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Messages - Nightcrawler

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I think most in the community will agree these days that hacking a hack while clearly giving credit where credit is due is OK (and this consensus gave rise to the 'Addendum' categories here). Probably the only time this would be frowned upon is if you had ill intentions for doing so (defacing someone else's work or something). :P

I want to remind you all of the benefits that can come from at least contacting the original author. First, you open a door for collaboration. The original author may be inclined to help you out, provide source code, etc. Second, your changes might be incorporated into the original release. The benefit of that is you have one 'official' improved hack, rather than forked, diluted efforts. Lastly, extending courtesy encourages a happy community rather than competition, hatred, forks, and segregation! Those few minutes you spend to contact another can go a long way! :)

If you don't extend that courtesy, you have probably shut the door on many of those benefit before you started!

Site Talk / Re: Bug report section for Utilities?
« on: February 29, 2016, 06:27:33 pm »
Most of the programs that would be broken in the manner you're suggesting are broken because they are no longer being developed. For those, nobody is going to read or act upon such bug reports. That means the information would be targeted at RHDN visitors only. In that case, I think that information belongs in the description. It's not likely to ever change or need to be formally tracked.

As for actively developed utilities, this really sounds like ultimately integrating a bug tracker into the site. Having coded a bug tracker before, and after a long time still lacking many features, it's a large amount of work. This type of thing is much better served with existing dedicated bug trackers or open source repositories with issue tracking. Authors can pick the best tool for the job and not be forced to use a sub-par one! I don't think RHDN wants to become bug tracking software, not to mention handle the significant resource load to running one for potentially all utilities!

Site Talk / Re: Error Message: Connection Problems
« on: February 29, 2016, 06:16:10 pm »
There were many periods of high load over a number of days and maxing out database connections. I didn't have much time to investigate or confirm things with our host, but it sure did seem related to the download policy change. If it was, that requirement was removed yesterday. Levels look fine now.

Site Talk / Re: Wrong server time
« on: February 29, 2016, 06:09:55 pm »
Got it fixed for now. Keep an eye on it. For some reason our virtual server time was de-syncing from the hardware time. The difference was growing it seems. I don't know why/how it did that.

Site Talk / Re: Game Reviews -> Game Descriptions?
« on: February 29, 2016, 06:06:46 pm »
I think Game Reviews are fine, it just to need to have multiple reviews from different users like the review for hacks (Gamefaqs has a neat arrangement of those.

How come the games can only have one review but the hacks can have many? Can't the games system be altered to work like the hacks?

Multiple game reviews are not really an option nor desirable. The whole idea is so when you view the game pages or translation page, you are greeting with information about the game. See something like this:

That 'review' is almost a game description already if you took out the few opinion bits and author name. That's what I think we would like to have here and be consistent with the nature of the site. Having multiple game reviews wouldn't serve that purpose. What would you put there? A random review of the multiple available for the game? That's inconsistent, and likely wouldn't be actually informative in the way we'd like.

It's for the same reason we have a Hack description in addition to the hack reviews. However, in this case we don't have desire to be a game review site (in the internet is full of those much better than us), so we don't need separate game reviews, just a description.

Thinking a bit more about this and something occured to me. You say the current review is owned by the owner  (i.e. the person who posted it) but is this actually the case? Given you can only have 1 per game, unlike actual reviews on ROM hacks I'd put forward that the review belongs to RHDN as the review for that game.

Does anything actually set forth the licence for the reviews added?

That's a good point. It was never an explicit license. I also choose poor wording when I said 'public domain'. What I really mean is publicly editable RHDN material with community ownership rather then actual strict public domain content.

However, it would probably be assumed that when you you write something, your name is attached to it, and only you can edit it, that it probably belongs to you. You might then be upset if those terms were changed. I wouldn't want to make that decision without community support.

Site Talk / Game Reviews -> Game Descriptions?
« on: February 27, 2016, 06:48:33 pm »
Problems with RHDN Game Reviews

For a long time game 'reviews' here have been problematic for various reasons:

  • There can only be one per game
  • It is owned by the owner and locked from editing by anyone else
  • Many of them got their roots from the old Whirlpool site, which was many years ago now and are sub-par by today's standards
  • Allowing them to be edited, but keeping the original author's name was no good and frowned upon.
  • Allowing them to be edited, but having it confiscated to the editor's name was also frowned upon.

What should be Done?

