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[Article] Getting Started

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Re: [Article] Getting Started

Postby FemShep » 29 Jul 2015, 04:32

giftfish, this will need to be updated to reflect the new github version.

I was thinking about having a binary-only version download too (I think the stable version was like this on SF). I built a stub downloader for it in C# so we can load-distribute it across servers, like me3tweaks or heff.ce. Compressed ME3Explorer it's about 7MB. Perhaps you could also use it to download old versions depending on the bandwidth usage.

I feel that having users compile it to just use it is going to be pretty tedious. And the amount of commits we have I don't think would work well with github's release system (it'd get big fast). Thoughts? I can show you some pics/demo/.exe of it once I get the serverside figured out. Haven't had much time since I'm moving.

I know with my Mod Manager users the harder anything is the less it gets used. With this stub downloader we can also use it to update ME3Explorer too - it's a separate process, which means the ME3Explorer process can hand off to it, update ME3Explorer, and then restart ME3Explorer. This could replace the SVN checker. Forcing an update of the files on SVN (I think that's possible, and will fix the chain) will make it work. You can even mark it as stable (and project moved) on SF and users will upload onto the git chain.

this post doesn't seem too wiki related with all these edits...

Edit: Downloader (alpha): http://me3tweaks.com/tools/me3explorer/ ... loader.exe
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Re: [Article] Getting Started

Postby CreeperLava » 29 Jul 2015, 09:46

The downloader is perfect, thanks ! I see it's on Github too, but maybe not very visible. Linking to it will be essential for users to find it.
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Re: [Article] Getting Started

Postby giftfish » 29 Jul 2015, 14:57

@FemShep -- Yep, I already said in the other thread that I'd be updating this article, as well as a bunch of other links and text related to it.

But, please keep in mind that I'm not a coder. The majority of your post just went over my head. I don't understand the differences b/n SF and github, nor the differences between SVN and git. I don't understand what compiling is and I don't know how to do it (I just embedded WVs video tutorial on the wiki). I don't know what a "binary" version is, and I don't know what a "stub download" is. These are things that I don't have to understand... and the bulk of toolset users are just like me.

So, what has to happen is there *must* be an obvious download link for the toolset. If Github doesn't have a way to create an obvious download link on the toolset's main page, then another solution must be found. Part of the reason why I suggested a move from SF in the first place was it's growing problems with ads masquerading as the download link. I realize for you coder guys, there's many more advantages to moving, but the *most* important thing is that there is a single download link is obvious and clear.

Looking at the current Github page, I see a very small, not obvious download button for an ME3Explorer zip. I have no idea if it leads to the stable release (SF) toolset or not. Users won't be sure, either.

My big question after reading your post:

I'm not clear on what you were saying about personal servers. Are you saying that moving off of SF means we've also lost *hosting* of the "SF" (stable release) download?

If that's the case, that's a big problem that needs to be rectified. Counting on your and Heff's personal servers rather than something like SF is a bad idea for longevity of the toolset. It needs to be housed somewhere that isn't linked to an individual; people come and go from projects all the time. I don't have a firm grasp on how the SF & the SVN have been handled, but my impression has been that all toolset code available for devs, as well as the stable/beta releases have been housed on these sites. No personal servers were needed, which is a much more sustainable model.

Here are the things I need to be clear about before revising the article. Please explain in non-technical terms:

1. Will there still be a stable release build (SF) and a beta build (SVN)?
2. Where will they be housed? SF and github or only one or the other?
3. Assuming there will still be a beta build, will we still be using Tortoise SVN? If not, what are we using instead?
4. How will the SVN Checker/Updater be impacted by all this?
5. Assuming there is one, what download button on github leads to the stable release version of the toolset (the old "SF")?

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Re: [Article] Getting Started

Postby FemShep » 29 Jul 2015, 15:38

My post is only for a user who wants to use ME3Explorer to do X or Y. *not develop part of the toolset* or build from source. They'll still have that option
The download would download a copy of the latest revisions compiled bin folder. It would replace what essentially is SourceForge big green download button.

It's on me3tweaks/heff/ others because github releases aren't as obvious as the big green button SF has and with using servers you can get telemetry data about how often people are checking in or downloading (only counts number of connections. No PII is sent at all.)
We are the only only ones that own an actual server I've seen in the modding community.

Github has a releases page where you can tag a binary rep are but with the number of commits we have (and its not a file host for automated downloading) it doesn't seem very good for "auto updating".

If you are a user and want to update:
Ulrun my downloaded again, or maybe the update button from me3explorer. When we build one.

If a developer: just do a git fetch and git pull.

The downloaded will solve the SVN updated no longer working because we moved to git.

The download zip downloads the repo - including all coming history, and source files. The repo does not contain a prebuilt binary as that's just extra bandwidth for commits. And I'm sure very few potential users want to build from source when they've never used it.
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Re: [Article] Getting Started

Postby giftfish » 29 Jul 2015, 16:22

@FemShep -- I guess I need to be clearer. Your last post also contains too much technical information. "My post", "repo", "pull", "git", "binary rep", "git fetch" (and more). These are all words that I *don't understand.* If I don't understand the words and concepts you are using, then I won't understand the implications of your post.


Let's rehash the old situation, since this I understood:

1. Sourceforge.
Housed the stable "release" of ME3Explorer that should be used by most users. Download with the big, shiny green button on the home page. I know there's a bunch of other stuff on the SF site, but I have no idea what it is or what it's for. I'm not a coder, and I've had 0 classes on computing.

