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 PostPost subject: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:11 pm 
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There's been an idea bouncing around in my head I wanted to discuss with the members.

What if we separate all verified original dumps from the non-originals and put all non-originals in a different root folder. Our goal is to preserve original stuff, and half the archive is non-original stuff and we should cut down on that. A lot of members and visitors don't seem to understand the difference between the two so they ignore making any redumps if they see their title in the database and on the FTP, which is a major problem since they may avoid making a redump even if the redump would be something we actually want and need.

So my idea is to split the archive into originals and non-originals and set the database to by default only list original stuff (but still indexing all of it).

At the same time I will also not accept any non-original abandonware by default, and only accept non-originals with betas as they are in many cases not even released on original media. Any special cases with exceedingly rare (non-original) abandonware will be evaluated on a case to case basis but not accepted by default.

We need to cut down on the non-original stuff and since I am the only one willing to process releases for BetaArchive I will need to prioritize what releases are processed and what are not by cutting down on the workload and only focus on the original stuff (and betas of course).

I want your opinions on this.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:41 pm 
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As we have a proper database search engine, I say yes. It won't be hard to tell where the dumps would go.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:56 pm 
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Honestly, if we focus only on the original releases, the original release counter will go up like crazy since people will only be dumping and uploading OG releases of the software, which imo, will make the FTP better and more complete

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:02 pm 
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Yeah that's the idea. I've been repacking the FTP now to make sure we don't lose anything (changing out recovery RAR files to files without recovery data) and it hit me how much non-original stuff is in there mixed with the originals. And every day I hear from members saying "oh you have that already so I won't upload it again". Even some long time members here ignore the fact that even if we have a release a redump is desirable if it provides a better and more complete copy.

This way we'll separate it and allow members and visitors to only see the original stuff by default but we keep the non-original stuff for until we can replace it. But maybe it's enough to just separate it in the database and keep it as-is on the FTP, because whenever a better copy comes along I tend to replace the older one anyway. But a clear cut between the bad copies and the good ones is best, even if it's only in the database.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:24 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
This way we'll separate it and allow members and visitors to only see the original stuff by default but we keep the non-original stuff for until we can replace it. But maybe it's enough to just separate it in the database and keep it as-is on the FTP, because whenever a better copy comes along I tend to replace the older one anyway. But a clear cut between the bad copies and the good ones is best, even if it's only in the database.


I'm leaning towards the second option, provided that there is also an option for DB to show all releases. If you separate them on the FTP as well, it just adds to the folder fragmentation IMO.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:47 pm 
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Yeah that's what I thought, and it would also add a lot of extra work. Separating them in the DB is a lot easier and would have the same effect in the end. We're working on more detailed search options so we will add a way to separate the originals from non-originals.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:55 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
Yeah that's what I thought, and it would also add a lot of extra work. Separating them in the DB is a lot easier and would have the same effect in the end. We're working on more detailed search options so we will add a way to separate the originals from non-originals.


That sounds good to me then. So as far as new users go, that's sorted since they can't check the actual FTP anyway. For members with FTP Access, maybe add a notice to the guidelines or something to remind them that non-original releases can always be improved upon?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:09 pm 
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No they can't check the FTP but they can check the database, so the same problem occurs unless they understand the concept of replacing bad releases with new or they check a release in more detail and notice they are non-original or have bad scans etc. And we've mentioned replacement of bad releases all time, it's in the guide and basically every time a member offers something and some member replies that we already have it (without checking it and realising it's a bad copy). _ALL_ releases can by default be replaced with a better copy, there's no exception to this rule. But I will see if we can make this information more visible somehow so people understand this better.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:25 pm 
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I personally dont have access to the ftp server yet but I would prefer a system searchable between original and new dumps. Or maybe dumps by year uploaded.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:38 pm 
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All this will be possible with the advanced search.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:28 am 
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mrpijey wrote:
At the same time I will also not accept any non-original abandonware by default, and only accept non-originals with betas as they are in many cases not even released on original media. Any special cases with exceedingly rare (non-original) abandonware will be evaluated on a case to case basis but not accepted by default.
The problem with this is that with many older programs is that in many cases, the only easily available copies consist of folder dumps, and in many cases, those can still at least be converted to floppy disk images.

