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11 minutes ago, blu3wolf said:

I would naturally be fairly irked if the actions of some invalidated the best tool I have for maintaining my KSP install.

The CKAN team certainly seems to have a penchant for shooting themselves in the foot.

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8 minutes ago, passinglurker said:

So how much do you value the authors time vs. Your own?

Naturally, I am most concerned with my own time. I have a given amount of time to play KSP in. Not as much as Id like, but I suppose thats little surprise.

If the author wants to spend lots of time, or only a little time, on modding, that is their prerogative. If they spend that time working on support requests, that is also their prerogative.

As far as my regard for any specific author's time, whether that time is spent modding or not, I have to agree with RoverDude's views on the matter:

2 hours ago, RoverDude said:

Let's be clear.  Your time is completely irrelevant to me - it holds zero value.

 

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6 hours ago, politas said:

A quick point. CKAN does care about problems caused by CKAN's messed up installations. That's completely covered by our commitment to our users. If CKAN messes up an installation, CKAN isn't working right.

Alrighty.  So, what would be your position on the following scenario?  (This happened last night.)

I reverted back to 1.0.5.  I used CKAN to install MKS Lite.  Although CKAN was able to detect that my version of KSP was 0.5, it downloaded and installed 0.4 version of MKS Lite, which does not work with 1.0.5.  I manually donwloaded and installed the correct version (0.3)

Would this qualify as a problem caused by CKAN

Although most problems are the other way around (older mods on newer KSP builds), the principle is the same.  CKAN installed a mod incorrectly.  In such a scenario, who should I, the user, be talking to for support? 

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1 minute ago, mjl1966 said:

Alrighty.  So, what would be your position on the following scenario?  (This happened last night.)

I reverted back to 1.0.5.  I used CKAN to install MKS Lite.  Although CKAN was able to detect that my version of KSP was 0.5, it downloaded and installed 0.4 version of MKS Lite, which does not work with 1.0.5.  I manually donwloaded and installed the correct version (0.3)

Would this qualify as a problem caused by CKAN

Although most problems are the other way around (older mods on newer KSP builds), the principle is the same.  CKAN installed a mod incorrectly.  In such a scenario, who should I, the user, be talking to for support? 

well, Id ask the mod author which version is appropriate for the older version of KSP.

You then should tell CKAN about it, and ideally they would fix the issue. Given that its an old version of KSP though... not much chance of it happening.

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1 minute ago, mjl1966 said:

Alrighty.  So, what would be your position on the following scenario?  (This happened last night.)

I reverted back to 1.0.5.  I used CKAN to install MKS Lite.  Although CKAN was able to detect that my version of KSP was 0.5, it downloaded and installed 0.4 version of MKS Lite, which does not work with 1.0.5.  I manually donwloaded and installed the correct version (0.3)

Would this qualify as a problem caused by CKAN

Although most problems are the other way around (older mods on newer KSP builds), the principle is the same.  CKAN installed a mod incorrectly.  In such a scenario, who should I, the user, be talking to for support? 

this is a special situation since you already know it's CKAN's that chose the wrong version to install. so you should notify the team that they should fix that.

more generally, when you get a bug the best course of action would be:

1- download the mod manually
2- clear your GameData folder from everything (except Squad folder)
3- install the mod
4- reproduce the bug with that mod alone
 

if the bug is not there, try to add other mods (still installed manually) untill you are able to reproduce the bug

when you have found the smallest number of mod needed to reproduce your issue, go to one of the modders and report the bug

possibly including log files (they'll tell you how to get those)

 

of course nobody does this, but if you come to my thread with an issue, this is probably what I would tell you to do before trying to reproduce your issue

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46 minutes ago, Randazzo said:

This is the primary reason I pulled all my stuff, and then ended up losing interest when I realized how much I would have to re-do to release ARR. Not only will CKAN refuse to stop listing a mod, they will go far out of their way to ensure the continued distribution even if all outside sources are removed. It's not just carelessness, it's willful attitude of "screw you".

