Author Topic: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.4 (launcher / mod installer)  (Read 19683 times)

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Offline chief1983

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
I am just hoping we can make it intuitive enough that any actual reading is minimal, within the client or otherwise.  Less words is less to translate to Chinese, which would make karajorma happy probably.
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Offline ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
So I had an idea and decided to build a small demo (click on "Please guide me!" to start the guide).
What do you think? I think something like this could explain the whole task with as little text as possible.
I know that it doesn't look great (it's stretched too wide and the back button is positioned awkwardly) but that's not the point.

 

Offline chief1983

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
I'm not sure a page like that is necessary.  I think sticking with a welcome that is just a showcase of some highlighted available mods would be good.  The MediaVPs should generally be at the top of the list of things to install.  As soon as any FS2 mod is selected, if FS2 is not set up yet, just open a bit drag n drop box.  You can drag the GOG installer into it, a shortcut that points to the FS2 retail, a folder containing the VP files...it would take a good bit of 'smart' code, but this is probably the only part of the entire system that needs to be 'smart'.  And it would be isolated to just configuring FS2 and its mods.  It would not ask you to do anything with FS2 until you want to install a mod though.  Seems like a pretty intuitive UX to me anyway.  Perhaps on the same window as the dropbox, there could be a button with the word 'Scan' or 'Scan for FS2 Retail Data'.  As few words as possible to get the point across.  I suppose then at that point, a manually finder for the folder with the VPs or a GOG executable could also be offered.  I'm not sure how well this could work cross-platform with PyQt.  Dropboxes aren't a hugely common thing yet but they've been used by many apps to make interfaces more accessible (Dropbox, Gmail file attachments, imgur...).  If you drop something into it that it can't find any FS2 content for, then pop up an error, maybe with more words and suggestions.  But initially you could probably keep the words to a bare minimum, only offering more assistance for when the user seems confused.  Maybe the dropbox itself could have a big icon in the background that is recognizable as FS2, and/or the GOG installer icon, etc.  Or helper text saying "Drag and drop your GOG FS2 Installer, or Freespace2 folder here".
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iamzack:  lays

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
So I tried to install Knossos and it won't let me change the install folder to where I want to. Specifically, if I try to choose any other destination than the default, the OK button is greyed out. If I type in the destination I want instead of clicking Browse, the Next button gets greyed out. What's the deal?

EDIT: I ended up just installing it to E:\ root instead of E:\FSTools\... not ideal, but worked.

Now it won't let me select an FS2 directory. I click that big blue button and nothing happens. :(

EDIT2: Hopefully this is good feedback for new users or perhaps I just found a lot of bugs? I poked around in the Settings and found a place to set my FS2 path. I'm guessing that big blue button I mentioned is supposed to leader here. I got that set and everything seems to be working now. However, it is not finding FRED, which is frustrating given that I like to FRED! :o Oh, and I can't seem to create a mod on Nebula. Gives me a 500 Internal Server Error.

Anyhow, with this mostly running, I'm going to create some mockups of what I think would be a good UI for mod browsing!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 03:59:24 pm by mjn.mixael »
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Offline ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
The installer won't let you select a directory which isn't empty though apparently that check didn't work as expected.
The second bug is known and will be fixed by the next release. It was a side-effect of implementing translations.
The problem with FRED is also known and will be fixed by the next release, as well.

I'll hopefully be able to finish the next release tonight which will fix quite a few bugs.

Anyhow, with this mostly running, I'm going to create some mockups of what I think would be a good UI for mod browsing!
I'm looking forward to it and I'm sorry about the rough start.

@chief: Something like this?

 

Offline chief1983

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
That's kind of what I had in mind.  The top text I don't think is really adding anything useful though.  Maybe it could be hidden behind a help ? icon or something.  Would you have in mind that the blue button would be performing a scan?  Because as it is worded it sounds like it would do the same thing as clicking the target area.
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"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 ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
The blue button is only blue because it currently has the focus (it's part of my gtk theme).

That button would initially be disabled and labeled "Scanning for FS2 installations...". The scan would run in the background and wouldn't block the UI.
If an installation is found, the button is enabled and would change to "Use existing FS2 installation". If no installation is found, it would stay disabled and change to "No FS2 installations found".

