Author Topic: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)  (Read 33946 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mjn.mixael

  • Cutscene Master
  • 212
  • Anims: 420, Cutscenes: 10, Mainhalls: 7, Logos: 52
    • Steam
    • Twitter
    • Mix-Hai Productions
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
I'm sure that any user knows that if you touch the game's files, probably they will **** up the game ;). Don't take people to be that stupid. For what is worth, I think going towards more general standards is better, in long term.

Go look at the support board and tell me if you would still assume that people know what they are doing...
Cutscene Upgrade Project - Mainhall Remakes - MixaelANITools - Between the Ashes - MjnMixael's Render Boutique - Mix-Hai Productions
Youtube Channel - P3D Model Box - Photobucket Albums - Model Releases - Downloads
Between the Ashes is looking for committed testers, PM me for details.
Report MediaVP issues, now on the MediaVP Mantis! Read all about it Here!

 

Offline The E

  • He's Ebeneezer Goode
  • Global Moderator
  • 213
  • Nothing personal, just tech support.
    • Steam
    • Twitter
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
In the end, there is nothing much we can do about this either way. However, we can mitigate it a bit by using a better checksumming algorithm than the one we're using currently.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline Luis Dias

  • 211
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
I'm sure that any user knows that if you touch the game's files, probably they will **** up the game ;). Don't take people to be that stupid. For what is worth, I think going towards more general standards is better, in long term.

Go look at the support board and tell me if you would still assume that people know what they are doing...

Exceptions make a good rule, mixael. There're always black sheep everywhere... but I get your point

 

Offline Goober5000

  • HLP Loremaster
  • Administrator
  • 214
    • Goober5000 Productions
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
This means deprecation of .vp by all modders, which isn't that much of a trouble.

It means no such thing.  On the contrary, it means that we'd support two different .vp formats.  This isn't really a big deal, since we already support multiple image and audio formats.


Quote
I'm sure that any user knows that if you touch the game's files, probably they will **** up the game ;). Don't take people to be that stupid.

You would think that, wouldn't you?  Unfortunately, experience has shown us that people are that stupid.  There have been threads on this very forum where people have edited the VP file directly, despite being told in no uncertain terms not to do so.

 

Offline ShivanSpS

  • 210
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
ppl try opening files with compression programs first, so it wont matter.

My best bet is using password protection and no tell anyone about it. So in this way you can only make the CVP with a upgraded vpmage tool, witch it automatically sets the password to the file, and again only open them with upgraded vpview. Game code offcourse will known the password.
And if you want to add security, you can make the game code to have a 10 word dictionary and automatically change the password to another after loaded the .cvp once.

 

Offline Mobius

  • Back where he started
  • 213
  • The Lightblue Ribbon
    • Skype
    • Twitter
    • The Lightblue Ribbon | Cultural Project
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
* jr2 likes this idea.

Wasn't this brought up before?  I forget.
Taylor, and then later myself, did have a look at this concept. There was some proof of concept code floating around, but it never got to a point at which it was widely circulated on these forums or IRC.

The thinking done ahead of the coding then arrived at largely the same conclusions as here (non-solid, algorithm akin to LZMA) if I remember correctly.

I remember Taylor's posts on the matter and, in fact, I have been willing to see the idea pass the planning stage for quite some time. By "compressed VPs", however, I thought Taylor meant a new file format, like "Compressed Volition Package" or something like that. I must have misinterpreted his posts, then.

 

Offline Iss Mneur

  • 210
  • TODO:
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
ppl try opening files with compression programs first, so it wont matter.

My best bet is using password protection and no tell anyone about it. So in this way you can only make the CVP with a upgraded vpmage tool, witch it automatically sets the password to the file, and again only open them with upgraded vpview. Game code offcourse will known the password.
And if you want to add security, you can make the game code to have a 10 word dictionary and automatically change the password to another after loaded the .cvp once.
I think you misinterpreted the intent of using a different extension.  Its not to prevent people from fiddling with the VPs (the one that Goober mentioned actually hex edited the vp!) but just discourage them.

Unfortunately your solution would require SCP to maintain (update) yet one more tool and would add unnecessary work for the engine and the modders.  It is essentially a form of DRM that would not work (because the answers are in the publicly available source code) and would require coder time to implement.

* jr2 likes this idea.

Wasn't this brought up before?  I forget.
Taylor, and then later myself, did have a look at this concept. There was some proof of concept code floating around, but it never got to a point at which it was widely circulated on these forums or IRC.

The thinking done ahead of the coding then arrived at largely the same conclusions as here (non-solid, algorithm akin to LZMA) if I remember correctly.

I remember Taylor's posts on the matter and, in fact, I have been willing to see the idea pass the planning stage for quite some time. By "compressed VPs", however, I thought Taylor meant a new file format, like "Compressed Volition Package" or something like that. I must have misinterpreted his posts, then.
Yes so would we, but in the big picture this is a rather low priority.