@blu3wolf Out of curiosity, do you have a dog in this fight? A Mod? Work on CKAN?

And the community has lost a valuable asset.  Your engines are my go-to for just about everything.  And I think this is an example of how this problem is contrary to consumer interest, not just producer interest. 

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10 minutes ago, Sigma88 said:

this is a special situation since you already know it's CKAN's that chose the wrong version to install. so you should notify the team that they should fix that.

more generally, when you get a bug the best course of action would be:

1- download the mod manually
2- clear your GameData folder from everything (except Squad folder)
3- install the mod
4- reproduce the bug with that mod alone
 

if the bug is not there, try to add other mods (still installed manually) untill you are able to reproduce the bug

when you have found the smallest number of mod needed to reproduce your issue, go to one of the modders and report the bug

possibly including log files (they'll tell you how to get those)

 

of course nobody does this, but if you come to my thread with an issue, this is probably what I would tell you to do before trying to reproduce your issue

Would actually like to hear @politas stance :)  This is the heart of the matter: CKAN installed a mod in a way contrary to the dev's technical requirements.  What is the generally accepted, promulgated, understood and practiced process for handling this?  Answer for most users: either "I don't know" or "post on dev page." (Hey, I installed your mod and it's not werking.)  Can that process be improved?  How?  Can we agree it needs to be improved? 

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19 minutes ago, mjl1966 said:

Alrighty.  So, what would be your position on the following scenario?  (This happened last night.)

I reverted back to 1.0.5.  I used CKAN to install MKS Lite.  Although CKAN was able to detect that my version of KSP was 0.5, it downloaded and installed 0.4 version of MKS Lite, which does not work with 1.0.5.  I manually donwloaded and installed the correct version (0.3)

Would this qualify as a problem caused by CKAN

Although most problems are the other way around (older mods on newer KSP builds), the principle is the same.  CKAN installed a mod incorrectly.  In such a scenario, who should I, the user, be talking to for support? 

Ideally your first point of contact should be the CKAN.  Once you have confirmed it's not a CKAN install issue, (which it is in this case - so you shouldn't get past that) you should go to mod author.

That's with the current setup.  If CKAN gave install config control to the mod authors then the process should be to proceed directly to the mod author.  That's part of the current problem - because CKAN doesn't give the mod authors any control over how their mods are installed, and can't consistently do it correctly, mod authors don't want to deal with support requests concerning mis-installs from CKAN.  Unfortunately it's not clear to the users (and likely never will be) that if they use CKAN all issues should first be taken to CKAN, and only afterwards taken to the mod authors.  The correct fix therefore is for CKAN to play nice with the mod authors, and help them to make sure that CKAN only installs mods correctly, by making sure that the mod authors (who are the ones doing the support by default) are the ones in control of the install process.

I'm not exactly clear on why they didn't do that.  It's polite, and generally the way it works in the OSS world, the only exceptions being full linux distros that have an official distro repository - where it is very clear that those packages are the distro's responsibility, and they have separate support forums that will deal with support.  (Often the actual install process is slightly different on various distros as well, so they are the ones best in control of what needs to go where.)

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I have installed, updated, and maintained literally hundreds of mods with CKAN, and I have not experienced a single instance where CKAN installed something wrong. And I see this claim over and over again that CKAN screws up people's installations. I'm not saying it's false, but....is it being blown out of proportion? What are these screwed up installations people always talk about?

 

edit: apologies, I thought I had clicked to the end of the thread, but it took me to page 6. I see an above error where someone reverted to an older KSP. Other, really common scenarios are still welcome to be presented.

Edited by drhay53
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Aso RE examples, I think @ferram4 has already covered this, and @Angel-125 had his share.  My own mods were a train wreck after I built USI-Core, and that was the incident that forced me to start doing my own metadata.