I think the very nature of the game reviews here have always been against the wiki-like repository nature of the site. This really should be scrapped in favor of a public 'Game Description' field similar to the other hack or translation description fields on the site. This is also in line with Wikipedia. The review, opinion, and owner, element would be removed from the equation.

I just don't know how to proceed without clearing them all out, which is why there has been no action taken for so long. Simply converting them to the description field would be making all these reviews become public domain which really is ethically questionable to say the least. We used to have the same problem with the old Translation Review field. That ultimately was converted and became the public editable Description field in use today. This was probably just as ethically terrible to do, however nearly all of them were already written in a descriptive fashion already, and seemed to be mostly labeled as 'review' in wording only rather than content. No one ever objected to doing that either at the time.


I think it's time to move forward here. We either have to decide as community that converting them all is justified, or we should indeed scrap all the old game reviews and start fresh with public game descriptions.

Front Page News / Re: Site: Recent Malware Warnings
« on: February 27, 2016, 05:35:29 pm »
Today we have deployed a tentative replacement for the account requirement. This balanced approach should both work well for all and keep Google from branding us a malware site!


Site Talk / Re: Downloads problem?
« on: February 27, 2016, 05:32:45 pm »
We have deployed a new solution today in place of the account requirement! I've been working on this for awhile now, and I think this will both work to stop Google, and appease everyone.

1. If you are logged in, nothing changes. Downloads will work fine without interruption.
2. If you are a guest (not logged in), you will be prompted to prove you are human by copying and pasting a generated password (all on the same form screen). It should take no more than a few seconds.
3. Human verification for guests only needs to be done once per browser session. After doing it once, downloads will all work fine with no further interruption.

This is the simplest scheme I could think of that is effective enough to work, easily tweak-able, simple and unobtrusive for visitors, and low on resource usage!

Hopefully this will work out well for everybody! :beer:

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« on: February 27, 2016, 10:11:05 am »
http://www.romhacking.net/documents/37/ - this document is in text format. I open it and Notepad comes up with it messed up due to DOS-style formatting. Of course it opens fine in Notepad++, but where in the previous documents did we tell people to install that?

That's not DOS-style anything... That document simply uses Unix style line-breaks rather than Windows. That would be true for any text file created in a Unix/Linux environment made today if they used the default line-breaks. Notepad handles windows style line breaks only. This problem is not related to ROM hacking or outdated documents, but general computing platform differences.


Programming / Re: Advice on making GUI tool
« on: February 21, 2016, 11:12:08 am »
The problem is C++ has no inherent graphical or GUI capabilities. You have to choose one of the many third party library options that have bindings to the C++ language. Some popular cross-platform choices include Qt, GTK+, or wxWidgets. However, there are many others.

As far as Microsoft goes, you can still get away with MFC (long dead) with C++ if you jump through a few hoops (if you already knew MFC in the past). Any current options require you to move to C++/CLI if you want to stick with C++. Although even then, I don't think you can even use WPF with C++, and get good IDE designer support. WinForms might be it. Really, Microsoft wants you to use C# for regular Windows GUI development (I'd agree).

If you do think C#/.NET might be something you're interested in, know that Mono is pretty good these days, so you can get good cross platform results from .NET as well.

However you shape it, you're going to have to learn something new! :D

Personal Projects / Re: Megaman 1 Nes Redux (big Graphical hack)
« on: February 13, 2016, 08:43:31 am »
I think that would be a good improvement as well. The dark brown is much more agreeable to me over the red for the eyes and mouth.

Site Talk / Re: Public Maintenance on the site
« on: February 12, 2016, 06:17:57 pm »
Perhaps a modification of this image that says:

Title Screen

Just to distinguish it from the general no title screen image.

We have a number of unreleased games in the database and they all have title screens. Seems these two are the only exceptions where there is probably no ROM of the unreleased game. If that is the case, it's probably OK to just add image as described above. I'm not sure what else could be done outside of a special checkbox or something (not interested in doing so for such a rare case).

Site Talk / Re: Feature Request: Drafts
« on: February 12, 2016, 05:58:42 pm »
I'd like to see this myself, unfortunately you are out of luck. SMF 2.1, the version which this feature is in, is still beta. It is not for production site use. Secondly, they discontinued support for the 'new' 2.0 format templates they just made in 2.0. So, we can't even use 2.1 without redesigning all the templates and themes again. I would not expect them to release this version anytime soon, nor this site to be able to adapt to it soon after it is released due to such hurdles.

