Mods must have a banner-picture

A place to talk about the official Factorio mod portal (https://mods.factorio.com)
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steinio
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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by steinio »

#offtopic
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jodokus31
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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by jodokus31 »

Before a mod deletes the offtopic posts, could you please split it to another topic, please?
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Deadlock989
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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by Deadlock989 »

There's nothing offtopic here. Someone posted a silly demand to police modders' use of optional thumbnails, because apparently we "suffer" from not setting them and it hurts this person's delicate sensibilities, and instead we should be choosing something from royalty-free stock photography of people doing yoga, or perhaps the Microsoft Clip Art back catalogue, as backed up by some non-existent "research" on best UI practice. Now some modders are setting the record straight about what we actually want. Hint: it's not thumbnail policing.

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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by Xorimuth »

eradicator wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:33 pm

If you think about it, asking for updates isn't really ever useful. There's two main possible situations:
  1. The author is still actively playing/modding. In this case they are already aware that an update is needed because it broke on their own system. Which means the update will be released "when it's done" and answering questions will only delay it further.
  2. The author isn't active anymore. So no update will ever happen even in the off-chance that the author even sees the question.
In both of these asking for updates is pointless. I guess trying to reduce this nagging is one of the reasons why commercial developers (Wube etc) go into "forward defense" and post regular status updates. But that's just not something i can or want to do for mods.
Whilst I agree with your general sentiment, I'm not sure that these 2 scenarios capture every situation, and I think that asking for an update can be appropriate, provided that it is done in a polite way, and a reasonable length of time has elapsed since the factorio update has been released (imo at least week, others may think longer is more appropriate).

It shows to the mod author that people still use and care about the mod. Some authors may not update their mods without being prompted because they believe that no one uses or cares about it.

Even if the author is no longer active, they may be happy to come back and fix/update the mod (or transfer the mod ownership to someone else who can) for the sake of others' enjoyment. In this situation, they may not have even be aware that it had become incompatible and might appreciate being notified.

Of course the mod author is never under any obligation to reply/update their mods, and users should never harass them about it. However you could argue that lots of users '+1'ing in a "1.1 update please" thread is acceptable because they are just showing their support for the mod and it allows the author to see how many people are enthusiastic about their mod. If people think that this is too much, then a 'thumbs up' ability in the mod portal discussions would be even better (like GitHub does) to prevent message spam.

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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by ptx0 »

eradicator wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:33 pm
For comparison: In Minecraft it sometimes takes weeks after a *stable* release before even the modding *framework* is updated. And only then can modders even start to update their mods. But here it is expected that mods are updated mere days after an experimental release that nobody but the dev team knows anything about before its release.
don't even get me started on Terraria.

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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

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jodokus31 wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:59 pm
Before a mod deletes the offtopic posts, could you please split it to another topic, please?
Deadlock989 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:49 am
There's nothing offtopic here. Someone posted a silly demand to police modders' use of optional thumbnails, because apparently we "suffer" from not setting them and it hurts this person's delicate sensibilities, and instead we should be choosing something from royalty-free stock photography of people doing yoga, or perhaps the Microsoft Clip Art back catalogue, as backed up by some non-existent "research" on best UI practice. Now some modders are setting the record straight about what we actually want. Hint: it's not thumbnail policing.
[Koub] Yeah I agree with Deadlock on this, I'll let the whole discussion together, I think the content of the discussion has way more value than (Sorry Ssilk) the original suggestion, while being still loosely related to it.
On a more personal note I'm kind of a misanthrope, so I don't have much faith in people in general (and in people being worth the effort). There are exceptions of course, there are definitely people worth my time and efforts, but the vast majority aren't. And despite my very low expectations on the overall mass of people, I'm still surprised every other day that they are still too high.
The fact that mod authors in their vast majority are benevolent contributors that take on their free time to give freely to the community seems so obvious to me that I didn't realise how not-so-obvious it was for some people.

This is also one of the reasons I don't like playing modded games : I know I will be impatient on game updates for the mod authors to update their mods, and I don't want to even feel frustrated that they aren't updated day one.

