Author Topic: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.4 (launcher / mod installer)  (Read 18594 times)

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Offline mjn.mixael

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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.
Glad you like it! This would be a really great feature to prevent players from having to muddle in builds and their crazy names sometimes. Additionally, as I thought about it more, I added the following dropdown to the mockup. Dunno if it would be possible, but it would be handy if Knossos could auto-select the Debug or Fast Debug of the same build number as the mod dependency.



Quote
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.
Awesome!

Quote
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?
Yes, that would be awesome!

Quote
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?
Excellent idea!

Lastly, I redesigned the "Development" tab based on feedback to make it much easier for developers to have access to the launcher tools the use most often. I'm not quite sure how the Mod Path section would be handled since Knossos does most of that automatically, but that's something mod creators use a lot. I was also considering a Mod Dependency Add/Remove button. These mods are probably not linked to Nebula, so perhaps that will make that section easier. The rest is just copied/duplicate access to what's already in each mod's settings page (normally accessed through the Details page). Take a look.
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
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.
Well, he said he's using 3.7.4, which uses the registry on Windows, not fs2_open.ini.
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<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
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Offline m!m

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
Also, the joystick selection has changed a bit since the SDL2 merge since it's now possible to identify joysticks better when using SDL2. If you set the "CurrentJoystickGUID" option in your ini then FSO will use that to determine the correct joystick. You can retrieve this GUID with SDL_JoystickGetGUID. I'll try to add support for this to Knossos when I find the time to implement it.

 

Offline Hellzed

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
@ngld: First, awesome job fixing and extending Nebula!

The changes you mentioned regarding Knossos UI, I guess it's a rework of the Javascript API, exposing features required by the new UI proposal (which is awesome, @mjn !) ?
Are you aiming at fully separating a mostly Javascript + HTML + CSS display code, and system features (installation an removal of mods...) ?

Given the added complexity of the new UI, I'd say it would be time to move away from jQuery and pick a proper framework to handle widgets and the UI state.
This would allow to handle design tasks separately, with mjn only having to care about the main layout and widgets. Much less work for him!
This would also be useful if the mod library in Nebula and in Knossos end up sharing the same appearance and code.

My personal choice for this would be React + Redux, with a Knossos/Nebula middleware to talk to the required APIs.
Also, to handle all the asynchronous things going on in the new UI (installations, checksums...), it would be super interesting to support Promises/A+ in Knossos API.

Thoughts?

PS: I'm also thinking about rationalising Nebula API, especially regarding the library, so it's more convenient to use in Knossos. So much stuff I didn't know when I started this, since it was my first Symfony project, time to make things right!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 01:34:42 pm by Hellzed »

 
Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
Hello I got a little problem with knossos.
The previous version (0.4.1 iirc) installed correctly, launched correctly, but I was not able to do anything with it (when I click on the button to select my FS2 install, nothing happens)
The new version installs correctly, but won't launch. I get a fatal error "Failed to execute script _main_"

By the way I'm on win7 pro x64

Edit: md5 of knossos.exe downloaded ABED4121C086C75DB48E9414F829E0D3

 

Offline 666maslo666

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
This looks great! I have some suggestions:

- show download speed, download size, estimated time to completion, ability to pause downloads and limit download speed
- ability to discover/add already downloaded mods
- mod details should include rating, news, update changelogs
- link to IRC / real time chat maybe?
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 03:59:01 pm by 666maslo666 »
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Offline ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
Sorry for the long delay (and post)!

Additionally, as I thought about it more, I added the following dropdown to the mockup. Dunno if it would be possible, but it would be handy if Knossos could auto-select the Debug or Fast Debug of the same build number as the mod dependency.
I can do that but recent nightlies only offer Fast Debug builds. Do we hide the Debug option in the case it's not available or should we display it as disabled?

Quote
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?
Yes, that would be awesome!
Here you go

Lastly, I redesigned the "Development" tab based on feedback to make it much easier for developers to have access to the launcher tools the use most often. I'm not quite sure how the Mod Path section would be handled since Knossos does most of that automatically, but that's something mod creators use a lot. I was also considering a Mod Dependency Add/Remove button. These mods are probably not linked to Nebula, so perhaps that will make that section easier. The rest is just copied/duplicate access to what's already in each mod's settings page (normally accessed through the Details page). Take a look.
*snip*
If the user changes the Mod Path, I could move the mod.json file to the new directory. If you had several copies of your mod folder, this would allow you to switch between these copies. I'm not sure if that's very useful, though.
I'm wondering if we should add an additional field "Mod Folders" which would allow you to specify several folders if your mod folders are in more than one folder. The "Mod Dependencies" field is supposed to contain only a list of mods.
All the BTA1_* entries from you example would be in the "Mod Folders" list instead. This would also allow Knossos to automatically pack each folder as a .vp before uploading to Nebula if/when we implement that later.

I agree that editing the mod dependencies should be possible. For every dependency, Knossos needs a mod ID and instead of asking for the mod ID, I'd rather ask the modder to pick from the list of available mods.

