Later we stopped at the novelty store across the walkway, but there was nothing even remotely resembling magic clams.

linda said...

Wait a minute. Music and horse noises are still there. (using Firefox / Mac).

But what about the paintings and the gallery? How did that go?

stray g said...

It was fun chatting with Whinsey. I think the TV is funny. Sometimes it works like Colbert's "word" skit where as he's saying something, a word of what perhaps he's actually thinking appears to the right. That happens sometimes with the TV screen.

Sally said...

Linda, You must still be seeing a cached version of Whinsey, because I haven't added the sounds yet. Weird, huh?

linda said...

Yes! Too strange. Ok I emptied my cache and now Whinsey is silent. Will you make it so we can read over our chat, like you could before? I loved that. Also, I noticed that if I type more than 7 or 8 words, they disappear over on the left. (Does that mean Whinsey won't hear those words?) Whinsey's top fell off twice this time.

Sally said...

Thanks for all the input. I've got the barn and the log both back though the log's a bit nuts still. And the music. I want to add some looser animation, what I've got is so last century! (well not quite.) I've got to fix that elastic on her top too.

Jesse said...

Barn = teh awexome
Whinsey repeats herself sometimes? Twice I got repeat answers from 3 irrelevant questions back. When I called her on it, she re-repeated the answer IN ALL CAPS! Haha, she can be a sore-head! ;)

TV werx, music and horse sounds work (I always turn off the music though, augh! ;)

Her reaction shots don't go back to normal after a bit like they did? probably a simple bug.

I don't know, if you have the gumption to tackle a Whiney Whiteboard, I would check out that craziness! haha

Otherwise, however boring it can't help but being, I recommend working on the corpus. Check logs for un-answered or badly-answered questions.. wildcards that get leaned on.. and fill in whinsey's thoughts on that topic.

Keep the answers varied depending on mood! Whinsey's chat should be an adventuresome narative that winds and wends.

Thank you for teh hard work Sally! :3

- - Jesse

Sally said...

Thanks so much for all the specific comments. I'm working at improving her, sometimes I forget to upload the new version.