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Skyrim Nexus Downloader


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#16 z929669

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:02 AM

Sounds brilliant. It is a shame, but I can understand it.

I definitely think the Nexus is missing a trick if it doesn't come up with an approved method for dealing with mod collections, especially if auto downloading was an incentive for premium membership. Hopefully we haven't heard the last of the story.

I'm a bit busy wrestling with the Creation Kit in my spare time at the moment, but I'd still like to look at a system for automatic STEP installation, defined by simple instructions in XML files that would describe the extraction and combination of mods. If you feel like stretching your c# a bit further, please do look into that side of things. I find that sometimes a bit of duplicated effort is not such a bad thing, especially when coordinating a project like this - sometimes the difficulty of synchronizing work can be a block. I think, in some cases, each doing their own thing, then bringing it all to the table and merging the best bits works well. Rather like how STEP and Neovalen are working asynchronously in parallel.

EDIT: This was also posted asynchronously in parallel with Z's post!

Take a look at AHC, as it was doing exactly that (and was working at one point). It's written in Visual Basic though, and the last amount of code had some bugs. The interface could also use some work, but it was definitely headed in the right direction.

Aren't the latest files in the DropBox? Monty should have access to this.

#17 stoppingby4now

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:19 AM


Sounds brilliant. It is a shame, but I can understand it.

I definitely think the Nexus is missing a trick if it doesn't come up with an approved method for dealing with mod collections, especially if auto downloading was an incentive for premium membership. Hopefully we haven't heard the last of the story.

I'm a bit busy wrestling with the Creation Kit in my spare time at the moment, but I'd still like to look at a system for automatic STEP installation, defined by simple instructions in XML files that would describe the extraction and combination of mods. If you feel like stretching your c# a bit further, please do look into that side of things. I find that sometimes a bit of duplicated effort is not such a bad thing, especially when coordinating a project like this - sometimes the difficulty of synchronizing work can be a block. I think, in some cases, each doing their own thing, then bringing it all to the table and merging the best bits works well. Rather like how STEP and Neovalen are working asynchronously in parallel.

EDIT: This was also posted asynchronously in parallel with Z's post!

Take a look at AHC, as it was doing exactly that (and was working at one point). It's written in Visual Basic though, and the last amount of code had some bugs. The interface could also use some work, but it was definitely headed in the right direction.

Aren't the latest files in the DropBox? Monty should have access to this.

I can't remember if that was the latest code or not, but it might be. I do know the latest was on sourceforge I think. I'll try and hunt down the URL.

#18 stoppingby4now

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:20 AM

This is the location of the last bit of code that Elbe had updated (that I know of). Haven't compared it to what is on Dropbox.

#19 haelfix

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:23 AM

So dark0ne is concerned that a mod compilation downloader will not register dl hits to the file(s) in question?   Well that's possible, but easily fixable in software.  Simply send an additional dlquery to each file in the usual way and then cancel it.  Or am I missing something? now it's true that such a tool might prevent some users from accessing his web page directly, but then that's somewhat dubious considering the sophistication of STEP users.  Is there really anyone amongst us who doesn't frequent Nexus continuously.
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#20 stoppingby4now

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:34 AM

In relation to accurate tracking of download statistics/endorsements, I believe Dark0ne is worried more about an automated downloader essentially picking the download servers on its own with the proper URL pre-formated such that you skip the Nexus entirely. If you kept the process to scraping Nexus and following the links it provides, it shouldn't be an issue. Ad revenue is another matter. With no user actually visiting the site (when using an auto-downloader), ads are not viewed (or potentially clicked), and that will effect the bottom line. Both are valid concerns for the Nexus.

#21 Besidilo

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:22 AM

I'd rather pay for a seed box and torrent the entire STEP collection forever than pay for the nexus membership.
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#22 z929669

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:52 AM

I'd rather pay for a seed box and torrent the entire STEP collection forever than pay for the nexus membership.

Not me ... I strongly support the Nexus. It is the reason we have such a prolific modding community in the first place. There are alternatives, but none are as extensive as the Nexus.

#23 d2allgr

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:09 PM

Based on everything said on this thread I manually created this file: https://www.dropbox..../step.input.xml as a source and automatically created from it this file: https://www.dropbox....step.output.xml using the code that I extracted from NMM (without downloading any of the archives mentioned in the xml file, only for creating the file).
Might be worth using the xml file (either one) as a first step to an automated installer (save ppl some time in rewriting parts/all of it)
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#24 z929669

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:22 PM

Thanks d2allgr. Will check this out once dev starts anew after the release.

