Jump to content

350 posts in this topic Last Reply

Highlighted Posts

TMTS...That is a great post and really is the heart of what we are talking about...He doesn't play anymore because of the pain...that's sad. I hear you brother.

I think it might be important for us all to remember this EULA from maxis....without the BAT...no one can create models for the game.

http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?page=6

I think many people believe they are some sort of individual "painter", or similar....anyone can procure some canvas and paint. That is individual creation. 

Without these Maxis tools (with their rules) we couldn't create these assets and get them into the game. Maxis(gone)/EA has the rights, not the individual creators. The way I read it, Its not even legal for us to make a new render method according to lawyer types.

When someone creates... using maxis tools... some 3D coordinates, and some LODs and renders it..."It's MY personal work that I hold all rights to", even though I will upload it to a public site....I think this is a very extreme point of view.

Perhaps all future uploads have a disclaimer policy about this? At least we could have a "stop it" point for the future

Cheers, Tiger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've felt all along that the content should be community property in the freeware category. A simple change on all relevant sites stating this is the new policy and will take effect in 30 days would put most of this discussion to bed. Anyone who uploaded under the misguided idea they owned their stuff would be given time to pack up their marbles and go home. It would be as simple as writing something like: By uploading to our server you give express consent that your work becomes the property of the entire SC4 community. Anyone who modifies or uses your content is obligated to give credit to you as the original creator.

That's how I see my own content here. I realize I've not created anything substantial, but if someone wants to take one of my mods or my latest map or one of my shoppes and re-post them on another site that's fine by me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Handyman said:

TMTS I really like your ideas, the whole thing speaks to me. Well Done*:thumb:

I think what you describe is possible, on Linux, I don't know enough about windows to say. Either way it would be a huge undertaking, though It should mesh well with an apt type delivery system.

Well, if it can be done on Linux, I understand that it can be ported to Windows over Cygwin and Mac OS over Fink, so maybe one code could suffice. 

In any case, and while I feel that TSMS' proposal has the advantage of creating a full backup of the entire custom content collection available, it seems like a huge amount of data to download and store for every user. 

Yes, for us completationists it wouldn't be a huge change, but most users don't need to have 6 Gb of installed plugins nor 13 Gb of stored files. For them, this solution would still be to much load.

And while many people now have access to fast and unlimited Internet, many others, mainly on developing countries, still use mobile 'broadband' with slow connections and low caps on total traffic. Seeing how SC4 is becoming a more accessible alternative for users with less resources, I think we should shape the new solutions as convenient as they can be for them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, matias93 said:

Seeing how SC4 is becoming a more accessible alternative for users with less resources, I think we should shape the new solutions as convenient as they can be for them.

I agree, bandwidth has to be a consideration.

26 minutes ago, matias93 said:

In any case, and while I feel that TSMS' proposal has the advantage of creating a full backup of the entire custom content collection available, it seems like a huge amount of data to download and store for every user. 

Maybe a Lite Version?

One that doesn't backup the entire collection.

Maybe the Lite Version could work well with the Mod Packs concept?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys

A couple of months ago before my real life got a bit crazy I was talking to @Begabee about a program he had written called "SimCity Plugin Library" he very kindly give me pictures of the program in action and permission to post them over at CB Web so I could show @twalsh102 them, they are in a private group and @matias93 seeing you have an account over at CB Web I've given you permission to access the group, you want to look at this document

https://www.city-builders.info/cb-community/groups/groups/68-sc4lot-propcatalog/apps/30-announcements/item/31

you will see them, hopefully @Begabee would be ok with showing them here as well, alway assuming he's ok with other people seeing his program.

-catty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

8 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

Anyone who uploaded under the misguided idea they owned their stuff would be given time to pack up their marbles and go home.

I'm afraid the natural state is authorship. Copyright is a deduction from authorship but not ownership. And therefore what's called 'ownership' here (authorship) doesn't exist by declaration or contract and can't be taken away by declaration or contract. This is relevant f.e. regarding posts with offending content. It doesn't help you say it is public property or community property and therefore author isn't responsible. You could use the label 'community content' to protect all kind of incitement of the people (there was a discussion about this in germany when Hitlers book, "Mein Kampf" became public domain in 2016, 70 years after it was written). Won't work this way. Ownership isn't a question of will/declaration. To state something is public property doesn't affect ownership. On many public property state is the owner. But there can also be private owners of public property.

