AreaFiller Visualization

To aid in the development of your submission, we are providing a visualization tool to competitors. The tool is packaged as an executable jar, which can be run either by double clicking it (in windows anyway) or from the command line as "java -jar AreaFiller.jar".

As in previous contests, to use this visualization tool, you should create an application that communicates with the tool via standard in and standard out. Note that this does not effect the way your program should work when you submit it on the TopCoder website. The program that you write for the visualizer should start by reading the parameters width, height, and colors from standard in, all one one line. Next, for each turn, you should read height lines, each with width characters on them, in the same format as the in the problem. (Hint: you may need to be careful to consume the new line character before moving on to the first line of the board.)

For instance, to use the visualizer, you might implement the following pseudocode, and adapt your solution to use it:
        width = nextInt();
        height = nextInt();
        colors = nextInt();
            for(i = 0 to height-1)
                board[i] = nextString();
            move = nextMove(board);
            println(move[0]+" "+move[1]+" "+move[2]);

Using the visualizer

To use the visualizer, you must have Java 1.5 or greater installed. To run the visualizer, you can execute the command "java -jar AreaFiller.jar". This will open up a new window containing the visualization, along with a number of controls. The first thing you will need to do is specify the executable you have made for your advertising code. You may either enter its path, or select it via the button provided. If your executable requires arguments, enter them in the provided field. For example, if your executable is a Java class AreaFiller.class, you should enter something like "java AreaFiller" (without the quotes) in this field (replacing "java" with the full path to the Java executable if necessary). The exact details of what you enter here will depend on your language choice. In particular, in Java, you will need to make sure that the class file is in the same directory as AreaFiller.jar, or else you will need to specify a classpath along with the executable location and class name.

You may customize the game by entering any values for the parameters that you like, and then clicking generate map to make a new map. The field seed is a seed for the random number generator and will allow you to repeatedly generate the same map (note, however, that seed 0 means to use time as a seed). Clicking the "Generate Map" button will generate the map based on your parameters. Alternatively, you can select new random values for all parameters by clicking "New Parameters and Map". If you've changed the seed, since you last generated a map, the seed you entered will be used to generate the parameters as well as the map, otherwise a new seed will be generated. To test the examples from the problem statement, you may simply enter the appropriate seeds and click "New Parameters and Map".

Once you've started the simulation, any output you write to standard error, along with messages from the visualization tool will appear in the visualization. You may control the speed with the slider on the top of the control panel. You may control the point size in the visualization with the slider to its left.

Command Line Options

You can specify a number of parameters on the command line to simplify the automation of testing (though you don't need to use any of them). For example, "java -jar AreaFiller.jar -width 5" will set width to 5 when running the tool.
-width <width>
-height <height>
-colors <colors>
-seed <seed> Specify the initial seed
-exec <command> Specify the command to execute your code
-novisRun the test case without the visualizer (requires -exec, implies -go)
-goStart running immediately (requires -exec)
-onewindowRun in one window instead of 3

Final Notes