No you probably didn't misinterpret what was said.  There are several ways of implementing this.  Even I have had a look at doing it the way that you (Mobius) had interpreted it.  The method proposed in by Fury in this thread is probably the better one because it removes the need for yet another FSO specific tool.
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." -Douglas Adams
wxLauncher 0.9.4 public beta (now with no config file editing for FRED) | wxLauncher 2.0 Request for Comments

 

Offline Luis Dias

  • 211
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
This means deprecation of .vp by all modders, which isn't that much of a trouble.

It means no such thing.  On the contrary, it means that we'd support two different .vp formats.  This isn't really a big deal, since we already support multiple image and audio formats.

Yeah, you're right, what in the god's name was I thinking?

Although in actual usage, it would become the mainstream way to publish campaigns.


Quote
You would think that, wouldn't you?  Unfortunately, experience has shown us that people are that stupid.  There have been threads on this very forum where people have edited the VP file directly, despite being told in no uncertain terms not to do so.

Well that kind of stupidity isn't worth fighting against and "punishing" all the others with it, IMHO...stupids do what stupids must.

 

Offline karajorma

  • King Louie - Jungle VIP
  • Administrator
  • 214
    • Karajorma's Freespace FAQ
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
You get over to the support board and spend your time fixing people's problems who have done just that for a few months and then you can tell us it's not worth doing.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 

Offline jr2

  • The Mail Man
  • 212
  • It's prounounced jayartoo 0x6A7232
    • Steam
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
password-protect the files and make the password:

Code: [Select]
I hereby take responsibility for stupidly editing this file even though I was told not to.  I will not complain when the game breaks.

 

Offline headdie

  • i don't use punctuation lol
  • 212
  • Lawful Neutral with a Chaotic outook
    • Minecraft
    • Skype
    • Twitter
    • Headdie on Deviant Art
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
would it be possible to have two output modes for the new format.  The first is a typical file and is treated as such.  the second for "release" versions which contains a check bit or something in the file which when opened by community tools acts as a read only flag (i'm thinking using this rather than the existing read only flags as they are easily removed)  this way when a newbie wants to make a change they have to extract the file, change it and save it either in the appropriate folder or in a new container file making newbie errors easier to detect (most of the time) and increasing the chances the original file will survive without being modified.
Minister of Interstellar Affairs Sol Union - Retired
quote General Battuta - "FRED is canon!"
Contact me at [email protected]
My Release Thread, Old Release Thread, Celestial Objects Thread, My rubbish attempts at art

 

Offline chief1983

  • Still lacks a custom title
  • Moderator
  • 212
  • ⬇️⬆️⬅️⬅️🅰➡️⬇️
    • Minecraft
    • Skype
    • Steam
    • Twitter
    • Fate of the Galaxy
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
*sigh* I still don't think we really need a whole new format.  Then we won't need new tools.  Then we can put our efforts into other more important things.
Fate of the Galaxy - Now Hiring!  Apply within | Diaspora | SCP Home | Collada Importer for PCS2
Karajorma's 'How to report bugs' | Mantis
#freespace | #scp-swc | #diaspora | #SCP | #hard-light on EsperNet

"You may not sell or otherwise commercially exploit the source or things you created based on the source." -- Excerpt from FSO license, for reference

Nuclear1:  Jesus Christ zack you're a little too hamyurger for HLP right now...
iamzack:  i dont have hamynerge i just want ptatoc hips D:
redsniper:  Platonic hips?!
iamzack:  lays

 

Offline The E

  • He's Ebeneezer Goode
  • Global Moderator
  • 213
  • Nothing personal, just tech support.
    • Steam
    • Twitter
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
We really don't. A simple, standard zip or 7z file does all we need to do, including checksumming etc. Worrying about people modifying content is deeply in the realm of paranoia. After all, since we can get accurate checksums from these archives in a standard way, it's easy for us to compare those sums against reference sums mod creators give us.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 02:56:26 pm by The E »
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline Zacam

  • Magnificent Bastard
  • Administrator
  • 211
  • I go Sledge-O-Matic on Spammers
    • Minecraft
    • Steam
    • Twitter
    • ModDB Feature
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)

Fact is, even with VP being a not-out-of-the-box format, people still modify it. We still have user made tools for modifying them. And people STILL break things when they do so when they don't fully understand what they are doing.

These things will continue, regardless. OUR job is NOT in making that more difficult. Especially not for an "OPEN" code project that is driven by Community participation. The end results of a mod team (Or the MediaVPs) is that it should just WORK once completed. And the more shenanigans you put into place to prevent users fiddling with it, the more likely your are to introduce something that breaks that basic capability.