#25 Zixdey

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:12 AM

Hi, (I'm new around here) I agree the nexus gives a great service to the modding community, and should be supported. On the other hand, I believe we should give basic users, who just want an upgraded Skyrim experience, a simple automated downloader and installer. I imagine allowing a user to select their hardware profile (performance/basic/extreme) and installed DLCs, and just have an appropriate combination of STEP mods properly downloaded and installed, without further intervention. I see no reason why there shouldn't be an independent mod distribution system, which doesn't use Nexus's download server. For example, this could be done using BitTorrent and a few seedboxes (or one). It wouldn't come near to being a replacement for Nexus! Anyone wanting to see details about a mod would go to its page on the nexus, anyone wanting to report a bug would go there, etc. Users wanting a more specifically tailored experience would certainly become heavy users of the Nexus, perhaps buying premium membership if it gave them a significantly better experience. In other words, I'd like to help make a simple downloader and installer for STEP, and would like to find a way to do this with the Nexus's blessing. If we don't do it, someone else will, and then the Nexus may indeed lose a large portion of it user base. There is only one way to go - forward! (Did anyone say Steam Workshop?) - Zixdey
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#26 MontyMM

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 09:11 AM

Hi Zixdey, The key thing here is that although mods are public domain, the wishes of the mod authors deserve to be respected. Many mod authors ask that their mods are not reuploaded anywhere else, which is understandable for many reasons, not least their desire to track the popularity of their work and keep it under their control. We certainly won't be seeding against their wishes. I spoke to the Nexus about automating STEP downloads, and they asked us not to do so. That, too, is understandable, as we would essentially be using their servers to service our project, bypassing their business model. So, all in all, an automated downloader for STEP is dead for the foreseeable future. You say that if we don't do it, then someone else will, but I hope that doesn't happen. There would be a tremendous backlash from the community, and it would be a discouragement to the modders to have their work taken from their control. On the brightside, I'm still working on an automated solution to handle repackaging, renaming, patching, optimising, updating and all of the most tedious and time consuming elements.
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#27 z929669

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:12 PM

... and we anxiously await the result ;) Adding to Monty's cogent response: If someone else does create the semi-automatic solution to bypassing the Nexus mechanism, then I think it would not last long before being subjected to lawful threat from potentially multiple sources (without the written authorization of all stakeholders involved that is).

#28 Zixdey

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 04:54 PM

Hi MontyMM,

I spoke to the Nexus about automating STEP downloads' date=' and they asked us not to do so. That, too, is understandable, as we would essentially be using their servers to service our project, bypassing their business model.

Yes, I've read that elsewhere already. I can understand that. That is the reason I'm proposing an independent distribution mechanism.

The key thing here is that although mods are public domain' date=' the wishes of the mod authors deserve to be respected. Many mod authors ask that their mods are not reuploaded anywhere else, which is understandable for many reasons, not least their desire to track the popularity of their work and keep it under their control. We certainly won't be seeding against their wishes.

Couldn't we work to get the authors' approval? I'd be willing to reach out to all of them, and see if they have any objections which can't be overcome.

The way I see it, mod authors only upload their mods to the Nexus in order to share them with others. Of course they don't allow just anyone to distribute their work anywhere, but this wouldn't be just anywhere, this would be the ONE-STEP auto-installer! If we made a utility which is sanctioned by the authors of STEP, wouldn't mod authors allow it to use their mods, including keeping a separate copy from that on the Nexus?

As for control, the only potential problem I can think of is that it would be difficult to remove a mod (or a version of one) once it has been integrated into ONE-STEP. Mod authors could ask STEP to remove their mod, and it would be removed from the next version, including from ONE-STEP. So there would be a delay until the removal, somewhat more than that on the Nexus.

But really, even today, once a mod has been uploaded and available for long enough to be included in STEP, it would be possible to find a copy even after it would be removed from the Nexus. So I don't see the real damage my proposal could cause.
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#29 MontyMM

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 06:07 PM

If your assumptions about modders views and consent are correct, then I would agree with you, but I suspect this will not be the case. I think that your idea that "mod authors only upload their mods to the Nexus in order to share them with others" is not quite the full story of the modders' mindset. I don't think this is something we want to get into at the present time. There may come a time down the road, when the pace of updates, patches and developments has slowed, that we might perhaps consider getting co-operation for a consolidated package, but it's not something I'd be interested in doing at the moment.
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#30 Zixdey

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:47 PM

If your assumptions about modders views and consent are correct' date=' then I would agree with you, but I suspect this will not be the case. I think that your idea that "mod authors only upload their mods to the Nexus in order to share them with others" is not quite the full story of the modders' mindset.

Well, I can imagine that modders also upload mods to show off their work, receive feedback, integrate better with other mods, receive credit for their work and gain popularity. But I'm quite confident that any mod author who uploads a mod to the Nexus intends for it to be used by others! I'd be willing to put this to the test and just ask the relevant modders, since there's no real point to arguing about this.

I can understand modders being worried about users just using their mod without knowing who made it and without them getting any acknowledgement in the form of page views and downloads. I think it would at least be prudent to actually ask them if they would be against giving users the option to download and install STEP with one click, even if it means they lose those downloads (actually, only some of them, since some users will want to fine-tune their experience.)

I don't think this is something we want to get into at the present time. There may come a time down the road' date=' when the pace of updates, patches and developments has slowed, that we might perhaps consider getting co-operation for a consolidated package, but it's not something I'd be interested in doing at the moment.

I am interested in an explanation as to why. The way I see it, if we're going to wait for interest to die down, we may as well just not do anything, because by that time anything we do will no longer be relevant. Additionally, as I've mentioned, if we (or the Nexus) don't do this, Steam Workshop will (and probably others, e.g. Desura), and the Nexus will no longer be where most users download mods, anyways.
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