Article 6 of the Berne Convention (international copyright agreement) says:

(1) Independently of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation.

(2) The rights granted to the author in accordance with the preceding paragraph shall, after his death, be maintained, at least until the expiry of the economic rights, and shall be exercisable by the persons or institutions authorized by the legislation of the country where protection is claimed. However, those countries whose legislation, at the moment of their ratification of or accession to this Act, does not provide for the protection after the death of the author of all the rights set out in the preceding paragraph may provide that some of these rights may, after his death, cease to be maintained.

 

 

So law forsees to separate the copyright - the rights about money, selling and purchasing - and a 'natural right' of ownership, that can't be sold the same way and even extends the life of the creator. Also important to understand that copyright applies on 'works' only - not on files f.e. And one had to understand what the difference is between 'artistic work' and files. Files generated by PIM-X f.e. may contain no artistic work at all and therefore aren't protected by copyright at all. Mostly laws talk about 'authorship' not 'ownership' As on files - that's owner ship, like you own a car or a T-shirt. But copyright applies on work that might be included in those files and those work is owned in a different way, one could say:  owned by authorship. You can't buy authorship and you can't sell it. And you can't change it by declaration.

Maybe this example helps - if you buy the copyrights of the Harry Potter Books and you resell them. At a certain point you don't like how the story ends and you rewrite the end of the story. As you own the rights you think, you can do that. Instead the authors rights on his work didn't change with purchasing the copyright. J. K. Rowling will forbid you to change her ending and she will win in court. And even if she wanted - she can't give away authorship. It's no right you can take or give. 

US-law says a work exists as soon you put your idear in a form and so does authorship. Berne Convention is a little different on this and apply on works as soon as they are 'published'.  You must settle autorship on a level with human rights, a very fundamental right every human being has, part of his dignity. It can't be negotiated like copyrights can.

 

But again - as long as we don't touch authorship (ownership respective copyright) and the work contained in the files - we are fine to reorganize and rebuild data. Imho - there is no violation of law. It's to understand what 'work' (the legal term) means regarding SC4 custom content. I think most of the missunderstandings are a result of a confusion between 'files' and 'work'. As f.e. a picture posted by @korver- these are oviously artistic works. If the picture was hosted here and site owner decides to move it to another section or group it together with other pictures for a special showcase, even if he would change it from jpg into another file format - all this wouldn't change the work itself. So all this doesn't touch copyright at all. As - again - copyright protects the artistic work, not the files.

This must be separated from the economic aspects of selling and reselling, the distribution part of copyright - that's another story, especially on free content. On free content it's difficult to create a case if there is no economic loss. Here it's more an ethical question - how to respect the authors wishes. But solution can't be compulsory acquisition - as this simply doesn't work on authorship. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, double post, but this isn't really related to the previous one :

@catty-cb thanks! I checked the document, and it looks promising. I'm any case, that would be of use server - side, to build the needed unified catalog, once complete (or up to day) it should be made accessible to end users via web, associating its entries to the corresponding repositories' links. 

Even if Begabee isn't available to get the functioning program, the categories are good enough to reconstruct a fair part of the work, so that's one less thing to deliberate about abstractly :D

* * *

I also checked once more on the APT system, and found a neat step-by-step guide on how to build a debian package and a repository to make it available to the public. 

https://blog.heckel.xyz/2015/10/18/how-to-create-debian-package-and-debian-repository/

The guide is so close to what we want that following it we could even build completely functional MODPACCs for Wine-based installations of SC4, simply working over the existing APT. The problem then would be to repurpose this for the huge majority of SC4 users, that play over Windows (as signalled before, porting from Linux to Mac is relatively easily done via Fink). 

An option would be to use Cygwin or a similar tool to make the APT applications to run over Windows and to devise a method to make them detect the OS and correct the installing adresses. Another, much more complex option, is to make a fork of APT and eventually one of its frontends (f. e. Synaptic) and to make it installable over Windows (several applications do that, apparently over a Qt port). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

apt should be easily adaptable.

It's a simply amazing package manager....there is a reason most of the Unix world has changed over to it.  

