Ideas for more functions..

yzi - 12:12 6 January 2014 #

In short, my principle of dealing with massive data is, if you store information in such a way that an automated machine cannot perform logical actions based on it, it's practically the same as not storing it at all. With small databases, you may be able to manage it with manual workers, but when the amount of data grows large enough, you've lost the game. Unfortunately I don't have a formula for calculating what is small and what is big. Certainly, the limit must be a lot higher for something like Pouet which has so many more active users and has managed to make it an elementary part of that community's functioning. Demozoo has none of that yet.

tomaes - 12:39 6 January 2014 #

yzi, well yes. The scope and ambition of this site is so much larger, while the user base is so much smaller, while there's no game-ification and incentives of any kind (glöps, karma, "friends" counter, you name it); So people add and fix the stuff they care about and probably ignore the rest. I'm not sure if that means that you "lost the game" already, but even optimistically, it will certainly take many years to fix and add all the things yet missing.

So now this site is mainly porn for data entry fetishists and not of much use for most casual users, and that won't change for a while. But it's not a commercial product, it can grow slowly over the years. :)

yzi - 13:25 6 January 2014 #

Well yes, the planned scope and ambition seem to be much bigger than what I think is realistically achievable with the planned means to do it. ;)

For myself, no way am I going to re-type stuff that is already in multiple existing places in a computer-readable format and that I've already checked and edited enough times. Is the idea that the more the site pisses me off, the more likely I will spend time on it? Maybe it is a nice pastime for some other type of person.

I also find Pouet's glöp bullshit condescending, by the way. ;) And the longer I watch the thumb up/down thing, the more it feels like nothing but a dumbing down mechanism. Maybe I should make a new years promise that I will not enter any new prods to Pouet. I will enter them to Demozoo only! ;) And I will thumb up all of my own prods, because I like them. If I didn't, I wouldn't have made them.

Anyway, Demozoo fills a particular niche already in its current form, namely music. Now there's a reasonable system that everyone can use for getting unique IDs and linkable canonical URLs for scene tunes, regardless of platform and format.

yzi - 15:26 6 January 2014 #

I went for a walk and thought about this. Now that Demozoo is still its infancy, it's good to think about stuff like this.

If the site's ultimate vision is to be the most trusted and complete database for all types of productions and platforms (right?), it would be interesting to know a plan of the various intermediate stages and transitional architectures through which the target is realized. But whatever they are, I think somewhere along the line, preferably sooner than later, there should be a pretty damn good answer to the question "Why should I trust the Demozoo information more than any other site". Right? And I can see a bad and a good answer to that questions

Bad answer: It's more reliable, because *I* entered it manually, and not those other less competent folks who entered things manually on those other sites.
Good answer: It's reliable, because our system as a whole is more reliable: Look, here we have an explicitly defined data governance model, and a complete set of auditable records proving that the model has been followed correctly. Here are regular audit logs signed off by such and such persons. Our governance model requires storing the source of every bit of information, and we perform periodical automatic and manual sample tests to verify the data is in fact in accordance with the sources.

You see, if it's _just_ the manual entry process itself and the supposedly better people, then... I'm not convinced. I have already found so many errors, I have no reason to believe in the superiority of this system over any other system. Actually to the contrary, because there's no explicit and provably followed governance model, but very few users, then it is highly unlikely that the information is correct. Pouet has so many more eyeballs, it has this gamification incentive system, and it has so much practical significance to the lives of so many people.

Who the heck has classified this demo as having something to do with CALCULATOR things? Where did they get that idea from? Apparently, the supposedly great manual entry method is producing garbage, and even NEW ADDED garbage that's not in Pouet or results.txt!
For some other piece of information that I don't happen to know about, how should I be convinced that it doesn't contain similar errors?

What comes to the _music_ niche, then Demozoo has one thing speaking in its favour: it is really the ONLY such database, so there is no competition. (Yeah, Nectarine has a cross-platform music database as well, but its coverage is very small, because of the governance model.)

So what I'm saying is, you probably want to have a competitive advantage of some sorts, and one such advantage could be credible and provable reliability of the information. "Yes, so far we have less information, but what we have is BETTER, and here is the evidence to prove it." Though I think most Pouet folks will just laugh at talk about "governance models", so you must hide the correct terms and use some street-credible 1337 5p33k. ;) But currently you don't really seem to have any such advantage.

yzi - 19:48 6 January 2014 #

LOL, now you censored the calculator platform. ;) It doesn't make me any more convinced of the system (as in, the processes, rules, people and the whole surrounding culture, not just the software and server).