There are issues.  Resolving issues takes communication.  But communication that starts off with a blatant disregard for the wishes of content creators (and this is a courtesy issue, not a legal one), is not going to end well.

 

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I've been staying pretty quiet in this thread, but I've been actively reading.  I won't rehash anything others have said, but I'll make my position clear, which is:

CKAN needs to be respectful of authors, regardless of what rights the chosen licenses gives CKAN

That is the key issue here.

5 minutes ago, RoverDude said:

This may soon be a moot point as ModuleManager was just de-indexed.  

And with this I'm pretty close to de-indexing as well, as this will cause some pretty heavy dependency issues on my end.

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12 minutes ago, RoverDude said:

This may soon be a moot point as ModuleManager was just de-indexed.  

Well that's it then.

I really don't miss the bad old days of manually curating mods. Unfortunate that it came to this.

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Definitely de-listing my mods, I get support issues where for whatever reason WBT is suddenly set to an old version when it should be the latest. I never have installation issues when people use the tried and true cut and paste method. If I have to dust off my Windows installer script skills to provide an install script for my mods then that's what I'll do.

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Can we hold off the nuclear triggers until someone writes an alternative mod manager that works? Please -- managing dependencies is so tedious by hand :/

Edited by bos
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17 minutes ago, RoverDude said:

This may soon be a moot point as ModuleManager was just de-indexed.  

So does that mean that the policy no longer requires All Rights Reserved for de-listing? ModuleManager still has an open license as far as I can tell.

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Now that CKAN is effectively dead, how about a passive version? I.e. CKAN continues to do everything it does, except it no longer automatically downloads/installs/removes mods?

For example, CKAN maintains its database, checks for dependencies, etc., but instead of downloading mods for me, it links directly to the forum post describing the release notes. I then install the old-fashioned way, using the mod author's own links and instructions. CKAN could even verify that I did it right.

We (end users) would still get many of the benefits of CKAN. I would have an easily-exportable backup-able list of mods currently installed, and CKAN would tell me if any of them have updated.

 

Curating my own mod list wasn't as bad on the old version of forum software, because I could define different categories for Subscribed Threads. I had one subscription list for mods that were currently installed, and it provided a link to the first new post in each thread. The new forum subscription model is not as flexible.

Edited by JWag
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8 minutes ago, HebaruSan said:

So does that mean that the policy no longer requires All Rights Reserved for de-listing? ModuleManager still has an open license as far as I can tell.

 

3 minutes ago, JWag said:

Now that CKAN is effectively dead, how about a passive version? I.e. CKAN continues to do everything it does, except it no longer automatically downloads/installs/removes mods?

For example, CKAN maintains its database, checks for dependencies, etc., but instead of downloading mods for me, it links directly to the forum post describing the release notes. I then install the old-fashioned way, using the mod author's own links and instructions. CKAN could even verify that I did it right.

We (end users) would still get many of the benefits of CKAN. I would have an easily-exportable backup-able list of mods currently installed, and CKAN would tell me if any of them have updated.

 

Curating my own mod list wasn't as bad on the old version of forum software, because I could define different categories for Subscribed Threads. I had one subscription list for mods that were currently installed, and it provided a link to the first new post in each thread. The new forum subscription model is not as flexible.

Funny you should mention that.  CKAN is itself under an MIT license and the code is readily available.  A def-friendly tool could be derived from CKAN itself.

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Wow, am I the only modder who likes CKAN?

"Whine whine whine users are dumb whine whine my support channel has too low a SNR whine whine I'm trying to use a forum thread as a bug tracker and it's not working." (paraphrased)

Seeing people blame a package manager for misdirected bug reports like this really makes my blood boil.  Watching this discussion has caused me to lose a lot of the respect I had for certain modders, and that makes me sad.  And if I think those modders are acting like spoilt little brats, I'm not surprised the people who actually run CKAN don't want to bend the knee to them.

