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What You Can Tell the Computer to Do

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There are ways to tell a computer what to do besides typing commands in one line at a time, but typing is the fastest and most accurate way to do it. Obviously you can type the names of the various buttons, and when you run your script it will do those things. But there isn't enough space on your computer screen to show buttons for everything you might want the computer to do.

For a complete list of all the commands available to you, with a description of what that command does, see the ChompMan Commands Reference page. It has more information that you probably ever want to know, so right now I will give you an overview of the kinds of things you can do. You should review the detailed documentation yourself for the best results.

Nibbler Navigation

There are four navigation buttons to the right of the game board (below the game management buttons) which you can click on, or else type their names (up, left, down, right) into the command line. When you type the name into your script, you can also give it a number of steps in that direction, like "left 6" or "down 5". For more information, see the "Nibbler Navigation" section of the ChompMan Commands Reference page.

One of the things you may notice around the edges of the game board are little pieces of information that can become helpful to you as you program the game. You don't see them on the first page of this tutorial, but as you become more proficient, they show up. The Game Help page is augmented each time to explain these advanced features as you get into them. For example, on the bottom edge toward the right, as you click ahead on the navigation buttons (or program in longer runs from the command line), you can see a list of the pending nibbler move steps, which is slowly consumed as the nibbler does them. Think of it as informational.

Game Management

There are five game management buttons to the right of the game board (above the navigation buttons) which you can click on, or else type their names (Reset, DoAll, Save, Reload, LogIn -- notice that you type in a single word with no spaces) into the command line. For more information, see the "Game Control" section of the ChompMan Commands Reference page.

Typing the Save command into your script and running it there is exactly the same as clicking the button: it saves the current script into whatever account you are currently logged into.

Typing the Reset command into your script is not exactly the same as clicking the button: if you clicked on the DoAll button to run your script, clicking the Reset button will immediately stop running the script, but a Reset in the script will reset the game board but keep your script running with the next line.

Typed into your script, the DoAll and Reload commands are pretty much the same as clicking on the button, except that both commands restart your script at the top. That is what you'd expect with DoAll, but because your script is already running, the Reload command keeps on running from the top of the reloaded script. Both the buttons and the scripted commands reset the game board before starting at the first line.

Typing the LogIn command is also not the same as clicking the button: while it goes into the script, it does not actually start the login process from the command line. When the script is running and comes to a LogIn command, if you included a user name to log in as (for example "login Tom") it will do that if it can. If you left the user name part blank, then it will disconnect you from the server and (in both cases) keep going.

Click here to learn about real programming.

I put "Help" links at the top and bottom of each page to explain everything in more detail. The one at the top left of this page is supposed to popup a separate (smaller) window but your browser may do something strange (or nothing at all); however the "Help" links at the top right and here at the bottom are just plain links. When you need help, you should try to click a "Help" link on the page where you had the problem (or later), because the Game Help pages are adjusted to where you are in the tutorial (for example, the "Help" link from this page assumes you have read the paragraphs above on Navigation).

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Begin Programming Page 2, 2020 March 12