 

Pros:  It already deals with compressed files,  it runs scripts so it can do whatever you want there, it is adaptable to GUI setups

Cons:  It runs on Linux.  Windows 10 can run bash scripts.....old windows are a no-go.  That would have to be powershell, and I'm not even certain end-user variants of Windows have powershell.   If not, you are strictly limited to old-school BAT files or somebody writing programs for each package....or coming up with a way to run a bash script on older versions of windows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. I found that there exists apt-cyg, which is designed to run on Windows (using Cygwin binaries, obviously). Now I'm looking on forums for an answer on of apt-cyg can install files on Windows' documents folder. If it's possible, most of the technical problems would be resolved. 

We would still need to recategorise the custom content and to package it adequately to build a repository. That surely is tedious but not complicated. 

Edit: wait, this is even better : https://chocolatey.org/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On July 12, 2017 at 10:56 PM, Haljackey said:

 

Summarizing what's been stated in this thread so far, here's a general direction we seem to be going:

-A 'starter pack' or 'themed packs' seems to be a much more popular option than having multiple users share their own plugins pack

-A group of members should be set up to decide what would ultimately be in these packs. They would also do testing to make sure everything plays nice with each other and provide documentation. Credit for the creators could be given here in good faith.

-These packs would not be uploaded by any one member, but instead by a staff member or special group account. If the pack has a significant file size, an admin or the webmaster could do it OR we could find a host offsite to upload it. (Example being ModDB for the NAM)

 

I'd like to suggest that we start with the basics and form a foundation to build upon. My ultimate goal would be to see a starter pack that contains bug fixes, some of the community's highest rated and most popular content, and a building variety similar to the styles SimCity 4 has in it's vanilla versions.

-If this data could be packed into an installer with a checklist of what the user wants to install, that would be even better!

-----

Don't get me wrong, this is going to require a lot of work, and the community will need to work close together to get this done. But in the end I think I think we can pull this off if we put our minds to it, and we'll all be better off knowing that this project will have a huge net-positive boost for the city-building genre as a whole. It shows we care about this kind of stuff.

We can do it! You can do it!

 

That's a nice sum up, yes. The question is now who'll be part of that team. I think we can agree that some of the members have to have responsibility in both ST and SC4D, for practical reasons.

 

23 hours ago, matias93 said:

It's certainly an important part of what has to be done. An option is to use the STEX tags to create categories, something that the APT system also does, but to be useful, they also should be standarised across the different exchanges. That task doesn't seem too difficult, but requires some thought, and surely its own thread (I think there is one somewhere). 

Considering that most of what is ahead in terms of implementation are things that other software distribution systems have already confronted and resolved, I think the best option is to study those systems, reducing the scope of trial and error. 

 

Using tags for categories has already been discussed here (includes a list of tags in the link). How far was it implemented, I don't really know.

 

========

On July 13, 2017 at 1:30 AM, catty-cb said:

... xannapan give me a snowman lot to try out, if you plopped it in your city it started snowing in the area of the snowman ... spread them around and your whole city was having a snow storm always assuming your computer didn't melt ... the lot was really small and in one of my cities it always snows in one corner cos I lost the lot in a built-up area and I didn't want to delete everything to find it again

 

Interesting! I guess that's what would have become the JUPITER weather controller! I use it in most of my cities ;)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think anything other than windows is a no go. There is no way someone like me is going to learn how to run Linux/Unix systems...I would NEVER do that. I know you windows haters think I'm crazy....But I know I'm not alone.

Learning that seems as hard as doing the plugins the hard way. Running new OS's is not a "easy" path for "new/returning" users of SC4.

This is the point of our discussion here. How do we make this EASY for users. This is how we can extend the life of our wonderful community. The tech talk blows away someone who is not going into the reader to fix "balance, etc" of their content.

That's a lost player...what we need to fix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is more complex than we think. I love to see everyone sharing there folder and give sc4 a boost. But on the other hand this is why Simtropolis is also still up and running. Cause here is the community we need this site to upload and share the uploaded files 

I dont care if someone share my created stuff. I love to see mine stuff is being used. I think if we change rules that everything can be shared else were Simtropolis and Devotions isnt so attrective anymore. We have a reason to come here...

I dont care about the creater content rules we all have the same mission to build the best city and keep the inactive stuff uploaded agaain. If there were megapacks uploaded it must be download from the server here of sc4dev.

