Author Topic: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)  (Read 33868 times)

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Offline mjn.mixael

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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.

Sorry, I meant to ask "wasn't the original suggestion..."
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
This sounds like a fantastic idea, if it can be pulled off without too much agony. :yes:

 

Offline Iss Mneur

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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.
Another very valid reason for doing that.

Additionally i think the launcher should register the .vp and the .cvp extencions to show up a volition icon.
What about FSO's icon? FSO's icon in a vice?

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.
Yes, it is out of the question. The point of .vps and .cvps is not to protect the game data but speed game loading by allowing the engine to only have to open a few files rather than thousands.  Even on a modern system, a single process (like FSO) holding open thousands of files is a very fast way to cause performance problems.

An a example of this was given earlier in this thread by Tomo.  Tomo's performance gains are also applicable to FSO though probably not a drastic as FSO doesn't open very many files after a level loads (mostly just sounds).

An encrypted archive (if the password doesn't cause the archive to be encrypted then the password protection is worthless) would normally be solid, which as already discussed is also worthless for our application.  This is also notwithstanding the increased processing and slow downs that encryption would cause. 

Also, see what Zacam wrote.

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.

Sorry, I meant to ask "wasn't the original suggestion..."
Sorry, I am not sure why I started with "No" (probably in response to the second question), but nevertheless I meant to agree with you. So,

Yes, that was the original suggestion.  No, there is no issue with that as far as I can tell.  I think karajorma summed it up best to be honest. :D
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Offline chief1983

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
Nothing should register it.  The default behavior of "What program do you want to use to open this file?" should be more than enough to alert to people that this isn't a common file they should be tinkering with.  If I want to manually associate them with 7-zip, since I know better, then I'm even prompted with that option.
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Offline CaptJosh

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
I like this idea. Some campaigns are rather large. It would be nice to have them take up less space. I do agree that the extension should not be .7z for the new format. That's just asking for trouble. But no password protection or encryption. Especially no encryption. Encryption would slow things down.
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Offline jr2

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
.VP = Volition Package
.7zP? 7zip Package?

 

Offline Zacam

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)

.VP = Volition Package, yes.
.CVP = Compressed Volition Package (because it would still be structured internally the same as a .VP is currently, it would just be compressed) and would be handled by 7z or any other application that can handle Streaming/Non-Solid Archives. And we still want to convey that it IS a package usable in game (vs just a standard VP in a .7z file).

.7zP isn't a bad idea, per-se. It does get the idea across and it's not an in use extension. And Google searching it immediately leads one to 7z site as the first result. But it's too close to the generic ".7z" extension for comfort if the Author of it wanted to take issue.
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Offline jr2

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
Yes, but it isn't really a compressed Volition Package... it is 7z format, not a VP compressed with 7zip; otherwise, you would be stuck with the same limits we currently have with the VP format... right?  CVP just seems to give the impression that's it's a compressed VP file, instead of an entirely different format.  *shrugs* it really doesn't matter, of course.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
Going with a name similar to .7z seems to ignore the entire point of not simply using .7z in the first place.
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Offline chief1983

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
.CFP - Compressed FreeSpace Package :)
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Offline Sushi

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
.CFP - Compressed FreeSpace Package :)

+1


 

Offline bigchunk1

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
A word of caution about this,

If this happens... whatever format you would like to replace .vps with... please PLEASE make it easy, even for the less technical among us, to understand and work with.

One of the biggest obstacles to getting into modding (at least for me) is file management. The easier it is, the more people are going to want to play.

So if you think you can shave off a few megs by adding some kind of crazy javascript compression software on everyone's computer (random 'sacrifice of ease for complexity' example) . I advise against it!

Formats like winzip, .7z or .rar are nice ideas since they are more widely used than the freespace community, and it is likely people will have had some familiarity with them before getting into modding here.

Lastly, just to be clear, making things as easy as possible gets my vote even if that means it has less favorable compression. 

 
 
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
A word of caution about this,

If this happens... whatever format you would like to replace .vps with... please PLEASE make it easy, even for the less technical among us, to understand and work with.

One of the biggest obstacles to getting into modding (at least for me) is file management. The easier it is, the more people are going to want to play.

So if you think you can shave off a few megs by adding some kind of crazy javascript compression software on everyone's computer (random 'sacrifice of ease for complexity' example) . I advise against it!

Formats like winzip, .7z or .rar are nice ideas since they are more widely used than the freespace community, and it is likely people will have had some familiarity with them before getting into modding here.

Lastly, just to be clear, making things as easy as possible gets my vote even if that means it has less favorable compression.

Did.. you... read... the thread?
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Offline bigchunk1

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
What?!

This is a valid concern with any file format change. I don't think I am being too ridiculous here.

I'm not saying you all are actually looking to make .vps more difficult, but I would like to bring attention to making ease a priority with format you do happen to select.

Overall, I support this.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
 :beamz:

Read the thread!

You said "Formats like winzip, .7z or .rar are nice ideas since they are more widely used than the freespace community"

This thread is basically ABOUT using 7z's archive method... recent discussion has been about using a different file extension for various reason..

So, I say again.. please read the thread.  :doubt:

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Offline bigchunk1

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
What the heck is with the 'who can read' argument?!

I think you understand my general point. Let's be friends.
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Offline Qent

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
What the heck is with the 'who can read' argument?!

I think you understand my general point. Let's be friends.
Hey, he's right. If you had even read the first post, you'd know that only common formats are on the table here.

EDIT: Or maybe you still wouldn't. But that is the case.

 

Offline Zacam

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)

The idea of use:
You have your uncompressed mod folder where you have worked everything out. You point 7z at the right location (the data dir, just like you would any VP builder).
You set 7z to do a non-solid LZMA archive and set your compression level. You then rename the ".7z" part at the end to either ".cvp" or ".cfp" or whatever the consensus extension is.

You put that in an MOD dir like you would a VP. You play. To open an existing one, you "Open With" or choose 7z (just as if you had a VP file that wasn't registered to a VP viewer) and you then browse or extract individual files from it. At some point, it might be possible to build a viewer that (like the current Viewer) does ANI playback and image preview, but that's for later and another project entirely.

Ignoring all the rest of everything else now, it has already been addressed, I hope. Final note: The original VP format isn't and cannot go anywhere. It just won't be as robust as the new format (filename limitations, etc that would break existing tools amongst other things).
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Offline Fury

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
Instead of discussing this thing round and round, I wish we could move towards actually implementing it already. It's a daunting task, but better start sooner than later. :nervous:

 

Offline CaptJosh

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Re: Alternative to VP-files - compressed archives (read before freaking out)
Part of the reason you were being told to read the thread, bigchunk1, is that nobody was talking about replacing use of .vp files, yet one of your specific statements was, "whatever format you would like to replace .vps with..." Remember that the SCP's major requirement is maintaining retail compatibility. Therefore, .vp file support remains for as long as this project continues to be developed. The idea is to add support for a compressed format as well. This is specifically to decrease download sizes for large mods.
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