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Chu
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Hi everyone,

I'm curious as to your opinions on this matter...sure we've all seen the influx of "best source port" threads, but I suppose it's time to create one about the lesser-used; why you feel they aren't as popular or aren't used as much for modding/playing. I'm just really curious to hear what people have to say.

Please don't say things like ease-of-use or overall popularity, because people can learn various scripting languages if they tried so that REALLY doesn't count. Listing reasons why said language/port/etc isn't "practical" in context is fine though.

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Old Post 08-01-12 19:41 #
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Vermil
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Because the main ports (http://doomwiki.org/wiki/Comparison_of_source_ports) are the most developed, featureful and stable.

Though you seem to be talking about mainly why most mods are made for a select few ports?

Old Post 08-01-12 20:20 #
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printz
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CDoom.

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Old Post 08-01-12 20:38 #
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Phml
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Please don't say things like ease-of-use or overall popularity, because people can learn various scripting languages if they tried so that REALLY doesn't count.


If you tried, you could learn how people work, and you would understand how wrong what you just said is on so many levels.

Yet you don't, because your interests lie elsewhere.

Likewise, things you are passionate about may not elicit the same amount of enthusiasm in other people.

Old Post 08-01-12 20:57 #
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Gez
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Fusion was the best source port for DeHackEd use. After completion, it was forgotten about for a billion years and finally released after everybody who would have been interested by its abilities had moved on to better things, like EDGE, Legacy, or ZDoom.

It was pretty much the epitome of the wrong way to extend Doom: instead of truly adding new features, bloat it with useless stuff so that existing hacks can be made to look like they are features, if you don't look at it too closely.

Old Post 08-01-12 21:52 #
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printz
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What was ATBDoom (the base for ZDoom)? Merely a porting to another OS without all that feature jazz?

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Old Post 08-02-12 16:14 #
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Gez
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Apparently the earliest ZDoom were born from mixing the input code from ATB Doom with NT Doom.

Given that the input code in ZDoom has been entirely rewritten a few times since, I don't think any line from ATB remains in ZDoom.

Likewise, I don't think code originating from NTDoom remains in ZDoom to this day.

Old Post 08-02-12 17:05 #
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zZaRDoZz
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Chu said:

Please don't say things like ease-of-use


I agree that this restriction is a little heavy handed. If Risen3d wasn't so different in it's setup for playing, I'd use it far more often for vanilla/boom type wads.

Old Post 08-02-12 17:06 #
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Herculine
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Chu said:
Please don't say things like ease-of-use or overall popularity, because people can learn various scripting languages if they tried so that REALLY doesn't count. Listing reasons why said language/port/etc isn't "practical" in context is fine though.


Not all of us are computer programmers; some just enjoy playing the game. For those of us who don't know how to code sourceports of our own, finding one that's easy to use and is compatible with our operating system greatly influences our choices.

Old Post 08-05-12 17:39 #
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fraggle
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SMMU had some neat features, but I think I just wasn't experienced enough to implement them properly at the time. I'm glad that Eternity Engine has continued the codebase and substantially cleaned things up, but there are some features (like hubs, FraggleScript) that had to be completely ripped out because they just didn't work very well, and that's kind of a shame. There are also some features (notably multiplayer support) that never made it into Eternity.

Old Post 08-05-12 20:13 #
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Gez
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I was a bit disappointed to see the SMMUTEST.WAD's FraggleScript didn't work right in ZDoom. The translucent flag isn't recognized so the "can't touch this" script aborts; the FOV changes have no effect at all, the camera changes are kinda weird because gravity is applied to the teleport destination making the view fall to the ground, and monsters will refuse to spawn inside each other so the "oh no an enemy" script cannot effectively be run multiple times at once.

The rest works, though, so we can still play ball and listen to Ali G's random wisdom, for example.

Old Post 08-05-12 20:27 #
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Graf Zahl
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Gez said:
and monsters will refuse to spawn inside each other so the "oh no an enemy" script cannot effectively be run multiple times at once.




You can set this with a MAPINFO flag but to me it made little sense to intentionally break code.

For the rest, how about making some bug reports. I don't see any reason not to make this WAD work.

The non-working 'translucent' flag is certainly just an oversight, for example, because none of the mods I used for testing was using it.



