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Prophet_Tenebrae

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2002, 10:49:48 PM »
Hmm, the issues with the addventure include but are not limited to the following:

1. Lots of junk posts
2. Sheer size

Bear in mind that there are advanced search functions available to BEA members.

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Zorlond

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2002, 12:47:27 AM »
Actually, there aren't. I just poked around in the members side of the Addventure, there's nothing in there that isn't in the public area. Tree view, jump to episode, Adama's index, it's all the same. No actual search function.
"Don't you dare call me irrational! You <i>know</i> that makes me <b>CRAZY!!</b>"

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dev

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2002, 02:10:24 AM »
berkovw wrote: "If something becomes large and unwieldy, it becomes rebooted. The ADDventure has become so large that I think it could stand to be rebooted."

Tenebrae wrote: "2. Sheer size"

Since the Addventure is never actually required to be 'weilded' as a whole, this brings us back to largeness as an evil in and of itself.
Since we're not campaigning to restart the web, 'size' is clearly shorthand for something else.
Accumulated garbage is certainly part of it, and flushing the lot is much easier than picking through it, but I thought there might be more to it (cf. my earlier suggestions).

I don't know anything about advanced search functions, but I don't imagine they could be as good as Adama's Index, which provides information in the form that one actually seeks. Even if it does lag a bit, it opens up vast areas that the 'recents' crowd never sees.  

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Leviathan

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2002, 02:52:26 AM »
It would take a bit of work, but It's probably possible to write a code to update the Addventure, while still keeping the old episodes. The only problem I see with it is that the format of the old epsidoes might not be compatible with any new ideas the programmer might want to implement. This could become a stumbling block.

As a amateur programmer myself, here's the things I would try to implement in an upgrade:

1. Improved interface. This would include a better layout all-around. Everything from the episode creation screens to the information pages would all make use of tables and new HTML formatting methods. Most important would be to build a set of "default" formatting pages (XML) that would describe the general layout of the addventure, and which would be easily editable to make changes or improvements to the look and feel of the Addventure by editing only a few files.

3. Database implementation. I'd try to get some kind of online database up and working. The way I understand it now, many parts of the Addventure are a collection of HTML pages and large, rather unweildy text files. I'd try to put all the episodes into a database in order to save space and help organize the information better. This opens up possibilities for improved search functions and editing capabilities for moderators. Episode pages would be created on-the-fly as users requested them. As well, this opens up a wealth of easily calculated statistics pages. Basically everything that Adama currently does (statistics-wise) could be easily calculated and sorted by the OS.

3. Moderator capapilities. Moderators would be able to edit or delete information. A seperate interface would be created for them to work with the database (similar to the episode creation page except with a few more options).

4. Improved branching algorithms. Right now, the Addventure allows the user to input the number of branches and and then creates those episode numbers and readies them for creation. I'd like to see a new system where a certain number of episodes are fixed for addition (6 required), where an author may suggest a plot to continue, or can create his own. Of all the features, this would be the most difficult to "upgrade" from an existing addventure, as it might call for an entirely different type of "numbering" system.
Leviathan

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Adama

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2002, 04:03:37 AM »
Zorlond -- there was a search function, as well as other features, in the members-only area.  However, MarkT hasn't had the time yet to re-create those abilities on the new server.

Leviathan -- by coincidence, I myself have recently been looking at ways to upgrade the Addventure code.  Haven't gotten into any major changes yet, however.  I also have yet to test MarkT's willingness to implement any code changes that I might suggest...

For compatibility issues, it ought to be possible to (if necessary) shut down the Addventure briefly and run a conversion program to reformat all the old episodes as needed.

Improved interface -- I think I know what you mean; are you saying that we should have an episode "template", which can be adjusted later to change the look-and-feel of all the episodes in one blow?  A good idea, if so.

Database implementation -- I agree, this is something that's been needed for a long time.  The way that the Stat file is stored now (as a text file) has limited the features that can be added on several occasions.  This server already supports MySql databases -- I imagine it could carry one more...

Moderators -- I think MarkT already does that job.  The only problem there is the amount of time he has to spend on it.