Also, since the definition of an original dump here requires scans of 600 DPI or higher (at least as far as I know), that might also deter people from uploading software here if they were required to make scans for all releases even for them to be available on the FTP at all. They would likely then just upload one required title for FTP access and then give up contributing altogether once they received access.

While I agree that verified dumps and high quality scans should be required for FTP access, requiring it for all titles would likely turn people away from contributing any further releases once they received FTP access. I understand that some of these archived software titles are not in the best condition but in my opinion it's a lot better than not having them at all.

Splitting the verified and unverified disk dumps, on the other hand, would likely make it easier for people to search for releases that are in need of a better copy, so that on the other hand sounds like something that I would most likely agree with.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:08 am 
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I'm saying no.

Imagine going to a store and you want to buy a hat. But the hats aren't all in one place. Instead they are all with their own brand all across the store, every brand has their own section of shoes and shirts and hats. I just want a hat. I want all hat options in front of me and I want to pick the one I like the best.

You may say, "Well use the store app! You can search all hats and decide what you want! It will even tell you which aisle it is in!".

The whole idea lies on the premise that people only download exactly what they want, knowing beforehand what they want. That just isn't the case


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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:42 am 
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Skip the analogies as they are useless since I can make two more that proves my point instead. We're not a store and you're not looking for hats. It's an FTP with a tied database to it and all you will have to do is use a checkbox.


SoftPCMuseum wrote:
The problem with this is that with many older programs is that in many cases, the only easily available copies consist of folder dumps, and in many cases, those can still at least be converted to floppy disk images.

Also, since the definition of an original dump here requires scans of 600 DPI or higher (at least as far as I know), that might also deter people from uploading software here if they were required to make scans for all releases even for them to be available on the FTP at all. They would likely then just upload one required title for FTP access and then give up contributing altogether once they received access.

While I agree that verified dumps and high quality scans should be required for FTP access, requiring it for all titles would likely turn people away from contributing any further releases once they received FTP access. I understand that some of these archived software titles are not in the best condition but in my opinion it's a lot better than not having them at all.

Splitting the verified and unverified disk dumps, on the other hand, would likely make it easier for people to search for releases that are in need of a better copy, so that on the other hand sounds like something that I would most likely agree with.

While I understand your point of view you seem to not understand what we're all about. We're not here just to fill yet an another server with useless junk, for that you have about 2000 other abandonware sites who collects stuff just for the purpose of collecting and who doesn't care about quality, original packaging or anything. We try to do proper preservation here and that means we'll have specific quality requirements and therefore don't cater to the "hit and run" abandonware user. I am already pretty understanding in situations where the member doesn't have a scanner, and we don't require specialized hardware (which in true preservation situations should have been required). In those situations photos will do, but we will always require the highest quality possible and we don't accept laziness in this process. If you're not willing to do your part to contribute properly then you're free to look for your stuff elsewhere. So if we deter people due to our high requirements then we're clearly not for that person that wants maximum gratification for the absolute minimum of work. We're not going to collect piles of unverified stuff in various quality just to cater to the masses, for that they can go to archive.org, winworld or any other site that collects only for the purpose of collecting. So you clearly misunderstood the purpose of this site. And how we got side tracked to this discussion I don't know since this is about separating the non-originals from originals (physically or in database) and not about the requirements. The requirements stay and may even be increased in the future, they will never be lowered.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:21 am 
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mrpijey wrote:
While I understand your point of view you seem to not understand what we're all about. We're not here just to fill yet an another server with useless junk, for that you have about 2000 other abandonware sites who collects stuff just for the purpose of collecting and who doesn't care about quality, original packaging or anything. We try to do proper preservation here and that means we'll have specific quality requirements and therefore don't cater to the "hit and run" abandonware user. I am already pretty understanding in situations where the member doesn't have a scanner, and we don't require specialized hardware (which in true preservation situations should have been required). In those situations photos will do, but we will always require the highest quality possible and we don't accept laziness in this process. If you're not willing to do your part to contribute properly then you're free to look for your stuff elsewhere. So if we deter people due to our high requirements then we're clearly not for that person that wants maximum gratification for the absolute minimum of work. We're not going to collect piles of unverified stuff in various quality just to cater to the masses, for that they can go to archive.org, winworld or any other site that collects only for the purpose of collecting. So you clearly misunderstood the purpose of this site. And how we got side tracked to this discussion I don't know since this is about separating the non-originals from originals (physically or in database) and not about the requirements. The requirements stay and may even be increased in the future, they will never be lowered.
Well your first post (from what I read anyway) seemed to imply that there were changes to what was allowed to be uploaded to the FTP, and I hope that I didn't give you the wrong idea by implying that I was for lowering the requirements (something which I absolutely would NOT agree with). Also, I was talking more about the issue of whether high quality scans would be required for all uploads (as opposed to FTP access applications which I fully agree with).