Anyway, I'd like to have a per-field tracking and classification of information source. Is the information
(a) directly based on (direct copy-paste from) results.txt or some other URL-linkable non-objectified data blob, or
(b) a non-direct interpretation of results.txt or some other URL-linkable non-objectified data,
(c) direct copy from another objectified database like Pouet or CSDB,
(d) non-direct interpretation of another objectified database (or maybe multiple other databases), or
(e) original information just claimed by user X, without being able to compare it to any other information source anywhere else. Or
(f) unknown, meaning that we do not know how the user came up with the information.

I think all of these types exist in here.

tomaes - 23:16 6 January 2014 #

it's a mix of all those mentioned. And who's checking those sources? And fixing the meta data of the meta data? Mounting complexity sucks and with the limited resources at hand it's just not a practical idea. :)

menace - 08:13 7 January 2014 #

yzi and tomaes: That discussion is going wildly off-topic. I'll be happy to address your concerns, but let's take it off this particular thread.

Harleyman: Your original request for anti-spamming measures - post #1 in this topic - was implemented last night - see https://github.com/demozoo/demozoo/commit/53e17afc529cc62c766118f716315bc552a680de

noname - 22:26 7 January 2014 #

Menace, I agree with keeping things focussed in a thread. And with a more complete forum engine, as previously suggested, one would be able to move off-topic posts to a new thread.

irokos - 01:21 10 January 2014 #

That'd be awesome to add a function to keep tracks of replies to a certain post in a forum. I know I posted stuff here, but just can't find them anymore.

irokos - 04:32 10 January 2014 #

oh, and would you like some logos? the size of the red logo up there gives me inspiration for letterings :)

menace - 07:00 10 January 2014 #

irokos: This forum was hacked together literally hours before we went live, so expect improvements to it in the future.

As for logos, we're pretty married to that one up top there, and we don't particularly want to do the whole revolving logo thing (since it's been, you know, done - by similar websites). However, there may be some promotional productions in the works. Feel free to shoot me an email at menace at spaceballs dot norway, or come find me on irc and we'll talk :)

Saga_Musix - 14:13 10 January 2014 #

We might not need a new logo, but maybe a nicer favicon :) As the commit log for the current one says: "the disk favicon was kinda lame. this one is marginally less lame" :)

irokos - 15:03 10 January 2014 #

i accuse reception of both of your replies :) thank you :)
i'll query you menace, and i'll make a favicon to you guys if you wish.

noname - 01:10 12 January 2014 #

- It would be nice to select which one is the main one that is used in the thumbnail (the first screenshot is mostly certainly not the most iconic)
- Rearranging order and deleting screenshots could also be useful at a later stage

tomaes - 10:34 12 January 2014 #

Yup. I usually choose the best one to be the first, because of that. Also, it's not obvious that you can zoom them out to their original size; some sort of magnifier icon might help. Also a "1/20" sort of indication, how many screens there are.

Another thing; How about a simple stats page per user? Can be private. Just so that you have a log of stuff you've edited and maybe some basic stats as well (number of edits, number of screenshots, productions added, and so forth...). :)

menace - 12:58 12 January 2014 #

noname: You might want to check out our issue tracker, where we have tickets for just two such features;


tomaes: You upload a lot of screenshots, and we appreciate that a lot, but we do discourage doing it in a way that works around current functionality, when functionality to fix that is planned. In other words, it would be better to upload shots in the sequence they appear in the production and then fix that once we have the functionality for it in place, other than it living in the wrong place for ever. Or, until ticket 12 gets closed, whichever comes first. :)

A status page for the user is not a bad idea at all, will make a note of that and get back to it.

tomaes - 13:34 12 January 2014 #

Well, yes. I keep that in mind. As you can see, often enough, I put the shots in right order anyway. For example: http://demozoo.org/productions/10103/

radman - 06:15 7 February 2014 #

Whats our scene census count right now? That would be an interesting statistic to feature as a tagline on the main page.

menace - 08:14 7 February 2014 #

radman: It may be that my English is not up to snuff, but if I understand the word "census" right - as "the number of sceners recorded", then that number is right there at the bottom of the front page - currently 33915.

If I misunderstood that completely, and you meant the number of registered users on this site (people who actually signed up for an account, in order to edit things) then that number is currently 485.

dipswitch - 08:27 7 February 2014 #

i'm really looking forward for when we'll be having some per-country statistics...

menace - 08:41 7 February 2014 #

dipswitch: Make a ticket for it, maybe?

tomaes - 13:25 10 February 2014 #

As mentioned in the FMB thread: The site needs a shorthand explanation or tag line of sorts on its front page, that explains in brief the who-and-what questions, because it's really not all that obvious what the site is for.