A mod exists for 2.0 to add this version, but it isn't very feature complete. It doesn't encompass administrative functions such as removing drafts that never made it to post status or other such needed functionality that wouldn't leave the forum database a bit mangled after awhile. :(

Personal Projects / Re: Megaman 1 Nes Redux (big Graphical hack)
« on: February 12, 2016, 05:32:54 pm »
The red eyes really kill me. Why not use black like the original?

Site Talk / Re: Rom hack ranking suggestion
« on: February 07, 2016, 09:50:53 am »
I'd like to petition for this (or similar) to be added to the FAQ or stickied somewhere:

Added. :)

Site Talk / Re: Old hacks/translations deleted?
« on: February 05, 2016, 05:52:43 pm »
At one time, I thought the goal was for this site to be an archive, one-stop collection for everything.  Apparently that's not the case anymore, so just erase whatever you want.

I'm not sure what you're talking about. The site has never carried multiple versions of the same hack, which was the only reason it was flagged. Since you clarified it's in fact not the same hack, please add it back. I support you in doing so! :thumbsup:

Site Talk / Re: Old hacks/translations deleted?
« on: February 04, 2016, 08:07:25 pm »
Different text routine, compression routines, etc.  I'd be willing to bet the translation isn't the same, either.  In fact, I'm completely certain the intros at least are different.

The value to me is quite a bit diminished when all of those things are incomplete. If it were me, I'd get back to work and finish that project so all that hard work of all those aforementioned people on your patch doesn't go to waste! :P

Anyway, it doesn't matter what I think. Add it back if you think that it has value. It wasn't flagged because of value. It was flagged for being a previous unfinished version of another finished version. Two versions of the same thing was non-compliant.

I'm sorry that turned out to be in error. All I knew was what was written in that description! So please, you or Gideon, fix that description to be accurate so this interpretation is never made by anyone again! :)

Site Talk / Re: Old hacks/translations deleted?
« on: February 04, 2016, 05:47:44 pm »
Gideon wrote:

This project is actually a continuation/reboot of the work done by SirYoink on the game over the last fifteen years or so. While the hacking is all new and done by Gideon Zhi, the script translation was done by Eien ni Hen (Ancient Magic, Romancing SaGa 2) who worked with SirYoink on this. After SirYoink gave his blessing the project moved forward into full gear and the new script dump was passed over to Eien ni Hen, who dropped her earlier translation into it. The rest, as they say, is history. While not without its challenges (this was not a simple hack!) the project was still one of the smoothest AGTP has been involved in. 

As it reads, we see it's a continuation of SirYoink's work, it uses the same script from Eien ni Hen, and it had SirYoink's blessings... So, my logic concluded that:

This project and it's work was directly continued in the Aeon Genesis/Eien Ni Hen project and completed. This entry is thus a previous unfinished version of that and can be removed.

First, I'd suggest Gideon or yourself amend the description of the completed translation to be accurate. That was the root cause of this. Second, there is no way to undelete an entry, so if you really need the unfinished version, you'll have to add it new. I'm not sure what value there is to having it though. It uses the exact same translation as the completed version.

Site Talk / Re: Releasing a hacked version of an abandoned hacking program
« on: February 04, 2016, 05:35:15 pm »
Isn't it there an "unofficial version" term?
search > Utilities > unofficial  :-X

Yes. These are just like this case. I don't think the logistics of it being a patch, config file, or executable really makes any difference as far as it's handling on RHDN. It looks to be the established means for doing this type of thing. We could always add another 'Addendum' type category to the Utilities section as well, but it's probably better if they come up together in most searches so people see there is an alternative version.

Site Talk / Re: Long delay in loading certain pages.
« on: February 03, 2016, 09:19:19 pm »
Ah... I have some recollection of that now that you mentioned the Jazzy theme. No problem with your computer afterall! :)

Yes, the Jazzy theme utilized the TopUp javascript library. I think it used it for popup help on the forms or something like that (I didn't design it). It was pulling the latest version from the TopUp website (http://www.gettopup.com), which looks to now be reset or taken over by domain squatter. The update link used is a 404 now. Here is a copy of the original library page.

It seems like the library may be dead now. Google doesn't seem to turn up any new places for it. I guess we'll have to remove that line or something and let it be a bit broken.


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