Author Topic: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)  (Read 93009 times)

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Offline Yasuo

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
Sounds like a great update! Looking forward to the linux version to check if my bugs have been fixed.

Btw:
Just noticed that the Knossos version of WingCommanderSaga is version 0.9.4, last updated 2018-07-18, but the download on wcsaga.com is version 1.0.2.7795, date added: 27/03/2012.
So, is the version on Knossos outdated, or is the version number incorrect?

 
Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
Finally, I wanted to mention another issue: The first launch after installation and after each update, Knossos is running as administrator. AFAIK the only issue this has caused is that some people chose a special folder as their library path which means that they always have to run Knossos as admin or it won't work since it can't write to the library folder without admin permissions.
The cause is that once an application has admin permissions in Windows, it can't drop them. Even new processes it launches inherit the permissions. The installer (and updater) run with admin permissions to make sure they can write to C:\Program Files. When they launch Knossos, it inherits those permissions and can't drop them (= run as normal user).
To the best of my knowledge, the only way around this is to modify the installer and updater to launch two processes: The first process runs as a normal user process and launches a second process with admin permissions. The first process remains hidden while the second process acts as usual. Once the installer finishes, the second process tells the first to launch Knossos which can then run without admin permissions since the first process never had those. IMO this is way too complicated for a fairly minor issue.


So, yeah that's all for now. Feel free to discuss the above topics while I'll get back to fixing Knossos bugs.

So if you chose to install Knossos to somewhere else, not c:\Program Files, there'd still be the same issue?  Why not have the installer not be able to select c:\Program Files as the install directory?  Wouldn't that get around the problem?

 

Offline ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
@Yasuo: WC Saga on Knossos is Admiral Nelson's port. The WC Saga devs forked FSO and used that to develop their TC. Due to this, the original TC is incompatible with FSO. Admiral Nelson ported the TC back to FSO which is the release you currently see on Knossos. I don't know how those version numbers relate to each other or if they have any relation at all. You'd have to ask Admiral Nelson about that. Either way, 0.9.4 is the latest version and the one you'll want if you want to launch WC Saga through Knossos.

So if you chose to install Knossos to somewhere else, not c:\Program Files, there'd still be the same issue?  Why not have the installer not be able to select c:\Program Files as the install directory?  Wouldn't that get around the problem?
The problem isn't where Knossos is installed. The problem is which folder you select as your library folder (i.e. where mods are installed). Excluding C:\Program Files would only solve part of the problem since there are many more folders which only admins can write to. Plus you can move the Program Files folder elsewhere which means that a check for C:\Program Files isn't as straightforward as you might expect.
Overall, it'd be better to just check if Knossos is able to write to the folder or not since that's all that matters. Since Knossos is running as admin after installation / update but not when launched through the start menu, desktop icon, etc. that's kinda hard to do. Not running Knossos as admin at all the best (and cleanest solution) but as I pointed out more complicated than it should be...


 

Offline Yasuo

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
Either way, 0.9.4 is the latest version and the one you'll want if you want to launch WC Saga through Knossos.
I see, thanks!

 

Offline jr2

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
2 things:

1) As for mod image size, you could (if you felt like it) do both by having the original size expand to the larger size on mouseover (so you point at it and it expands to the bigger size, then shrinks back down when you move the cursor away).

2) As for admin privileges, is it not possible to have Knossos launch a second, non-privileged instance of itself and exit the privileged instance after initial install finishes, then do the folder write check?

 

Offline ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
1) Hm... that does solve the space issue but still leaves the issue about creating new images. Noone has commented yet on the fact that someone offered to update all the current mod tiles if we decided to go with the bigger size. Guess that's not really relevant if you don't want the bigger size in the first place.
I've also thought about making this an option so users can choose their preferred view (kinda like Discord's compact vs normal message view) but that'd require that either the tile images work well with both sizes or that mod authors submit two tile images for new mods but that's not really worth the additional effort.

2)
The cause is that once an application has admin permissions in Windows, it can't drop them.

 
Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
You could start a poll whether there's even a demand for bigger pictures. If only 2 or 3 people would use them anyway, it certainly wouldn't be worth the addontional work.

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
But what does that slightly larger size actually solve? What's the purpose? Is it just because someone asked for a bigger icon or did they have reasons?

Additionally making it an option to add about roughly 50 px to the width of an icon is just silly overcomplication. That's not compact vs expanded. That's just smaller and slightly less small.

I want to understand why we'd go through all this work? I'm honestly looking to hear the reasons, because I can't think of any myself.

EDIT: I'd add, having designed the UI, that many of the elements are designed around this particular size. Now sure.. all of that can be changed. I can go through all that work to adjust notification banners, the overlay, and all the CSS. But again.. why. And I already have the source files for a large amount of those icons. This person offering to redo everything does not make me more inclined to just agree to what seems like an arbitrary change.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 11:31:33 am by mjn.mixael »
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Offline ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
Is it just because someone asked for a bigger icon or did they have reasons?
To be more like Uplay or Origin, I guess... which is not a good reason.

