Author Topic: On Readme flags and .zip archives  (Read 1084 times)

Offline Kulyok

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On Readme flags and .zip archives
« on: November 10, 2014, 06:04:18 AM »
Short summary:

I am going to use Readme flag in my mods instead of force-showing the readme, and I'm not sure it's a good idea.
I am also going to switch to plain .zip instead of self-extracting NSIS archives, and I'm not sure it's a good idea, either.

And now I'm going to think aloud for a bit.

Readme inconveniences the user either way: either they have to click y/n one more time during the mod installation, or they're going to click X in the readme window.

I have a suspicion that actually showing the readme is better than not showing it: there's a chance a user would, you know, actually read it. There's also a chance they will find help in there. For example, I had questions and bug reports about one of my older mods that were plainly answered in the readme, but on the forum the user received help only several days after(partly because I've long forgotten about that bug, myself). Of course, it's the players' fault for not reading the readmes, but I feel guilty when we're hiding these files and offering an easy way out instead.

(For example: I placed a link that lures the reader to Romantic Encounters readme. It is on Romantic Encounters forum. It uses BIG LETTERS, it is pinned, and I've never had a single RTM bug report ever since).

But I do recognize that

1) people use BWS, and BWS cuts readme windows;
2) people don't read the readmes anyway;
3) if someone wants to read the readme, he/she would press that y button, or just open the mod directory. Um, probably not, but I can keep dreaming.

And now that I've mentioned the mod directory, let's talk about packing mods.

I like the way Xan was packed. A nice Moonblade icon, a self-extracting archive that automatically searched for the BG2 directory, and a readme packed in together with it.

Saves space, too: NSIS saves about 1 mil out of 10, which is good. But not that good: given how we're packing 1.5 mil of junk code for handle_charsets now, and given how Weidu now weighs one mil instead of good old 300kb, I guess those users in small Russian cities with dl speed of 1.3kb per second are out of luck in any case, whether they download a 18.9 mil Xan or a 21.7 mil one.

But it's probably not helping. Again, more and more people are using BWS. We also have fans-but-not-players who'd happily download the mod, read the dialogue and go on their own merry way to play DAI. And self-extracting archive are, plainly, more annoying than plain .zips sometimes.

(I'm not even mentioning .7z here - that's plain horrible, since few people even have the decrypter installed. I've also been told that .rar isn't that good for some OSX users, and maybe even some Windows users - well, Winrar is shareware, after all).

So, with UB available in zip format already, fortunately or unfortunately, I think it's time for my other mods to follow suit. I will miss that moonblade icon, though.

Offline The Imp

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Re: On Readme flags and .zip archives
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2014, 07:14:25 AM »
This is a very good change in my opinion.

The few tiny complaints... :D ... about the UnfinishedBusiness-v25.zip's content I have... :D ... are that the .tp2 file is outside the mod folder(ub).
Well and that there's two "Thumbs.db" files in the archive. One in ub/yoshimo -folder and another one in ub/anomen -folder. They are likely marked invisible on your computer, so you have to set them and all other hidden stuff visible in the Folder and Search options, and the files are reset there every time you start a picture editor that uses thumbnails to quick load stuff(Photoshop, Picasa ...).
Yeah, I am nitpicking stuff.

Ouh, and I prefer the .zip's too, even if I pack all my stuff to .rar's... cause I forget to flip the switch. The size factor is far smaller than the compatibility. Especially with computers outside the home computer usage.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 06:17:58 PM by The Imp »

Offline Mike1072

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Re: On Readme flags and .zip archives
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2014, 05:37:04 PM »
Forcefully opening the readme and making the user close it is much more intrusive than just asking the user if they would like to see the readme.  I can't imagine this intrusion has the desired effect of encouraging people to read the readme.

I don't like self-extracting archives unless they can also be extracted directly as an archive.  I seem to remember the NSIS ones not being able to do this.

.zip is a good universal format.  For Linux and Mac, we are swapping to .tar.gz.  The format is widely supported on those systems, offers good compression, and easily lets us set the necessary file permissions so Mac users can install mods without additional fiddling.

Offline Kulyok

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Re: On Readme flags and .zip archives
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2014, 12:17:19 AM »
I'll ask jcompton and SisterV(Mac users) how they feel about tar.gz. I'm not sure I even know how to make such archives.

Offline jcompton

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Re: On Readme flags and .zip archives
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2014, 09:32:25 AM »
I think we should really just be using .zip all the time. It's universal, it's fast, and the minor savings RAR provides/provided aren't quite as relevant at 2014 Internet speeds as they were with 2002 Internet speeds.
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Offline Almateria

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Re: On Readme flags and .zip archives
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2014, 04:53:09 AM »
Self-extracting archives are burning garbage, they hardly ever find the folder correctly and force me to use their stupid installer

And the only people who use tar.gz are bearded linux users
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 05:09:28 AM by Almateria »

Offline Almateria

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Re: On Readme flags and .zip archives
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2014, 04:55:21 AM »
I mean sure yeah let me install my game in C:/Program Files/Black Isle/BG2 - SoA lol

Offline Azazello

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Re: On Readme flags and .zip archives
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2014, 12:25:48 AM »
I think we should really just be using .zip all the time. It's universal, it's fast, and the minor savings RAR provides/provided aren't quite as relevant at 2014 Internet speeds as they were with 2002 Internet speeds.
Hear, here!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 03:29:18 AM by Azazello »
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Offline Daulmakan

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Re: On Readme flags and .zip archives
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2014, 04:36:39 PM »
I don't like self-extracting archives unless they can also be extracted directly as an archive.  I seem to remember the NSIS ones not being able to do this.
Ditto.

I endorse both offering to see the readme and using .zip.

 

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