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[WIP] Sigil: a shared directory of mods for Infinity Engine games


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1 hour ago, UMNiK said:

to worry about a tidal wave of people going to the trouble of first stealing them. Hopefully, having a community-owned and operated list will also incentivise modders themselves to add the exact versions they want to share with the world

You do not seem to be aware that there is mods already that contain stolen content. And to the second part of the quote: that would be great! But there needs to be a basic agreement, otherwise some modders will not contribute to a list where there is a risk that mods might be listed together with inofficial and stolen mods, and also where it is sure that entries about mods will be true to them and not tainted by someone else who wants to promote their stolen mods instead.

Because, making such a list an all-open collaboration could also turn into a farce like the BG Wiki, where threwn together projects with stolen art graphics are added as if they would be something real to be shared in the community.

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Guest Ghast

And it's clear why anyone maintaining this list should have at least a rudimentary understanding of how these things work, which rules UMNiK out.

And it follows why the fabled 'collaboration' must in actual fact entail pinging people in the know: people who might have more important things to do than to ask questions like is it EET compatible yet. Or, to once again point to readmes they've already written.

But all of this was pointed out already in UMNiK's first joke of a thread.

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Guest Ghast

  

On 9/19/2021 at 1:32 PM, UMNiK said:

What I know to be true is that large amounts of data that are not machine-crawl ready are best collated by large numbers of people.

And this task obviously does not lend itself to crowdsourcing. And a statement like yours is just another smoke screen.

Getting triggered here, I admit it; I've had enough of creeps like UMNiK in RL, not happy to see them here. Apologies to the rest of you. May this thread rest in peace.

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45 minutes ago, Guest Ghast said:

Getting triggered here, I admit it;

Happens to the best of us! No worries.

Worth pointing out, thanks to the valiant efforts of @AL|EN, a lot of mods do have data that is machine-crawl-ready.  Name, author, download link, a brief description, and even sometimes install order guidance, all right there.  AL|EN uses that data in PI but I don't think he necessarily wanted it to be just for him. It would be interesting if a... tool, or something, could collect that data and publish it. That would get a lot of the task out of the way, and would not depend on the vagaries of any particular individual's motivation or decisionmaking. Any modder that wants their product on the list would have an incentive to include AL|EN's metadata.

Then whoever has write access to the list could organize things into categories if they see fit, and could manually add mods that don't have that metadata (old mods, etc.)

Maybe PI has some code that could be borrowed to do some of the initial lifting...?

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1 hour ago, subtledoctor said:

Worth pointing out, thanks to the valiant efforts of @AL|EN, a lot of mods do have data that is machine-crawl-ready.  Name, author, download link, a brief description, and even sometimes install order guidance, all right there.  AL|EN uses that data in PI but I don't think he necessarily wanted it to be just for him. It would be interesting if a... tool, or something, could collect that data and publish it. That would get a lot of the task out of the way, and would not depend on the vagaries of any particular individual's motivation or decisionmaking.

You know, one could even think that @AL|EN set this up so that this information would be available independent on any collaborated individuals' motivation to maintain a list!!1 One could get the impression this might be on purpose, maybe even because it was discussed and consent was that we do not want to maintain another external list.

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Actually, I'm quite sure a proper database could very well attract a critical mass of users to maintain it. But to that end it'd have to be something more than just a google spreadsheet with categories and links - I'm talking about tags, ratings, reviews, comments section etc. It worked well with imdb, anidb, vndb etc.

However, going through the effort of building such infrastructure for a 20 years old game with ever dwindling user base doesn't exactly sound like the best time investment to me 🤷‍♂️

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Fans do like to organize and administer things so. If they spent any of that time on making new adventures and features instead of databases, there would be more interesting content out there. And by the way, putting everything ever made in one big book isn't going to do justice to little-noticed mods. They will all be listed together under a license of false equivalency. Mine, for example, are some of the most original made for these games, but if they don't get the attention they deserve, it's not because I lack a seat along a very long table. What should be done instead is that critic-minded people should get together, or even strike out on their own, and select mods that stand out in a crowd, and write about those and highlight them. Then the guy who made the conversion of the Sword of Balduran from +1 to +2 and called it "The Blade of Eternity!" can be moved to the dregs of the attention economy. Besides, abstractly speaking, the absence of a single database encourages search, questing on the part of players who want something different for the games. They are the ones who deserve to find it. For others, not so energetic but also with imagination and feeling, not knowing what they miss, a ladder needs to be lowered. Right now the problem is that the horizon is blocked by a handful of worthy but overblown projects that everyone supposedly must download. And it's not going to be solved by some kind of directory.

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23 minutes ago, temnix said:

Mine, for example, are some of the most original made for these games, but if they don't get the attention they deserve, it's not because I lack a seat along a very long table.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

No.

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I apologize for having turned to cynical remarks in this thread. I admit that your way of expressing yourself, @UMNiK is part of what triggered me, as I read it as rather offensive, but I know that it could be due to different speechpatterns if you are not a native speaker (I'm not). I could and probably will split the non-constructive posts into a separate thread as it is common for moderator actions at G3.

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I'm all for a centralized list. What @subtledoctor said about @AL|EN metadata is a great idea, imo.

And I'll be glad to contribute and help maintain it.