Random suggestion: "The ultimate Demoscene media productions database." (less technical: "library" or "catalog" instead of "database", with a wiki link for 'demoscene' of course...).

radman - 20:35 12 February 2014 #

are there plans to add optional branding images (large and small) for groups?

having small iconic images appear next to the group name would have the added benefit of helping disambiguate between confusingly similar names.

menace - 07:59 13 February 2014 #

radman: We have an issue tracker at GitHub where we add any features we plan working on in the future (or welcome patches to implement/fix).

For your particular question, yes, this exists: https://github.com/demozoo/demozoo/issues/30

tomaes - 15:17 27 April 2014 #

8kb intro and party report (or just "report") should be production types.

List of 8k intros: http://www.pouet.net/prodlist.php?type[]=8k&page=1
List of reports: http://www.pouet.net/prodlist.php?type[]=report&page=1

dipswitch - 15:19 27 April 2014 #

100% agreed with tomaes. Also, "votedisk" is a valid and much-needed prod type: http://www.pouet.net/prodlist.php?type[]=votedisk&page=1

menace - 15:54 27 April 2014 #

OK, so - new production types.

8K - with the recent introduction of this category at Revision, and some quality entries in that competition - I think we're going to continue to see this category in the months to come at other parties as well. Implemented.

Reports - I'm not really feeling this as much. I doubt we'll see many more of these in the years to come, and I don't see enough productions in this category that it warrants a categorization of its own. I'd much rather see a "this production contains information on this party" type of functionality, which could have much wider applications.

I'm feeling much the same with votedisks - don't really think we'll ever see more of these, and there's not that many of them out there.

I'm not closing the door on either of those, to be clear, but I would like a wider discussion of the benefits of adding more categories that will probably never have new entries. I'm a big proponent of trying to find "the right amount" of information. Some things can benefit from a bit of simplification. If we implement every category ever, then the dropdown menues would quickly become almost impossible to negotiate to find the correct type. There is something to be said for trying to do things differently and trying to think around how other sites have done things in the past.

dipswitch - 20:48 27 April 2014 #

Yes, there will most likely be no reports and votedisks released _in the future_ - but since this site is just as much about documenting the past, these two prodtypes, particularly the reports one, are of utmost relevance. I am sure there are many more old reports and votedisks around than there are documented on pouet - think about the hornet archives which are largely undocumented yet, and these two prodtypes being most prominent in the Ms-Dos department.

The "no more such prods in the future" argument doesn't really work anyway, because we will most likely never ever see any new packdisks released - but still we have the prodtype, right?

"I'd much rather see a "this production contains information on this party" type of functionality, which could have much wider applications." -- yes I agree, but this still doesn't solve the problem with how to label these prods actually!

I think since you come from the Amiga scene, you're not fully aware of how important reports as standalone prods were for the 1990s PC scene. They were stand-alone coded releases with a text-scrolling interface, not intros containing some scrolltext about a party (like you probably imagine them from the Amiga context). They can't be labeled diskmags because they only contain one report, they can't be labeled "slideshow" either because the pictures they contain are only illustrations for the text. See the dilemma? Same concerns votedisks - they can't really be labelled anything else but votedisks, because in their design and their functionality they are not really comparable to any other prodtype.

I understand your concerns about "where to set the borders", but in this case I seriously urge you to reconsider this for the sake of documenting scene history - in this case the history of the MS-Dos era PC demoscene.

dipswitch - 20:52 27 April 2014 #

In fact, there are more MS-Dos party reports


than Ms-Dos slideshows


on Pouet.

dipswitch - 20:55 27 April 2014 #

One more point on your hesitation about "benefits of adding more categories that will probably never have new entries". If you define "new entries" by "new releases", then you're right. But 90% of "new entries" on Demozoo are "old releases", in fact! :P

If someone ever comes around to systematically go through old FTP archives that are preserved on scene.org, such as Hornet and Flerp, and enter the stuff into Demozoo, there will be literally dozens of "new entries" for these categories.

menace - 03:46 28 April 2014 #

Your arguments make sense, dipswitch. Proof positive that it's always illuminating and sobering to have a reasonable discussion about stuff. So - here's your new categories :)

Now I hope you guys go out and fill those bad boys up with new (and not least - old) entries!

dipswitch - 13:01 28 April 2014 #



dipswitch - 13:02 28 April 2014 #

Now it would be awesome to be able to link reports and votedisks with demoparty entries, just like it is possible with invitations. But I guess, for now they can go into the "None" compos, right?

ltk_tscc - 16:09 28 April 2014 #

Oh well... 9 pages of reports isn't enough?