Also, I am actually quite interested in preserving originals (I hope that I didn't imply otherwise), and I have a lot of software that I would like to upload with full high quality scans (some of which would replace the unverified dumps that you mentioned), but a lot of problems have put me behind (a massive move, and the fact that I am working with numerous other projects at the same time and even suffering from back pain), so I have really fallen behind. I already hope to contribute some original software here but it will take some time before I can process it easily, which is why I haven't really been talking about it much here before now.

As far as separating originals from non-originals, I would also agree with that decision, since currently, having to search around for a reliable listing of which releases are originals is anywhere from extremely difficult to nearly impossible, and that has thrown a lot of people off by giving them the idea that we already had some of the products in their collections. That was also one of the issues that I had with uploading software in the past, since there wasn't an easy way to separate the original releases from non-originals, even though I have been planning to upload a series of original releases for quite some time now.

Aside from that, it would also make it a lot less likely for people to upload something that we already had a full copy of by accident, since they would easily be able to check to see whether we have a full copy of it first before uploading their own copies (assuming that their own copies are 100% identical).

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:00 am 
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Well we already restrict what's being allowed onto the FTP. Except for a few trusted members uploads I don't put up any kind of downloaded stuff on the FTP and the original dump/scan requirement stands. But we don't _require_ scans for every upload because not everyone has a scanner, but we do require some kind of evidence that you have the title you're offering. And even if you take photos they have to be taken in such a way that it's clean, fully readable and in good quality. No scans or photos = no release.

As for your own contributions, ever considered sending the stuff to a member to help you out? I would even do it if the shipping isn't too expensive (and I would send it back of course).

But the whole idea about separating the releases is not to only make it a lot easier to see what's original and what's not, but also to shift the focus to our original releases and make sure that members understand that sure, we have a lot of non-original stuff but their only function is to be replaced with proper ones. Personally I would have removed all the non-originals and kept only the originals but that's not practical for a lot of reasons and it would upset the community and also make a lot of otherwise good releases disappear, maybe for good. But we keep them for now but focus on the originals.

And as I've said, per default I don't accept non-originals or downloaded stuff except from certain members I can trust since I know they deliver proper and checked releases. But regardless if you have a scanner or not you are still required to have the original media to make a copy of.

Either way, I think I have my answer. Once the advanced search is implemented it will filter out the non-original releases from the list unless manually added as a search option. The FTP layout will remain as-is and only separation I do at the moment are physical media dumps vs downloads. It's still in the works since I've been focusing with the repacks, but a lot has already been moved, such as MSDN downloads and generic Microsoft downloads. There are still some other things that needs to be moved (some Adobe stuff etc) but one step at a time. All this would have been a lot easier if we didn't have the FTP since the separation would have all been in the database.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:48 pm 
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I got an idea about making it more visible. Maybe we can make links for original releases colored green, while non-original uploads will be red? Of course I'm talking about Database, not FTP itself.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:05 pm 
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Yeah, to mark them somehow would be a good idea. But perhaps not mark the whole release as green or red, but rather have a dot or symbol on each line indicating if it's original or not. That's an alternative too! And we can still have the option to sort on it once the advanced search is implemented.

Good idea! Have not considered this before. Perhaps have three colors, a green one for original and good, a yellow one for original but needs replaced/more complete scans/dumps, and a red one for non-original/needs complete replacement.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:22 pm 
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Perhaps have three colors, a green one for original and good, a yellow one for original but needs replaced/more complete scans/dumps, and a red one for non-original/needs complete replacement.


This sounds nice. Just don't make them bright, eye-bleaching colors. :P

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 PostPost subject: Re: Separating original verified dumps from the rest        Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:58 am 
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The color-coded idea is most certainly a great one. With this, I'll be able to see what I have, search the database, and see what I have to do.

I am enthralled for its implementation.

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