So some creators who are active can give permissions or dont. Other who arnt active anymore need to accept the new policy so it can be shared.

I just hope to see this community is still up for the next 25 years

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, FlyHigh said:

.....Interesting! I guess that's what would have become the JUPITER weather controller! I use it in most of my cities ;)

I've had "frosty" since Jan 2012  :read:

15 minutes ago, tigerbuilder said:

I think anything other than windows is a no go. There is no way someone like me is going to learn how to run Linux/Unix systems...I would NEVER do that. I know you windows haters think I'm crazy....But I know I'm not alone.....

I went over to Linux Mint last year, pretty much no learning curve involved as its been designed very much with Microsoft players in mind, but there are some differences, so yes you have to want to make the change etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, tigerbuilder said:

There is no way someone like me is going to learn how to run Linux/Unix systems...

If I understand that part of the convo it's not what the final users of the mod packs need to know.

The Linux talk is about how the gurus behind the scene can use a tool in Linux to make the easy to use updater or file getter and installer or such. That created program or script or whatever it is can be converted for use on a Mac or a Windoze comp. So, only the behind the scenes peeps would be doing the bashing around. The new or returning player would just have to click stuff in any of the three major OS's. They wouldn't even care what tools were used to make it happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

If I understand that part of the convo it's not what the final users of the mod packs need to know.

The Linux talk is about how the gurus behind the scene can use a tool in Linux to make the easy to use updater or file getter and installer or such. That created program or script or whatever it is can be converted for use on a Mac or a Windoze comp. So, only the behind the scenes peeps would be doing the bashing around. The new or returning player would just have to click stuff in any of the three major OS's. They wouldn't even care what tools were used to make it happen.

Precisely that's what I was trying to write down when my phone went out of battery :(

All the linux and APT craziness will happen behind the scenery, and the end users will just need to either click on buttons, or in the worst case, to copy and paste text lines to be run on a command line window. The installed software and the server-side configuration will do the trick, and recognise those commands as the equivalent to the user downloading and installing manually hundreds or thousands of plugins at the same time, doing that work *automagically*. 

The difficulty on this won't be much bigger than the one now demanded to end-users when recommended to use the DATpacker or the Cleanitol; both tools have internal processes that are far more complicated than they look, but no end-user is asked to learn python to use them; for them is only to select and click.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like @TMTS' idea of bundling the starter packs for sale  for a nominal amount.

This is something both sites could potentially be on board with in addition to the CD/donation.

Obviously for the starter packs you could split them into multiple categories of content that is either tried and tested to work as described by the original author, or work that has been re-engineered to work correctly. Of course the first pack is the bug-fixes (as already mentioned) and then you expand from there: eg low density res/com/ind etc, etc.

In respect to the copyright laws (ugggh :dead:) the one thing that keeps on being overlooked is that the copyright (and let's be clear that this is only where financials and/or reputation that can have a deleterious financial impact upon the author) is limited by the First Sale Doctrine: i.e. to use the book example again, once a book has been sold at the book-shop (ie the first sale), the copyright holder hasn't any say what happens to that copy after that in respect of redistribution. If you've purchased the book, you can throw it away, lend it to a friend, burn it or sell at a garage sale, 2nd hand book store etc. You can't, however photocopy it and sell the photocopy. Nor of course could you alter the ending in your photocopied version.

Now how that applies to SC4 content (and really it doesn't) is that once I, as a creator, have uploaded the files, I have no control over them. And that is in addition to all of my rights having been eviscerated by various EULAs and real copyrights (as opposed to community values) along the way. If a community member takes a file of mine and alters the lot or the stats of the lot and uploads it elsewhere, then there is no recourse: it is freeware and it is entirely legal and permissible - I don't own the SC4.lot, even though I decorated & modded it.

That said, it is slightly different if someone takes the BAT file I made, extracts the individual .FSH files, paints it all bright pink and re-inserts them and then re-uploads it; that is an authorship infringement, but we aren't talking about that.