2. SVN.
Beta "revisions" of ME3Explorer. Contains the most recent changes, but might have bugs. First download Tortoise SVN, then use the information in WV's forum post to fill in the proper information and access the latest revision (or a revision of your choice).

3. SVN Updater.
A tool in the toolset that updates the SF to the latest SVN revision. Open the tool and run it. You can't choose a specific rev, you can only update to the latest rev.


This is the grand total of what I understand about the "old" process. If you explain the new process in any other terms but this, I'm not going to understand it.


@Heff, @Kfreon, can either of you explain this? I think both of you have a firmer grasp on my level of understanding regarding this type of content.


Once I'm clear on this stuff, then let's talk more about the server issue, since I'm still not clear about that, either.
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Re: [Article] Getting Started

Postby FemShep » 29 Jul 2015, 17:15

We've already moved to Github. We're just discussing how users will download the latest "svn"(now git) versions. Users no longer will build from source unless they are developing the toolkit, they will just download a pre-built version, like almost all other windows software.

The "Stable" version is very out of date so I am not sure why we are still advertising using it.
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Re: [Article] Getting Started

Postby CreeperLava » 29 Jul 2015, 17:32

FemShep wrote:The "Stable" version is very out of date so I am not sure why we are still advertising using it.

It is recommended because it is stable and good enough for most users. Recent revs fixed some bugs but also introduced new ones, so getting the new SF out proved harder than expected for KFreon.
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Re: [Article] Getting Started

Postby FemShep » 29 Jul 2015, 17:34

I suppose. I could build a dropdown where you can pick the version (stable or latest).
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Re: [Article] Getting Started

Postby giftfish » 29 Jul 2015, 19:10

FemShep wrote:We've already moved to Github. We're just discussing how users will download the latest "svn"(now git) versions. Users no longer will build from source unless they are developing the toolkit, they will just download a pre-built version, like almost all other windows software.

Ok, so new "git" = old SVN. Got it. That means it is now the new beta version that may contain bugs and WIP features.

I don't know what "building from source" is. Is that "compiling"? If so, I can tell you that 99% of users have never done it. Most users *have never* built from source (whatever that is); I certainly never have. That information on the forums and wiki is directed at coder folks like you.

The SourceForge version of the toolset has always been "standard" Windows software. Users download it and launch the program. Done. I'm not sure why you're under the impression folks need to compile the toolset themselves. This has never been the case.


FemShep wrote:The "Stable" version is very out of date so I am not sure why we are still advertising using it.
CreeperLava wrote:It is recommended because it is stable and good enough for most users. Recent revs fixed some bugs but also introduced new ones, so getting the new SF out proved harder than expected for KFreon.
FemShep wrote:I suppose. I could build a dropdown where you can pick the version (stable or latest).

Yes, it's out of date, but what Creeper said. Kfreon is still working on issues with his tools that need to be addressed before we publicize a new stable "SF" release.

There *must* always be a stable release and a beta SVN/git. We don't want most folks using the beta version when new and buggy features are in the process of being implemented. Most users should be using the stable release. This seems pretty standard practice when it comes to software. To prevent confusion on what to download, the two versions should be *very clearly* separated with the "Sourceforge" more obvious.

I'm... feeling a bit like we're trying to reinvent the wheel here. I'm all for making things easier for coders and improving workflow, but not at the expense of making things more confusing for users. Certain conventions need to be maintained in this new system:

1. There must be a stable, "ready to use" release version (like the old SF) with an obvious download button. It should be hosted on a public site, like SF, Github, etc, and not tied to anyone's personal server.

2. There should be a beta version (like the old SVN) that is less obvious and "safe" for less technical users to ignore. This version will be used most by developers and mod creators who want to test new features and use the newest tools. It should also be hosted on a public site, like how the SVN was tied to SF, and not tied to anyone's personal server.

3. The SVN Checker/Updater tool inside the toolset should be updated so that it works with the new system. An additional utility should not be required as it works against the premise of an all-inclusive toolset.

This is how the toolset has worked and should continue to work. So... where are we at in regards to these 3 issues? I still have no idea how to access the SF (rev653) or the SVN (rev711) using the new system.
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Re: [Article] Getting Started

Postby FemShep » 30 Jul 2015, 06:00

On SourceForge there was no "versions" beyond the stable which was over a year old now. Lots of things have changed since then.

The SVN checker is fully not-compatible, at all, with git. 0%. Due to it being SVN/git that also has to compile from source which means users to update need to have git, the compiling things...

The github repl will *not* accept compiled items in the bin folder. They simply add space and developers will recompile the program anyways so there would be no way to update via SVN/(git) as in previous versions.

If a user wants to use a newer version than stable they should never have to compile from source. The Updater I am building can replace the SVN updater. It works with *binary* downloads (like the stable SF one) and not the source ones (git,SF code).

The Updater must be separate. It A) wouldn't work without downloading MS3Explorer (which defeats part of its purpose), B) binaries can't be update wile the program is running.

You need to learn how git and github work. These decisions require knowledge of the tools because they're impacting how the toolkit is developed and shared. 1) is not that feasible, github is not a download server its a social coding site. 2) needs non-source code versions downloadable. 3) has to be separate from the main toolkit anyways or it can't update the toolkit. Including the stub in the toolkit as well as separate will solve the download issues. Github can host manual downloads via releases (it won't be very user friendly in terms of interface) but you cannot use them for updating. You have to own servers for that.
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