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
Looks really promising. Keep up that good work, ngld!
I'm running Avast too, but it didn't freak out about the file or asked me to wait or anything. I had an error that I clicked through at the end of the installation though, something about the main script not being able to run or what not. There are some UI things I feel need some changing, but I'll wait and see what mjn brings up as suggestions so I can hook in on that.
FRED doesn't work for me either, and the initial three buttons didn't seem to do anything, had to set things up through the settings.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
OK, so here's my mockup design. Now bear with me, because it's very different from all the launchers we've been used to for years. However, I think it's time for the influence of 5.5g Launcher to finally die.

This assumes we get the ability to launch FSO Execs from subfolders (which I hear is a newish FSO feature). Mods should be able to optionally require a specific build. Players should almost never have to deal with selecting a build. Mod installation will treat the required build as a dependency and make sure it's downloaded.

I chose the vertical tiles because I think they look really nice and it's kinda how we're used to selecting things. (DVD/Bluray cases, Books, Video game cases, etc.) Now, I know many of you are thinking.. what about all the legacy mods that won't have a vertical style tile or no tile at all? I thought about that and gave a possible option in the mockup. However, while Knossos is capable of launching pre-installed legacy mods.. it's designed do install and manage mods from Nebula. Because of this, I think this is as good a time as any to essentially digitize our mod collection and put them on Nebula. During that process is a good time to add a vertical style image along with searchable keywords that Nebula/Knossos already supports.

I'm next working on a mockup for a mod Details page. This will be the area where you can choose mod settings, see the version number, description and a few other things that I'm going to wait explaining until I have the mockup ready to show off. But I think you'll really like it.

Mouseover to select Play, Details, or Upgrade.

Clean mockup first.


Now with explanations.

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Offline karajorma

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
Can't fault it. That's exactly what I'd have done if I had the artistic talent to make a mockup. I assume Home shows what you have installed and Nebula shows what you can download, right?

I agree fully with not worrying about supporting existing installations.

Can you mock up the Details page too?
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
...Wow.

I'd write more words, but all that comes to mind is :yes:.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

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<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
Yes, I'm working on the details page. Given that the above took me um... more time than I'd like to admit... the Details page will be up some time tomorrow, I think.

I'll also say that I envision the Nebula page to be pretty similar to the above except instead of a Play button, you get an Install button.
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Offline karajorma

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
Yep. That's fine. The two should look almost exactly the same.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
Eh, screw it. Who needs sleep? Here's a lot of things.

Knossos Mouseover Play


Knossos Mouseover Update


Knossos Mouseover Updating


Knossos Mouseover Error


Knossos Nebula (Where players can download new mods. Ideally Knossos will be smart enough to hide mods the player already installed from the list. This is also where we'll scroll campaign release highlights across the top instead of errors and notifications.)


Knossos Development Version (So far, the biggest difference is that it shows FRED and Mod Path buttons instead of Update. Will need to go into Details to Update mods with this view. Other details can be added, I just couldn't think of any. I was going to list the Current Build somewhere visible, but since each mod should be able to run the required build like a dependency, that's no longer important or relevant like in current launchers.)


Finally, here's what I'm thinking for the Details pages. Can show a slideshow of screenshots. The Settings button will lead to where you can see the FSO build it will run (with an override option, perhaps), the flags for the mod with both "Mod Recommended" flags and user overrides, and any other mod specific settings that might need to be changed. In general, this stuff will be set to auto defaults by User, Mod, or Knossos in that priority. The Forum button opens the mod's forum or release thread in the user's default browser. Videos will play YouTube videos right inside Knossos (if Knossos could support that).

Video Window Open


Here's a version where the mod is errored.


Here's a version where the mod needs an update.


Here's a version where the mod is currently updating.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
Oh, and ngld.. I'm going to work with qt and see if I can figure out how to actually start building such an interface. Mostly I don't want you to think I'm just posting these and expecting you do just do all the work! :) I'm fairly handy with HTML/CSS, so I'm gonna try and give it a go.
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
All of my :yes:.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 
Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
mjn, that looks positively awesome.

Quote
Players should almost never have to deal with selecting a build. Mod installation will treat the required build as a dependency and make sure it's downloaded.

Agreed, some mods & TCs have in the past come out with their own .exe or required a nightly, which is an extra hurdle in playing those mods that would be nice to get rid of.


This is the most exciting thread I've seen on HLP in a long time, keep it up  :yes:

 

Offline niffiwan

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
Completely awesome mockups Mjn, love your work
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----
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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
With the most recent Knossos 0.4.3 update, I have been able to succesfully launch and play a mod! In this case, the last stand, which is a rather neat thing. However, the settings menu finds itself unable to save settings and the 7.4 build that I am currently using finds itself unable to register my joystick.

