Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

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Adamant14
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Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by Adamant14 » April 4th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Someone named DeRaid, who is the "author" of 'The Keep' and 'Northwards', has uploaded two not-working campaigns to the 1.10 Add-ons server.
This is the whole scenario file of 'The Keep"
Spoiler:
Downloads:112 (till today)

This is the whole scenario file of 'Northwards'
Spoiler:
Downloads:107 (till today)

Both Add-Ons have more than 100 downloads, each of them.
This means there are more than 200 disappointed players out there, and that's bad. :hmm:
(there is already too much broken and abandoned stuff on the server)
I think such crab should get removed from the server, because this may make possible players quit downloading other UMC's.
I believe they get a wrong idea about the quality of the Add-On campaigns.
I don't want to discourage new UMC authors, but I think there should be at least one playable / working (or existing at all) scenario, before a new campaign should be allowed to be on the server.
I really hope someone decides to delete those pseudo campaigns.
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SkyOne
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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by SkyOne » April 5th, 2013, 6:09 am

Unworkable campaigns should not be on the servers for sure, but unfortunately, it is possible to happen on the current system that anyone can update anything to the servers. At least, they don't make other campaigns unworkable, do they?

Anyway, why don't you ask a moderator to move this thread to Website Forum.
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Pentarctagon
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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by Pentarctagon » April 5th, 2013, 6:48 am

Moved.

Also just a reminder that a good way to get stuff moved is to report it as such.
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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by ancestral » April 5th, 2013, 5:01 pm

Perhaps the best solution is to contact the author and report the bug, but otherwise, there currently doesn’t exist a validation process, nor quality standards on submissions.

It certainly does expose real problem with the add-on server. I doubt there is a good short-term solution; I’m not aware of any precedent on non-working add-ons being taken down for reasons other than legal/copyright issues, or the author his/herself requesting it.
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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by GunChleoc » April 5th, 2013, 5:20 pm

Maybe submissions should be moderated? Of course, someone would have to do the moderating job then. :hmm:

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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by Dugi » April 5th, 2013, 5:36 pm

Removing add-ons that don't work might not be the best idea. Somebody might prepare a new version, then decide to do a small finishing touch just before uploading and forget to check it (this happened to me like two times, and I saw reports that it happened also to some other people), and one typo in tag or macro name might cause his add-on to be deleted (and if he was close to the top of the list on the server because he uploaded it early, this would really suck; also losing all downloads, that can be some kind of attestation of quality (or frequent uploading, but frequent uploading usually means that the author works on it)).

I think that it would be better if the server tried to preprocess all add-ons when they are uploading, and reject those that failed to preprocess (defining everything that would be defined normally and also the definitions defined in the campaign tag). This should make sure that people won't upload accidentally broken stuff, and it would not be a problem to delete add-ons that were intentionally created to do nothing and/or simply crash.

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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by Adamant14 » April 5th, 2013, 7:35 pm

SkyOne wrote:At least, they don't make other campaigns unworkable, do they?
That's not the problem, the problem is this gut put trash on the server.
Two "campaigns", both without any working scenario!
And I think no one of us want a download-server full of such "campaigns", right?
ancestral wrote:Perhaps the best solution is to contact the author and report the bug.
How can I contact the author, if he has no account here in the forums?
Dugi wrote:I think that it would be better if the server tried to preprocess all add-ons when they are uploading, and reject those that failed to preprocess (defining everything that would be defined normally and also the definitions defined in the campaign tag). This should make sure that people won't upload accidentally broken stuff, and it would not be a problem to delete add-ons that were intentionally created to do nothing and/or simply crash.
Very good idea. :)
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shadowm
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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by shadowm » April 5th, 2013, 8:32 pm

Dugi wrote:I think that it would be better if the server tried to preprocess all add-ons when they are uploading, and reject those that failed to preprocess (defining everything that would be defined normally and also the definitions defined in the campaign tag). This should make sure that people won't upload accidentally broken stuff, and it would not be a problem to delete add-ons that were intentionally created to do nothing and/or simply crash.
There are a few problems with this idea (and one in particular which I am not allowed to discuss in here until it is resolved), but the most outstanding one is that the add-ons server is neither multi-threaded nor the cleanest code base to work on. So, while I would normally say “patches welcome”, I should probably say “rewrite welcome”, but then again there’s someone else interested in a rewrite who just hasn’t had the time to work on it, plus the problem I cannot discuss in the public forums.