@Nightmare: I doubt a poll is really necessary since so far I haven't read a single post supporting the change and only posts against it (with good reasons).
Plus, I'm happy with the current size (and so seems everyone else involved with Knossos development).


 
Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
Not to mention that these launchers with these bigger tiles are used to launch full games, not merely mods. I think the tile size in Knossos handily show the difference :P
Also, I think we should mention that increasing the size of these tiles would make scrolling through Explore tab a bit more tedious... Look at how many mods are there already, if I expand the Knossos window to full screen, there are about 3 and a half full "pages" of stuff in there (1920x1080). I think bigger tiles would just be not useful.

However, if you really want to have some alternative to the current GUI, I think I've got a couple rather simple ideas:

1. The tiles are displayed without the title underneath. When hovering the cursor over a tile, the title shows up like the rest of the interface over the tile, above Play/Details buttons.
2. Same as 1. but when hovering the cursor over a tile, the mod title "slides out" downward (or upward if you think it'll be better) from underneath the tile to be displayed.
3. Just make a selectable alternative mod list display mode in Knossos - just a simple list! For example, a single line of the list:

[Mod title] --- [Play/Update/Install] - [Details] - [V] ---------------------- [Installed!/Update avail!]

[V] being the dropdown menu currently found in the normal tile view.
Play/Update/Install, Details and the dropdown menu buttons being hidden until you hover your cursor above the entry.
I think it's possible to reuse every piece of the GUI artwork here too.
Mito [PL] - Today at 8:52 PM
I was supposed to make a short presentation about basics of optical fibers and here I am, listening to Eurobeat while reading about quantum cryptography.

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
A compact view that's just a list is probably the best way to go. That would be a true expanded/compact UI option. Moving mod names really doesn't gain much. It take the height of 5-6 mod names to get another row on the screen at any window size. I'm not against adjusting how that works, but there isn't much gain from it.. if any.

(I'd also mention the CSS/HTML here that runs all the mouse-over stuff, the mod updating progress bar, the dropdown, etc.. are not exactly clean or easy to adjust. It can be done.. but I think there are better uses of our time in terms of Knossos features.)
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Offline ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
Hm... a simple list view like that might actually be useful (especially for smaller screens). I'd estimate that implementing would take ~30 minutes. You need to add an option somewhere to turn it on or off. If you just add a new setting, then you can just copy/paste the code for an existing setting and replace the names. The mod tiles are split into two templates: home tab and explore tab. You'd need to modify those templates which should be relatively simple: Remove the image for the compact layout and maybe change the order of the elements. Finally write a bit of CSS to display the mods in a list instead of grid and whatever other styling needs to be done.

If you actually want it to look good you'll probably need to invest more time but it's probably simpler than some of the bugs I'm currently trying to fix (joystick, no UI on macOS, some other weirdness that's been rep. (What the hell is wrong with the joystick code... why does it break itself on the second FSO launch with an invalid selected joystick?!  :banghead:)


 

Offline CP5670

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
Is there a way to edit the images/description/files of a campaign on there? I've got a slightly nicer one for PI and it should be using a different media VP version (2014, and 2018 probably also works).

Knossos itself looks really nice and modern, and should make it much easier for newcomers to get started without messing around with VPs and so on. I know that complicated install processes turn off a lot of people. The existing UI and image sizes look good to me, and are similar to Origin or Uplay. The one suggestion I have is that there should be a way to manually override parts of an install, especially the dependencies that used to be in mod.ini (things like the media VP version).

 

Offline ngld

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
PIe uploaded PI. He can either do the change himself or give you access to modify the description, etc. yourself.

Being able to locally modify a mod would be nice but isn't as simple as I'd like it to be. I'll eventually (whenever I get the time to do it) implement it. I'll probably have Knossos convert it into a local dev mod. I might change the mod ID in the process to make it distinct from the "official" mod but I'm not exactly sure about that. You can already create and modify mods through the dev tab so the actual functionality is already there. The problem is that dev mods currently use a different folder structure from normal mods. The main reason for that is that Knossos needs to be able to tell which files belong to which package. This makes subfolders for packages necessary. Normal mod installs don't use subfolders to be closer to the traditional folder structure. However, I think that the latter isn't as important anymore and having the same folder structure for both devs and users would resolve a few issues (and make local modifications easier since I'd just need to change a single value in a JSON file for that).
Sorry... that was probably a bit too detailed.

Anyway, the trade-off with local modifications is that you either don't receive further updates for that mod or that your local modifcations will be overwritten with the next update.

