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The Palace Wizards and Owners manual

The Operator's Interface

This section describes the advanced authoring features accessible by operators and owners via the Palace User Software interface:

Becoming an operator

To access the authoring features of the Palace software you need to be a operator, which means two things:

  • You need to have access to The Palace User Software (either the Windows or Macintosh version), since operator commands are sent exclusively through The Palace software.

  • You need to know the operator password for the Palace in question. If you're the local owner (server owner or Palace operator), or if you have been entrusted with the operator password for someone else's server, you're ready to begin exploring the operator powers.

You become a operator by entering operator mode via The Palace client.

* To access operator mode

  1. Start your Palace User Software client.

  2. Connect to the Palace server where your operator password is applicable.

  3. Select Operator Mode from the Palace client's Options Menu (select Operator for Macintosh). A window will appear, asking you to type in the operator password.

  4. When you enter the correct password, a new menu -- the Operator Menu -- will be added to your menu bar. If you are using the Palace User Software for Windows 95/98/NT, you also access the operator's version of the avatar menu when you right-click on somebody else's avatar (see The Windows operator avatar pop-up menu).

Operator mode remains in effect until you disconnect from the current Palace.

NOTE: Your operator status is not saved anywhere on the server. If you want to use operator or owner powers next time you sign on, you will have to enter the password again. This is a security feature; it keeps others who use your Palace client from automatically becoming operators themselves.

Becoming an owner

In a sense, owners are "superoperators" - they possess all the powers of operators, plus more. Like a operator, you enter owner mode through your Palace client.

NOTE: Often, there is only one owner of a Palace site, and that is the initial creator. However, if that person gives the owner password to others, those users also have access to owner commands. This means that even though a user is an owner, he or she does not necessarily own the Palace site or its content.

* To access owner mode

  1. Through your Palace client, connect to the Palace server where your owner password is applicable.

  2. Select Operator Mode from the Options Menu (select Operator for Macintosh). A window will appear, prompting you for the operator password.

  3. To become a owner on the current server, type the owner password into this window instead of the operator password.

  4. Whichever password you enter, the Operator Menu will appear on your menu bar.

Your ownerhood will remain in effect until you exit operator mode, or disconnect from the current server.

Using the Operator menu

The Operator menu has the following options.

Edit Site Page

You have access to this option if you have owner privileges; otherwise, it is grayed out. Select this option to launch your Web browser and go directly to your Palace's Site Page Administration form on the Palace website. Here, you edit the information about your Palace Site Page in the Palace Site Directory.

New Room

This menu command causes the server to create a new room and add it to the script on the server (this may take a minute on slower systems). The new room will receive a RoomID number one higher than the highest previous RoomID used. Its default name will be New room roomID and its default background will be "Clouds.GIF." Your avatar will appear in the room.

Room Info

This menu command calls up the Room Info window. This window displays a number of important room parameters that you can change while in authoring mode. These serve as "shortcuts" for key Iptscrae commands, which cause the server to alter the script for the current room.

The Room Info window: Macintosh and Windows versions
The Room Info window has the following buttons and icons:

  • To reset or cancel, click the appropriate buttons at the bottom of the screen.

  • To delete the room, click Delete.

  • To accept your values, click OK.

To lock your settings, click either the lock icon (for Macintosh) or check the Lock field (Windows). This locks the settings of the Room Info window, denying access to the room script, by creating a special password for the room information. Once locked, no operator or owner will be able to change these settings without first entering this special password (not even you).

The Room Info window has the following fields. Iptscrae equivalents are noted.

Options. The following options are available for both the Windows and Macintosh versions. On Windows, the options are listed as fields on the Room Info window. On Macintosh, select the Options right-dropdown field.

New Door

Select this menu option to create a new door in the room. The new door appears as a large square in the middle of the screen, and must be moved to the desired place and size. The new door automatically receives a unique ID number, one higher than the highest ID already used on a door in the current room. Your new door is considered by default to be a Passage to another room (hence the name of this menu command).

NOTE: Doors belong to the general object class known as Spots (short for "hotspots"). In other words, a door is a special type of Spot. As a result, the two words are often used loosely or interchangeably. The differences, however, are pretty significant. True doors are also known as Passages. They specialize in allowing movement between rooms, and possess built-in "door-like" features (i.e., they can be opened and closed, locked and unlocked, and passed through). In addition, they cause the cursor to change to a "pointing hand" when they're rolled over. However (and most importantly) they cannot run scripts.

Spots (of any non-Door variety) can run scripts, but possess no built-in responses for opening/closing, locking, and other door-like behavior. While much of this behavior can be mimicked with Iptscrae, there is currently no way to make a Spot change the mouse cursor in response to a "rollover" event.

Door Info

This menu option calls up the Door Info window for the currently-selected door/spot, and can also be accessed by double-clicking on the door/spot in question. To access this menu option, select the door outline first.

The Door Info window displays a number of important parameters that you can change while in Authoring Mode (Authoring Mode menu option on Windows, Authoring on Macintosh). Like the Room Info fields, these fields are actually shortcuts for Iptscrae commands, causing the server to alter the script for the selected door/spot.

The Door Info window: Windows (top) and Macintosh (bottom) versions
The exact names and positions of these fields and buttons differ somewhat from the Windows to the Macintosh version. This window has the following fields:

The Scripting window (Windows version)

The Scripting Window (Macintosh version)
Door Options. The Door Info window has several options to set for doors. Windows users access these directly through the associated fields on the window. For Macintosh users, these options reside in the list accessed by clicking the right arrow in the Options field.


This command brings up the Layering Submenu (Door Layers on the Macintosh), which contains four choices: Move To Bottom, Move Backward, Move Forward, and Move to Top. These cause the program to literally change the placement of the selected door/spot in the script, otherwise known as the "Z-Order." The Z-Order is the order in which spots are laid down; it is derived from the order in which they appear in the script (which does not necessarily follow their ID numbers). There are two main reasons for using these commands. First, they allow you to select a spot even if it's buried beneath another one. Second, when one spot does overlap another one, any graphics associated with it will cover up the other spot's graphics. By pushing the top spot beneath the bottom one ("Send to Back"), you cause the associated graphics to swap places as well.

Changes made via the Layering commands are retained in the server script. To test this function, try the following:

  1. Make a room with two overlapping spots called Spot1 and Spot2. Spot2 should be on top.

  2. Select Authoring Mode (Authoring on Macintosh) from the Operator menu to go into authoring mode, and associate a graphic with each spot. The graphic for Spot2 will overlap the graphic for Spot1.

  3. Select Spot2 and select Move to Bottom from the Layering submenu. Immediately, the graphic associated with Spot2 will be overlapped by the graphic for Spot1.

  4. Exit the Palace, kill the server and examine the script file with any text editor. You'll see that Spot2 now appears before Spot1 in the script.

    Authoring Mode (Windows)

    Authoring (Macintosh)

This menu item causes you to enter authoring mode. In this mode, the outlines of all doors and spots become visible to you, and clicking on them does not activate them. Instead, until you turn authoring mode off, clicking on a door or spot merely selects it for subsequent operations; you can double-click on any door or spot to bring up the Door Info window for that door. For Windows users, the hotkey combination for this command is Control-A. For Macintosh users, it's Command-` (single backquote).

The Windows operator avatar pop-up menu

If you are using the Palace User Software client for Windows 95/98/NT, you have special options when bringing up somebody's avatar pop-up menu (right-click on their avatar for this menu). You access the following menu:

These options correspond with operator commands. For a description of a particular command, see Palace Command Summary.