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Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:49 pm
by Jubatian
D3thAdd3r wrote:Screwing around with dual boot and multiple drives way back then...
Brings back memories. First time I wanted to install Linux about fifteen years ago we ended up with a totally dead computer :lol: (that didn't stop me though, for about five years I used Slackware, then Debian, although sticking with WindowMaker. It seems to be a quite obscure window manager, but it definitely isn't a resource hog).

For sources today I think the best is GitHub: it is simple and free for open source stuff, and it is easy to pick up projects for further maintenance even if the original author left them behind. When the UCC ends, I will init a git repo for my game there. There might be others, though, but hopefully GitHub will stay around for long.
D3thAdd3r wrote:Do you propose we discuss individual items here or on the wiki discussion page for the games and demos page to get this decided and done?
Both should be fine, here it is more likely that people notice problems. I think you (Lee) are a bit notorious for holding back sources, and Nebososo in the past seemingly had a site which he stopped maintaining, making all his games totally lost by the wiki.

I also noticed several games are hosted on, most notably those which entered on UCC's. There should be room for these, at least for roms, possibly also for important source milestones. As a best practice possibly seemingly abandoned games at least should be hosted here after functional roms were produced, their sources might be uploaded on GitHub (under the Uzebox organization as distinct Git repos).

Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:20 pm
by D3thAdd3r
Well on my sources... :oops: But I think I did right my wrong a while back (Toorum's Quest source to come soon..)

Probably towards the beginning I was delusional enough to think I would actually go back and clean up sources. After I got over that and realized I have not done it even once, I released, I think, everything I have put out and called done. Perhaps I can understand that feeling I assigned to others, that is, being so overly critical of one's own code that the worst case can happen;not even messy code available!

So the GPL nature of things and the benefits of code sharing need to outweigh people being overly critical of some idealized imaginary version of one's own code(emotion/pride versus logic)...which would function the same anyway. Then I think we don't get games without code anymore. Maybe the trick is to be a bit more forceful in posts about the GPL obligations, I don't know how else to address it. I do think this is the key issue someone doesn't take the 30 seconds required to at least copy a folder into a zip and dump it somewhere;can't think of another reason they wouldn't.

Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:21 pm
by Jubatian
D3thAdd3r wrote:(Toorum's Quest source to come soon..)
Eh, I think there is hardly any "good source" around, like, everywhere. Once I had to hack a Microchip licensing contraption incorporated into GCC (GPLed, so source is there, but the build is so messy that people won't do it so they can simply charge for a version they build with a license checking crap included). The key of that mess was buried in a more than 500 KBytes C source. Yes. Not lines. Kilobytes. Hats down to anyone here who would produce such a big C file which actually fits in the ATMega, so don't worry, you won't be messier than Microchip! :D (Or it would be very very thoroughly documented... Or would contain half of Lord of the Rings between a "/*" and a "*/"...).

Without a source code a game cannot be called "free software" (a lot of them are thrown into this category), they may be "free culture games" (you may modify them, nothing disallows some reserve engineering here due to the GPL), technically they are violating the GPL of the kernel they are using (as you mentioned), but of course a copyright is only a right (it only would have effect if the author, which could be any contributor, actually wanted to enforce it). They are in a bit of "grey" zone as far as "free software" goes (you could modify them, but the sources don't exist, so only by reverse engineering). I would remove them from that category.

Anyway, what you would do with something like this (Babylon Tower)? I mean it actually has a .hex and .uze file buried in a .rar archive in a forum thread, but it would be nice if they were offered directly for download (like other games). Where could these be uploaded? (The game doesn't have source as far as I see, that's a different problem).

The state of the application database could be quite a problem for newcomers... If they had for example a nice new Uzebox DTV unit without games, or just built a Uzebox, they would hit the list, let's find some good game, and very often they just wouldn't find .uze files (which are the best for immediate play once the SD slot works and a bootloader is up), the presence of .hex files is more common (suitable for emulators or uploading with programmer, but for example unsuitable for someone with a Uzebox DTV or a Uzebox otherwise locked within a box).

Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:13 pm
by D3thAdd3r
Of course we all agree this thing is supposed to be fun, and no one would ever do a hard enforcement on such a thing if it was even possible. I guess the idea would be to put some pressure to get early source for any WIP release so people were in the habit of doing it. In the long run it is much funner for everyone, if we can actually maintain all the games people put the effort into making. That is an obvious concept to improve the library and not "lose" games, but still we have missing source so I guess not that obvious.

I do think the categories need to be right, so if no source code then it cannot be considered GPL until it is fixed. It is technically the truth at least. Just my opinion on it, I rather dislike accepting anything that is grey area;but that could just be a personality disorder or such :lol:

Babylon Tower is made by Kerby and he is a good standing long term member. I think we just need to remind/ask by PM or so;I believe he still visits. In cases where there is just source in the thread, I say we just point a link in the wiki at that file in the thread for for now. It would be nice to have every thing in the main branch some day.

Also speaking of newcomers and SD cards. We really should have an up to date official SD image with all current entries games. There could be different ones, for instance finished games only, etc. in cases where it will not fit anymore on a small 256M card. Problem is, who steps up to take that important but thankless job...and actually keeps it up to date.

Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:36 pm
by Jubatian
Yes, as I am wading through the game database I very much see the problem. Lots of "dead" stuff. Mostly I am updating categories as appropriate, fixing links where it is obvious (such as pointing things to their Uzebox master branch folder on GitHub which were previously stored on the defunct Google Code).

A game without source could be licensed under GPLv3, technically you could do this (meaning that whoever takes it may continue from the material you published, it could be an okay practice for example to open up abandonware which lost its source long before: the GPL then would permit reverse engineering it, later incrementally reconstructing an useful source). Within the Uzebox community one violates the kernel's GPL not releasing the full source, not that GPL that they slap on their contribution alone (the GPL on the kernel requires you as a creator of a derivative work to release the complete source of your game). So I would only revoke their "free software" state: that category should be only applied to stuff which actually has source code.

I don't think an official SD image is too much a necessity, although it is definitely nice (I got one from Alec with my Uzebox, it is something nice to have, includes several games which I wouldn't be able to hunt down through the wiki alone due to the broken links). If the game database is well maintained, one clicking on a game can fetch an .uze file right away, it is easy to collect games they like. I think we should go in this direction since it is a necessity anyway (even if there were official SD images, those images don't contain game instructions, the wiki does).

Before notifying others with requests to fix stuff, I think some guidelines should be established. The source they could upload on GitHub, even official binary builds along with key milestones, and links to them. But other locations may also be possible, anyway, it would be nice to have something for the game files if you can't think of any location yourself (they won't just float up into the cloud by farting them on the Internet). With guidelines it would also be nice to establish how the .uze and .hex files should be provided (the game database is not consistent on this: mostly they are offered directly, sometimes they are compressed with various compressors, you might have a problem like for example not having an unrar if your system is strictly free software only).

EDIT: I roughly completed a run through the game database fixing up ridiculous amounts of broken links. It is scary that one third of the games apparently never had any source released (while it all supposed to be GPL and free software), maybe some of these have some link buried somewhere deep in the forum, though. Thankfully there aren't many actually lost games (the various "broken" entries in the category listing, a third of them are Nebososo's games, another third are seemingly projects which never got past some concepts). The "Games without UzeRom" category also has some importance: these games are inconvenient for "first time" players as they can't upload them right away.

Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:26 am
by D3thAdd3r
I know at least something like Lolo on the card is very out of date versus the latest posted in the thread (years back). Now I would imagine some other WIP are in the same boat. Also strange that the version coming with the kit, has a tank game I have not found on the wiki. Since I have complained there is no standard complete image multiple times, it seems I should make one.
Jubatian wrote:they won't just float up into the cloud by farting them on the Internet).
Pointing to the latest version of the thread is at least passable until a better scheme is arranged. Perhaps some of the "how to make a game from start to finish" tutorials should cover the release process and importance and methods of getting source out. I think it is more of a development mentality/traijing that will improve the situation rather than any one thing.

Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:35 am
by nebososo
Jubatian wrote:a third of them are Nebososo's games.
OK, I just learned that my backup failed when I was changing my hosting provider back in September. Luckly, I had everything somewhere else, the sources and uzes are up again. The code in my early games was terrible, I don't think I really want to have it on my github account :oops: :oops: :oops: .

Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:07 pm
by Jubatian
Great! Now we have very few broken links remaining! :)

Some notably missing games:

Bomberman II By the wiki this Bomberman clone seems to be completely lost. Does anyone know anything about it?
SubMarine By the wiki this game seems to be completely lost. Does anyone know anything about it?
Frog Feast This was a tutorial for UCC 2014, should be tidied up (Final version? Sources?).

Other various broken links or missing sources occur in Harty's games, he has a web site, possibly he should tidy those up by that. Paul Mcphee's games also have problems (should be him; his games also have various broken links, I couldn't find all sources on whatever remained of his Google Code account).

Minor stuff:

The Matrix screen saver In the past it had source somewhere, now only the .hex file is present.
Fliptris Belongs to Flecko as far as the wiki is concerned. Nothing else known.
G-Force It only has the source possibly derived from Arkanoid. Didn't try to compile it yet.
Smokey and the Bandit Again something with source only, but this game was discussed here on the forum. Should be compiled to get ROM files.
Uze-a-Move Only a video is present, possibly never completed.
Uzepede It only has a source. Didn't try to compile it yet.
Void Fighter Void... Totally unknown.
Uzetroids Only references exist to this (such as on the ROM name list)
Music Demo Only references exist to this on the game lists.

And of course a lot of games would benefit from having an UzeRom downloadable (Games without UzeRom).

Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:49 pm
by nebososo
I have a directory full of uzes I have been keeping since 2009.
I'm attaching two of those you mentioned, that's all I have, Jubatian.

Re: Problems on the Games and Demos list

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:57 pm
by nebososo
nebososo wrote:I have a directory full of uzes I have been keeping since 2009.
I'm attaching two of those you mentioned, that's all I have, Jubatian.
Here are all the filenames, let me know if something is useful:

Code: Select all