What Do You Think?

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Zimoon
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What Do You Think?

Post by Zimoon » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:51 pm

Because You are a member of this community and contribute in whatever fashion and amount you can to keep this site running I wanted to ask for your input on a matter that concerns my mind. Even though I am not an admin or a developer at this site you all know that I am quite sensitive when it comes to any activity that steal away potential support and thin out the community here. My reasons are once posted in Parallel Programming, but again:

SWG once had a huge player base and at that time there was really no problem for the players to keep SWGCraft up-to-date. The old site, with another, disappeared owner, had an awkward interface for submitting resource data and yet the database was very well updated, rather a proof of the amount of players that cared than anything else. At that time some sites existed in parallel with SWGCraft --- yes indeed, those I knew of where galaxy/guild specific --- but in spite of the huge player base it was evident that the old SWGCraft actually was less maintained for those galaxies.

Today SWG has a smaller player base, a lot smaller, and even if 12 galaxies are shut down the population at some of the remaining galaxies does not really make it up for keeping SWGCraft 100% updated. This may come from a changed playing style over the years, from a time when patience and supporting a community made enough of players help each other, to a time when action and self are more important. Or it may be bazillions of other causes.

Whatever the cause or whatever the numbers are, fact is that SWGCraft is vulnerable and depends on the the player base that supports it. Nobody can dispute that fact. The less players that submit resource data the less up-to-date a site we have and as soon as the quality dips under a critical level people will consider the site of no use, alive but worthless. And then the bad circle spins quick and ... :(

This all boils down to something I call momentum or critical mass; to keep a fire alive there must be enough wood, enough oxygen, and enough heat. If there is a shortage in any of these three the fire dies. SWGCraft is kept alive in the same way.

That is why I am sensitive about competing on-line services of whatever kind. To steal away potential contributors from here to anywhere else puts this site at risk. And there is no other site that provides the resource data, none! There are sites that provide services on data that is obtained from here, and they have a tiny link somewhere, but they do not suggest or advice their visitors to indeed support this site.

Now what? This site exports the resource data and at the page where links to exported files are available there are regulations that apply. I support these regulations, they make sense. Almost anybody is free to submit resource data to SWGCraft, just a quick and easy registration and voilà. Because of that it makes sense that the data as such should not be considered the properties of SWGCraft. What comes from the wider community belongs to the wider community, right?



Now --- Another Subject --- Schematics

In relation to schematics, for a few months a lot of work has been going on under the hood. You have surely noticed some of it, forum threads on categories, schematics in error or without some data, etc. But there has been a lot more messages passing outside the public view, I would say the majority of the talk and work. Still there is lots to do, mainly because some issues have not surfaced until now when SWGCraft more precisely mimics how SWG looks like and works.
While at it, I cannot find words for praising the valuable work and the amount of time Sobuno has put into this. If you do not know it he is currently not playing SWG and is busy studying at college, preparing for university I believe. Still he makes things come true within hours, a day at the most /kowtow
One of the projects have been to provide the schematics data as a number of XML files, a file for schematics, and a file for item and schematic categories. Probably there will be a file for profession characteristics, etc, etc. Over time all of these data will improve this site, and they will be useful for any third party application.

In my humble opinion schematics are quite a lot different from resources. The data are closer to the core of this site, not submitted the same way, maintained differently, etc. Most of the data are provided by a dozen devoted players, the data are refined and processed by just a few, not by almost anybody as with resource data.

Hence the following questions ...
  1. Do You think that SWGCraft should limit the use of these schematics data files in some way? The options could be one of...
    1. These data should not be exported at all, it is the property of SWGCraft and its community, period.
    2. Free for individuals to download for personal use of any kind, not for on-line or distributed services outside SWGCraft.
    3. Free for individuals and guilds to download for use within a limited scope, including on-line and distributed services restricted to members.
    4. Free for on-line and distributed services which are approved by SWGCraft for one year at a time.
    5. Free for anyone and anybody to use in whatever fashion or way.
  2. Do You think that SWGCraft should demand credits and links at applications and sites?
    1. Yes, stronger and more prominent than today, with a text that encourage users to support SWGCraft.
    2. Yes, more prominent and visible than today.
    3. As today.
    4. Not at all.

Remember that this is by no means a definite voting but more of a request for comments. I have no say in what Slyvampy aand/or Sobuno finally decides. As I said, I am neither an admin nor a developer at this site, but I am and will continue to be a supporter and advocate.

Feel free to post your comments, and reasons.

/Zimoon

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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Zimoon » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:52 pm

Personally I would say:

1-B

and

2-A

and I do not think I need to explain why :mrgreen:

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Savacc
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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Savacc » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:19 pm

I have no knowledge of copyright laws, but it always seemed to me that much of the "intellectual property rights" of this site would actually belong to Trokk. If Trokk ever tried to enforce his rights, I never heard of it. Indeed, Trokk has had no contact with us at SWGCraft for years, and has resisted all of our attempts to contact him. So I would be concerned about our legal and moral standing to be attempting to assert rights we do not possess.
On the other hand, anything created "post Trokk" would be different. If you wanted to restrict access or permissions for the work being done on Schematics, I can understand. My concern here would be how far we would be willing to take it. I can not see us hiring lawyers and filing lawsuits. So if all we do is post a request to follow our "Guidelines for Use", I'm not sure how much good it will do. My observation is that the online and gaming communities have little respect for the intellectual property rights of others and if it can be downloaded, it will be.

