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Khatharr

Compatibility Popup Blocker

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The rub is that someone is having you click 'Ok' because they are advising you that stuff may in fact break. It's there for a reason. And intentionally distributing code for the sole purpose of circumventing this is sabotage, not help. The product offered in this thread in it's current form offers no value, and I expect before the dust settles, will see more than one modder just say 'screw it' and leave for greener pastures. So yeah, your net loss for not having to click 'Ok' may be that we suddenly have less mods due to the "Read the posts below and see the tears flow!" attitude of the OP.

- - - Updated - - -

@tedach Check out the CKAN project and KSP-AVC. Both are good products headed in the right direction IMO.

Ok, wading into a not-quite-flame war is probably not the smartest thing I've ever done, but as both a modder and a heavy mod user I think I can see both sides of the argument.

Most of the people in the anti-Khatharr camp argue that they don't want to support (or even get bug reports from) incompatible installs. I agree. However, from their language they seem to assume that CC doesn't have any problems. This is simply not the case.

CC automatically assumes that all future versions of KSP are incompatible, and even after compatibility has been confirmed, the only (non-controversial) way to remove the incompatibility pop-up is to rebuild a new version. Some modders automatically rebuild for new KSP versions (including patch versions, like we had with 0.24), many others don't. I've got a number of CC pop-ups in my 0.25 install right now, and one of them is from a mod where the author has said it's 0.25-compatible but doesn't want to put out a new release. (The rest are abandoned, where you could argue that the current behavior is what's desired, but it's still very annoying.)

Making a fork of CC won't solve the false alarm problem because -- as ferram4 pointed out -- there is no "standard" version that everybody uses, and no one responsible for maintaining it. Which means there's no way to encourage CC-using mods to incorporate patches. Which means they'll all produce false alarms, even if your particular mod with your particular fork of CC has fixed the problem.

To give Katharr credit, they're trying to solve this problem in a way that doesn't require modders to change their code, albeit in a very ham-fisted manner. But calling it "sabotage" is unfair. They're trying to fix a bug, and introducing a different bug in the process.

A better approach would be to use a more flexible, and actively maintained, compatibility checker. KSP-AVC (and mini-AVC, which I don't use myself but would probably appeal to the CC crowd) does this by checking an online file to decide whether you have compatibility. Updating compatibility information requires minimal effort on the modder's part: changing a few characters in one text file, with no new releases required. You can do it even if you don't have time to code. I haven't tried CKAN yet, but I assume it also lets modders declare which KSP versions are and are not compatible.

TL;DR While you may disagree with Katharr's approach (heck, the posts on this thread have convinced me that's it's not good), they are trying to solve a real problem. Please give some thought to how you think the problem should be solved instead of resorting to name-calling.

Edited by Starstrider42
Slightly more precise wording

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There is a simple method of preventing false alarms, but my understanding is that the average user doesn't want any odd mod calling home all the time. Not to mention that the current forum rules basically turn it into a nightmare for the user (tons upon tons of "yes, I agree to send data over an internet connection" buttons), so even though the idea was entertained way back when CC was conceived, it's basically off the table now.

There's also the problem that what a user considers a "false alarm" is often not a false alarm. Many times, things quietly break and users don't notice. Then they show up asking for support, and all it takes is for them to update. This has happened so many times that it's not even funny, and the number of times that it has made our lives more difficult is staggering. This is a very common occurrence with abandoned mods, and is one of the many reasons for it in the first place.

I should also note that if a CC version is set with a higher version number, that is the particular bit of code that runs, with the exception of the unique compatibility info for each mod. Incidentally, this is how this mod breaks CC; it's simply tricks the existing CC code into seeing an empty class as a version of CC with version = Int.MaxValue. The main purpose was to unify the reports into a single popup and allow later versions of CC to override earlier versions for improving behavior and fixing bugs; it's kind of disappointing that something intended for user convenience was used to undermine the entire thing.

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I believe that Khatharr is in the right when releasing this mod, as some players might find it useful. However, Khatharr's "come at me" attitude is very undesirable and serves only to start fights.