 

Offline PIe

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
If you want dev access to PI, send me your Knossos username.  Otherwise just send me whatever you want changed.
[9:50 PM] Sottises: wait did you do vassago's verge?
[9:50 PM] Sottises: .. dirge?
[9:50 PM] Axem: yes
[9:50 PM] Sottises: ohh
[9:50 PM] Sottises: well I have that and JAD too
[9:50 PM] Axem: :)
[9:50 PM] Sottises: what a contrast of themes lmao
[9:50 PM] Axem: isnt it
[9:51 PM] Axem: super grimdark thriller about unknowable alien intelligence and over the top colorful action about friendship
[9:51 PM] PIe: jad is grimdark???
[9:51 PM] Axem: :skull:

[6:23 PM] PIe: why do I have the feeling that I shouldn't be able to give orders to 22nd armored hq
[6:24 PM] Axem: 22nd armored hq, i order you to get me a cup of coffee
[6:24 PM] PIe: and donuts
[6:24 PM] PIe: BECAUSE THIS IS THE GTVA POLICE
[6:25 PM] Axem: :O
[6:25 PM] Axem: am i under arrest
[6:26 PM] [`_`]/: no, just please step out of the myrmidon
[6:26 PM] [`_`]/: you have so much to fred for

 

Offline CP5670

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
I made an account on Nebula with the same username (CP5670).

Quote
Anyway, the trade-off with local modifications is that you either don't receive further updates for that mod or that your local modifcations will be overwritten with the next update.

Yes, I can see how this could create a few issues. Most of the campaigns are not updated often though, so it shouldn't occur too frequently. I'll try doing this through a local dev mod for now.

 

Offline PIe

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
Access given.
[9:50 PM] Sottises: wait did you do vassago's verge?
[9:50 PM] Sottises: .. dirge?
[9:50 PM] Axem: yes
[9:50 PM] Sottises: ohh
[9:50 PM] Sottises: well I have that and JAD too
[9:50 PM] Axem: :)
[9:50 PM] Sottises: what a contrast of themes lmao
[9:50 PM] Axem: isnt it
[9:51 PM] Axem: super grimdark thriller about unknowable alien intelligence and over the top colorful action about friendship
[9:51 PM] PIe: jad is grimdark???
[9:51 PM] Axem: :skull:

[6:23 PM] PIe: why do I have the feeling that I shouldn't be able to give orders to 22nd armored hq
[6:24 PM] Axem: 22nd armored hq, i order you to get me a cup of coffee
[6:24 PM] PIe: and donuts
[6:24 PM] PIe: BECAUSE THIS IS THE GTVA POLICE
[6:25 PM] Axem: :O
[6:25 PM] Axem: am i under arrest
[6:26 PM] [`_`]/: no, just please step out of the myrmidon
[6:26 PM] [`_`]/: you have so much to fred for

 

Offline jr2

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
2)
The cause is that once an application has admin permissions in Windows, it can't drop them.


Can something like this be done?  Again, it would involve invoking a second instance of Knossos, so that would have to be supported (first one could always exit after launching non-elevated version?)

Quote from: lx07;432442
You can also do it the other way around and start a program as your normal user from a elevated cmd prompt using the runas command.



If you use the /savecred parameter you'll only be asked for your password once.



For example with your forum name and notepad

Code: [Select]
C:\WINDOWS\system32>runas /user:cniggeler /savecred notepad


or to open a certain file with your program (for example C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log)

Code: [Select]
C:\WINDOWS\system32>runas /user:cniggeler /savecred "notepad \C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log"


EDIT2: Got it!! (well, pretty sure anyways) right  here:

SetTokenInformation
Change Token to Medium Integrity Level

https://weblogs.asp.net/kennykerr/Windows-Vista-for-Developers-_1320_-Part-4-_1320_-User-Account-Control
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 11:48:17 am by jr2 »

 

Offline CP5670

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
Access given.

Thanks. I'm trying to configure it and am having a few issues. I don't see the 2014 media VPs as a dependency you can select. It only has 3.6.12 and "newest" as the available options. Also, it's supposed to use an extra VP file only when the media VPs are installed, and not otherwise. Is there a way to configure it like this? If not I'll just make it require the media VPs and use the content in that file by default.

 

Offline PIe

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Re: PUBLIC BETA: Knossos 0.13.3 (combined launcher/installer)
This may not be the problem but you have to have any dependencies installed.
You could try adding the MVPs as a dependency only to the recommended/optional package but I don't know if this would do what you want (ngld would know).
[9:50 PM] Sottises: wait did you do vassago's verge?
[9:50 PM] Sottises: .. dirge?
[9:50 PM] Axem: yes
[9:50 PM] Sottises: ohh
[9:50 PM] Sottises: well I have that and JAD too
[9:50 PM] Axem: :)
[9:50 PM] Sottises: what a contrast of themes lmao
[9:50 PM] Axem: isnt it
[9:51 PM] Axem: super grimdark thriller about unknowable alien intelligence and over the top colorful action about friendship
[9:51 PM] PIe: jad is grimdark???
[9:51 PM] Axem: :skull:

[6:23 PM] PIe: why do I have the feeling that I shouldn't be able to give orders to 22nd armored hq
[6:24 PM] Axem: 22nd armored hq, i order you to get me a cup of coffee
[6:24 PM] PIe: and donuts
[6:24 PM] PIe: BECAUSE THIS IS THE GTVA POLICE
[6:25 PM] Axem: :O
[6:25 PM] Axem: am i under arrest
[6:26 PM] [`_`]/: no, just please step out of the myrmidon
[6:26 PM] [`_`]/: you have so much to fred for