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Revisiting Prop Pox and Prop Theory

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1 hour ago, monkeywater said:
On 19/01/2018 at 1:01 PM, simmaster07 said:

will probably cause memory to leak when you save the game.


According to one definition, it's related to system memory:


Memory Leak

"A bug in a program that prevents it from freeing up memory that it no longer needs. As a result, the program grabs more and more memory until it finally crashes because there is no more memory left."

Source: https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/M/memory_leak.html


But seeing as @simmaster07 has patched up the leaks in the 1.0.7 stable release of SC4Fix, it's no longer a cause for concern. This updated DLL still contains the aforementioned fix for Prop Pox, just is no longer deemed an "experimental" version release recommended for testing only.

As explained here:

On 21/01/2018 at 5:21 AM, simmaster07 said:

Thanks for the feedback and kind words, everyone. I just fixed the experimental DLL leaking memory on every save — it was a small amount, maybe 1-2MB each time, but I wanted to fix it before marking this as stable.


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1 hour ago, RandyE said:

Actually I stand corrected it was known a bit longer than 2 years ago, and its about as simple as programming an introductory 'hello world' program in BASIC.



Well, well, well, either they exploited the name or this is where pop pox buddy moved on to.   I think 'pop' pox is an appropriate typo, but just to be a stickler for accuracy, that is, 'prop pox'.

Well I'm not really sure what you mean when you say it was "already known," but Simpeg has been down for several years now (see link) and I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at.

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A DAT file won't fix Prop Pox since fixing Prop Pox requires writing new game code (in C++) to fix the problem. A DAT file can't contain executable code except in very few rare circumstances (Even then, they're still DLL files, they're just inside a DAT). DATs can contain LUA scripts, but LUA can't fix Prop Pox.

I would go over the extensive history regarding Pegasus and Prop Pox, but it involved inter-site drama. IIRC, that's not permitted on here.

Suffice it to say, Pegasus did absolutely nothing to prevent Prop Pox and made no effort to fix it or prevent its spread.


Still, it's awesome that it's now fixed!

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2 hours ago, jdenm8 said:

A DAT file can't contain executable code except in very few rare circumstances (Even then, they're still DLL files, they're just inside a DAT).

The wording above is a bit confusing if not intentionally.  The SC4 community and the freeware generated within it is reliable within reasonable standards as can be expected on public network media, and sometimes even exceptionally, but to keep it clear for those who are not very experienced with using freeware or open source,

Loading a DLL can be a high security risk, and that's important to know, again caution should always be taken when approaching the use of any software, especially freeware

Normally a community of gamer/hackers would be exceedingly 'protective' of member's/user's free and safe use of their hobby work.   Its part of the 'honor' system that ST and the SC4 community operates by.   As for Pegasus, and the reason for abandoning the problem,

2 hours ago, jdenm8 said:

Pegasus did absolutely nothing to prevent Prop Pox and made no effort to fix it or prevent its spread

That may be true, but there may be mitigating circumstances by which the project had to be abandoned. 

2 hours ago, jdenm8 said:

Still, it's awesome that it's now fixed!

It seems so.  I often wondered why I never encountered prop pox.  I have used a wide variety and volume of user created content, including PEGPROD over 2 years and never a hint of anything akin to prop pox.


Just to make it clear that my assertion regarding prop pox is that it has been a known as to what the process is for quite awhile.  A fix for it may not have been developed until now.  If the fix requires loading a DLL then so it is, and so the community will ensure its healthy reputation.

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Where was I the last few days that I missed this? 

Absolutely incredible. Nothing short of amazing. I'm not sure how Peg would feel about this but I feel a bit sad he's not around to hear that regardless of whether he thought his files were responsible for the problem, it's now been fixed for good!

Anyways, thanks so much for this. I've never had prop pox AFAIK, even when I had the BDK in my plugins, but to never have to worry about again? Well, I can't thank you enough for that peace of mind.

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4 hours ago, RandyE said:

 I often wondered why I never encountered prop pox.  I have used a wide variety and volume of user created content, including PEGPROD over 2 years and never a hint of anything akin to prop pox

Simple. You won't unless you're using a pre-2009 version of a number of Prop Packs (most of which were fixed, then later combined into mega packs), a few packs that were no longer available in 2009, or the BDK Prop Pack mentioned. Which is still available, still causes Prop Pox without this patch, and carried no warning of that for many years.

For Prop Pox to happen, you basically need to fill an entire large city tile with lots with lots of props. Most people don't have this happen so they don't see the issue. I've only had it happen twice myself.

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Now, retrospectively speaking, we have to be thankful to the pox for a beautiful side effect: MMP painting wouldn't have been a thing if pro CJers could simply use nice lots with many props on them. The extra difficulty of painting a city with really small flora was a hard threshold, and only the risk of losing the whole city could sway the players through it.


Oh, and Randy: relax! This isn't the moment to blame or to fear, but to fix long-dusted cities and play. If you are still doubtful about the fix, the source code is available for you to check it line by line. And yes, we all had an idea about what could be causing the pox, but until this development, nobody had the means to prove it, nor the adequate insight to find the specific coding error causing it. It doesn't matter who resolved it or when, it is resolved by now, modified props are safe to use now (be them by Peg or Vortext or Barby or whoever). Just go along with the joy!

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Wow, this is amazing, as said earlier by others this needs a spot light on the page, as for the functionality of a modded game it is extremely important, some of my earlier city journals were hit by the prop pox, and thankfully now we have the "vaccine". Man, just imagine the other things we can do! Great work simmaster!

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42 minutes ago, matias93 said:

Oh, and Randy: relax!

I use @simmaster07 's Extra Cheats DLL (SievertBeGone), and especially the Real Upgrade City Halls, so its important to me as well as anyone else using these that the community can reasonably support the quality and security of this member's work as it does involve deeper programming than messing with some exemplars in iReader.   Now the community has rationally and reasonably given sufficient support for the material.  

Thank-you everybody.  

Its nothing of blame or fear, its just normal security and quality control measures.  So now anybody reading this thread can get a good idea about Prop Pox and why the community is so ecstatic over this fix.  Its also helps all members with using free user created content on ST, and anyone may decide freely for themselves which material they want to use or not. 

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On this IT stuff it's always the same. If you don't understand one thing - all the rest after this point you won't understand neither.

So what I did understand:

He did it again. Simmaster07 inhaled an overdose of kryptonite and did the impossible. 

He faced evil Mr. Proppox in a dark alley and when evil Mr. Propox tried to burn Simmaster07 with his burning laser eyes - with a quick lucky punch, Simmaster07 beat evil Mr. Propox down and made Simmunity free of this despot.

Sounds like a fictional story?

To me too. But this time, folks, it's real.

I'm throwing my hat. And repeat it three times like once ago it was good habbit:

Vivat! Vivat! Vivat!


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Have I been living under a rock or what?? I'm gone for several weeks and they come up with the cure for that dreaded plague??

I have been lucky enough not to see prop pox in any of my cities, but this is fantastic! Last year I made the decision not to use the BDK lots as they were said to be the cause of it. And not only is this a permanent fix, but it reverses the pox too!

Instant download! And I propose we make this an essential one every user should have! While we're at it, Simmaster07 should be declared a Simtropolis Hero for the fix!

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I can't find the old SC4Devotion thread that listed all of the known lots that have been confirmed to cause Prop Pox, but more importantly with this breakthrough fix can we now disregard that list and once again safely use those flagged lots freely as long as we have the fix installed?

There is one particular building on that list I'd want to use in my cities again that I regrettably had to remove from my plugins folder to avoid the Pox back in the day, the Madison Square Gardens pack.

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