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Author Topic: [3.0] Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?  (Read 15832 times)

Offline texasman1979

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[3.0] Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« on: April 27, 2011, 01:38:18 PM »
Ill clean this up when i get on a computer. Everyone knows what windows update is as well as apt-get in linux. Id like to see in 3.0 a package manager linked to its own mods site. The package manager would display all installed mods, but also with a ping, display current versions with the ability to upgrade the mod if it is an old version. Also sub-version upgrades can be installed through it as well, ie *.1 or *.2. With this package manager, there would be a button to view/search for available mods and the ability to install then directly from the mod site. Download and install in a single click rather than downloading a zip and then uploading to the server then refreshing the package manager page, then installing the mod, etc. This idea would make simple machines mods that much more simple. I can elaborate further if need be. What yall think?
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 07:23:10 PM by Norv »
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Offline Arantor

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 01:42:24 PM »
1. The mod site is linked to forums, and provides the ability to indicate if a newer version is available.

2. It would hugely increase the workload of mod authors in order to provide the upgrade information for the facility already built into the package manager, which is why no mod of any complexity uses it. If someone told me that I'd have to provide it for SimpleDesk, I wouldn't have bothered starting the dev branch, which would be double the workload to maintain.
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Offline NanoSector

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 01:46:01 PM »
It is also possible if the package manager performed an upgrade this way:
- Select the version of the mod you'd like to install (click "Next step")
- Uninstall the mod first (click "Next step")
- Install the mod then

@ Arantor: It indicates that an update is available but doesn't have the option to install it :P
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Offline texasman1979

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 02:06:18 PM »
With the current package manager, it is possible to download directly to the server any mod really. The issue is that the mod then has to be installed manually by clicking yet another button/link. There seems to me to be no real reason to make it much more intuitive and download and install in one step, and what yoshi pointed out, the uninstall and then install of the newer version could all be done in a single click. Simpledesk and other large mods would be in a seperate category for mods that require greater care. But there is a million small mods that could be treated more carelessly do to the fact that they do so little, but still provide valued functionality. This would just make it a simpler process to installing and managing mods, and force mod writers to pay attention to other exsisting mods for a more comeplete, robust, and conflict free software. This also in conjunction with a greater mods integration interface, ie integration hooks, can bring very nice things to the future of smf and its variations.
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Offline NanoSector

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 02:27:52 PM »
With the current package manager, it is possible to download directly to the server any mod really. The issue is that the mod then has to be installed manually by clicking yet another button/link. There seems to me to be no real reason to make it much more intuitive and download and install in one step, and what yoshi pointed out, the uninstall and then install of the newer version could all be done in a single click. Simpledesk and other large mods would be in a seperate category for mods that require greater care. But there is a million small mods that could be treated more carelessly do to the fact that they do so little, but still provide valued functionality. This would just make it a simpler process to installing and managing mods, and force mod writers to pay attention to other exsisting mods for a more comeplete, robust, and conflict free software. This also in conjunction with a greater mods integration interface, ie integration hooks, can bring very nice things to the future of smf and its variations.
One click upgrading would not be possible (the file system has to implement the changes), but a ticker on the button ("Next step (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)") would work to automate the process.
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Offline Arantor

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 02:33:04 PM »
It is also possible if the package manager performed an upgrade this way:
- Select the version of the mod you'd like to install (click "Next step")
- Uninstall the mod first (click "Next step")
- Install the mod then

@ Arantor: It indicates that an update is available but doesn't have the option to install it :P

It does if the mod package provides the upgrade block inside package-info.xml
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Offline NanoSector

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 02:33:52 PM »
It is also possible if the package manager performed an upgrade this way:
- Select the version of the mod you'd like to install (click "Next step")
- Uninstall the mod first (click "Next step")
- Install the mod then

@ Arantor: It indicates that an update is available but doesn't have the option to install it :P

It does if the mod package provides the upgrade block inside package-info.xml
We are talking about a global standard here...
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Offline Arantor

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 02:35:51 PM »
Can't edit the above, and didn't mean to press post...

Mods can specify upgrade instructions. Most don't because it represents double the workload for the author as compared to just writing it, even small mods.

It's built into the SDK but because of the extra, no-one uses it.
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Offline NanoSector

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2011, 02:39:34 PM »
Can't edit the above, and didn't mean to press post...

Mods can specify upgrade instructions. Most don't because it represents double the workload for the author as compared to just writing it, even small mods.

It's built into the SDK but because of the extra, no-one uses it.
Can't say that's false, but we are talking about the global standard measures of the package manager here.
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Offline Arantor

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2011, 02:41:44 PM »
For the third time, it is a STANDARD FEATURE of the package manager. It just requires mod authors to adhere to said standards. Given how much extra work it is, mod authors generally don't.
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Offline NanoSector

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2011, 02:45:15 PM »
For the third time, it is a STANDARD FEATURE of the package manager. It just requires mod authors to adhere to said standards. Given how much extra work it is, mod authors generally don't.
third time too, it should be applied to all mods, code included or not...which is where this discussion is for.
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Offline SlammedDime

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2011, 03:03:14 PM »
Until SMF changes the way packages work (no core code modification allowed), this type of feature will be very hard to implement.