In general, in order for this to work safely and properly, the add-ons server process would have to launch a separate process for every upload under a very restricted environment and with a time limit to run in order to not interfere with other running tasks. A problem with this is that I can imagine a few larger add-ons (such as IftU and AtS) randomly failing those checks depending on the server workload at any given time.

Anyway...
Adamant14 wrote:
SkyOne wrote:At least, they don't make other campaigns unworkable, do they?
That's not the problem, the problem is this gut put trash on the server.
Two "campaigns", both without any working scenario!
Hey, even if it is the case, don’t you think calling them ‘trash’ might be a little rude? Who knows what really went on there, maybe the person accidentally uploaded test add-ons instead of what he or she actually wanted to upload!

In any case, I will handle this later. Future reports of non-working add-ons that ‘need’ to be deleted should be directed to the Administrators group via forum PM.
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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by Pentarctagon » April 5th, 2013, 9:24 pm

Perhaps whenever the person who wants to rewrite it gets around to it, they could add in the ability for certain add-ons to be disabled (greyed out and not downloadable), as an alternative to deleting broken add-ons?
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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by pyrophorus » April 6th, 2013, 5:45 am

Hi,
IMO, the solution could be to flag add-ons as complete/exprimental, and set a filter in the addon-list, allowing the user to get the full list or only the known-working add-ons.
This flag could be set manually by some trusted people testing the add-ons, spontaneously or when the author ask for it.
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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by Dugi » April 6th, 2013, 12:47 pm

It is not the best idea to divide add-ons to complete or experimental, an add-on with 12 scenarios complete and next chapters of the story coming soon may be better than a complete add-on with 4 scenarios in total (compare a complex RPG campaign Aranor: Book 1 with one of the short 4 scenarios long add-ons about a totally mainstream war with orcs that needed 10 times less times to spend on it).

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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by pyrophorus » April 6th, 2013, 1:50 pm

Dugi wrote:It is not the best idea to divide add-ons to complete or experimental...
The words are not important here. It's a matter to create a difference between really playable and enjoyable add-ons and others, whatever you want to call them.
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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by Dugi » April 6th, 2013, 2:18 pm

The word experimental is not the best to describe an add-on that is not playable due to essential features missing. Maybe 'stub' would be a better word, but as you said, the exact word to describe it is to be discussed after accepting this idea.

I think it would be better to let the players write reviews to add-ons right on the add-on server, allow the others to vote which review describes it the best and show the best rated reviews on the top of the list, and also to flag reviews as outdated and/or inappropriate and these would vanish after some time. It would need to be overseen by an admin with access to users' IP addresses and such stuff though, because it might be abused. This should prevent the players from accidentally downloading bad add-ons and getting deceived.

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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by Crow_T » April 6th, 2013, 6:52 pm

Just throwing this out there, would it be logical to be able to sort by the number of scenarios in a campaign, and/or have this displayed (I know Dugi likes this idea :P )? Or allow a rating system by the maker, from stub> playable but not complete (not all scenarios done) > complete but in progress ( all scenarios done but needs balancing, writing, etc.) > complete. You could phrase it as stub>alpha>beta>complete

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Re: Pseudo campaigns on the Add-Ons server

Post by bumbadadabum » April 7th, 2013, 11:05 am

Crow_T wrote:Or allow a rating system by the maker, from stub> playable but not complete (not all scenarios done) > complete but in progress ( all scenarios done but needs balancing, writing, etc.) > complete. You could phrase it as stub>alpha>beta>complete
This can already be done with version numbering.

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