All this to say that I disagree on the idea that mod authors should be compelled to get ever more constraints for standardisation on top of what they already do by contributing freely, and for what everybody should be grateful.
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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by Deadlock989 »

jodokus31 wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:20 pm
Probably, there a many who don't know, that mods are made by volunteers from the community.

I wonder, how that could be changed:
Better moderation tools seem obvious.
More reliable download count calculations (f.e. per username)
Maybe some well seen hint, that the work of mods is done by volunteers
What about a mod rating? With or without comments?
Something (I dont know exactly what) to easily let a regular mod user show appreciation.
I don't know if it can ever be changed to be honest. I think forces beyond our direct control are more responsible for shaping how gamers behave than any particular design tweaks the mod portal might ever get. I would have liked to have had better moderation tools a year ago but I'm long past caring about that any more. Most of the more active big mods have simply moved it elsewhere, for example to Github issue tracking or to their own Discord server where they have more control over toxic behaviour. I understand exactly why they do this: for me personally moving it to Discord stops me ever interacting with that mod ever again because I won't use Discord, so I can't report bugs to them. Given that I've completely stopped taking so-called "bug reports" on my own mods, though, I'm hardly in a position to complain about that. TL;DR: I don't think it's worth Wube spending any time/money on improving the discussion board part of the mod portal, that ship has long sailed, people already have the option to just not use it and set up their own forum or trackers (or not bother, it's not compulsory to engage with Factorio punters).

I don't particularly like ratings/stars/thumbs-up stuff either, I don't think more focus on popularity contests is desirable, there should be less of that or ideally none. I don't see the need for both the "most downloaded ever" and the "trending" tabs, for example, the former shouldn't exist in my view or at least be filterable by major game version or year, but I'm not particularly bothered by it.

Things I would like to see:

- The ability/right to remove my own work from the portal if I choose, including reserving the mod ID against future uploads by bottom-feeding trolls. At the moment all you can do is upload an empty mod and delete the older versions, which might then overwrite whatever copy of the mod is stored on people's disks if they update, which would be obnoxious.

- The ability to reorder gallery pictures.

- The ability to see and know which mods I have collaborator status on.

- Support for other source repositories other than Github (and not showing the field at all if it's empty).

- The Discussion tab should not be shown at all to third parties if it is disabled, the same way that the FAQ tab isn't shown.

- Something other than Markdown for composing the pages. Literally anything. Hammer and chisel, wax tablets, fucking papyrus, anything other than Markdown.

- Per-user download counts is not a bad idea, definitely a better metric than raw downloads (especially for the trending calculation, as currently any mod which simply uploads a daily series of very minor tweaks is likely to show up on the front page of trending mods, regardless of whether it was a hundred people downloading it once or ten people downloading ten minor tweaks).

- The in-game mod browser should show and link to the mod's license so that we can finally silence that never-ending whine about it from the Twitchier/Redditier pits of the internet. Basically everything that gets shown on the mod portal's Information tab should be accessible via the game browser as well.

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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by Silari »

Deadlock989 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:39 pm
- The ability/right to remove my own work from the portal if I choose, including reserving the mod ID against future uploads by bottom-feeding trolls. At the moment all you can do is upload an empty mod and delete the older versions, which might then overwrite whatever copy of the mod is stored on people's disks if they update, which would be obnoxious.
Wouldn't uploading the empty one as version 0.0.0 prevent Factorio from ever considering it an update? AFAIK it should be going by version and not date uploaded. I suppose you could also set it for an old version of Factorio, especially one you didn't actually release the mod for. That has the downside of changing what versions it shows up for in the mod portal, but not much of one if you're trying to kill the mod.

I'd say that per user per Factorio version download counts would have been better than just per user. That way sorting by downloads would have always shown the most popular mods for the version you're playing, rather than all time. It'd help weed out mods that aren't used as much anymore - like if a major feature became vanilla. Almost certainly too late for that now though.
eradicator wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:33 pm
If you think about it, asking for updates isn't really ever useful.
I'm probably the outlier here, but often I waited until someone actually asked before bothering to update a mod. I ended up not updating Homeworld at all for a few versions since nobody asked. Most of my stuff is small and self contained though, so updating is rarely more than 5 minutes for updating the info and rezipping.

Definitely less useful when it's the 7th thread asking for an update on a mod 3 versions out of date.