Which is why I think rather than trying to automate scripts to populate starter packs (and then try and deal with technical limitations of either the scripts, the software, the sites, the various OS or the users) we should simply package up a lot of these starter packs with content that the community believes is balanced and represents something that new players would want to have. Of course the items would still be available to download freely, but any file that has been included in one of these starter packs could be tagged with a clause that states that it was included in starter pack No X, and was either modified to fix buggy stats or unmodified. This way, the work involved by the community at least returns a few bucks to the coffers of the website - which after all - is as important as custom content in keeping our community alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Ernestmaxis said:

I dont care if someone share my created stuff. I love to see mine stuff is being used. I think if we change rules that everything can be shared else were Simtropolis and Devotions isnt so attrective anymore. We have a reason to come here...

Most of the creators have certain field of operation, some do lots, some do bats, some make cows and so on. Mostly, if you find one or two things you like from an author, you can browse for the rest of his stuff. @Jasoncw somewhere long above wrote that he wouldn't feel comfortable with mixed packs being some kind of compilation like some 'greatest hits of all times'. And I agree with him that it would create a mainstream - that such compilations always can only reflect a certain taste, mostly a common taste and authors doing not so common stuff may become background.

To me content creators - they are some kind of popstars, they compose and perform. And to be a fan for some of them, to become a fan - to see in the development threads what will come up next, to say - wow, this will become the next no. one hit, to be disappointed because instead of good old rock 'n roll he does a romantic tune next - all this, the close contact between fans and creators, makes up the community much more instead of automated charts and well organized playlists. 

I'm no big fan of the idear to make this more anonymiously. To turn my popstars into manufacturers.  They mostly have thoughts about their creations and on the download page, there might be a functional part, but there are often also thoughts - why he/she made this, what were the thoughts behind the creation, a story to tell, historic information.

I personally think this community consists of more than just files to download. To me custom content often shows personality and it reflects the personality of a creator.  I'm afraid - to turn the relationship between user and creator into some apparatus, a mere technical relationship, won't help the community. 

So to me - what is called an ethical task - to respect the authors 'ownership' - to me is a social task, to keep the relationship between the mind behind the stuff, f.e. to keep remembrance of people who passed away - and their creation still to be here so to honour and remember them. Some of the stuff became some sort of memorial. Anonymous memorials don't make much sense. Historic artefacts torn out of context don't make much sense.

I wrote earlier - it's a little bit sad to see 'respect' only from a legal point of view. The legal point of view is the less important imho. It's how to deal with art, with brillant minds, with people who put effort in creating things.

I don't want to be missunderstood about this. This is no argument against the project of reorganizing. It's just a reminder that buttons to click for an uncomplicated, easy use don't make up a community and won't be the key to keep it alive. 

On this I used the analogy with a museum. With the community growing older - there arises a new task to care about content. Like excavation, collecting, research, restoration, presentation, documentation etc. 

Now it seems to me this is taking another direction. Well, yes, but maybe it's trendy to replace relationships with algorithms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do agree with @Fantozzi's sentiments, that's why I think a paid, compiled starter pack could work:

How it might look - after the essential bug-fixes, let's say the community decides the first packs might be growable low density/low wealth starter pack of various houses/commercials/industrials.

The community decides that the following authors are contenders: eg: Madhatter, Simgoober, JMeyers, JBSimio, Spa, etc, etc, who have all made content in this space that is generally bug-free and works as intended. Only one author is active, so unless Madhatter expressly said that we couldn't use his stuff, the starter pack would .dat pack a selection (not all) of those files in that category from the authors - one .dat per author so that it is clear whose files belong to who - and the readme would list the author and a link to their work.

In the description of each STEX file that was included in the .dat, a small moderator comment could be added that stated "This file has been added to starter pack #X" so that people wouldn't end up with duplicates. No dependencies would be included in the .dat, just a link on where to get them. That takes care of the bug-free files.

Now the trickier part - for the sake of the argument, let's say years ago I also made a whole lot of low-wealth commercials that didn't work, they grew on blank lots, brown boxes, crashed the game, used obscure dependencies from defunct korean fan-sites, etc, but the community really liked the way they were batted, and/or they are amongst the only custom content in a certain category. In that case, you would take the bat and get a competent lot-maker to re-mod and re-lot it to be included in a .dat (assuming that you enlist a competent lot maker who could be bothered to re-do other people's stuff) and then on the original file, a moderator leaves a note "This file has been modified/corrected and added to starter pack #X". This would take care of older content that just doesn't function correctly. Despite altering the .desc and .lot file of the creators work (which Maxis has the copyright of anyway), I can't see that this would pose a problem. Apart from the April 1 Nuclear Starbucks series, no creator wants their files to deliberately not work, it is just that a lot of the older creators simply didn't have access to all the tools and knowledge that has been built up today.