 
Adama, Addventure mega-geek

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Leviathan

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2002, 05:53:50 AM »
Just for corraboration, I've seen the extra search functions and stuff also. They used to be there, somewhere.

I was thinking of a new look for the Addventure. Nothing fancy, but maybe a few colors or something extra for the pages, just to make them look a little more inviting and user-friendly.

Yes, that's exactly how it would have to be done. The Addventure would have to go offline for a couple hours while the new "upgrade" was being installed. Hopefully, most of the changes could be put together beforehand and then downloaded onto the server.

I didn't mean to imply extra moderators were needed, only that an easy way to edit episodes through a (possible) new database system would be by creating a seperate user-friendly interface using the same type of technology as the episode creation utility, to access and alter the database without having to shut down the Addventure for "maintenance".

 
Leviathan

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Prophet_Tenebrae

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2002, 10:11:01 AM »
How about a continuity checker?
The only problem is that it would probably have to be an AI and would probably end up trying to take over the world.

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dev

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2002, 02:54:16 AM »
I've thought about that.
AIs aside, one would require a way (syntax or separate data area) to enter 'binding' facts and world-rules specifying their degrees of freedom and override conditions.
Unfortunately, this detracts heavily from the literary approach and some players would invariably concentrate solely on 'moves' at the data level resulting in a kind of board game.
Of course, it doesn't help much if one is trying to preserve ambiguities and subtler aspects of character, which really depend on the art.
Alternatively, one can agree on some rules - but presumably the people who are capable of that are not the ones you have in mind.

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Prophet_Tenebrae

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2002, 12:29:31 PM »
No, really it's just a little joke. Considering that a lot of authors can find it at times taxing to keep a character in character, I doubt it's something that a program could do any time in the near future. Even with rules it would be imperfect and you're right to say that putting rules in would detract from the "game".

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MrHHH

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2002, 01:33:36 PM »
I think it should be shut down. Something new should also be put in it's place. After all, it's been running for 5 years now, you guys surely have thought of all the problems it's had.

And what a better system would be.  

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JH_

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2002, 05:08:12 PM »
Yes, it's had its problems in the past, but the very fact that it's grown so large suggests that it must be doing something right. Judging by the number of writers and the number of new episodes, it's as popular now as it ever has been. It would also be a shame to lose so many good long-running story-lines and have to start again from scratch.

If course, there's no reason why a new addventure shouldn't start in parallel with the old one. Then we would be able to see which one most people preferred.  

JH

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Leviathan

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2002, 02:02:07 AM »
Actually, an AI to check continuity wouldn't be hard to program. All you have to do is insert a random "mood" generator into the code. Sporadically, the code would go around adding to people's posts saying something like, "No you're wrong." You could have it sign the author name L.E. and then nobody would know whether it was the code or the real thing.  
Leviathan

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dev

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2002, 04:57:42 AM »
Ahem.

Well, this is rather a case of retroactively applied assumptions from what I've seen, but it goes to show that consistency depends a lot on the writers' attitudes.

I always prefer to assume that the story is consistent and that it is up to me to perceive/create a reality compatible with what is already written, rather than test the story against some preconceived model. If I can't see it I can't write it.

Mind you, I'm sure that expecting the same of others is at least part of the reason my own episodes are so rarely followed. There's a limit to how much can be suspended at one time.
 

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Adama

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2002, 06:59:39 AM »
I like to strive for continuity/consistency -- however, I also believe that you can throw out continuity for the sake of writing the story you want to.  For example, if we followed continuity then every "high-school Jim" thread would have to depict him as an overweight nerd with no girlfriend -- but suppose you don't want to write him that way?
 
Adama, Addventure mega-geek

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JH_

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Re: Should the ADDventure be restarted? Part 2
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2002, 10:33:35 AM »
"I always prefer to assume that the story is consistent and that it is up to me to perceive/create a reality compatible with what is already written, rather than test the story against some preconceived model. If I can't see it I can't write it."

I'd agree with that. And it can be a lot of fun coming up with something that accounts reasonably plausibly for what at first sight was a glaring failure in continuity.
 
JH