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Majiir

Community Mod Repository and The Majiir Challenge

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All right that's it who wants a new Kerbalnet? I'll make up a more detailed post tonight if the response is OK

I'll be happy to answer any questions

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Besides, it has the best TOS of any mod hosting site we've seen: http://www.kerbalstation.org/tos.html

Can't stop laughing as I try and read it :D

I think a community made site would work wonders for the modding community. I would love it as well.

What sort of things should one learn in order to be useful in helping out? I just have a basic understanding of C++ and similar things.

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To those offering domains: many thanks, and keep them coming. This is an important part of making the actual deployment work.

Summary of domain options so far:

  • kerbal.net
  • kerbalstation.org
  • kss.io
  • kspmodders.com
  • spaceport.kerbalcentral.com

I'll point out that ksp.io is available if anyone wants to snag it.

I hope domain owners are willing to have domains paired with whatever software meets the requirements. If that's not the case, please specify that so it can figure into our planning.

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All of the technical aspects of this are entirely beyond me, but it's great work being done. Hopefully I'm speaking for a bunch of people when I say that I really appreciate the work being done by all of the community members on this project and I'm excited to see where it goes. Thanks!

Also, kss.io or kerbalstation.org look like the best options to me. Kerbal.net might get a bit confusing for some and the latter two look just a bit clunky. Just my two cents though

P.S. If Majiir or anyone else reads this and has a link to a .23 compatible version of KAS, I'd owe you a debt of snacks!

Edited by Boomerang

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I replied in the reddit there about the KSS project to see if we can definitely get those assets committed to this here thing.

Re: domains - I'd also be willing to register and maintain a domain if none of those end up working out, so we can brainstorm a little more and look for something that fits perfectly. Nothing says we can't have them all pointing to the same place, either.

Also at some point we'll have to consider the "people" side of the logistics for any repository, and all of that non-technical stuff too. Obviously whoever creates the system can set up whatever organization they desire, but if it becomes a real thing you're going to need people to help moderate/administrate and handle whatever support must be provided. I am offering my time (and some experience) in that regard should you want the help, or if no one else is interested I can take the lead with it too.

In short, when the technical stuff is ready, it would be awesome if this could get rolling ASAP.

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I am sure there will be plenty of Volunteers as there are a lot of people who despise curse and dont want to touch it. There is a fair bit of tap dancing being done by squad in the curse official thread i got some of my questions answered i am only a windows admin but if i can help let me know

Edited by Virtualgenius

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I have jeblikesboosters.com, btw. (I don't intend to give that up, because I'm using that for all sorts of internal things, but I could set up any sort of redirect from any subdomain, in case that's wanted.)

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Quick question for Majiir. Why do you even have a server that good? It must cost a fortune.

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Well, if domain is a thing, why not recycle kerbalspaceprogram.com? It's getting trashed may 30th, and I'm pretty sure asking nicely might get it released.

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Well, if domain is a thing, why not recycle kerbalspaceprogram.com? It's getting trashed may 30th, and I'm pretty sure asking nicely might get it released.

If that's the case, why not allow the community to take a back-up of the Spaceport website so we can migrate it to a different server?

Quick question for Majiir. Why do you even have a server that good? It must cost a fortune.

Probably, good server and network equipment is not hard to get ahold of, especially if you already work in the industry. The bigger issue is the bandwidth.

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Would they release the entire spaceport its a fixer uper or is it just easier to build new, but if you could grab the entire thing that would keep it going in the interim plus retaining all the legacy stuff bit of win win on all levels

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Well, if domain is a thing, why not recycle kerbalspaceprogram.com? It's getting trashed may 30th, and I'm pretty sure asking nicely might get it released.

I'm pretty sure squad won't give away its domain and it will not expire before 03-sep-2014. Though a common domain is about 10 bucks a year, so they will most likely just keep it anyway. But a domain name really isn't a problem and can be changed while the site is still in development. But please make sure that the chosen domain is owned by someone reliable.

