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 PostPost subject: Re: Upcoming changes to the FTP and some ideas...        Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:16 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
Remember for example that PSX, PS1 and PSONE are not the same.

PS1 and PSONE are for our purposes one and the same considering they are both forms of the PlayStation and both run the same games. PSX has two meanings, one is the abbreviation for PlayStation (and therefore, the same as PS1 and PSONE), and the other is a recorder based on PlayStation 2 (and therefore the same as PS2) (but I've yet to see the PSX abbreviation used to signify PS2 games anywhere - PSX generally refers to the original PlayStation and its variants).

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 PostPost subject: Re: Upcoming changes to the FTP and some ideas...        Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:01 pm 
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Actually no. For generic purposes that may be true, but for ours, definately not. Here's why:

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(Abandonware) Sony Playstation X Operating Systems:

Added: Sony Playstation X Update Disc (1.10) [Japanese] [DESR-5000, 7000].rar
Added: Sony Playstation X Update Disc (1.20) [Japanese] [DESR-5000, 7000].rar
Added: Sony Playstation X Update Disc (1.31) [Japanese] [DESR-5000, 5100, 7000, 7100].rar
Added: Sony Playstation X Update Disc (2.11) [Japanese] [DESR-5000, 5100, 7000, 7100].rar

See these? These are updates for a very specific product from Sony. These do not work on the Playstation, PS1 or PS2. Even if most games may work on all three, these don't. If we are to properly catalogue our releases then they have to be done so by their proper product. There are also specific applications for this product that won't work on the Playstation 2. There are some games that only works on the PS1 but not on the original Playstation. We can't just generalize because Sony happened to base one console and make an another, unless they are 100% compatible then we can't put them in the same group. PS-X and Playstation 2 are definately not 100% compatible with eachother, and neither are Playstation and PSOne even if the differences here are minor. But they do exist. And members will be confused if we start using PSX, PS-X, PSOne, PS1 all together. I can barely keep these separated and there are wild arguments even today of what is what really.

But this doesn't matter, it was just an example, there are many other examples that can be applied with the previous reasoning so it still stands. And the main issue is still how to maintain ease of finding, ease of download, ease of management, ease of automation and ease of specific categorization of our releases. Many examples has been given, and one (or more) of these five has always been forced to be ignored to accomplish it. In the end I have to prioritize ease of finding, management and automation because without it we won't have a good database and members will have a hard time finding what they want. Filezilla and many more FTP clients support queues so it's easy to add files to queues and filter out what you don't want. It's not as easy though to split a rar-file in mid transfer and make it work (to only grab what you want) or deal with more serious matters such as limitations in the file system (NTFS in this case as it is what is being used by the FTP as well as the majority of our members).

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 PostPost subject: Re: Upcoming changes to the FTP...        Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:41 pm 
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Well, I've discussed the pros and cons of various solutions with a lot of members, I've tried many of the suggested solutions as well, but considering the fact that we focus more and more on preservation of betas and abandonware (which includes not only the media contents itself but also everything around it, such as media artwork, boxcovers, manuals etc) I still think (and I am not alone here) my original idea is the best. Whatever way I use we'll lose out on something critical, but in my case one can easily sort out the unwanted bits from a queue, and it will be easy to manage and browse. It will also pave the way easier administration of the upcoming database and as we populate the collection with more items the benefits will show themselves even more.

Yes I am aware there are issues with this layout as well, but compared to now you can either choose to download everything (i.e single rar), or everything (i.e single folder), but with the added option to deselect some of the items you don't want. And yes, it will complicate issues if you download the "same" items from various folders into the same destination folder but there's no way out of that. Adding the full folder name to a filename within that folder will break the general NTFS MAX_PATH limit (255 chars) which will create issues not only for the server but also for our members. 99% of all file managers (including Explorer (if you can call that a file manager)) doesn't even support UNC paths so we can't bypass MAX_PATH limitations in any easy way (UNC paths will allow up to 32k chars, but then every call to a file or folder has to start with \\?\, and most apps never do that. Hooray for MS backwards compatibility... And splitting apart artwork and the main media into non-connected folders will increase administration load and risk that we lose vital information if something gets renamed improperly.

So given these limitations the only option is to keep everything together, short and within a single folder. I will also get rid of the floppy shorts i.e (½ and ¼) and replace those with "(3.5')" and "(5.25')" as they have caused some issues for some members. This layout also opens for future expansions within the folder (i.e added resources) so it will be easy to build on that.

----

Remember people, any changes can be reversed or changed if a better layout is discovered. FTP is unfortunately extremely static so as long as we use FTP we're forced to come up with working and future proof solutions. I know a few of you are against this idea, but both Andy and I constantly work at trying to make the site and FTP as accessible to you as possible. And without any cost to you except for some understanding and respect for the kind of challenges we have to overcome along the way. BetaArchive is a long way from where we started, with an archive that is 100x larger than what we started with so changes were bound to happen. And we simply can't please everyone, but as long as you made your opinion heard we'll always consider it and try to find a balance between what we want and what everyone else wants :).

I will start implementing the changes with the abandonware sections as they are the ones that benefit the most from it. Later I will move to the other sections as well. But this process will be slow and done over an extended period of time as everything has to be processed by hand. If anyone has any further ideas or opinions please let me know.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Upcoming changes to the FTP...        Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:48 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
I will also get rid of the floppy shorts i.e (½ and ¼) and replace those with "(3.5')" and "(5.25')" as they have caused some issues for some members.


Just a small detail: because it's in inches, it should be 5.25", not 5.25', as the official symbol for inches is a double prime. But yeah, avoiding more advanced unicode chars in filenames is definitely a good idea.

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