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Release testing tools for mission development
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the P drive tools mostly conern art development.
I would like to request that you build and release some tools to aid out-of-band mission development in editors like eclipse or netbeans. (out-of-band, as in not starting the game every time, but using tools that will enable the result to be valid)

  • Code validator (in lieu of a compiler)
  • Debugger with watches etc.
  • out-of-band execution environment: An exec that doesn't need a 3d environment and associated long load times, but that can trigger any custom code built into the mission by activating the triggers. (possibly by running some test suite like staging code, if necessary) possibly tie this in with the debugger, but it is more like a test runner.


Legacy ID
Feature Request
Steps To Reproduce

N/A - Feature Request

Additional Information

I've been trying to find a tool that would allow me to develop without having to run a server to test the mission for every fart that I want to change.
There have been efforts to recreate the BNF that is the basis for the SQS/SQF languages, but these all seem limited, and don't take into account the bugs and idiosyncrasies that the engine has.
Since BI already has the compiler built into the game, the basis for tools like a debugger and a code validator are already present in the Arma code base.
It would really help me, and I suspect many others, if BI would release some tools to help out-of-band code development.

I was wondering if you could release some tools to aid script development.
Unfortunately, Squint and Poseidon are not my cup of tea. In the end of the day, they're just editors with syntax highlighting, not IDE's.
I'd like to develop my missions in an IDE that I can connect to things like task management systems, versioning systems and all those other tools that IDE's have these days.

If tools the tools are set up to be used with IDE's, for example by making the output parse-able for them through some front-end for specific IDE's, the tools would enable a much higher quality dev cycle for mission developers.

Much of this hinges on the idea that, as these tools become more integrated with the IDE, the feedback loop for developers becomes shorter. This would make things a lot easier. Most people learn to program by figuring out: 'what that error the compiler is throwing up means'; followed by figuring out 'what that error the debugger is throwing up means' ultimately followed by figuring out 'what that error that my unit test is throwing up means'

Added benefits would be:

  • Editing times will go down. (I think by quite a big margin even)
  • 3rd party code quality could be improved.
  • The barrier for entry to create more complex content/missions will most likely go down.

Event Timeline

ocf81 edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Apr 18 2014, 3:57 PM
ocf81 edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
ocf81 set Category to Feature Request.
ocf81 set Reproducibility to N/A.
ocf81 set Severity to None.
ocf81 set Resolution to Open.
ocf81 set Legacy ID to 4191394240.May 7 2016, 6:26 PM

There is/was only a commercial 3rd party IDE for VBS AFAIK.

BI like most in the community just use one of the more advanced text editor with syntax highlighting.
There is the GUI editor by called FSM (FSM Editor Personal Edition).

Squint by SBS Mac provide static code analysis.

There are 2-3 community made IDEs based on eclipse and one other competitor, but mostly not much developed and no longer supported.


Don't get me wrong. Not disagreeing - a decent IDE would improve productivity a lot, but BI doesnt have anything better AFAIK either..

ocf81 added a subscriber: ocf81.May 7 2016, 6:26 PM
ocf81 added a comment.Apr 29 2014, 4:35 PM

I'd like to be able to run unit tests and use a TDD style development cycle that doesn't take 2-3 mins of warmup time for every test run.

I think this can be done faster than what's currently possible. And I suspect that most of the code is already in BI's libs, but not used in the way proposed.

I mean, most things don't involve targeting specific art (art being all maps, models, etc)
You could have a simulated test terrain/canvas that can be used for unit testing code. I keep running into run-time errors that are vague. Unit testing and debugging is one of the key ways to get around such problems, but it is not possible to do that in an efficient way at the moment.

I might consider starting up a community effort if this hasn't been picked up by BI in a couple of months, if I still have the time by then.

I'm currently using ArmaDEV. I've mailed the creators if they want to cooperate on improving it, but they remain silent.

Fank added a comment.Apr 29 2014, 4:33 PM

ocf81 add me on steam i think i have a good tool for you (is not published right now)

steam: fankserver

ocf81 added a comment.Apr 29 2014, 7:26 PM

Useful info. thnx :)

If I start a project, I really do want to make it a community effort. I'll probably never get it done on my own.

But for now I'm busy with some other commitments.

Maybe BI will wake up and realise that spending .5M on a contest is kinda useless if the tools are lacking. I'd spend that .5M on the tools instead.

<i>"If I start a project, I really do want to make it a community effort. I'll probably never get it done on my own." </i>

Thought about it and have come to the conclusion that it would require the help of BI or a lot of hacking and other illegal stuff, so I'm not going to do that.