I believe that this would make a small fee worthwhile for a starter pack - and ensures the ongoing viability of the website - and gives life to some otherwise dusty work.

The starter packs shouldn't be all-inclusive in each category; it should just whet the appetite of the player to take a step into custom content and give the site a few $ in return.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been discussing this a little bit on one of our senior staff boards at SC4D, and vortext, one of our Global Moderators, suggested offering the packs with a prompt for an optional donation (minimum of $0)--basically, the Radiohead In Rainbows model. 

While the MODPACCs (yes, I'm all in on that acronym) certainly don't need to be all-inclusive--that's beyond the scope--I would think that dependencies would need to be included, as the idea here--at least as I understand it--is to lower the barrier to entry, and beat the seedy underbelly types at their own game.  The way we do that is with self-contained, plug-and-play sets that, unlike theirs, are above the board, clean, and tested.  The use of a set folder structure will prevent duplicates from being installed, though it wouldn't inherently stop some redundancy in the packages themselves in their initially downloaded form. 

If that redundancy deemed to be sufficiently undesirable, there is the option of creating a single, combined dependency, containing all the ones shared in common between the different packs.  I don't think a single dependency would be a bridge that the potential userbase of the MODPACCs would be unwilling to cross.  As this is all in the stage of hypotheticals still, we'd probably actually have to produce some internal prototypes in order to really determine the best way forward.

Additionally, I think this thread is worth discussing in this context.

Of course, if server-side dependency tracker coverage expands, or the client-side scripting ideas that have recently been discussed take off, we may be looking at something else entirely at that point.

-Tarkus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, mattb325 said:

In respect to the copyright laws (ugggh :dead:) the one thing that keeps on being overlooked is that the copyright (and let's be clear that this is only where financials and/or reputation that can have a deleterious financial impact upon the author) is limited by the First Sale Doctrine:

Copyright law is one of the most exiting areas of the law! Now, if I remember correctly, "first sale" generally applies to tangible objects in the US and that the resale of digital goods -- the transfer of a file -- constitutes unauthorised reproduction. In contrast, in Europe UsedSoft v Oracle was a major case which upheld the right to the resale / transfer of digital goods (i.e. the transfer of the licence to use the software).

Thus, in America it is technically illegal to pass on your files (i.e. redistribution is unauthorised redistribution), while in Europe I can pass on (redistribute) my single copy of your BAT file to one person, provided I do not have access to it any longer (after redistribution). This is because your copyright to your creative work is very real, whether you believe so yourself or not: The BAT is your creative work, which is protected, and the lot on which you place the BAT is your creative work, as well.

---

Now, on the broader issue of starter packs / thematic packs, etc., I wholeheartedly support that. Especially in the light of the fact that there are now so many consistent related lots, e.g. New York buildings, Parisian buildings, IRM,  seaports, airports and so on, it only makes sense to bundle these rather than requiring individual binge-downloading of them. However, two problems: Taking someone elses work infringes on the creator -- the rightholders' -- authorship rights; selling it, for whatever amount, infringes on their financial rights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They working on it - but a european copyright doesn't exist. Soon, maybe in 100 years. You know, it's Europe.

Doesn't matter it wouldn't apply here the same as US law wouldn't apply. Imho you'd had to look at Berne Convention first - as it's the international copyright agreement most of the countries signed we're coming from.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the legal talk...

I am pretty sure if it comes down to it Electronic Arts OWNS all the content ever created with their tools and file types. In no way are you allowed to own it or profit from their work.

Cheers, Tiger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, mattb325 said:

... the starter pack would .dat pack a selection (not all) of those files in that category from the authors - one .dat per author ...

I agree within the context of what you were saying such that each author gets credit for their work.

