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Author Topic: Automatic Downloading revisited  (Read 9188 times)
WaspKiller
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« on: June 11, 2010, 10:54:41 PM »

Automatic Downloading revisited.

lol.  The thread title is enough to irritate some ppl but before you form an opinion about this post read it as objectively as possible.

Unlike Quake III, Automatic Downloading (located in Setup | Game Options) is disabled in OpenArena.  The reasons, as stated in the DO NOT LINK[/b]) h t t p s : / / openarena . wikia . com/wiki/NOTTODO]OpenArena's Wiki, is security and user control.

I have no issues with that but, the consequences are a marketing disadvantage.  OpenArena takes a solid engine (ioq3) and adds all the usability stuff that makes it a great FPS.  However, the well meaning intentions of the developers butt into a classic GUI usability issue.  That is, how to get new players to know what the hell just happened when they try to visit a server and get kicked with this message "Can't load maps/mapname.pk3".

This failure means that OA can't easily leverage other great assets from Q3, namely a plethora of great custom maps and mods.

Now, before I continue, I can see some readers thinking "hey wait a minute; he just wants to change OA because he plays a Mod and this is impacting him."

A fair thought but an incorrect one.  The Mod I play, Excessive Plus, can be played both server-side and client-side.  Client-side means you have to download the Mod software to play.  Server-side means you do not have to download any software and therefore automatic downloading being disabled is no hindrance to playing.  For the doubters, you can visit E+ Servers like The Laggers CTF, Total Rail Madness CTF or New York Freeze Tag to verify my claim.

However, there are other great Mods that do not have this ability.  Even more problematic is this issue affects even regular OpenArena (baseoa) Servers with custom maps.

So, the question is, can OA maintain security and provide user control while making the process more transparent?  I think so because it's currently being done by another great FPS that uses the ioq3 engine.  The game I am referring to is Urban Terror.

The developers of UrT undoubtedly thought about security and user control but also about usability and came up with a simple compromise that maintains security and user control but also clearly indicates why the user cannot access the server.

Here is UrT's solution:



I can improve the security and user control even more.  Instead of pressing "any" key to download the Mod or Map and pressing "Esc" to cancel and disconnect.  I would do the reverse.  That is, pressing "any" key would cancel and disconnect and pressing "a particular key" would authorize the downloading of the Mod or Map.

It's a suggestion... but one I hope the developers give serious consideration.
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Logan
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 11:48:00 PM »

I agree with everything wasp said.

What we need though, is default http auto downloading, the fast downloading, not that 10/kb a sec crap.
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sago007
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2010, 03:07:00 AM »

I posted my idea about it here: http://openarena.ws/board/index.php?topic=3644.0

In that thread others are suggesting the possibility of a cached dir and I find that idea good too.

However I do not like UrT's approach. Asking the user a question is a known non-working workaround for not having a good system. The user should be able to answer one and go on with his life rather that having to make life changing decisions every time he wants to join a server. How many Vista users do you thing throughly read the UAC boxes in Vista and does serious research in determining if it is acceptable to click "Ok" every time it pops up.

The current system is broken and needs a real fix and I don't believe that the UrT is the way to go.
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WaspKiller
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2010, 07:54:36 AM »

...Asking the user a question is a known non-working workaround for not having a good system. The user should be able to answer one and go on with his life rather that having to make life changing decisions every time he wants to join a server...

I am sure there are many avenues to tackle this issue, and as you conclude "The current system is broken and needs a real fix."

The approach I suggested works for a game with a similar engine and about 30 times the number of active players as OA.  However, as I indicated, it can be improved.

Your point about making decisions every time is valid and this could be rectified by eliminating the pop-up box when users choose to disable automatic downloading or have a menu option to disable the pop-up box entirely.

However, more importantly than which suggestion is adopted and implemented is for players and admins, if they agree that this is an issue, to petition the developers for a solution which makes the process "dead stupid simple" for new or inexperienced players.
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rabusmar
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2010, 10:34:57 AM »

I posted my idea about it here: http://openarena.ws/board/index.php?topic=3644.0

In that thread others are suggesting the possibility of a cached dir and I find that idea good too.

However I do not like UrT's approach. Asking the user a question is a known non-working workaround for not having a good system. The user should be able to answer one and go on with his life rather that having to make life changing decisions every time he wants to join a server. How many Vista users do you thing throughly read the UAC boxes in Vista and does serious research in determining if it is acceptable to click "Ok" every time it pops up.

The current system is broken and needs a real fix and I don't believe that the UrT is the way to go.

Then just add an additional "Remember choice" in the dialog, that would do the job pretty well.
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GrosBedo
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2010, 11:28:53 AM »

Up. I agree for the concept of "You have to activate autodl to join this server, press a key to accept or ESC to exit". This would enhance a lot the game and the community cohesion.