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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Savacc » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:39 pm

Slightly off topic, but you touched on some things I have been thinking about. (and it's always a dangerous thing when I start thinking :lol: )
Recently someone asked if we were going to post resources for the EMU server. We are not. It got me thinking that the EMU folks would be wise to post resource spawns and a resource database on their own and not depend on a fansite to do it for them. Which got me thinking further, that had Trokk not started SWGCraft, that SOE might have done it themselves, but Trokk beat them to it. Thinking further down the line, when Trokk went AWOL and the original SWGCraft was in danger of going under, I wonder if there were any internal discussions at SOE about taking over the resource reporting functions of the site? (Now is when my thinking really gets out of hand :roll: ) Slyvampy appeared, almost like magic, just when things at the old SWGCraft were looking most bleak and offers to start a successor site. Sobuno signs on to write the code. Neither one was active at all at Trokk's original site. Could it be that Slyvampy and Sobuno are actually emplyees of SOE whose mission is to keep SWGCraft alive? :shock:

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Zimoon
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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Zimoon » Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:44 pm

Savacc wrote:... Could it be that Slyvampy and Sobuno are actually emplyees of SOE whose mission is to keep SWGCraft alive? :shock:
Yes, and man have never set foot at moon but it is a footage "borrowed" from Hollywood 8)

/whisper did you know that Sobuno's big brother is chef Tyfo, from the old site?


Yes, you are correct, lawyers and others would not do, after all, the site is in UK not US so... :P
But IP-banning and getting caught with pants down could possibly help.
I also am naïve enough to believe that SWG crafters are above the generic shot-m-up players.

Trokk has hardly any say today, his site is dead and he just disappeared without trace, that wouldn't do in any court.
Also, remember the project that started in the summer of 2005, well before NGE? It contained almost all of the known schematics at that time. After that much has happened. This site now provides data and features in relation to schematics that no site before this has provided. Still there are more that can be added.

I asked for what you think about the matter as such, not possible aftermath :lol:
The same for other devoted community members. But discussions are welcomed too!!!



I honestly think that many features already could have been present today, if some players rather had contributed the "pseudo-code" for those features than to launch their own sites. This has not happened. I know of only one situation where a player applied as a developer but was not replied to. It turned out that he had PMd an inactive admin, but rather than some patience, another try, and another approach a new site was launched.

Nowadays I know why Slyvampy hesitate to accept new developers (not even I am accepted :P) and that is due to the fact that the API of this site is not good enough to be used by new hires (part of an API are different "functions" you call from your code to get a task done and it is read in plain text how they must be used and the outcome of task they execute and the optional result they return to the caller, the code for the task is not revealed). Currently it is a no-option to hand away the entire code-base to new hires, simple as that.

However, any skilled programmer is able to provide "pseudo code" that quickly can be "translated" into real code. Most possibly a lot of that code could be real code, in PHP, Perl, or whatever language that is used at this site, and only calls to "the API" is described by pseudo code. But this has not happened. Period.

/Zimoon

PS: Pseudo code is a formal description of the task, most often used in computer science but is also widely used in the industry. It is very similar to Pascal, but lacks the pesky details, but it is not a real programming language. One can view it as a recipe for food or the similar, but even more detailed. Or naively craft the best elite crafting tool:

Code: Select all

g := generic_crafting_tool
s := schematic_for_wdg_crafting_tool
w := craft_item(g, s)
f := 0
do:
    max := f
    w   := craft_and_experiment_item(w, s)
    f   := w.functionality_rating
:while f > max
print w
print f
This will probably not become the best tool as it breaks as soon as there is no improvement, which of course could happen anyway, but it illustrates some pseudo code, perhaps with some flaws, I have not written an academic paper in a while :lol:

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Savacc
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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Savacc » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:37 am

Yeah I had forgotten Sobuno was Tyfo's brother. Of course the fact that Slyvampy is in England and Sobuno in Denmark does make for a long commute if they work at SOE. :roll:

Or that could be just their cover. Maybe they really live in Southern California? :shock:

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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Imperial Outpost » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:22 pm

Zimoon wrote:I honestly think that many features already could have been present today, if some players rather had contributed the "pseudo-code" for those features than to launch their own sites. This has not happened. I know of only one situation where a player applied as a developer but was not replied to. It turned out that he had PMd an inactive admin, but rather than some patience, another try, and another approach a new site was launched.
Hmmm... I assume this is targeted at me. What actually happened was I spoke to Sobuno, who told me that regrettably it would be too complicated to allow anyone to join as a developer which is completely fair enough. I replied with:
I'll leave the offer open if the details ever get sorted. In the meantime, if there's anything I can do to help from my own site/externally, just let me know - I'm thinking along the SOAP lines maybe?
We passed a few PMs back and forward and I was assisted in using SOAP to allow users to import 'My Resources' from here into TraderSWG.