Anyway, what came up with so far:

- Kerbalmods.com isn't registered, yet.

- GreenManModding.com :D

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The only problem is see with setting up a community spaceport (aside from it vulnerable to loosing the current offer of an uber webserver for free) that of attracting casual players. At the moment when a gamer starts playing they go to spaceport because there is a link to it from within the game. From spaceport they can follow a link to the relevant thread in the forums. How will a new player ever get to find out about this community run server?

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Quick question for Majiir. Why do you even have a server that good? It must cost a fortune.

It does. I'd feel better about it if it were going to good use. That's why I started this challenge.

The only problem is see with setting up a community spaceport (aside from it vulnerable to loosing the current offer of an uber webserver for free) that of attracting casual players. At the moment when a gamer starts playing they go to spaceport because there is a link to it from within the game. From spaceport they can follow a link to the relevant thread in the forums. How will a new player ever get to find out about this community run server?

It would be worth asking Squad to give it some visibility. But there is no point doing that until a community repository has been finished and operated live for some time.

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I have no doubts that Majiir will be able to host the site when its ready.

As a "what if he can't?" thought exercise, I still don't think its a problem. The easiest solution would be to crowdfund the money to pay for hosting. It would need to be headed by someone (or a group of someones) well known as reliable within the community, but those persons would probably already be involved with the site anyway. There would also be some legal and perhaps tax issues to iron out, but it wouldn't insurmountable. (and I'm not nominating myself here)

But again, not something I'd worry about until it IS something to worry about.

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Summary of domain options so far:

  • kerbal.net
  • kerbalstation.org
  • kss.io
  • kspmodders.com
  • spaceport.kerbalcentral.com

Kerbal.net? That would be sweet - I remember downloading my first mods from there.

EDIT: I have zero IT skills so, alas, all I have to offer to this project is my strong support.

Edited by czokletmuss

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What about setting up a paypal donation point and start collecting for the bandwidth costs

We don't need to, because Majiir has offered to host the site. My comment about alternatives was just in response to the notion if something happens and he can't. Purely hypothetical.

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I'd love to take a shot at this, if not just for fun or proof of concept. Although I haven't got experience with the desirable node.js or mongodb, outside of using node.js to compile mobile apps using Phonegap. I do have PLENTY of PHP, MySQL, Javascript/jQuery and REST experience. I have built many custom CMS' for clients over the past 8 years, but have never done anything large scale concerning file downloads. I have built websites which required support for 4000 concurrent visitors, but those were all text based on an nginx system. My most popular e-commerce project had 12,000 visitors in the last 30 days. I'm curious what scale KSPort has in comparison.

My current job is primarily management of WordPress websites, although I do occasionally get involved in some serious db-driven apps or custom CMS, and even a no-cms html website recently (yuck). Since the first post of this thread specifically says they don't just want a wordpress reskin, I must ask exactly what is meant by that?

WordPress does offer a very flexible system for managing custom post types. A mod could be a custom post type, for example. 3.8 offers a RESTful syntax to query posts, and it is easy enough to add your own methods to retrieve download links, meta data, etc. All of the tags and categories can be created as well, quite easily.

The performance is obviously the concern there. I quite frankly just don't have the experience in high-capacity websites. If I were to build this in WordPress, as a proof of concept. I can build this sort of system for WordPress relatively quickly, compared to building everything from the ground up. I do know that WordPress is a bit beefy, but you can do AJAX calls outside of wordpress and access data directly that way, often cutting the request time in half (or less, easy).

Does someone with more experience have any suggestions as to where I should look? Especially coming from PHP/WordPress development into something more streamlined/higher preformance. I am interested in Node.js, but I do not have an environment set up for it and have not really spent much time researching it. I assume it is a replacement for Apache, but it seems like a command line utility, like CMD.exe. lol.

---

Back to the point...

