I start this topic as a general discussion and brainstorming thread regarding that I started to work (besides my general lotting stuffs which is running under the Heretic Projects name) on some much administrative-ish side projects on both Simtropolis/STEX and on the LEX.
You may read this announcement from @CorinaMarie about my involvement to helping the STEX Team's work and make a little house keeping work. Also almost at the same time there a discussion was started in the Sharing Plugins Folders - Discussion topic about helping the SC4 Devotion staffs' work and making the files on the LEX more user friendly. Regarding the files on LEX, I started to extract the files from the exe installers and placing them under their given folder structure. I call this process "de-installerizing".
At some point on the LEX the uploads will get an update following the new system. Also the provided readmes will get an update regarding the dependency links.
On the STEX as the announcement states, I started to work on Paeng's files, first I tend to upload the still unavailable files with readmes and proper folder structures. After that I'll go through his already uploaded files and update them with a proper folder structure. And this is step one.
As you may know there are thousands of files on the exchanges without proper folder structures and with the Installation advice to copy the content of the zip into the plugin folder, which means (most of the times) in the lack of folder structure, that you get a bunch of model and lot files in a confusing order into the root of your plugin folder, which can't really be identified later, if you want to get the rid of it some of them. So that's why I'm following a pretty straight forward folder structure system (if you downloaded either one of my uploads, or my Paeng uploads you did see that) for easier access for the players.
In the future I plan to do the same treatment on as much files on STEX as much I can. In all cases the original uploads will be intact, I won't change anything they will stay there as they are, but there will be a second option. The most common example of this process what the Staff used in the case of Nob's Ftexture. The STEX contained an outdated version of the file, and basically most of the people didn't know that they not necessarily have to go to the SimCity 4 China page to get this file, because it was already on the STEX. So the original upload were left intact on the STEX and got two updated version: one was the original latest version from SC4 China and one was from myself providing a more user friendly approach with a proper folder structure.
Now to get to the point after this long introduction. I would like to hear/read your opinion about my planned/suggested folder structure. I use the same method for myself with my uploads (and during while I'm organizing my plugins back-up on my HDD). The idea would be if you, guys and girls, ladies and gentlemen are up for it, to make a more or less unified and universal folder structure system for the users/players and we, as custom content creators would be following this system.
So let's see what I'm talking about. The folder/subfolder structure what I use is the following (it's just an example) inside the UPLOADED CUSTOM CONTENT.ZIP:
Team Name folder \
(if there is a team)
Creator's Name folder\
Content Name folder\
Actual content (it can contain other subfolders)
lots, models, descs, other subfolders
Slope Side Walls\
SM2 Prop Pack vol.1
In practice this would mean a folder hierarchy which collects the similar contents in the player's active plugin folder under the same name. The red marked cells mean the actual folder which goes to the root of the player plugin folder. So if one is playing with NYBT plugins from multiple creators, in ones plugin folder there is a NYBT folder which collects all the NYBT's plugins, than the next level is the Creator folder which collects all the NYBT plugins from one Creator (in the above case this is Darknono, but another case it could be Aaron Graham too) etc… If one is playing with my stuffs, that means all my stuff is collected under the Heretic Project name. In the case of Paeng's recently uploaded plugins (by me), the main folder is the Paeng which goes to the root of the plugin folder.
In every case the possible documentations (like readme and pictures) are taking place outside this main folder – they can go into a Documentations or Readme or any other folder, or they can directly take place into the zip, but outside of the main (Team Name or Creator Name) folder, so when the player is following the instructions and copying the contents of the zip or unzip the plugins into the plugin folder, than these additional and from the point of view of the game itself really useless files won't go into the plugin folder directly or they will be in the root, where they can be found and deleted easily.
So I'm asking your opinion about this kind of folder hierarchy organization, and as a custom content creator would you consider to use it in your uploads? (Nonetheless it would be a huge help in my work with on both STEX and LEX because as I said in the introduction, I'm about to do this process with the already released older stuffs.)
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