Concerning the original question of this thread it comes down to two things for me:

- faithfulness to the original game, disregarding some stability issues. I want to have Doom behave like Doom but not at the cost of bugs that might cause problems - even though some people seem to consider these bugs essential parts of the game.
- ease of use. And with 'ease of use' I do not mean integrated launchers, installer packages and other bloat that plagues Doomsday and its descendants. I have to agree with zZaRDoZz that this alone makes Risen3D a very unattractive package for me, even though technically the port is doing some very good stuff.

Old Post 08-08-12 07:07 #
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DaniJ
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How exactly can an installer (or a launcher, for that matter) be considered as 'bloat' when neither of them are part of the engine?

How can you seriously moan about an optional installer that makes life easier for practically everyone that downloads it?

I suppose you'll think that Doomsday 1.9.9's built-in automatic updater makes it more difficult to use as well.

Old Post 08-08-12 09:54 #
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zZaRDoZz
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@Danij

I've only been playing around with various Doom ports for a few years now but I do remember my first impressions with most of them. My previous 2.5D gaming experience came from dealings with the Build engine so to me at that time, a front end loader was totally prerequisite. I remember being perplexed as to why loaders were looked down upon amongst most Doomers.

At some point I was told that for Edge, you could dump the wad right on the exe. That method caught on with me rather quickly. Later I was having to dump multiple wads onto the exe. and I realized it was possible to load them in the wrong order if I didn't have a bat. file to run. My first encounter with Zdoom and family introduced me to the amazing Pk3 file, which seemed a little miraculous, all those multiple wads and even non wad files hanging out happily together in a single compressed package. Well, there was no going back.

Furthering my knowledge of things Doomish, I gave Vavoom a try. It was a little frustrating even after reading the readme. Of course with time I figured out which line I was supposed to type in on the loader. Soon I was loading multiple wads on vavoom but here's the thing, if I were to go back to vavoom right now, I'd have to relearn all that stuff. It might take 10, 20 minutes or more. I know that's minor and seems slightly lazy. Still it's something I would consider if I were trying to run a Boom compatible wad which just about every port can do.

Now I know with Risen I have to load the wad in something like a games folder, and models in a models folder. Those various folders are tucked away here and there, a little searching is involved. I got use to risen quickly but for that Boom wad example, I know I'm going to have to relearn some of that stuff over. I've played Risen3d's example wad and loved it. I've seen the built-in game editor and loved the idea, even wondered if risen might be the best editor for quick map construction. Just for playing that Boom wad however, just to jump in and sample what's available, I'm going with what I don't have to relearn. I know that sounds harsh, and it is for such a fantastic port like risen.

Old Post 08-08-12 14:42 #
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Graf Zahl
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DaniJ said:
How exactly can an installer (or a launcher, for that matter) be considered as 'bloat' when neither of them are part of the engine?

How can you seriously moan about an optional installer that makes life easier for practically everyone that downloads it?




I think that installers in general are a stupid idea. They make it horrendously easy for software developers to create applications that mess around with the config so much that they do more harm than good - and often don't even remove their garbage when they get uninstalled.

If I have the choice of using a portable or installable version of the same software I always choose the portable version unless the software depends on registration of some services. It's much easier to remove from the system.


In my book, good software shouldn't need an installer. It just should to be copied somewhere and configure itself upon first start.

Yes, I know that this is not what modern operating systems are geared for but it sure is possible.



DaniJ said:
I suppose you'll think that Doomsday 1.9.9's built-in automatic updater makes it more difficult to use as well.



If you think that's a good idea, be my guest - but I wouldn't ever want to use it. I prefer to be able to have multiple versions of the same application around but if each instance tries to update itself it nullifies that.

Old Post 08-08-12 15:46 #
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printz
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Graf Zahl said:


In my book, good software shouldn't need an installer. It just should to be copied somewhere and configure itself upon first start.

Yes, I know that this is not what modern operating systems are geared for but it sure is possible.

(OFF TOPIC) Well, unless I'm missing some inside machinations or it has changed, OS X has many (not all) applications which are merely copied or deleted directly.

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Old Post 08-08-12 15:59 #
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Gez
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DaniJ said:
How exactly can an installer (or a launcher, for that matter) be considered as 'bloat' when neither of them are part of the engine?

Part of it is the old-school grumpy mindset which doesn't like much when a program needs to be "installed" by some automated process that will muck around in system folders and the registry and whatever, and it just seems a lot cleaner if you can simply extract a ready-to-work exe from a downloaded zip and it doesn't do anything outside of its working directory. So you can delete the whole folder later and it won't leave anything broken or non-functional cluttering the OS's innards.