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There's also the problem that what a user considers a "false alarm" is often not a false alarm. Many times, things quietly break and users don't notice. Then they show up asking for support, and all it takes is for them to update.

I think we all agree on this point. Speaking as a player, not a modder, I don't mind the CC popup when there actually is an update to be had. The frustration sets in when you're being told to do something you can't do; hence why I focused my remarks on the case where the player is already using the latest version of a mod.

Edited by Starstrider42

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There's plenty you can do; the source code is available, and you can go and recompile the mod.

The only reason mods remain abandoned is because good users do nothing.

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I believe that Khatharr is in the right when releasing this mod, as some players might find it useful. However, Khatharr's "come at me" attitude is very undesirable and serves only to start fights.

I don't see how intentionally distributing code for the sole purpose of breaking the behavior of other mods is in the right.

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At the risk of becoming involved in this. What I'm hearing is that the mod developers here believe it is OK for them to mod Kerbal Space Program to work they way they want, but it is not OK for someone else to mod their mod to make it work the way that person wants. It just seems so hypocritical, you are making a mod but you are saying your the only one allowed to do that.

I don't plan on using this mod because I like the warnings, but I can't see how you think it's ok for you to change Squads game on your own computer and not ok for someone else to change your changes on theirs.

I'm sorry, I had decided to stay out of this but I just cannot leave this unanswered.

He did not modify another mod to make it work the way he wants, and he did not improve the Compatibility Checker to make it more user friendly. What he did was to write an external plugin that interferes with the behaviour of others. But this isn't the problem: the problem is that the modification he makes is to remove a safety feature.

That's what causing the outrage here: there has been a discussion spanning months and 100 posts, that involved some of the biggest names of our community (ferram4, Majiir, Greys, regex, NathanKell, and sarbian... and these are just the first 2 pages) with the intent of making a tool to improve the quality of our modding community. Compatibility warnings are intended to be helpful for modders AND for users*. And then this guy decides that a popup during the loading screen is coercive and then tries to break what was intended as a safety measure.

I think you will understand why this has upset quite a few of us, and it doesn't qualify as "modding another mod".

* what if the popup that you just suppressed wanted to warn you about a potential save-file corruption? Are you gonna come and ask support here in this thread, or are you going to complain with the modder that didn't even want you to let you run that version?

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CC automatically assumes that all future versions of KSP are incompatible

That is not correct. It is up to the individual plugin to decide on what basis it deems itself incompatible, be it the KSP version, the Unity version, the size of your disk, or the Moon's phase. If you make it such that all KSP versions <= 1.0 are compatible, it will never warn again until you run it with KSP 1.0. Other plugins using CC are not affected, they can do their own checks.

To give Katharr credit, they're trying to solve this problem in a way that doesn't require modders to change their code, albeit in a very ham-fisted manner. But calling it "sabotage" is unfair. They're trying to fix a bug, and introducing a different bug in the process.

He was fixing what wasn't broken in the first place.

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I'm sorry, I had decided to stay out of this but I just cannot leave this unanswered.

He did not modify another mod to make it work the way he wants, and he did not improve the Compatibility Checker to make it more user friendly. What he did was to write an external plugin that interferes with the behaviour of others. But this isn't the problem: the problem is that the modification he makes is to remove a safety feature.

But it is a modification the user installing it would want. Define "interfering". It's a single player game, the only person this should matter to is the person running it.

That's what causing the outrage here: there has been a discussion spanning months and 100 posts, that involved some of the biggest names of our community (ferram4, Majiir, Greys, regex, NathanKell, and sarbian... and these are just the first 2 pages) with the intent of making a tool to improve the quality of our modding community. Compatibility warnings are intended to be helpful for modders AND for users*. And then this guy decides that a popup during the loading screen is coercive and then tries to break what was intended as a safety measure.

If all users found it helpful, this mod wouldn't exist. Obviously there are users that do not find it helpful. To each his own.

I think you will understand why this has upset quite a few of us, and it doesn't qualify as "modding another mod".