Anyway, I built the site for my own use initially because there was nothing out there that did what I wanted and added the rest of the stuff later when I thought it could help out new crafters. I don't play SWG anymore, I'm not renewing the domain name and if anyone on here wants the code for it they can have it cos I'm pretty much done with it. :D

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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Akshaag » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:41 pm

hi Zimoon,

I'm completely agree with idea of Personal use of data from swgcraft with recognition of the provider :

1-B
2-A

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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Zimoon » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:30 pm

Imperial Outpost wrote:...I assume this is targeted at me.
For the main post, no! The query is general and is about the future.

Imperial Outpost wrote:... regrettably it would be too complicated to allow anyone to join as a developer...
Zimoon wrote:...the API of this site is not good enough to be used by new hires...
Not too dissimilar.

Zimoon wrote:...(not even I am accepted :P)...
Yet another smiley ;)


Believe me, there is no personal grudge here, I just see a declining support for sites like this awesome site, and yet the need for this site is as strong as ever.

Sorry to hear you are no longer playing this awesome game, welcome back whenever!

/Zimoon

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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Imperial Outpost » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:44 pm

Wasn't taken as a personal grudge mate. Just wanted to say my piece. I don't have the time to play anymore, so I have no need for my site personally and if you see it as takening focus away from SWGCraft then I'm more than happy to take it down.

The offer remains for the code.

Andy

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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Zimoon » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:30 pm

Imperial Outpost wrote:Wasn't taken as a personal grudge mate. Just wanted to say my piece. I don't have the time to play anymore, so I have no need for my site personally and if you see it as takening focus away from SWGCraft then I'm more than happy to take it down.

The offer remains for the code.

Andy
For now it seems OK to me, it is mentioned every now and then and as long as this site does not provide the same features ... And honestly, who am I to say this or that 8)

If there is an easy way to incorporate your implementation I guess Sobuno wouldn't say no to at least have a look. I have no idea what it takes nor how hard it is to refactor whatever. But I believe that over time your features is a must-have and I am well aware of the fact that you implemented something that did not exist at the time. As long as your site suggests people this way to submit resource data ... :mrgreen:

Cheers

/Zim

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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Monty Burns » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:14 am

Imperial Outpost wrote:Wasn't taken as a personal grudge mate. Just wanted to say my piece. I don't have the time to play anymore, so I have no need for my site personally and if you see it as takening focus away from SWGCraft then I'm more than happy to take it down.

The offer remains for the code.

Andy
That would be a shame as I know a number of people who use your site and I use it myself from time to time (I have most things memorised now).

On the whole I think people are forgetting that the information here is pretty much public domain stuff so I think it is a little short sighted to be trying to control its use.

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Savacc
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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Savacc » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:42 am

Again, Im not a copyright lawyer, and Im sure most people think the way you do Monty, that anything on the Internet is "public domain" and fair game. But you are wrong. This site, and all of its content is owned by Slyvampy and he expressly asserts his rights.
This content may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the express written approval of the author.
Copyright © 2007-2010 The SWGCraft Project. All rights reserved.
I have not seen Slyvampy try to enforce his rights, but he does have them and could enforce them if he wanted to pay the expense involved in doing so.

Of course if Im right about my conspiracy theories and Slyvampy was paid by SOE to start up this site, then the site is owned by SOE and all bets are off. :lol: :wink: :shock:

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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Zimoon » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:33 am

Monty Burns wrote:... the information here is pretty much public domain ...
To keep you on topic, Monty. Information is one thing, processed and/or packaged information is a different animal. It is the information compiled to public files this thread is about, not the information in itself, and if the files compiled here could freely be used by any competing site.

Compare with Linux, it is also absolutely free. Nevertheless, Redhat and others are doing good on distributions, people get them rather than having to do some work themselves. The hard-core computer geeks do it themselves but ... :mrgreen:

/Zimon

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Re: What Do You Think?

Post by Monty Burns » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:42 pm

Savacc wrote:Again, Im not a copyright lawyer, and Im sure most people think the way you do Monty, that anything on the Internet is "public domain" and fair game. But you are wrong. This site, and all of its content is owned by Slyvampy and he expressly asserts his rights.
This content may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the express written approval of the author.
Copyright © 2007-2010 The SWGCraft Project. All rights reserved.
I have not seen Slyvampy try to enforce his rights, but he does have them and could enforce them if he wanted to pay the expense involved in doing so.

Of course if Im right about my conspiracy theories and Slyvampy was paid by SOE to start up this site, then the site is owned by SOE and all bets are off. :lol: :wink: :shock:
That maybe true but the information supplied to this site is not the sites to copyright I would surmise (because I do not know) that the information on this site is in fact the property of SOE and that the rights to this information is a deal between the player and SOE not SWGCraft and SOE.

Now I think we are getting a little ahead of ourselves trying to discuss legalities as clearly all parties are happy with current arrangements but I think it fair to point out that if people like myself are unable to use the data here in a way that suits us then there is little point in contributing to the site and that doesn't help the SWG crafting community at all.

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