I've made sure to read all 19 pages of this thread to catch up, since I'm not particularly active in the KSP community, this is all news to me (Thanks TiberionKSP). I did notice last year, when 0.23 had just been released, that the kerbal space port was severely lacking.

One of the features that was only slightly touched on, that I think would make all the difference in the world, would be to only show mods available for your selected KSP version. As such a requirement for the website would be to allow both mod developers as well as the community to notify if a version of the mod is compatible with said version of KSP.

Such a feature exists for WordPress.org's plugin section, which is the only website I can think of that has this sort of feature. It is quite neglected after viewing a few plugins trying to find an example, but see this screenshot:

chrome_2014-128-01-32-57-63.png

Of course that would be one of the "wishlist" features. If you can filter by version, we must consider those which have not been confirmed to work. As well as if naughty users have said a mod didn't work - especially if it is due to their own incorrect installation, or incompatibility of mods. The more you think about each feature, the more daunting each feature becomes (Yes yes, KISS, I have read that on almost every page! :))

Another thing that seems to be fairly popular for you KSP modders is to have something similar to Github, with advanced jargon and features that a normal visitor wouldn't understand or even be interested in. I always imagine trying to tell one of my friends who barely knows how to play video games to download a file. I personally tend to ignore readmes and go right into the zip, try to locate the folder which should be dropped into gamemode, then see if it works. Only after it breaks do I read the instructions. I would think most people are like that. Impatient. Lazy. Just like me. Cater towards them, but of course still offer the installation instructions, readme, changelog, source code, forum link, etc! But most of that can be secondary information. Not something that shares the spotlight of the download button.

In terms of interface/organization, I think categorization must be split into more than just "category" and "tags". Another reference would be Steam's search page, although many of the options are probably very rarely used (developer, publisher, metascore).

Steam search: Name, Type (Game/Demo), Platform (Win/Mac), Genre (RPG/RTS)

KSP Replacement search: Name, Type (Parts, Physics, Textures), Version (0.23.5, 0.23, 0.22) ...

I would like the option to sort by supported KSP version, last updated, download count, and perhaps "trending" which would be short-term popularity. I would also like a default "smart" system which takes your queries and weighs them against mods, and does not particularly require all of your requested search terms. I have built a scoring system like this before which gives you a 0-100 rating of how well an applicant "matches" your requirements (for a job search website). It would be very much the same, I think.

I kept a very basic, non-prioritized list of features that have been mentioned throughout this entire thread. And other random notes, too. I thought I would share it. It is not meant to be particularly organized, and you may not really understand everything, but whatever.

Consistent layout

Prominent Download link, above-the-fold

Download statistics (php-ga?)

Export download stats as raw data

Search system (searching Kethane should show Kethane first, not HexCans with Kethane models, etc)

No moderation queue for new uploads, at least for trusted users

Versioning - Keep old versions, remember what version they were for, etc

----

Mod meta data:
Mod Name
Author Name
Website URL
Author URL
KSP Version

----

Screenshots and/or Videos. Slider/Gallery? Lightbox? Must not push download button off screen.

Changelogs, based on versioning

License

Link to source
Link to donate
Link to forum thread

No commenting, or option to Disable commenting per-mod.

Mod review system? Thumbs up or down, like Steam, replacing comments. Will require flagging reviews as "incompatible" or "Incorrect install" to get rid of the "IT DOESNT WORK FOR ME"

Upvote only rating system, reputation system, decay?

----

Off-site downloads, but still tracking clicks. Consider that those mods may become 404, require captchas, or otherwise offer poor UX to our users.

Subscription to mod updates. RSS feeds. Push notifications? (There must be a third party service for all of these. Mailchimp integration?)

----

Do not force quality. Do not force semantics. Do not force required file structures.

Allow different licenses. Possibly require users to click "accept" to donwload, as a mod-specific setting? (I'm not a lawyer)

Flag for spam, offensive, etc. Moderation thing.