As The E has rightly said, we can checksum Official packages very easily (via Installer, engine, Multi, etc). That the tools far creating/modifying becomes a step towards better accessibility to being able to mod and distribute is a positive we've been waiting for and cannot pass up on.

Making it easier to be able to be stupid also means it makes it easier to do it right. What impacts one will always impact the other, so we need to focus on the benefits obtained by making it easier for everybody and let time and education take care of the mistakes.

That and we cannot deprecate .VP. That's against the essential tenant that we have to maintain RETAIL compatibility. But it opens the door for being able to get around other issues. We can expand file name handling with the new format to being greater than 32 char's without causing a potential negative impact on the basic Retail behaviour. (Especially since if we tried expanding that limitation WITHIN the VP format, we BREAK all the existing VP tools out there). This is less a concern if we just attribute the new format to handling that.

Further, with the new format, we can have the creation of .manifest files (in addition to the checksum process) to validate not only the package as a whole, but all the bit's in it. And being able to have (eventually) the Installer/Launcher/Whatever be able to merge Patching Data into Official archives (when from an Official Source) so that each new release doesn't mean an complete re-download of everything to stay current. This system would be much easier to implement with this new format without introducing potential complications in being able to load currently existing mods or Retail data. (Mind you, this is merely a -potential- usage scenario, not an immediate use qualification of the new format).

Anyway, running out of steam on this one, so I'll stop while I'm ahead.
Report MediaVP issues, now on the MediaVP Mantis! Read all about it Here!
Talk with the FSU on #SCP-FSU Talk with the SCP on #SCP
"If you can keep a level head in all this confusion, you just don't understand the situation"

¤[D+¬>

[08/01 16:53:11] <sigtau> EveningTea: I have decided that I am a 32-bit registerkin.  Pronouns are eax, ebx, ecx, edx.
[08/01 16:53:31] <EveningTea> dhauidahh
[08/01 16:53:32] <EveningTea> sak
[08/01 16:53:40] * EveningTea froths at the mouth
[08/01 16:53:40] <sigtau> i broke him, boys

 

Offline Sushi

  • Art Critic
  • 211
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
Thought I'd chimed in on this, but apparently not. I'm all for it.

 

Offline karajorma

  • King Louie - Jungle VIP
  • Administrator
  • 214
    • Karajorma's Freespace FAQ
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
I'll point out that while I was for making sure we use a different extension in order to make it less obvious that you just use 7zip or whatever I'm not in favour of making it any harder than that to edit a VP file.

Some people seem to have taken the ball I threw past the endzone and run out into traffic with it. :p
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 

Offline Iss Mneur

  • 210
  • TODO:
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
I'll point out that while I was for making sure we use a different extension in order to make it less obvious that you just use 7zip or whatever I'm not in favour of making it any harder than that to edit a VP file.

Some people seem to have taken the ball I threw past the endzone and run out into traffic with it. :p
Other thing is we don't want to rummage through random zip or 7z files that a user may have left in the Freespace folder.
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." -Douglas Adams
wxLauncher 0.9.4 public beta (now with no config file editing for FRED) | wxLauncher 2.0 Request for Comments

 

Offline mjn.mixael

  • Cutscene Master
  • 212
  • Anims: 420, Cutscenes: 10, Mainhalls: 7, Logos: 52
    • Steam
    • Twitter
    • Mix-Hai Productions
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
Wasn't the suggestion for it to essentially be a 7z file but with a .cvp extension? Or is there some reason that isn't an option?
Cutscene Upgrade Project - Mainhall Remakes - MixaelANITools - Between the Ashes - MjnMixael's Render Boutique - Mix-Hai Productions
Youtube Channel - P3D Model Box - Photobucket Albums - Model Releases - Downloads
Between the Ashes is looking for committed testers, PM me for details.
Report MediaVP issues, now on the MediaVP Mantis! Read all about it Here!

 

Offline Iss Mneur

  • 210
  • TODO:
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
Wasn't the suggestion for it to essentially be a 7z file but with a .cvp extension? Or is there some reason that isn't an option?
No, that is exactly the original suggestion.
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." -Douglas Adams
wxLauncher 0.9.4 public beta (now with no config file editing for FRED) | wxLauncher 2.0 Request for Comments

 

Offline ShivanSpS

  • 210
Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
Replace the extencion... i think its mandatory... some users may misunderstand what to do with a file that is linked to its compression program by his registry, thus showing the compress file icon, thus mistakenly uncompressing it.

Additionally i think the launcher should register the .vp and the .cvp extencions to show up a volition icon.

BTW, adding support for password protected files is out of the question? personally, i dont care, but it seems some people are worried about. not a lot of protection just support for unprotected files and a fixed password... like "scpfso" or something.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 09:10:06 pm by ShivanSpS »