No I do not understand why this has you upset. It is modifying another mod (or group of mods). The compatibility checker is a convenience for those that want it, it shouldn't inhibit those that do not.

* what if the popup that you just suppressed wanted to warn you about a potential save-file corruption? Are you gonna come and ask support here in this thread, or are you going to complain with the modder that didn't even want you to let you run that version?

This mod doesn't allow you to prevent a mod from disabling itself. It even says that much in the first post, it just kills the pop up.

Edited by Alshain

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But it is a modification the user installing it would want. Define "interfering". It's a single player game, the only person this should matter to is the person running it.

It should, but won't. There will be the inevitable support requests for plugin/KSP combinations that were never supposed to be used together.

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Lets put a few points from what I can tell people are going crazy about.

-The mod is (in someone's word) sabotaging a mods behavior

-The original CC allowed a fork to get rid of this behavior instead of creating another plugin

-Modders don't want to deal with people who have this mod installed and complain in threads on why the mod is broken

-People don't want to press ok in the menu, as it is very annoying when people have mods that are still compatible/abandoned

-Those people support the mod maker due to the annoyance and the convenience this mod provides

There is probably more that people will think that matters, but at this point I think people get the idea.

Lets take a look at people that support the mod. They don't want to deal with the annoying menu so they grab this plugin to get rid of it. A smart user knows that the mods are perfectly compatible or abandoned if he uses this. On the other side, a less than stellar user might get this mod to get rid of the menu. This user then complains in the forums on why his mod is broken, even though the menu explained why it was broken. It was incompatible with .2x and he should of listened to it before complaining.

Now this is obviously very annoying to modders, and I am perfectly ok with them being mad about this. Like said before, its annoying. Modders think they should not deal with those people. Right then, they can be mad, but they shouldn't take their anger against people who install this addon who know what they are doing. These innocent players are punished if modders punish them for installing this addon (if modders put the plugin-blocker/destroyer/mod-disabler in their addon anyways). They should not have this mod war. I think, no matter what, players have the choice in what mod they install and they should not be punished for it. Even if they complain in your thread, they have the choice. If it such an issue that somehow you get dozens of posts from users using this mod and complain, you MUST deal with it. It's cold, and you just really want to block this plugin, but its just has to work that way if the modders don't want the KSP addon forums into Minecraft addon forums.

Now I'm fairly in the middle about the plugin (in some modders words) sabotaging the CC popup code (or however that works, but you get the point). I agree a little bit with Ferram that it should of just been a fork of CC. I think it's fine for it to be its own plugin though, as it's currently not hurting anything (other than modders feelings, oh crap I shouldn't of said that).

If I said something really stupid, please politely tell me. I don't mean you hate my opinion, I mean if I misunderstood something about how the mod works.

In conclusion, I can only say one thing: I thought the KSP community was better than this.

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It should, but won't. There will be the inevitable support requests for plugin/KSP combinations that were never supposed to be used together.

Then why not program the mod to disable itself if it is an incompatible version?

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Then why not program the mod to disable itself if it is an incompatible version?

You can do that, too. Up to the plugin's author.

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Even if they complain in your thread, they have the choice. If it such an issue that somehow you get dozens of posts from users using this mod and complain, you MUST deal with it.

No. Plugin authors are not required to provide any support.

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No. Plugin authors are not required to provide any support.

Probably should of said that. Yeah, I know. You have the choice in your own thread. I meant that modders shouldn't punish players for using the addon. Instead, just ignore them in your thread and deal with the garbage posts. I meant deal with it as in just ignore those posts, even if they annoy you. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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If it such an issue that somehow you get dozens of posts from users using this mod and complain, you MUST deal with it. It's cold, and you just really want to block this plugin, but its just has to work that way if the modders don't want the KSP addon forums into Minecraft addon forums.

Oh really? We 'Must' deal with it? My, what an unfortunate and entitled attitude.

Let's be clear... I don't use CC, but I deal with enough support issues related to it that the last thing I would want to do is have it sabotaged (and yes, this mod sabotages other mod's intended support functions). It's rude, it's not neighborly, smacks of entitlement, and represents some of the worst aspects of having a modding community.