I mean if there is no category we should cover them another way :)

menace - 04:52 29 April 2014 #

dipswitch: Agree, put them in None for now and make a ticket :)

menace - 04:52 29 April 2014 #

ltk_tscc: OK OK already, I made the category, didn't I? :)

digi - 18:56 1 May 2014 #

is it possible to give an external link a name? e.g. "online version"? currently the external link has the name "www"

ltk_tscc - 19:41 1 May 2014 #

digi: unfortunatly not yet... but it's on the to-do-list I think :)

Saga_Musix - 23:08 1 May 2014 #

At least for normal links it is - might be worth adding extra links to the todo list, though.

Saga_Musix - 23:16 1 May 2014 #

See here: https://github.com/demozoo/demozoo/issues/15

tomaes - 09:21 3 May 2014 #

I would really like to see text based contributions to be a normal, first class citizen kind of credits. Having a diskmag issue and dozens of "Other (text)" or "Other (Main Editor)" or "Other (interviewed)" credits feels like those are some kind of miscellaneous, minor contributions, while they are not. Text based credits are by far _the_ most frequent "Other" credits, so it might be a good idea to promote them. Adding them would be faster too. Also, it would look more elegant. :)

menace - 16:53 3 May 2014 #

I would have to disagree, adding in a bunch more categories would defeat the purpose of the categories. And I don't buy that the "Other" credit is less worth than say, a code or graphics credit, either. Feel free to try and persuade me otherwise, but I just don't see any extra value in Text as a separate credit category.

However, I do take some issue with "interviewed" as a CREDIT - IMHO it is not. At least I have always treated that as something that goes in the text field, a mention of who was interviewed (and the corresponding text in the scener's bio, where we mention he or she was interviewed here or there).

tomaes - 18:37 3 May 2014 #

I'd say they are credits (analogy: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fog_of_War">documentaries</a>) and (AFAIK) have been added by pretty much everyone as such, so they appear in the credits timeline and thus give you context, especially when there's more than one interview over a longer period of time. Although you could certainly mention it in the bio or prod info text as well. But then, you have the same info in many places. I'd rather have it in the timeline.

The text thing as a full credit is more about the prevalence of the credit. It's the fourth major skill set. Yet, I concede that _this_ scene is not primarily about writing, so I don't push that point. ;) I was just pointing out that it would be less awkward to add and more elegant to look at in long credits list.

tomaes - 18:37 3 May 2014 #

"No HTML or BBCode please." should be in red. ;)

dipswitch - 02:59 4 May 2014 #

I strongly plea for "Interviewed" being a credit (no matter if under "Other" or as an own role). An interviewee contributes exactly as much to an interview as the interviewer, if not more. Plus, if interviews are properly credited, one can go on a scener's entry and immediately see in which mags to look for info on him. See, for example, the page of Purple Motion - http://demozoo.org/sceners/369/ - you can immediately see that he has been interviewed in 1994, in 1999 and in 2001, and so research on his trajectory if you need to. The "interviewed" credits are one of the most important and valuable aspects of working my way through crediting diskmags at all, so I'm definitely keeping it.

And on Tomaes' original question: I understand that you wan to have as little roles as possible, and I think it's fine - CSDB, for example, probably has far too many. But, a "Text" credit role would be indeed helpful, because by this one could not just credit diskmag writers or interviewees, but also scrolltext authors in intros.

In any case, I would prefer if we would discuss such matters on the ML.

dipswitch - 13:40 4 May 2014 #

Or, forget the part about the ML, we can indeed discuss such matters here just the same, why not.

menace - 09:54 7 May 2014 #

I don't object to people being credited for text, just to the notion that we need an entire category for them. That can go in Other with no loss of information.

dipswitch - 11:43 7 May 2014 #

I see your point, but with a "Text" category a broad range of functions could be covered, like scrolltext text as well as diskmag contributions. And that would reduce rather than raise complexity. It's up to you ultimately, but if there was a vote among the staff, I would vote "Yes" for "Text".

tomaes - 12:27 7 May 2014 #

menace: "That can go in Other with no loss of information."

Sure, but Text(Scroll), Text(Editor), Text(proofreader) etc. is just a more pleasant and concise way to display that information. Also, that would make a future "list by credit type" feature more valuable, which is useful for Diskmags that have up to 100+ contributers. (or any other production with over a dozen people; the super long credit lists for some prods are quite unwieldy already.)

gasman - 10:14 8 May 2014 #

I vote "sure, why not" :-) I don't think it does any harm to add it - it's not as if we're being overwhelmed by the list of categories - and it's extra meaningful data if we choose to do something with those categories in future, like identifying sceners as coder/musician/graphician/writer based on their most common contribution type.

No HTML or BBCode please. URLs will be link-ified