Downloads

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by team a, Jul 17, 2008.

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  1. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    Ok, that's the last update for today:
    I've followed a couple of team a's and Drog's tips on moving things around and stuff
    I've added credits to wherever I felt like checking out
    Created subsections for Hard-Arcanum, Dungeon Crawl tutorials
    Divided the rroyo-created art
    Found some duplicates and marked them gray.

    Oh, and the layout has caved in again. Basically, the big sections have to be similar size or they won't align properly, creating gaps. Meaning, I'll either have to slim down the Arcanum section or add stuff to the Arcanum Modules section.

    At the moment of this writing, the latest version is here.

    All comments and suggestions will be wellcome.
     
  2. team a

    team a New Member

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    That's a good point - it is kind of the policy around here. It's also what has led to some of the bloating, though. Maybe we can all agree on a way around this one.

    I doubt that there is any Arcanum-related content that we shouldn't host. However, a lot of it appeals to a very, very small audience, and might never be downloaded again. I say we keep it, but don't include it on the download page. We can put a link in at the bottom for "Archived Content," which leads to a page with a list of links with things like old versions of patches (such as the UAP and 1070, among others) that is only kept on t-a for completeness' sake. There probably won't be many people who want to download two of your patches to compare what's in them, but we might as well leave them up since they're there. After all, someone might have some save games that got corrupted when they updated to the new patch, but which they want to replay for some reason. They can click the link at the bottom and go to the "Archived Content" section if they are really looking for an older version.

    I'd also say that any of the Dimensions of Arcanum files that were already on t-a under different file names should only be linked to on this secondary page, as well as the mirror of the original DoA page.
     
  3. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    I could just create a Archive section with compleate lists of whatever T-A keeps versions of.

    Putting that in another file though - basically ups the difficulty level of the whole operation, since I can't just log onto the ftp and build the page tree as I like.

    Another thing is that updating the previous Download Section was easier then working with this one will be. Adding another file to the equation might result in the task of adding a new version of A:WIP becoming a tedious chore.

    If DE will say it's ok then I'll go ahead and split the download section in two or more files (probably three, main download, archive and css stylesheet).

    I'm enjoying this since sorting through these downloads brings back memmories. Also I've the skills to do these things, but little opportunity to apply them. Especially in a casual fashion. Writing something simple is nice for a change.
     
  4. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Splitting the download section into several files would definitely be a big change, but perhaps one we need.

    Could you give us a taste of what it would look like?
     
  5. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    here:
    http://tentaclemonster.freehostia.com/download/download.html

    I've added a pretty ugly index, but it does its job. To get to the archive, you have to click the well-hidden link in descriptions of Arcanum patches, Drog's UAP, rroyo's A:WIP. That's right, no link above Drog's UAP:EP, even though that's also in the archive.

    There are three files now:
    downloads.html : Main download page
    darchive.html : Archive page
    downloads.css : the magic CSS stylesheet file

    Moving the few files didn't really make the page feel light as a feather, but it had its effect.
     
  6. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    I like it and found it to be easy to use.

    Of course, this is coming from a chronic lurker/leecher who's accustomed to following odd links.
     
  7. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    Ok, I've updated the latest varsion to include the german new version od UAP, and also fixed a LOT of minor problems. Also put some work into the index on the downloads page, it looks a bit better now.

    The page should display properly now, under IE, Opera and Firefox. Thay all have their problems but I've somehow managed to sort these out.

    The files that should be put up are:

    http://tentaclemonster.freehostia.com/download.2/download.html
    http://tentaclemonster.freehostia.com/download.2/darchive.html
    http://tentaclemonster.freehostia.com/download.2/download.css

    I've changed the image code again to point to the files locally (ie. to addresses like here/somewhere/file.jpg instead of http://t-a.com/phpBB/here/somewhere/file.jpg), so the graphics won't work on the preview page.

    Oh and DE, NEVER touch the top HOL banner, it might break just because you've looked at its code. It did once when I looked it over before uploading.
     
  8. team a

    team a New Member

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    Looking good, man. we all appreciate your efforts.
     
  9. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    I do realize that it looks like a friggin mess - definately takes time to get used to, and tends to scare away unprepared souls.

    I've tested it on people, everyone who has not seen what it was like before, told me this place needs to be organized - well damn, it just got organized.
     
  10. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    After getting an embarrassing amount of stupid out of my system I've uploaded the latest version of the download section. It looks absolutely awesome.

    Now all I need to do is getting the files rroyo and Drog provided me with available for download...

    EDIT: Okay, done!
     
  11. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I was about to comment on that. Really preferring the old list to THE WALL.
     
  12. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    Quit complaining and add a proper nav on top of the page, that fake one is about to fall apart.

