Localization and Floating Points
After a recent deployment, a player named TaxE contacted me with an unusual bug: none of the cities were showing on the travel maps! This renders Conquest! virtually unplayable. During the course of troubleshooting with TaxE, we discovered that this problem affected not just his Android device but his laptop too. Switching from Wifi to Cellular did not have any effect. I was stumped until I began brainstorming with long time player, Elric.
Until recently, Conquest! used integers to represent cities on a map in a 10x10 grid. These coordinates are sent from the server to clients as strings, where they are transformed to numbers and used to render the cities. During a refresh of the maps, I realized I needed greater precision for positioning so I switched from integers to floating points. Naturally, I changed my code: int.TryParse(Input, out Number) became float.TryParse(Input, out Number)
When talking with Elric, he asked where TaxE was located. Turns out, TaxE was outside the US where a comma is typically used as a decimal separator vs a period in the US. Using the original float.TryParse(), clients outside the US were transforming city coordinates such as 3.7 to 37, rendering the cities far out of bounds of my 10x10 grid!
A quick Google search revealed the solution: float.TryParse(Input, System.Globalization.NumberStyles.Float, System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture, out Number);
By forcing TryParse() to utilize InvariantCulture, which by default uses a period as a decimal separator, the numbers are now being transformed correctly.
A huge thanks to both Elric and TaxE for helping work through this one!
James has been working on Conquest! since 1993.