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Automating S.T.E.P. - Mod Combiner (and automation utility)

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#16 haelfix



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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:44 AM

Very cool, but can this go inside .zip and arxivs or does it have to be in file format?
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#17 generalmx



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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:58 AM

[quote name=''haelfix' pid='22737' dateline='1359888244']Very cool' date=' but can this go inside .zip and arxivs or does it have to be in file format?[/quote']
The configuration file can include instructions to extract archives. For example, one of the files listed under "Conflicting Graphics" is "Better Bedrolls", which has the archive "Better Bedrolls-400-v1.zip" on NexusMods. So you'd add:
<Better Bedrolls-400-v1.zip
...to the configuration file, and it'll extract "Better Bedrolls-400-v1.zip" to the Files directory before going any further.

I just realized what it doesn't support is a command-line BSA extractor, so that's another thing I'll work on.

Posted on NexusMods and I should have BSA archive and DDSOpt support soon (and maybe also diff for binary patches).

(If Ethatron is still around here, I'd like for some additional command-line options please :))

(Same for Sharlikran and/or Zilav for TES5Edit!)

So what I have on my local repo is new batch logic to *generate* the configuration files from an existing Skyrim install (or any directory), using a Windows port of the Unix md5sum tool to tag the files. The batch logic can then search through a given directory recursively until it finds a matching md5sums instead of being given the exact lcation of the file. If it is given the location of the file to copy, it can double-check it with a md5 hash that it's the right version.

One caveat with this method of checking md5sum is that if the file has been optimized through something like DDSOpt or otherwise changed, of course it will give a different md5sum. What I'm hoping will help with this problem, as well as provide a much-needed feature, is differential compression through xdelta.

Differential compression both encodes and compresses the text/binary differences between two files. Communities like S.T.E.P. can use this to make patches of virtually any file without theoretically violating copyright/IP issues on distribution. For example, the TES5Edit authors say they will not allow automated cleaning. Using xdelta you can create a differential patch that includes the cleaning, check md5sum to make sure it's the right original file, and use a bit of logic to make sure the patch is NOT applied in specific cases where even simple cleaning can be bad.

Furthermore, theoretically, we could create patches for broken/unoptimized files fixed by the community without needing the author's permission first (if they don't explicitly *disallow* it). This last bit I contacted DarkOne on to get his opinion. Of course the author could always come back and demand the patch be taken down, but I bet in 99% of cases they wouldn't even bother. Remember: the patch is just garbage without the original file (it's encoded).

Finally, I have contacted Etheron about getting working DDSOpt command-line options, offering help if needed.
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