App design paradigm has completely moved away from this, of course. Now you have to have an installer that will add some shortcuts in the Start Menu, save the application settings in the registry, and write its data blobs in an %APPDATA% subfolder, automatically and without any input from the user who would only make everything fail if he were allowed to interfere. There have been solid reasons for such things becoming the standard (such as "users are idiots who don't know how a computer works"); but the Doom community is full of people who were around in the good old days of DOS and prefer when things are "cleaner".

It's part of why, for example, Quasar's proposal to have dozens of new environment variables met some opposition on the very principle of "polluting the environment".

Old Post 08-08-12 16:33 #
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DaniJ
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I understand and appreciate the "portable" approach. However, the modern OS ecosystems are absolutely nothing like the wild west of ye olde DOS. Nowadays its not even possible for a normal user to install an application in the correct place, in Windows (in particular), without jumping through countless hoops and authentication steps.

It is this difficulty in installing an app manually that is the primary reason why Doomsday comes with an installer, on Windows.

Why make life harder for your users by forcing them to negotiate said hoops just to install your application?

I find it incredibly irritating when developers ship their Windows products in the "portable" mould only, while simultaneously championing that method and blaming the ecosystem on the platform they are supposedly supporting. Where is the benefit to a desktop user? The so-called portable model is intended for (unsurprisingly) portable installs, run from CD, network share, etc.

Old Post 08-08-12 18:25 #
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Quasar
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So far EE trunk has avoided the need for an installer, but I can see benefits they have. I created an installer for Prometheus, the main project I deal with at work, and it wouldn't be practical for us to install it by hand everywhere.

It is actually very clean and simple too, using NSIS. If uninstalled, it will completely remove everything *except* the Program Files directory and the uninstaller EXE, as there seems to be a slight oversight in NSIS when it comes to deleting your uninstaller, considering it is running when you try to uninstall stuff ;)

People perhaps should keep in mind that even vanilla DOOM, Heretic, Hexen, Strife, etc. had installers. Granted the primary reason for them was to compress via LHA ((c) 1990 Y0shi), particularly so it could fit on fewer floppy disks, but the installer would also create the standard install directory for you too as a convenience.

Old Post 08-08-12 18:45 #
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Graf Zahl
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DaniJ said:
I understand and appreciate the "portable" approach. However, the modern OS ecosystems are absolutely nothing like the wild west of ye olde DOS. Nowadays its not even possible for a normal user to install an application in the correct place, in Windows (in particular), without jumping through countless hoops and authentication steps.



See, and here a portable approach will let the user copy the application to any place he likes. No authentication or other nonsense.


DaniJ said:

It is this difficulty in installing an app manually that is the primary reason why Doomsday comes with an installer, on Windows.



What difficulty? Most source ports just need to be copied to some directory and run by themselves without any mucking around.



Say what you want but the need to 'install' software is one of the biggest problems with system stability these days. Too much stuff only works when mucking around in the system config first and that's a fundamental design problem - not just on Windows.

Old Post 08-08-12 19:21 #
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Quasar said:
People perhaps should keep in mind that even vanilla DOOM, Heretic, Hexen, Strife, etc. had installers. Granted the primary reason for them was to compress via LHA ((c) 1990 Y0shi), particularly so it could fit on fewer floppy disks, but the installer would also create the standard install directory for you too as a convenience.

Yes, but the programs themselves were still portable in nature.

Old Post 08-08-12 19:26 #
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DaniJ
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Graf Zahl said:

See, and here a portable approach will let the user copy the application to any place he likes. No authentication or other nonsense.


Ok, how about Program Files? You know, that folder where applications are supposed to be installed on Windows.




What difficulty? Most source ports just need to be copied to some directory and run by themselves without any mucking around.


Indeed. You can run modern Doomsday in exactly the same way.




Say what you want but the need to 'install' software is one of the biggest problems with system stability these days. Too much stuff only works when mucking around in the system config first and that's a fundamental design problem - not just on Windows.


And there is where your argument falls completely flat. I would far rather have a standardized and well tested process manipulating my system than each of the hundred or so apps I use attempting to do the same. Not to mention that to reverse the procedure I then have to launch each one of those apps and negotiate whatever UI they deemed suitable for the job.