    Also, there's a special version up that you might like better: http://terra-arcanum.com/phpBB/download.html
     
  13. team a

    team a New Member

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    You might want to put a little bit of space in between the top downloads menu and the actual list - otherwise, the menu looks like more of the same.

    Also, I think rroyo could probably use a whole page of his own, with all the content he has been adding. If he wasn't so busy with A:WIP, I'd say that any further advice he might have about creating/converting art for Arcanum, as well as a view of the actual images he has there, would be much appreciated. However, I wouldn't want to divert his attention any more.

    And yeah, I have to say that just being better than the old section makes this worthy of some kind of award. Maybe more importantly, considering the lack of sites like this one - and especially good sites - anyone looking for info on Arcanum, who knows anything at all about the modding scene, would probably far prefer to have too many downloads than not be able to find anything. We do have a forum, after all.
     
  14. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Administrator Staff Member

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    I think I do like that one better. At least it knows it's a list rather than two side-by-side lists which on first look, just appear as a giant wad of information overload and an excuse to use a float. Also, tiny font is generally not a good idea. As you're learning CSS, take a look at some articles on interface design and keeping things clean and simple. There's simply no need to throw all that information on the page at once for a listing.

    Let people naturally use the menu to jump to what they want without the added confusion of having to determine where what they jumped to actually is. EG: Clicking on "Troika Modules" as an example, it doesn't immediately jump out to me where what I want is. I naturally look to the left (left-to-right eyeflow) and get lost in the text (which incidentally has links that vary in height from the text in the rest of the sentence). In effect you get lost in "University Noticeboard Syndrome" and are more inclined to ignore the whole lot.
     
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Please remove "You'll find lots of great stuff here, Arcanum and otherwise".
     
  16. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    I belive I've done relatively well, considering the limitations. That is to say, it's still a damn mess, but anyone willing to sort through it is more likely to find something now.

    As for the most problematic element, that is the descriptions that mess up the page - I've decided they would be necesarry, or at least highly usable, since I belive that a large part of visitors of the download page are here just for the files. Thus, the short descriptions as to what the files do and links to more in-depth explanations are here to give the minimum of information about what we've got, except the obvious patches. Also, I considered it a acceptable idea to advertise the authors' (nick-)names in the page, as this may be the only place many users will ever see them.

    Of course I realize people don't like things are being shoved into their faces, and are most likely to ignore the exta elements altogether - but should someone need a piece of information, the links there might prove quite time-saving.

    Overall, the aim was to simply put the files in some context, rather then provide a dry list of availiable downloads. I realize that in theory, the whole terra-arcanum site is made to provide information about such things, but people tend to be lazy and might end up not knowing things reather then looking them up.

    As for the floats - you got me there, they're so damn unpredictable I wouldn't have ever used them for anything more then a simple list... Except not in my projects :p The main idea was to make the layout more interesting while keeping the code simple and copy-paste freindly, so any normal person could add stuff to the list without the help of a HTML-dictionary. Of course it ended up being more of a mess.

    A single column layout would probably work out better, after all, but it would take more work to make it look at all interesting - if stretched to 80% page width, it looks ugly, a thin 50% column looks kinda stupid. A more creative layout inside the columns - more tags to dig through when adding stuff.

    I've been thinking about a javascript gizmo that would automagically fold/unfold the divs as the index buttons are clicked. Having wanted to play with jQuery for some time now, I've decided to give it a spin. This is what came out after about an hour and a half of beer-influenced experimants:

    http://tentaclemonster.freehostia.com/d ... nload.html

    It has some flaws, but overall it works fine until you sit down and play with it. Well it's supposed to provide download links, not entertainment, so my argumant stands for it being good enough.

    Anyways, if the community decides it's not too fancy and overall a worthy improvement, I'll try to polish it a bit and help DE make it work here.

    edit: whee! This stuff is fun ! I was expecting a bit more feedback, but anyways, now it really is a bit too fancy for a download section... The same link.

    I'll be out on a two week trip in exactly one week from now, so if there are any suggestions about what should be done about this page, now's the time to send them.

    The fun thing about all the fancy animatins in the page is that they have absolutely no impact on the actual page code - they're all contained in their script file and act based on what they find in the index box. only some IDs had to be changed.
     
  17. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Administrator Staff Member

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  18. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    You mean like this ?
     
  19. wobbler

    wobbler Well-Known Member

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    I like it.

    But I still like the idea that somewhere, there is a wall of text containg hundreds of downloadable files that you have no real use for, like all of Drog previous patches, all of the previous patches, and everything.

    It makes me feel good.
     
  20. Vorak

    Vorak Administrator Staff Member

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    Looks shit in IE7, all dark and half the words are missing.

    And no, I'm not getting Firefox, that thing crashed more than IE ever has.
     
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