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tariely

File descriptors when uploading

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I've noticed, when uploading a lot, that there is no "Services" or "Transports" file descriptor whereas there are "Civics", "Utilities" and "Parks And Recreation" descriptors. When uploading an hospital or a rail station, I don't know what descriptor to choose ; "Misc" feels weird, and "Custom Blank" even more so. Couldn't that be corrected ?

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When tidying up old or mis-formated uploads, I throw all public services on 'civics', unless they are related to power, water or garbage (those are utilities). That's the way they are ordered on the game menus.

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  • Original Poster
  • Yes, public services inCivics, that is what I was tempted to do : Health-Education-Civics per se, and Transports. OK, then :-), thanks for the advice. (And unless the Powers That Be decide to do something about it *:) )

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    3 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

    Like this?

    Like that yes

    Taking it, you feel that hospitals etc. (health/police/fire/education) belongs in the Civics category?
     

    While we're on the subject, imho; Custom Blank Lots and Fantasy Buildings may also be redundant... just my two cents, up for discussion

     

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    4 minutes ago, Yarahi said:

    Like that yes

    Transport is in there now. *;)

     

    4 minutes ago, Yarahi said:

    Taking it, you feel that hospitals etc. (health/police/fire/education) belongs in the Civics category?

    Honestly, I've really no clue how they should be. As a STEX Mod you can tell me what's best and I have access to the hidden buttons to make it happen. *:blush:

     

    5 minutes ago, Yarahi said:

    While we're on the subject, imho; Custom Blank Lots and Fantasy Buildings may also be redundant... just my two cents, up for discussion

    Deletion is a click away, but I'd wonder if that would bork things which have previously used them. :O

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    1 minute ago, CorinaMarie said:

    As a STEX Mod you can tell me what's best and I have access to the hidden buttons to make it happen.

    Ever since I've been a mod and have spent time fixing borked descriptions and links on old uploads, I've been in favor of having the descriptors follow the in-game menus - as a way of making searching easier for the common user of the STEX - maybe with the addition of categories such as Lots, Mods, Tools and Models

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    3 minutes ago, Yarahi said:

    I've been in favor of having the descriptors follow the in-game menus - as a way of making searching easier for the common user of the STEX - maybe with the addition of categories such as Lots, Mods, Tools and Models

    Post a blueprint of how'd you like it to be. *:)

    Here's what the editor thinger looks like:

    Descriptors Menu.jpg

    And, ofc, I can add new ones or delete old ones. (But I won't delete any right now without checking with CB for whether or not that would bork files that were assigned an old one.)

    Whichever one is up top is the default when arriving at this field.

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  • Original Poster
  • for me "Utilities" (power-water-garbage) and 'Services" (Education-Health-Police-Fire-Civics) are two different things.

     

    But apart from that, yes, oh yes, CorinaMarie, Make It So !:bunny:

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    6 minutes ago, tariely said:

    CorinaMarie, Make It So !

    I will once we get the list of how it's supposed to look. *;)

     

    Maybe something like:

    Services - Education
    Services - Fire
    Services - Health
    Services - Police

    Utilities - Garbage
    Utilities - Power
    Utilities - Water

    As part of it.

    We'll just have to wait and see what @Yarahi comes up with. (And I was wondering about making the default top entry be: Unknown so that'd be a visual for staff that someone either forgot to change it or didn't know which one to select.)

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    Having checked into this and discussing with Cori, here's a bit of technical background…

    These descriptors are known as Extra Fields. They're enabled on the STEX per category, meaning in terms of their setup, it's possible to configure different lists for BATs, Lots, Mods and Maps. Looking into this from the database side and confirming from a test, each list is saved as a delimited text string (separated by commas). Then when uploading or editing a file, the appropriate list for the parent files category is referenced and available for selection in the dropdown menu provided. From this point when choosing a descriptor and saving, the data is stored in a separate table. Inside there it copies over the text value in its own field.

    Therefore from the master list, it's possible to rename or delete existing descriptors without updating any of the files. For example if renaming "Farming" to "Agriculture", this would be replaced in the options, but then only apply to newly updated entries from there on.

    A possible limitation is to my knowledge, there's currently no scope in the board software of these fields being searchable. Therefore they're really only useful as a visual indicator to describe what sub-category a content item belongs in.

    Should a new set of descriptors be devised, it is possible to batch update the current ones using database queries. This would work say if wanting to combine both the "General" and "Essential" into one unified "Mods" category. Queries can also be run to identify and rank fields in order of most to least commonly used. Then perhaps giving an indication of which ones are worth removing, renaming, or merging. Understandably though, manually updating descriptors for all STEX files would be a monumental task.

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    @airman15

    Sure, that can be arranged for your files with those special database queries I mentioned in my prior post. *;)

    Perhaps a fitting name for this would be: Transport - Automata

    And on a similar theme, here's some related ones which came to mind:

    Transport - Network
    Transport - Station
    Transport - Road
    Transport - Rail
    Transport - Air


    Though one key aspect I feel is to balance depth with ease of use. There are gaps in the current setup of the descriptors, so it'll be worth expanding on these. But on the other hand, we'd probably best avoid adding numerous different categories with dozens of supplementary layers. For example with houses, there's no need to cover the 3 wealth levels or various architectural styles. Just classifying them as "Lot - Residential" or some such. Then the same with the other RCI developer types. The main thing is the descriptor is broad enough to be easily assigned for the uploader, and clearly understood by the downloader.

    I like the idea to replicate SC4's menus in terms of theme. Perhaps for extra fine-tuning, the more detailed filtering is better suited for tags on files. Even if content items are placed in different menus for whatever reason (like many commonly use Parks or Landmarks), the descriptor can be useful to define the purpose of the upload. Then thinking ahead with any prospect of the fields becoming searchable, they could be used for more precise filtering beyond the main STEX categories.

    So just a few ideas here and for @Yarahi to consider when creating that blueprint. *:read:

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  • Original Poster
  • 10 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

    I will once we get the list of how it's supposed to look. *;)

     

    Maybe something like:

    Services - Education
    Services - Fire
    Services - Health
    Services - Police

    Utilities - Garbage
    Utilities - Power
    Utilities - Water

    As part of it.

    We'll just have to wait and see what @Yarahi comes up with. (And I was wondering about making the default top entry be: Unknown so that'd be a visual for staff that someone either forgot to change it or didn't know which one to select.)

    I could do with just "services" and "Utilitie" -- the sub-specification (Health, or Power etc.) being put in the tags list when uploading a lot

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    3 minutes ago, tariely said:

    I could do with just "services" and "Utilitie" -- the sub-specification (Health, or Power etc.) being put in the tags list when uploading a lot

    Sounds good to me. As I previously hinted: I'm not the expert here so I'll defer to y'all who know the territory. (Then I can make the changes in the descriptor editor.)

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