Old Post 08-08-12 19:34 #
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Graf Zahl
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DaniJ said:

to launch each one of those apps and negotiate whatever UI they deemed suitable for the job.




Aren't we already there with each installer software cooking up its own way of doing things - and most of them failing to do a clean uninstall?

Old Post 08-08-12 20:14 #
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DaniJ
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Er no, not really. That would only be comparable if each installer was unique and interfaced with the OS differently. The reality is that 99% of applications with installers use .MSI either transparently or opaquely (e.g., produced by some intermediate installer generator that embeds it in an .EXE).

With an installer, uninstall file remnants are the least of my worries. I can at least be safe in the knowledge its not compromising the integrity of my system.

Old Post 08-08-12 20:42 #
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Graf Zahl
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DaniJ said:
I can at least be safe in the knowledge its not compromising the integrity of my system.



Can you? I have experienced software that were unable to cleanly uninstall leaving the system in a semi-broken state.

Old Post 08-08-12 21:21 #
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DaniJ
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Enough that I don't have to concern myself with it, yes.

In my experience the only time anything like that has happened has been with applications that attempt to dynamically do things like registering file formats, handlers, installing/registering code libraries or other system level stuff at runtime (the very fact a user-level process is attempting to do admin-level things should immediately set bells ringing, and given a decent antivirus suite on the host system - it does).

Typically the developers who implement such things have no idea how the platform works and are just blindly following a tutorial. What makes this even worse is that said code is more than likely NEVER updated. Alternatively, that responsibility can be offloaded to an installer framework designed for the job and whose developers have a far better understanding of it all (including platform version variances).

Last edited by DaniJ on 08-08-12 at 21:58

Old Post 08-08-12 21:44 #
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fraggle
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Graf Zahl said:
In my book, good software shouldn't need an installer. It just should to be copied somewhere and configure itself upon first start.
Not wanting to sound like a Mac fanboy, but I do like the fact that OS X does exactly this.

Old Post 08-08-12 22:36 #
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DaniJ
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As do I. I would say that the model used by OS X is easily the best I've seen as it basically combines the best of both worlds - i.e., an OS marshalled installation process applied to a single application package installable.

Old Post 08-08-12 22:57 #
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Porsche Monty
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DaniJ said:
I understand and appreciate the "portable" approach. However, the modern OS ecosystems are absolutely nothing like the wild west of ye olde DOS. Nowadays its not even possible for a normal user to install an application in the correct place, in Windows (in particular), without jumping through countless hoops and authentication steps.

It is this difficulty in installing an app manually that is the primary reason why Doomsday comes with an installer, on Windows.



It's precisely this kind of negligently consenting behavior what has allowed modern Windows to bloat up into the steaming pile of shit that it is today.

Had no developer gone the installer way, Microsoft would have been forced to restore the simpler functionality and find a more efficient way of pretending to be saving users from themselves.

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Old Post 08-09-12 00:09 #
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fraggle said:
Not wanting to sound like a Mac fanboy, but I do like the fact that OS X does exactly this.

Except for when it doesn't. There is a Windows like setup for Mac OS X that some programs use. Mostly developer tools come to mind though.

The way Mac OS X does things is quite nice for stand alone software, however it is somewhat of a pain for things like source ports where the original data has to come from elsewhere. Sure it works, but having the user create a folder in ~/Library/Application Support/ isn't the nicest way of doing things.

Granted this is more an issue that's created on all modern operating systems where there are write protected segments of the file system, but the Mac feels a little uglier due to scattering support files all around the file system. (~/Library/Preferences/zdoom.ini, ~/Library/Application Support/ZDoom, and ~/Documents/ZDoom vs just ~/.config/zdoom. Not to mention Application Support has a space in it and spaces are a pita in programming no matter what.)

It also makes doing manual incremental updates or providing add-on software somewhat difficult.

Porsche Monty said:
Had no developer gone the installer way, Microsoft would have been forced to restore the simpler functionality and find a more efficient way of pretending to be saving users from themselves.

The point of locking parts of the file system is not to protect users from themselves, but rather is a fundamental part of multiuser operating environment. In most cases you don't want other users modifying your files or the shared files. It is also slightly more convenient in that user settings can be backed up easily or transferred between computers (something I use a lot myself since I have two laptops I use regularly as well as a desktop) and in my opinion is an easier file system structure to work with.

Old Post 08-09-12 01:02 #
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