As a result, any of my users who end up using this 'mod' will forfeit all support from me for any mod I develop now or in the future. I simply will not encourage bad behavior. As stated earlier, the saving grace is that this will wind up on the trash bin soon enough so we'll get to deal with a temporary issue. That being said, please tell me again how I 'MUST' deal with it?

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Oh really? We 'Must' deal with it? My, what an unfortunate and entitled attitude.

Let's be clear... I don't use CC, but I deal with enough support issues related to it that the last thing I would want to do is have it sabotaged (and yes, this mod sabotages other mod's intended support functions). It's rude, it's not neighborly, smacks of entitlement, and represents some of the worst aspects of having a modding community.

As a result, any of my users who end up using this 'mod' will forfeit all support from me for any mod I develop now or in the future. I simply will not encourage bad behavior. As stated earlier, the saving grace is that this will wind up on the trash bin soon enough so we'll get to deal with a temporary issue. That being said, please tell me again how I 'MUST' deal with it?

As I said in the post above, you can not support the player in the thread. I meant that some *cough* certain *cough* modders want to block this plugin and somehow sabotage it themselves or disable their own mod etc. You do not have to give support in the thread.

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I looked for ways to circumvent the CC popup only when I knew the mod worked correctly, but was somehow still passing the incompatibility message to me.

The problem is that you don't know it's working correctly, you just know that you haven't experienced any issues yet. Maybe there never will be any, or maybe the next one will show up when you hit some obscure scenario.

Now, when you yourself are modifying files (either hex editing or modifying source and recompiling) you're taking a certain level of responsibility for looking into errors. If something occurs in the future, the odds of you (as someone who modified files) thinking "hey, I remember that I had modified this to ignore the warning, maybe I should check for an update before reporting the error" is significantly higher than an 'average' user who simply installed a mod to ignore the popups.

@Roverdude: Im sorry Rover, but you are missing the point. Its gonna be the exact same thing no matter what. People that dont read threads, that dont search for themselves, are not gonna change or stop asking the same questions in your threads, no matter how many warnings popups and other contraptions you put them through.

To speak to this from the position of someone who develops software for a living (although not KSP mods) and has to deal with end users. Yes, there will be some users who will ignore anything you do no matter how many warnings, bells, flashing lights, etc. you do. However there are also many who are just above that threshold. Those that will see a message that says "Hey this may not be compatible with this version, you should look for an update" and actually look for an update.

The problem with hiding warning messages globally is that you take all the users who are in the "if you warn me, I'll check" category and move them into the same group as those who don't check anything. That increases the number of "bad" reports that mod writers receive.

Sure, it's easy to say "just ignore the reports" but that completely ignores the issue that determining if a report is valid or not takes time and effort. A mod like this will increase the workload for modders thus it is perfectly reasonable for a modder to say "If you are going to use a mod that deliberately undermines behavior that I've programmed in, I'm going to disable my mod"

Now, in the strict sense, a user can do whatever they want to disable anything a mod does, just like a modder can do whatever they want to disable their mod when they detect a user does that. The problem comes in when you lower the entrance barrier to destructively modifying other mods without really informing users of why you're doing it and what the consequences may be. It especially doesn't help when someone takes an aggressive attitude towards a community that is entirely volunteer.

In the end there's nothing explicitly wrong with this mod, but it's a bit of a jerk-move towards other modders as it actively makes their lives harder and thus discourages them from continuing or new mods from being developed. Perhaps, yes, there is a small subset of users that are "helped" by this, but such an approach actively punishes the modders who put in time to make the mod in the first place and fundamentally stomps on the efforts they've gone through to limit support on their mod.

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I am for warning popup, aslong as it stays with 1.

Not so long ago I had 3 popups with every start because some mods added their own version check, if those mods were essential, I`d have used this plugin but I just deleted the offending mods even if 1 was very handy (sorry NathanKell).

I do agree that it should have a first run checker instead of simply kill them all and locked to a specific ksp version so that it becomes disabled after updating as also said befor.