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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by Deadlock989 »

Silari wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:58 pm
Wouldn't uploading the empty one as version 0.0.0 prevent Factorio from ever considering it an update? AFAIK it should be going by version and not date uploaded. I suppose you could also set it for an old version of Factorio, especially one you didn't actually release the mod for. That has the downside of changing what versions it shows up for in the mod portal, but not much of one if you're trying to kill the mod.
You are probably right. I experimented with it once by setting the version in the info.json to an impossible/unused version of Factorio and it didn't seem to adversely affect anyone. However with all the confusion around what counts as what version and what gets shown to whom and when, it's not exactly comfortable dicking around like that, and it wouldn't prevent potential losses if people did a manual download of it. There should be an option to remove all the uploaded versions if that is what you want to do with your own work, and then that mod ID's entry is simply never ever displayed to third parties, not even as "deprecated", reserving the ID against the machinations of the small number of sad little trolls we're apparently still lumbered with. I've used god knows how many photography, art, code repository and pastebin-type sites over the last couple of decades and every single one of them gives you the option of deleting your own stuff if you want to (without also accidentally opening up the same ID/address to thieves). Even Steam Workshop does it and you don't get much more inscrutable than Steam.

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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by ssilk »

Deadlock989 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:39 pm
Things I would like to see:
I agree with all points. But this I don’t understand:
- Something other than Markdown for composing the pages. Literally anything. Hammer and chisel, wax tablets, fucking papyrus, anything other than Markdown.
What is your problem with that? I mean: there are editors, plugins for the IDE’s and much more that helps to create that. With markdown it’s easy to put the description into your repository and check it in. What just missing, that the portal can read that description directly out of the mod.
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by Jap2.0 »

Deadlock989 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:39 pm
- Something other than Markdown for composing the pages. Literally anything. Hammer and chisel, wax tablets, fucking papyrus, anything other than Markdown.
Just use plain text?
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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by ptx0 »

Deadlock989 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:39 pm
- Something other than Markdown for composing the pages. Literally anything. Hammer and chisel, wax tablets, fucking papyrus, anything other than Markdown.
so, LaTeX?

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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by Deadlock989 »

Jap2.0 wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:40 am
Just use plain text?
It's not the 1970s any more - plain text doesn't cut it. It's nice and also useful to be able to create hyperlinks and embed images, and the way Markdown handles it is like someone took the sound of fingernails being dragged down a chalkboard and turned it into a markup language. Also there's no support in the Markdown spec for embedded video. You can't even horizontally align images.

Markdown is a markup language in exactly the same way that a manbun is a hairstyle.

Anyway, it is the least important thing on that list.

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Re: Mods must have a banner-picture

Post by jodokus31 »

Deadlock989 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:39 pm
TL;DR: I don't think it's worth Wube spending any time/money on improving the discussion board part of the mod portal, that ship has long sailed, people already have the option to just not use it and set up their own forum or trackers (or not bother, it's not compulsory to engage with Factorio punters).
Yes, agree. also that the discussion board can be hidden. If somebody likes to activate it, they can do it.
If you link to Github, you have a better tool. Discord is also not mine. I have an account, but never use it.
Some bigger mods have an own subforum with moderation rights, which could be nice.
Deadlock989 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:39 pm
I don't particularly like ratings/stars/thumbs-up stuff either, I don't think more focus on popularity contests is desirable, there should be less of that or ideally none. I don't see the need for both the "most downloaded ever" and the "trending" tabs, for example, the former shouldn't exist in my view or at least be filterable by major game version or year, but I'm not particularly bothered by it.
I don't like it either, maybe it could be good, if this info is only shown to the author to get feedback, if people like the mod. But then, the majority wouldn't use it... I don't know. Better leave it alone, i guess.
Deadlock989 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:39 pm
- Per-user download counts is not a bad idea, definitely a better metric than raw downloads (especially for the trending calculation, as currently any mod which simply uploads a daily series of very minor tweaks is likely to show up on the front page of trending mods, regardless of whether it was a hundred people downloading it once or ten people downloading ten minor tweaks).
This should not be so difficult to implement i would assume. You always have to login to download a mod, via game and via mod portal.
Maybe the counts per version can remain (but also per user), but not as base info for "trending mods"
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