Maybe this could be of some help, in addition of @Cahir's list : https://github.com/Jazira33/CCTradFR / https://www.baldursgateworld.fr/lacouronne/la-chambre-des-scribes/32456-etat-de-traduction-des-mods-mis-jour.html

The purpose of this is mainly to track French translations, it's not 100% done (and I'm affraid it never will...) but the data is here. Not as helpfull as Cahir list, but it can fill some blank spot.

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On 9/20/2021 at 3:08 PM, jastey said:

Crossmod is content - e.g. for mod NPCs banter, dialogues, interjections - between mods.

Added, thanks for the clarification.

 

On 9/20/2021 at 3:28 PM, jastey said:

But there needs to be a basic agreement, otherwise some modders will not contribute to a list where there is a risk that mods might be listed together with inofficial and stolen mods, and also where it is sure that entries about mods will be true to them and not tainted by someone else who wants to promote their stolen mods instead.

Hence my calling on anyone who is in a position to apply their knowledge about who stole what when and gather all mods that meet their ethical criteria it in a single place. If there are multiple people operating the "legit" fork of the list and rejecting any suspect pull request, it will be bigger, in better shape and thus the default when compared to any other effort by any single bad actor. As long as it's all one-man operations, there really is no easy way to tell besides digging through the histories yourself. In other words, let the lists speak for themselves rather than having to relate numerous tales of woe any time someone asks "Why isn't everyone using the only active BWS fork? I love that program!".

  

On 9/20/2021 at 5:06 PM, subtledoctor said:

Any modder that wants their product on the list would have an incentive to include AL|EN's metadata.

Ah, and here is that modder incentive open question again. There is no doubt in my mind that getting PI to automatically parse modder-contributed metadata and dependencies (as alluded to in its OP) for all mods would be the ideal solution here, it's just that it would require total and continuous cooperation from all parties involved. Adding a mod to a list, by contrast, only requires anyone to propose adding it and someone who is already deep into modding anyway to give it a once-over for anything untoward. If the mod author decides the list got it wrong, they are welcome to manually write in their corrections into it or the metadata. If the list gets it right, it's one less field to manually fill in for them. 

Are there any known mods that listed/changed their category in their metadata from their BWS days? The before/after stuff is out of scope for now, and I assume the download/forum page links are the same as in Cahir's list.

  

22 hours ago, Ardanis said:

I'm talking about tags, ratings, reviews, comments section etc. It worked well with imdb, anidb, vndb etc.

Maybe throw a forum board into the mix... There are multiple active to thriving communities, all using their own relatively advanced systems, that's the thing! Continuing your analogy, any and all of them could pull the basic data from this list to create their own specialised versions (voted-on top lists or whatever else) like all the smaller movie sites pull IMDB titles and genres. Not having that shared list, however, means anyone frequenting only one of them is locked into whatever just that community has amassed (through multiple previous efforts). The list has to be simple enough to obliterate any skill floor of contribution (and easily checking that contribution), but not so simple as to be a plain alphabetised list (though even that would be nice to have, once it has everything). Whatever else happens on top of it is of no concern to the list.  

17 hours ago, temnix said:

putting everything ever made in one big book isn't going to do justice to little-noticed mods. They will all be listed together under a license of false equivalency.

Surely beauty is in the eye of the mod player (sometimes resulting in a posted install order)? How many of these littler known mods were never listed anywhere beyond their original download page, especially if they were never updated to EE?.. I expect there will be a few surprises if the list ever gets to dead communities.

 

10 hours ago, jastey said:

I admit that your way of expressing yourself, @UMNiK is part of what triggered me, as I read it as rather offensive, but I know that it could be due to different speechpatterns if you are not a native speaker (I'm not).

Please rest assured that I have no interest whatsoever in either receiving or giving offence, but rather only in saving myself (and by extension, anyone who also only wants to pick from a neat modlist) from future expansive trawls through multiple forums (arguably, I was already saved from the current one by having Cahir's excellent list pointed out to me, but I think we can do even better). Alas, lacking the herculean time and effort reserves of previous prime movers, my only option is to try to aid in the setting up of a proven alternative way instead: splitting the task among as many people as possible to make it as easy for each one as possible. Consequently, there are really only two categories of posts for me: if it gets me closer to the goal of the shared list - very good; if not - seems like we are after different things, which is fine. This being an open forum, it's to be expected that some folks will have their own ideas.

 

And along those "getting closer to the goal" lines, I really must press for some votes on the platform of choice, as that will dictate the way to format the mod data. Feel free to look over the examples in the OP again, I've also banged up a quick comparison under that action item. Thus far there is one vote for GitHub that I am not sure was also a vote for collaborating on the list itself (any clarification on that, @Graion Dilach?). What's your preference, @Jazira (added your list under localisation, thanks)? Would anyone prefer to be the list owner rather than being invited by me on a fresh account (e.g. if they want to use their main account or main modding account)? Either way is fine by me. If there is a platform I missed you want to advocate for, I'm all ears. The only requirements are: hosted securely in neutral territory; shared editing; easy to add things to; easy to export if need be.

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There is a very reason why I haven't said anything to this topic.

I don't believe in all-talk-no-bite solutions. I am participating in the EET Compatibility List maintenance already because I know that is time not wasted. I don't believe the same scenario applies here.

Edited by Graion Dilach
typos fixed
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I would suggest github and storing the data in a machine readable format. Then you can have a simple github pages jekyll site for presenting it nicely and a form for human friendly entry of missing mods.

Definitely exclude ephemeral things like the mentioned "last year of update".

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