I'm commenting on a separate aspect of this concept. I personally would like the packs to be simply zipped up and not dat packed. This then gives me the ability to remove or tweak specific ones. For instance, my playing style is I don't care about money in the game so I use the radical choice of Paeng's Age Degradation Mod which is fine for the Maxis stuff. However, I also use the 1x1 electrical substation from DK1 Power Plant(s) pack. It is created in line with the Maxis plants with regard to life expectancy. No problem for me cause I just edit one variable of it and now it lasts forever. If that were included in a dat packed Modpacc, I couldn't get to it to adjust it to my taste.

I feel the content should be nicely organized, but not smooshed into multi-item .dat files. Leave the dat packing to the end user if they so chose. Or offer the packs both ways. Or at the very minimum, offer the complete clickable linkys to the individual contents for the oddball peeps like me who can't leave well enough alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tiger, I share your intuition: if we raise the legal topic, we'll surely end finding that EA is the owner of everything created, even if they hadn't done anything to create it. As there is a comfortable legal statu quo, we shouldn't try to alterate it, but to play nice to it, and accomodate our solutions to what can be done on those standards. This, as Fantozzi says, has nothing to do with the due moral aknowlegdement and respect for communitarian rules, that operate independently.

I'm also with Fantozzi on worrying that automating and straightforwarding the installation process could reduce the incentives to tinker with the custom content. What keeps this community alive isn't just people playing, but people actively engaging on the continuous upgrading of the game contents.

That's why I'm advancing a proposal for a modular system, able to automate and ease the downloading and installing, but keeping all the sources open for users to modify and change. To give a simple example, I would prefer a method that installs non-DATpacked versions of the plugins and prompts the user to DATpack, making transparent where each element is on each folder, and keeping them easy to access and alter. It's something that Doc Rorlach's DIC indeed does, saving an uncompressed copy of the plugins folder to be always able to modify what's DATpacked.

It's the same with dependencies. The APT system (and it's Windows versions, Chocolatey, apt-cyg, NuGet, etc.) all respect the same modular principle: deliver the most simple and disgregated possible packages, link everything as a dependency and let the user to have the ultimate decision to what to install, always providing the optimal setup as the default one.

So, as a mock-up, if the MODPACC would work like APT, we would see something like this (using @T Wrecks last relot as an example):

#on the simtropolis repository, we would have called it sc4-irm-h2ochemistry

#the user types (or pastes from the web):

modpacc install sc4-irm-h2ochemistry #if we do an application called modpacc
#or
choco install sc4-irm-h2ochemistry #if we use, for example, chocolatey as the application

#either way, it would display what is going to be downloaded

MODPACC will install sc4-irm-h2ochemistry on D:\\docs\Simcity 4\Plugins\ (default directory), 
  you can change it using -folder
  
#as the packages would include a declaration of their dependencies, the application can find and 
#offer to install them automatically

sc4-irm-h2ochemistry has dependencies, they will be automatically installed: sc4-irm-basepack 
sc4-matheman-h2ochemistry sc4-bscprops-jestarr1 sc4-bscprops-jestarr2 sc4-bscprops-jestarr3 
sc4-bscprops-jestarr5 sc4-bscprops-jestarr8 sc4-bscprops-sg1 sc4-bscprops-gascooker1 
sc4-bscprops-dae1 sc4-bscprops-cp1 sc4-bsctex1 sc4-bsctex2 sc4-bsctex3 sc4-ncd-railmegapack
If you dont want to get dependencies installed, you can change it using -only

#also, the application can look for recommended packages, including cascading ones (as the PEG MTP 
#superpack in this case)

The package reccomends sc4-irm-id-addon1 sc4-irm-im-addon1 sc4-irm-id-filler1 sc4-irm-im-filler1 
sc4-irm-iht-filler1 sc4-heretic-irm-diagfillers sc4-irm-logisticfiller sc4-peg-mtpsuperpack 
Do you want to install them? [y] Yes [n] No (default=yes)

#we accept the default settings and launch the installer

Downloading sc4-irm-h2ochemistry v.1.0.0 from http://stexrepo.simtropolis.com/ 171.67 kiB 100%
Downloading sc4-irm-basepack v.1.1.0 from http://stexrepo.simtropolis.com/ 8.53 MiB 100%
[...]
Downloading sc4-matheman-h2ochemistry from http://repo.simcityplaza.de/ 435.69 kiB 100% 
  #it can download from different sources
[...]
Downloading sc4-ncd-railmegapack...
MODPACC detected that sc4-nam-rrw is installed, replacing sc4-ncd-railmegapack with 
sc4-rrw-ncdtexture-update 
  #and looking at the list of installed packages, can detect conflicts and superseedings
Downloading sc4-rrw-ncdtexture-update v.1.0.0 from http://lex.sc4devotion.com/ 3.37 MiB 100%
[...]
Decompressing sc4-irm-h2ochemistry on 
D:\\docs\Simcity 4\Plugins\IRM\IRM Expansion\I-HT SFBT H2O Chemistry (OM)\... 4 files decompressed
[...]
  