Pete: I think the biggest point being made is the ability to show, at a glance in the package manager, that an update for a particular mod is availalbe from the mod site (not necessarily that the mod uses the 'upgrade' feature, just that a new version is available).  This is currently NOT a standard feature as you're well aware.  It is one, however, that has been tossed around.  Just like when running apt-get update, Debian based systems will check against the repos to see if a new version is available.
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Offline texasman1979

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2011, 03:28:23 PM »
What in saying is step back on 3.0 and look at what a package manager/mod handler can do. It can be more intuitive, it can be directly linked to the mods site, and mod authors can adhere to a system that gives them even greater power than they already do, especially if in 3.0 integration hooks are changed to a “modification interface“. Too much of looking at what it is rather than looking at what it can be. Innovate, not imitate. :)
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Offline Arantor

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2011, 03:29:59 PM »
You're still relying on mod authors to do more work than they currently do now, good luck with that.
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Offline texasman1979

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2011, 04:19:46 PM »
If a mod author knows that they have greater tools to work with, there will most certainly be more mods like simpledesk, aeva, downloads and ad managers, etc, that are made easier to deal with/support, and a greater tool set to work from for the possibility of even greater mods developed in the future that simply arent possible now. I will not stop thinking of new and exciting ways of doing things, just because the practicality isnt there currently. 3.0 has the ability of being everything 2.0 cant achieve like 2.0 vs. 1.1. Also in smfs soon to be forkable state. New ideas should be welcomed. Smf is no doubt great software, but no software is un-improvabe.
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Offline Arantor

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2011, 04:27:05 PM »
Evidence disagrees with you.

Mod authors almost always take the shortest possible route to implementation. The number of mod authors who actively make mods more rugged and not through the quickest route are minimal.

You're asking modders to flat out do more work just for ease of use, and I can tell you now from having observed modders, they won't bother. So many mods use theme edits when they don't need to, because in most cases, it's more effort not to. When you can convince modders to write mods that way, as a general matter of course, then maybe this will be viable. Until then... it isn't going to happen.
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Offline texasman1979

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2011, 04:50:59 PM »
Well for certain from that perspective you are correct, but if in 3.0 a full and complete mod interface is implemented for both the code and the template system, there would be more chance of things being done right. If the tools exist, it is logcal to assume they will be used, especially if it is reasonably enforced by the mod approval team. Like i say, it isnt how it is, it is how it can be. The definition of innovation. :)
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Offline Arantor

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2011, 04:58:33 PM »
Two problems.

Firstly, you're relying on people to take the long road. The majority won't bother. That's life.

Secondly, your argument of a centralised package system is actually a bad thing in the long run. It puts higher dependence on the package server to manage things and discourages users from writing premium services. How many users of Ubuntu go outside the main package server? You're shooting down an entire ecosystem by doing that, and you're pretty much demanding that that central resource also makes support resources available, when all the larger mods have their own support site... there's a reason they do that - because the resources provided generically do not fit all uses.

The more you try and consolidate services under a single umbrella, the more you either have to push fringe cases out or the more you have to make that core service do. It's not just a core feature for the software at that point, it's an entire *ecosystem* that has to be built, nurtured and so on. That means a serious investment of time and energy, and the current ecosystem cannot possibly support that.
Don’t try to tell me that some power can corrupt a person. You haven’t had enough to know what it’s like.

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Offline texasman1979

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2011, 05:41:28 PM »
Lets say someone saw some flaws, or improvements in a piece of software, and wow the day arrived that a fork for that software be possible to write. Whos to say the changes in the new version be popularly appealing. Just like the new fork will have options and behaviors that the original doesnt, doesnt mean that the original cant grow in of its own direction. What i am suggesting here isnt for ALL forum software. I have heard opinions of this idea in multiple places and always it be made into a bad idea. Well lets take windows update out of windows and apt-get out of ubuntu. How many users are going to sit there and install hundreds of mods/updates/changes without those tools available. Almost none. Lets re look at the potential for a mods interface built in the software at basic lvls, and the ability to change the flow of the software almost anywhere, and those tools made available for all to use, and a system of simply implementing those changes both from the programmers stand point as well as the users. What it is and what it can be, can be drastically different. What it is, is a nice system, what it can be, is a deciding factor. If you build it, they will come. The proposed mods interface is code to the programmer, but the package manager is a god send for simplicity. You combine those, you get a software that can do almost anything. You place it at the core of it, and you get a foundation that programmers and user alike move to, and change to, and become one with. The tree makes the axe until someone makes a chain saw. Then the tree becomes my foot stool, more simply. :)
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Offline Arantor

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Re: Integrated mods/upgrades for package manager?
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2011, 05:58:41 PM »
*yawn* Human nature trumps technical triumph. Hope this works out for you.
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