Lack of Text Files

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Lack of Text Files

Postby NGX » Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:50 am

I think it's a significant inconvenience with the omission of text files in recent ZDoom mods.

I think the tradition of text files and documentation of credits and other relevant info should continue as per the ol' 1990s.
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Re: Lack of Text Files

Postby m8f » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:30 am

I don't bother with idgames-style txt files because of the inconvenient format. It's too much hassle to edit them, and they are not pleasant to read. I prefer free-style Markdown Readme files, sometimes with a separate credits file.
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Re: Lack of Text Files

Postby Enjay » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:39 am

I guess I have been a bit lax with text files in as much as in recent years I have tended to release stuff via a thread on these forums. The threads in question contain all the relevant information and usually just a link to the PK3. I guess I thought the thread covered things but I don't suppose it would do any harm to pop a text file into the PK3 (I sometimes do that for credits anyway).

I haven't been using the idgames archive recently because the process for uploading became too onerous as far as I'm concerned and I suppose that has gone hand-in-hand with not always providing a text file. I don't know if it's related, but I've noticed a lot of people uploading to places other than idgames these days.
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Re: Lack of Text Files

Postby Graf Zahl » Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:03 am

Enjay wrote: but I've noticed a lot of people uploading to places other than idgames these days.


... which is too bad because many potential users won't see these files. I have a semi automated process to get all newly uploaded content from /idgames and use that as my primary means to get new stuff to play. I absolutely have no desire going through ModDB or the forum threads because due to constantly getting bumped it's impossible to find where some new content is.
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Re: Lack of Text Files

Postby Enjay » Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:30 am

I fully understand that but so many projects (particularly GZDoom ones it seems) are not going the way of idgames these days that I feel unless something is done to turn that tide, idgames will cease to be a particularly useful repository for many of the big name projects or for the purpose that you outlined. Certainly, /newstuff does still hold some gems and there are lots of nice little levels and so on that appear there. However, it seems that the big name GZDoom stuff rarely appears there.

I think the main problem is usability. A file hosting site, or ModDB or wherever will provide a modern "just point your browser at the file and we'll give you a link when it's uploaded" service. Sometimes it's even simpler with drag and drop. Compare that to idgames with its FTP, permission emails, vetting process and related shenanigans and its easy to see why people don't bother. And if you have a project that you are updating/fixing, it's just another layer of hassle to get the old one replaced versus updating things in other locations.

Also, Doomworld is not the central powerhouse of the Doom community that it once was and the core Doom community is both smaller and more fractured than it used to be too. So, with a smaller presence on Doomworld, there will - I suspect - be many modders who don't even really know that idgames is a thing. If you don't got to Doomworld, you are unlikely to find out about/remember that idgames is a thing. I know that Doomworld and idgames are separate, but they are associated in many people's minds and idgames is more overtly present there than elsewhere.

In fact, thinking about it, the practical - though not actual, association between idgames and Doomworld probably explains why much of the /newstuff content is still small, vanilla/Boom compat style maps. I'm glad for those maps (new maps, or bigger projects with maps, are what I like the best - personally, I have a tolerance limit to yet another monsters and weapons remix boogaloo that doesn't offer much more than the last one) but even the maps are mostly of a certain type too - i.e. small Boom-compat maps that probably don't provide a particularly useful GZDoom testbed.
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Re: Lack of Text Files

Postby NGX » Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:59 pm

Enjay wrote:I guess I have been a bit lax with text files in as much as in recent years I have tended to release stuff via a thread on these forums.


I fully understand these cirumstances, as things are just offered at a much more rapid pace these days.

But the fact that forum threads are regarded as the documentation is what bothers me, as there's no documentation "on hand" besides accessing the internet :(

Maybe we're's just gettin' old :3:
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Re: Lack of Text Files

Postby Caligari87 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:19 pm

With version control systems like git being used more and more for zip-style mods, I've honestly come to expect a textfile inside the mod, since that's the easiest way to also have a functional readme that works on user-facing code hosts like Github / Codeberg / Gitlab / etc. I've actually set up the (incomplete) user manual for Ugly as Sin inside the repository as markdown files, because of the way Github can link and display them directly with nice formatting or even publish to a static website.

8-)
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Re: Lack of Text Files

Postby Graf Zahl » Mon Sep 20, 2021 3:59 pm

Enjay wrote:I think the main problem is usability. A file hosting site, or ModDB or wherever will provide a modern "just point your browser at the file and we'll give you a link when it's uploaded" service. Sometimes it's even simpler with drag and drop. Compare that to idgames with its FTP, permission emails, vetting process and related shenanigans and its easy to see why people don't bother. And if you have a project that you are updating/fixing, it's just another layer of hassle to get the old one replaced versus updating things in other locations.


I do not find these sites convenient in any way. They make downloading stuff a hassle and prohibit any kind of automation. And worst of all, they make finding new stuff virtually impossible.
Same with the forum here. How am I supposed to find something new and interesting in there? I have given up a long time ago to wade through all the noise of old projects just to find something new that may be worth playing.

On /idgames I get all the new stuff served with very little work.
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Re: Lack of Text Files

Postby Enjay » Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:19 pm

Oh, I agree from that side of things. I meant from an uploader's perspective these hosting sites are easier. Some of them are OK on the download side but many have dreadful download interfaces. And, yes, automation from a whole bunch of random hosts, many of which would block such attempts anyway, simply can't be a thing and, yes, I agree that being able to go to one place to see if there is anything new for Doom is very nice.

And those reasons are why I suggested that something needs to be done to turn the tide. Idgames is becoming less popular and I suspect the arcane method of uploading is one of the main reasons, as well as its lack of general visibility. So if those things are not addressed, people are not going to go back/start using it and will stick with their other alternatives and the problem will not only persist but become worse.
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Re: Lack of Text Files

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Sep 21, 2021 2:07 pm

Agreed. The entire process appears to be tailored solely to reduce maintenance work at the expense of actual uploads. But what can we do? This discussion needs to be at Doomworld, but my fear is that nothing will happen because nobody would implement a nicer front end.
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Re: Lack of Text Files

Postby Caligari87 » Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:55 am

I just found out that this exists: https://www.gamers.org/cgi/IdgamesUpload.html

So far as I'm aware, the canonical /idgames archive is actually hosted and manged by Gamers.org and the DW instance is just a mirror with a nice interface. Hence, this is the 100% official way to upload projects to idgames via a nice web frontend instead of needing to send emails and log in over FTP.

Granted everything still needs to be in the expected format, but they do link the Doomworld textfile generator as well.

Perhaps we should just be signal-boosting that form, for projects hosted here to also use?

8-)
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