If I'm reading rightly, for instance, @ferram4 effectively said at one point that something like CKAN was only acceptable if it never made a mistake.  Not "strives to minimise mistakes", not "fixes mistakes when they're spotted / reported"; no, apparently it's unacceptable to have "issues that allow inaccurate metadata to be added and for any kinds of install errors to occur".  In other words, CKAN is required to somehow guarantee that it will never have a bug and will catch any and all typos, thinkos, and other errors in metadata.

 

Suppose, for instance, that you have a proper bug tracker, but many bug reports go to the forum thread, and get lost under CKANspam.  Then, just don't follow the thread, state in the OP that bug reports should go to your tracker (and that bugs should not be reported against CKAN installations).  Anyone who has enough brain cells to find the bug tracker will have also understood that CKAN bugs shouldn't go there.

Fun fact, @ferram4 mentioned how hard it was to get users to use his bug tracker... which isn't actually linked in his OP!

(Not meaning to specifically hate on @ferram4, btw; I'm disappointed in several of you, it's just that the examples that came to mind both involved him.)

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FWIW, I will post my thoughts on why I feel mod authors and CKAN should come to some kind of compromise.

1) I discover alot of mods through CKAN, as it's the most convenient way to find mods that are being actively developed. Simply looking through the list of mods that are 'compatible' is the primary way in which I've installed new mods.

2) Mod authors are extremely inconsistent in their habits with respect to mod hosting and updates. Some mods are posted at Curse, Spacedock, Github, and a private dropbox. And some mods have different versions updated at those different locations. And then some mods don't even use AVC so there's basically no realistic way for a user to keep track of their mods except to keep a spreadsheet and a folder of browser bookmarks. Comparing the time that a user spends trying to keep their installation up-to-date with the time a modder spends developing the mod is missing the mark IMO. The modder presumably enjoys the process of developing the mod; an end-user most certainly does not enjoy the process of mod updating without tools to aid in the process.

3) Mod authors frequently package dependencies with their releases and these dependencies are not always up-to-date, leading to other mods breaking at no real fault of the user (at least in the sense that they could follow the author's instructions exactly and still end up with a broken installation). In fact, this has happened to me way more frequently than an installation problem that could be traced to CKAN.

edited in: 4) Some mods have 3+ different versions, where an author has stopped development and someone else has picked it up. The old versions are then stuck on all of those sites and it can become quite confusing to the user which version they're supposed to be installing.

Here, for me, is the big question; if CKAN allows mod authors to remove their mods irrespective of licensing, then will the bigger more popular mods all be forcibly removing themselves from CKAN? It seems to me like the more popular the mod, the more anti-CKAN the authors are.... and, from my observation, doesn't this really mean the more fed-up the authors are at dealing with the same questions over and over? I follow a lot of the big threads for the most popular mods and for every CKAN-related question there are literally 15 other questions that have been answered within the last page or 2 of the thread, wasting everyone's time.

This game has hundreds and hundreds of addons being actively developed. It needs an addon manager. What good is CKAN if it allows all addons to be removed irrespective of license? "I'm tired of questions about my mod, so please remove it from CKAN" is basically the same as "eh, it's Thursday, please remove my mod from CKAN" as far as the end-user is concerned. There will be no way for an end-user to trust that the tool has good coverage of the best addons anymore, and in fact, from what it looks like, the best addons would be disproportionately removed from CKAN. This is just a terrible development for the entire community. And that's what will happen if CKAN simply gives in and allows authors to remove their addons for no reason irrespective of license.

All of this is simply an argument that this is all a big shame for everyone, and I'm really disappointed that it's all come to a point where the best mods are removing themselves and no viable compromise seems to be in sight.

 

 

Edited by drhay53
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4 minutes ago, drhay53 said:

for every CKAN-related question there are literally 15 other questions that have been answered within the last page or 2 of the thread, wasting everyone's time.

QFT.

Getting rid of CKAN won't solve the "dumb users can't read" problem.  It will, however, cause plenty of new problems, so at least the original problem will have lots of friends.

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