MODPACC sucessfully installed sc4-irm-h2ochemistry and its dependencies on your computer.

Do you want to DATpack your Plugins folder? [y] Yes [n] No (default=no)

As you can see, the process is almost fully automated but the user has tight control over it, and gets to know where to look if wanting to change things. With a graphic interface it would be the same, but nicer...


  Edited by matias93  

carriage returns

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, matias93 said:

I would prefer a method that installs non-DATpacked versions of the plugins and prompts the user to DATpack,

Lovely! I was just saying this at the same time you were typing your reply. *:thumb:

 

And the scripted install is looking more and more like a very good way forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

Lovely! I was just saying this at the same time you were typing your reply. *:thumb:

 

And the scripted install is looking more and more like a very good way forward.

As I said, it's none of my creation, the DIC accustomed me to it and its a very smart approach for servicing the installation.

Two things I left out of the example for lack of a more complete case:

1. Proper ModPacks, which are called metapackages on APT. So for example, if I want to get all the Industrial Revolution Mod installed, I would be able to run

modpacc install sc4-irm-full

which is an empty package with all the IRM packages signalled as dependencies

MzGYE.png

2. Configurable installations: Many relatively complex mods have options; some of them, as the driving side, are better to left unattended (so the application checks the language file used by the game and installs RHD or LHD accordingly), but some others, like cosmetic textures, should be selected by the user.

APT uses a command-line dialog to ask the user (see thumbnail at the right), but NSIS installers (as the ones done by @rsc204) are more clear and friendly, so we should try to strike a balance of useability and ease of programming there. 

EDIT: and a third one, updating and upgrading!

APT has this two neat functions, that respectively check for updates on the repositories (finding new packages and changes on existing ones), and installing new versions of already installed packages. So, for example, I was using the RUM for RRW like 6 months without updating it, and had the annoying maxis textures on all viaduct curves. With the MODPACC, it would have been as easy as:

#entering
modpacc update

MODPACC is checking for changes on the registered repositories:

http://stexrepo.simtropolis.com/ ... 5 new packages and 1 updated package
http://lex.sc4devotion.com/ ... 3 new packages and 1 updated package
[...]
There are upgradeable packages installed. To upgrade them, run modpacc upgrade

modpacc upgrade

The following packages can be upgraded:
  sc4-rum-rrw (you have version 2.0.0, last available version 4.0.0)
  
Do you want to upgrade? [y] yes, [n] no (default yes)

[...]

 


  Edited by matias93  

updating and upgrading

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an Account  

Sign up to join our friendly community. It's easy!  

Register a New Account

Sign In  

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Similar Content

    • By Tyberius06
      Hi everybody!
      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)
      NYBT\
      Darknono35\
      Olympic Tower\
      lots, models, descs, other subfolders
       
      Heretic Projects\
      Slope Side Walls\
      lots etc…
       
      Simmer2\
      Props\
      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.)
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Thank You for the Continued Support!

Simtropolis relies mainly on member donations to continue operating. Without your support, we just would not be able to be entering our 15th year online!  You've really help make this a great community.

But we still need your support to stay online. If you're able to, please consider a donation to help us stay up and running, so that we can help keep bringing SimCity players together to share our creations.

Make a Donation, Get a Gift!

Expand your city with the best from the Simtropolis Echange.
Make a donation and get one or all three discs today!

stexcollection-header.png

By way of a "Thank You" gift, we'd like to send you our STEX Collector's DVD. It's some of the best buildings, lots, maps and mods collected for you over the years. Check out the STEX Collections for more info.

Each donation helps keep Simtropolis online, open and free!

Thank you for reading and enjoy the site!

More About STEX Collections