----

Good example of a similar repository, for reference:
https://www.npmjs.org/package/underscore

Multi-categorization

----

Possibly separate craft file upload, with mod dependencies

Categories and tags. Possibly "primary" categories which are limited, which your mod

is mostly composed of.

----

Works with vX.XX to confirm if your mod works with what version

List mod dependencies

Read this at some point:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ericgu/archive/2004/01/12/57985.aspx

RESTful API like this:
http://radleygh.com/images/notepad_2014-128-01-22-39-31.png

Anyway, just a lot of brainstorming! I love the idea of improving the mod website for KSP. Whether I actually produce anything or not remains to be seen, but hopefully there was at least something helpful in this wall of text.

EDIT: I've cleaned up a lot of bad grammar. It's 2:30am, forgive anything that I missed. Or hold it against me, I don't care

Edited by RadGH

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Hi. (I think this is my first post here?)

I'm considering taking up doing this project in Ruby on Rails. I was thinking of doing this with cloud servers + amazon S3, but it appears that Majiir has the resources available to make this happen without doing that.

What I'd really like to ask is whether it's worth starting a new project? I can see that a few people have started already - is it too late to join the bandwagon?

Cheers

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I think we need some kind of centralised knowledge repository we can all reference (ie a design document, and people who have offered help and what their skills are).

To that end, I'm going to proceed to set up a small wiki somewhere, so that we don't have to trawl this thread to get the important facts. I'll add a list of desired features (heavily riffing off of RadGH's post), and a list of people who have offered resources, and what those resources are (time, dev skills, web hosting etc).

I have 5 years experience with Java and android (and smatterings of lots of other languages including PHP, Python, C and C#), but I'm pretty greeen when it comes to web dev.

Still, I'd be happy to do anything I can to help.

EDIT: looks like GitHub Pages should do the trick, for now. I'll link it when it's ready.

EDIT 2: I've started a summary of useful information, available to read at http://medavox.github.io/

Edited by medavox
added link to info page

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Hi. (I think this is my first post here?)

I'm considering taking up doing this project in Ruby on Rails. I was thinking of doing this with cloud servers + amazon S3, but it appears that Majiir has the resources available to make this happen without doing that.

What I'd really like to ask is whether it's worth starting a new project? I can see that a few people have started already - is it too late to join the bandwagon?

Cheers

Hello fellow newcomer!

No, it's not too late to join the bandwagon. The Curse problem was only announced this wek, which is what brought me here yesterday. Lots of people are announcing their intentions to help, so I think all are welcome to join in!

There is AN implementation already written in Ruby on Rails, if you want to take a look at that. Source is here https://github.com/kerbalspaceprogram .

I've also just created a subredit for feature voting (that is, coming up with feature suggestions, then voting on your favourites to see what is most popular).

If anyone wants to suggest features, fee free! http://www.reddit.com/r/ksport2featurevoting/

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I think we need some kind of centralised knowledge repository we can all reference (ie a design document, and people who have offered help and what their skills are).

To that end, I'm going to proceed to set up a small wiki somewhere, so that we don't have to trawl this thread to get the important facts. I'll add a list of desired features (heavily riffing off of RadGH's post), and a list of people who have offered resources, and what those resources are (time, dev skills, web hosting etc).

Many thanks for this! It looks a bit incompleteâ€â€it would be great to mention the other works in progress, no matter how minorâ€â€but that's easily fixed. Some of the feature descriptions are a bit specific; by that I mean there's room for discussion on some of them, and the document presents exactly one view. But by and large it reflects the thread fairly well, and it's good for getting newcomers up to speed.

[EDIT] Regarding newcomers and bandwagons: While some projects have made more progress than others, I see no clear leader at this point. New projects are welcome, and I think it will help to have a variety of options.

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If anyone wants me to write or do copy-editing (which I did for the cgraniger's Ribbons website), shoot me a PM :)

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