Code: [Select]
INFO:MainThread:launcher.main: Running Knossos 0.4.3 on PyQt5.
INFO:MainThread:_code_cache._create_comtypes_gen_package: Imported existing <module 'comtypes.gen' (<pyimod03_importers.FrozenImporter object at 0x007CA230>)>
INFO:MainThread:_code_cache._find_gen_dir: Using writeable comtypes cache directory: 'C:\Users\joshu\AppData\Local\Temp\comtypes_cache\Knossos-35'
INFO:MainThread:integration.init: Activating Windows integration...
INFO:MainThread:api.get_fso_profile_path: Using profile path "D:\GoG Games\Freespace 2".
ERROR:MainThread:windows.write_config: Failed to save the configuration!
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\packager\Downloads\knossos-release\knossos\windows.py", line 1034, in write_config
ValueError: invalid literal for int() with base 10: ''
INFO:MainThread:api.get_fso_profile_path: Using profile path "D:\GoG Games\Freespace 2".
INFO:MainThread:api.run_mod: Starting mod "The Last Stand" with cmdline "['-nomotiondebris', '-missile_lighting', '-3dshockwave', '-post_process', '-soft_particles', '-fxaa', '-fb_explosions', '-enable_shadows', '-snd_preload', '-mod', 'TheLastStand,Mediavps_2014']".
INFO:Thread-11:api.get_fso_profile_path: Using profile path "D:\GoG Games\Freespace 2".
INFO:MainThread:api.get_fso_profile_path: Using profile path "D:\GoG Games\Freespace 2".
ERROR:MainThread:windows.write_config: Failed to save the configuration!
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\packager\Downloads\knossos-release\knossos\windows.py", line 1034, in write_config
ValueError: invalid literal for int() with base 10: ''
ERROR:MainThread:windows.write_config: Failed to save the configuration!
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\packager\Downloads\knossos-release\knossos\windows.py", line 1034, in write_config
ValueError: invalid literal for int() with base 10: ''
ERROR:MainThread:windows.write_config: Failed to save the configuration!
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\packager\Downloads\knossos-release\knossos\windows.py", line 1034, in write_config
ValueError: invalid literal for int() with base 10: ''

Keep up the good work though! This is rather exciting.

 

Offline ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
 :eek:  Wow! I can't wait to see these mockups become real!

This assumes we get the ability to launch FSO Execs from subfolders (which I hear is a newish FSO feature). Mods should be able to optionally require a specific build. Players should almost never have to deal with selecting a build. Mod installation will treat the required build as a dependency and make sure it's downloaded.
Knossos already launches the nightlies from a subfolder and it seems to work. Required builds are already treated as dependencies but Knossos can't automatically select the right build for each mod. I'm still working on that.

Videos will play YouTube videos right inside Knossos (if Knossos could support that).
The embedded browser is based on Chromium so it should be possible.

Oh, and ngld.. I'm going to work with qt and see if I can figure out how to actually start building such an interface. Mostly I don't want you to think I'm just posting these and expecting you do just do all the work! :) I'm fairly handy with HTML/CSS, so I'm gonna try and give it a go.
I think the easiest path would be to realize most of the UI in HTML/CSS because the Qt Widgets try to provide a native look&feel and aren't as easy to style as HTML.
I could make a dev build of Knossos which would allow you to directly change the HTML, CSS and JS files. Would that help?

I have to make a few internal changes before the new UI can work. I'll work on those first but don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions or need help!
If several mods are installed at the same time (because of dependencies or other reasons), they will all have the same progress percentage due to the way Knossos tracks progress.
I have one final nitpick: It would be nice if the user could see the installation / update progress even if they don't hover over the mod's tile. Maybe a tiny progress bar above the mod's title?

@Joshua: Go to the Network page (in the Settings window) and put any valid port in the "Force valid port:" field. That should work as a workaround until the next release.
Regarding you joystick problems: Could you go to the "Game settings" page, click on "Open FS2's config folder" and check what the "CurrentJoystick" setting in the fs2_open.ini is set to.
Is Knossos detecting your joystick?

Keep up the good work though! This is rather exciting.
Thanks! I just hope that I won't introduce too many new bugs while implementing the new UI. :D