About the support issue, I have yet to see a simple FAQ in your mod topics with the most commen problems, or user inabilities, so that we don`t have to go through 200 pages to find an answer or ask for help because reading 200 pages is undoable.

Something even like NathanKell has done for RSS directly in the github, even as it`s abit empty ;)

https://github.com/NathanKell/RealSolarSystem/wiki/FAQ-and-Troubleshooting

Would make searching for a problem&fix easier aslong it`s listed with simple words that even the most troubled users would understand.

Just taking FAR for example, that is 639 pages, even if you find an answer, for wich version is that? ask for help if you can`t find an answer even if it was answerd but didn`t find it?

Instead of collectively bashing this guy for killing popups, maybe start at the root of your evil that is the main complaint and that is tackling for a better support option so that you don`t get swamped with alot of the simple repeative questions :P

If they didn`t read the faq, don`t offer support,if they read it and didn`t understand the problem, tweak the question for it for more people to understand.

Beats asking if they use this plugin or not, a couple dozen times...

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Hatterson, while i agree with your general idea, i think that the case is not that huge.

I dont believe that someone who comes and gets this mod, will do it just for the lols. Im sure he understands what is going on, and all that he does want, is to get rid of the popup without the need of tools/time/knowledge of plugin modifications.

There is a popup, i want to get rid of it, how can i do that.

Not, im gonna download this, because i hate the word popups.

Thats all there is to it really, all this crazyness about zerg of people rushing to modders just because this mod here exists is plain silly to me.

Also as a side note, since we do have things like miniAVC (or even better its big brother AVC), what do we need the popup for anyway?

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This escalated super quickly.

Personally I see no need for this, I ignore the CC warning when it shows because I know the only mod it's warning me about is TAC Fuel Balancer and the 0.24 version is compatible with 0.25.

Could I update the mod? Sure, but I don't need to.

Now, when I get the warning after a KSP update, I do take notice and update everything it says it broken.

Do we as a whole need this mod?

Not really, those who will install it will ignore the CC warnings anyway. They just need to be aware that they won't receive support for any (still active) mods that don't work due to being outdated.

No need to implement a kill switch or to have a thread war.

This is one of the best game communities around and as such, we should be able to come to a compromise rather than have a thread devolve into an open conflict between differing opinions.

Just a thought.

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I get the feeling the arguments are going in circles here. My advice is that if you want to reply to this thread you read it in its entirety first. Simply re-stating the same thing over and over again won't get us anywhere :)

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Here's my thoughts on it. I've been around various different modding communities for about the last ten or so years. I've been around Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, Galactic Civilizations 2 (soon to be 3), Sins of a Solar Empire, Terran Conflict, Freelancer, and now Kerbal Space Program. And here's one thing that I do not like at all, is a modder attacking another modder(s) either in direct communication, or indirectly through something like another mod. It doesn't solve any issues, and it does nothing more than to stir unhealthy fighting among a modding community.

As such, I'm not going to support this mod, at all, simply because the author has failed to work with the community and other mod authors in addressing a complaint; we're all on the same team here, and there's nothing stopping anyone from modifying code to suit their own personal needs/wants. In fact, most mods are licensed to where you can even distribute your own changes.

In fact, I would recommend to the moderators that a new rule be put in place that prohibits "attack mods," mods that sabotage the functionality of another mod.

Me personally, I like CompatibilityChecker because it lets me know when there's a potential problem, which could (usually does) lead to a bigger headache later on down the road.

Edited by Raven.

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Katharr,

A suggestion: make users of Compatibility Popup Blocker demonstrate on a minimum level that they can, in fact, support themselves.

One way: post your source, but not the dll. That way, rather than editing and recompiling every mod that uses CC, players only need to compile your mod once.

Another way: make this function rely on a config option that must be edited by hand and defaults off.

Both of these approaches would demonstrate knowledge and skills above the most common support requests that I handle.

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I had an idea of a version where every (say) 5 restarts, the popup would reappear and acts like normal. It gets blocked for another 5 restarts, and then it shows up again. Or, make it like Master Tao said with a config (now with a restart thingy) that is defaulted off.

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