Later, someone can add a better implementation if one finds a better idea, but meanwhile, it will better than the worst (which is current).
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2010, 10:27:34 AM »

Big YES to that. Best thing to focus on is to make it more user friendly. If autodownload is a security issue it should be mentioned somewhere you can NOT miss it. His idea with an interactice popup seems very good. We need more players. There's even a server called: "Turn autodownload ON". But maybe its not so easy to implement.. But would be great! Smiley
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jessicaRA
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2010, 04:02:24 AM »

dfengine has a /download command to download maps so i thought i would try altering the ioquake3 auto download to get maps from the same place, that works too.  do you think this is useful for this?

correction: it gets pk3s from the same place not maps so could have other stuff there like defrag/cpma/etc pk3 files

2nd correction (sleepy): it gets some known mods pk3s from a 2nd source as q3a.ath.cx doesn't have those pk3s

3rd (...): It won't work for all servers as they can have different versions of the same pk3 or repacks.  It's only used if sv_dlurl isn't set though.  Which it won't be if repacks are used.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 04:20:11 AM by jessicaRA » Logged
GrosBedo
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2010, 07:59:29 AM »

Jessicara, your idea would be cool for shared components, like to ease the update of OpenArena to newer versions, or models addons. This would be great !

But this wouldn't fix the current problem of autodownload Wink Autodownload problem is not a functionnal one but an ergonomic one : we just need at least a message telling to activate autodownload, but the best would be to give directly the choice to the user.

There's no way around than interactivity in this case : we can't fully automate this process, people have to be able to choose or not to alterate their games.

This, or modify how QVM works to be able to load them on the fly, thus permitting to load as many pk3 as needed, but without alterating the game base : qvm will only be loaded when needed.

Maybe a good starting point : Quake 3 Multi Mod :
http://sourceforge.net/projects/qmm/
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jessicaRA
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2010, 11:40:27 AM »

I was thinking more of the matter of trust.  The reason auto download isn't on by default is you can't trust downloading from everywhere.  If you have a map and mod mirror of trusted ones it could be turned on by default in the client.  Asking to download is a good idea too though.  Maybe it should ask if it is using sv_dlurl?
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sago007
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2010, 11:47:16 AM »

The reason auto download isn't on by default is you can't trust downloading from everywhere.
The reason you need trust is that autodownloaded content is able to change the game... permanently thereby damaging it. Removing the ability to damage the game would make it much easier to trust someone because they cannot do anything to you.
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jessicaRA
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2010, 04:13:17 PM »

Yeah, I think the next best thing would be a source which can be trusted though.  I think this may have other uses like working around licence restrictions with downloading other licence stuff later, as long as it is also free.  Do you think this would work out?  As for using this to update.  Maybe but I feel a separate updater would go a lot smoother.  If the binaries need to be updated then are as well terminating after starting the updater anyway.
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WaspKiller
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2010, 08:27:57 PM »

The reason you need trust is that autodownloaded content is able to change the game... permanently thereby damaging it. Removing the ability to damage the game would make it much easier to trust someone because they cannot do anything to you.

Perhaps but what is the likihood?  This seems drastically overblown and smacks of George Bushian "Axis of Evil" drama.  If I were a nOOb I would be running to the hills now, boarding up the shack and not letting anyone pry the shotgun except from my cold dead fingers.

I'm not disputing that your apocalypse can't happen, just want some fair and balanced commentary that all of the popular non-altered Q3 Mods and even those specifically made for OA don't mess with baseoa except to add maps.  As you well know, they all add their files to a separate directory.  When you boot OA it should open to the regular 0.8.1/0.8.5 menu unless you use the +set fs_game parameter to specifically launch a Mod on open.


Yeah, I think the next best thing would be a source which can be trusted though.  I think this may have other uses like working around licence restrictions with downloading other licence stuff later, as long as it is also free.  Do you think this would work out?  As for using this to update.  Maybe but I feel a separate updater would go a lot smoother.  If the binaries need to be updated then are as well terminating after starting the updater anyway.


Trusted Source is another viable idea although as with any commercial or open source project I would be suspect of the administration; especially the easy and frequency of updates, etc.

And how do you plan to separate Mods and Maps via the Trusted Source scheme or in fact, do you plan to separate them at all?
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sago007
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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2010, 08:47:43 AM »

The reason you need trust is that autodownloaded content is able to change the game... permanently thereby damaging it. Removing the ability to damage the game would make it much easier to trust someone because they cannot do anything to you.

Perhaps but what is the likihood?  This seems drastically overblown and smacks of George Bushian "Axis of Evil" drama.  If I were a nOOb I would be running to the hills now, boarding up the shack and not letting anyone pry the shotgun except from my cold dead fingers.

I'm not disputing that your apocalypse can't happen, just want some fair and balanced commentary that all of the popular non-altered Q3 Mods and even those specifically made for OA don't mess with baseoa except to add maps.  As you well know, they all add their files to a separate directory.  When you boot OA it should open to the regular 0.8.1/0.8.5 menu unless you use the +set fs_game parameter to specifically launch a Mod on open.
There has been a few cases where a map has damaged the game. Not deliberately but a map might have contained a bots.txt or arenas.txt file. There are many ways a game might disturb the standard game in a way some players might notice.

There are many ways to prevent that without preventing old mods from running... and if the trust issue is solved: make them run more often.
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jessicaRA
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2010, 11:01:59 AM »

It is true it can, a single shader can reduce the fps to like 2 sometimes by doing weird stuff with the skybox.
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