Well, he said he's using 3.7.4, which uses the registry on Windows, not fs2_open.ini.
Sorry, I keep forgetting that the SDL2 builds aren't released as stable, yet.
@Joshua: In that case it would be HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Volition\Freespace2\CurrentJoystick in the registry.

Also, the joystick selection has changed a bit since the SDL2 merge since it's now possible to identify joysticks better when using SDL2. If you set the "CurrentJoystickGUID" option in your ini then FSO will use that to determine the correct joystick. You can retrieve this GUID with SDL_JoystickGetGUID. I'll try to add support for this to Knossos when I find the time to implement it.
Thanks for telling me about that. If I want to keep compatibility with the pre-SDL2 builds, would it be possible / make sense to set both CurrentJoystick and CurrentJoystickGUID?

@ngld: First, awesome job fixing and extending Nebula!
Thanks! :D

The changes you mentioned regarding Knossos UI, I guess it's a rework of the Javascript API, exposing features required by the new UI proposal (which is awesome, @mjn !) ?
Are you aiming at fully separating a mostly Javascript + HTML + CSS display code, and system features (installation an removal of mods...) ?
The JS API is a part of the internal changes but most of the changes are related to additional data I need to store (the new mod settings and additional fields for the mod metadata).

Given the added complexity of the new UI, I'd say it would be time to move away from jQuery and pick a proper framework to handle widgets and the UI state.
This would allow to handle design tasks separately, with mjn only having to care about the main layout and widgets. Much less work for him!
This would also be useful if the mod library in Nebula and in Knossos end up sharing the same appearance and code.
I'm not sure about using React. It feels like overkill because we only have 3 different screens (the mod lists, the details screen and the development screen) with mostly simple interaction (modals and hover effects). The complicated actions (installing, updating, etc.) are handled in Python.
React would make it easier but it would also require me to use a bundler (most likely Webpack), a compiler (Babel) and the minified JS code would probably be much larger than the current ~110KB.
With the currently planned UI it seems more work to add React than to use jQuery.

My personal choice for this would be React + Redux, with a Knossos/Nebula middleware to talk to the required APIs.
I don't think Redux is neccessary because we don't need a centralized state here. Instead of writing middleware or reducers, I'd just use React's this.setState() to update the UI.

Also, to handle all the asynchronous things going on in the new UI (installations, checksums...), it would be super interesting to support Promises/A+ in Knossos API.
The JS API can't support promises (unless I write a wrapper) because the browser interface is too simple to do that. Also, I don't use the API to retrieve data instead I provide the neccessary data whenever I trigger an event to update the UI.

PS: I'm also thinking about rationalising Nebula API, especially regarding the library, so it's more convenient to use in Knossos. So much stuff I didn't know when I started this, since it was my first Symfony project, time to make things right!
It's great that you want to help! Please take a look at my fork because a lot has changed. I've updated Symfony, scrapped the ACL system and switched back to using Voters and made quite a few changes to the forms (file uploads are now possible!).
The only API that Knossos uses is the repository JSON file which contains the mod metadata and a single endpoint which I added to track mod installations. If you're talking about the API between Nebula and knossos-server (I should really give it a proper name), I've made a few changes to it and it's fine the way it is.

Important changes that are still missing would be a WYSIWYG editor for the mod description, resizing for uploaded images (+ thumbnails), an integrated help guide (something like this) and translations.

The previous version (0.4.1 iirc) installed correctly, launched correctly, but I was not able to do anything with it (when I click on the button to select my FS2 install, nothing happens)
That bug is fixed in 0.4.3.

The new version installs correctly, but won't launch. I get a fatal error "Failed to execute script _main_"
Can you please check if "%APPDATA%\Knossos\log.txt" exists? If it does, please post its contents here.

- show download speed, download size, estimated time to completion, ability to pause downloads and limit download speed
Download speed: Not sure where
Download size: Will be shown in the install dialog
Estimated time to completion: This is HARD since several files are downloaded at the same time which often leads to fluctuating download speed. Also, the currently downloading progress and still queued files have to be taken into account. If I implement this, it will most likely only be after 1.0.0.
Ability to pause downloads: Maybe
Limit download speed: Once again, kinda hard since the library I'm using doesn't support this and implementing this myself will cause additional overhead during downloading (more CPU load) which I'd like to avoid.

- ability to discover/add already downloaded mods
This is planned.

- mod details should include rating, news, update changelogs
Not sure about news and changelogs because those could be part of the mod's description.
Ratings are planned.

- link to IRC / real time chat maybe?
Or Discord? I think we can put that as well as a link to the "Getting started" forum on a help page.


 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
Do mod authors write a change log when they update their mod to a new version? We could just grab and display that data somewhere.

I have thoughts on the mod folders when I'm not typing on a phone.

Super excited to start trying to build the UI when the kids are in bed. :)
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Offline chief1983

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
mjn.mixael, that is incredible work on the UI.  I finally got to look at it on my desktop instead of my phone.  It does exactly what I've been suggesting with keeping the words to a minimum, and the experience as intuitive as possible.  I am only really not sure about the news scroller, it seems dated compared to the rest of the design.  I would suggest a News tab on the main screen for general news, and possibly under the Mod details, another News button/tab for news specific to that mod, or just the ability to scroll down below the details for mod-specific news.  But all in all, yeah, wow.  I'm just not sure we have the bandwidth to keep up with how many more installs it will get when it becomes this easy to get into!
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
That's great feedback, Chief. I'll see what I can do about that.

And yes, bandwidth would be an awesome problem to have. :)
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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
I think the first-time install process is arguably the most important part of Knossos, and the hardest to explain -- particularly when you have to explain to users that they have to separately buy and provide a copy of FS2 retail. I am absolutely sure that if you try to remove words from the process you'll just make it more confusing. Do you have an idea for how that should look?
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Offline chief1983

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
Strictly speaking, you only need it to play FS2 mods.  If you installed it for Diaspora, FotG, TBP, etc, you wouldn't even need to point it to FS2.  I think it should probably be handled upon attempting to install MediaVPs, etc, the first time.  Hopefully a dialogue with a minimal verbosity can make it clear what needs to be done.  I think a combination of scanning for it in expected locations (Steam install), dropping the GOG installer into a drop target, scan button, file explorer to point to the FS2 install folder, etc could make it as painless as that can be.  And I am hoping that finding FS2 can be one of the only pain points that has to exist in the design.  I am hoping we can solve the rest by not worrying about backwards compatibility.
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Offline Goober5000

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
Awesome UI mockups. :yes:

 
Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
Strictly speaking, you only need it to play FS2 mods.  If you installed it for Diaspora, FotG, TBP, etc, you wouldn't even need to point it to FS2.  I think it should probably be handled upon attempting to install MediaVPs, etc, the first time.  Hopefully a dialogue with a minimal verbosity can make it clear what needs to be done.  I think a combination of scanning for it in expected locations (Steam install), dropping the GOG installer into a drop target, scan button, file explorer to point to the FS2 install folder, etc could make it as painless as that can be.  And I am hoping that finding FS2 can be one of the only pain points that has to exist in the design.  I am hoping we can solve the rest by not worrying about backwards compatibility.

Yes. I think a good starting point from downloading Knossos and launching it for the first time is to present the user with mjn-style options for "Freespace Open + mods" and then, separately, all the standalones. If they select FSO then the launcher needs to explain to them that Step 1 is buying a copy of Freespace 2 and that we recommend using GOG to do so. Probably it should give them a direct link to the store page. Don't **** around trying to explain this exclusively with pictures; human language exists for a reason.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
ngld, I've got the HTML build and I'm tracking with everything so far. What I can't seem to find is what's defining the buttons' color and shape (Install, Play, FRED, etc.), though I can see how they are placed and how they work.

I also can't seem to find what has defined the mod list as a single column. Are these in qt?
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Offline ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
The current HTML is using Bootstrap which defines the btn, btn-primary, btn-success, etc. classes. Those classes define the button shape and color.

I also can't seem to find what has defined the mod list as a single column. Are these in qt?
I'm not sure what you mean. To display the mod list, the update_mods function (in js/modlist.js) is called which calls render_row() for each mod entry. render_row() creates a copy of one of the #tpl-something divs (which one depends on the current tab). That copy is then appended in update_mods to the #mods div. Every row is a div and divs are displayed below each other unless you apply CSS.
Qt doesn't influence the displayed web page. It should look the same if accessed through Chrome (although you would need to remove the hide classes to see anything because the JS won't run).

EDIT: @Phantom Hoover: Did you see this? https://dev.tproxy.de/knossos/guide_test/guide_test.html It was an experiment if I could make a short but intuitive guide. Any thoughts on that?
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 07:35:11 pm by ngld »

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
Derp.. I missed the btn classes in bootstrap. WALL OF CLASSES

Aha, I understand now about the rows. I don't know java very well, but that explanation makes sense. I can follow it from there, I think.

So the main UI buttons at the top essentially change which div is rendered? I guess I'll worry about the mod display first and then we can see about dealing with the UI above the HTML window.
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Offline ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
I don't know java very well, but that explanation makes sense.
It's a common misconception but Java and JavaScript are very different kanguages.

So the main UI buttons at the top essentially change which div is rendered?
Yes. Everytime you click a tab, a filtered mod list is generated and passed to update_mods() along with the name of the clicked tab. The JS function then clears the #mods div and calls render_row for each mod in the passed list.

I guess I'll worry about the mod display first and then we can see about dealing with the UI above the HTML window.
I think it's easier to code the new UI in HTML than to style the current UI.

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.1 (launcher / mod installer)
but I'll wait and see what mjn brings up as suggestions so I can hook in on that.
Yeah lol no, nothing to hook in on. Everything I might have said or suggested have been completely blown away by these awesome looking ui mockups :yes:
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Offline chief1983

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.4.3 (launcher / mod installer)
I'm sure some explanatory text will be necessary when fs2 is being located, unless it autolocates, but I am hoping a full guid won't be _necessary_ to understand the process enough.  Providing good documentation for those interested in what is going on would be great though, as people filing bug reports will often be the types to try to understand the system in a little more detail.
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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