Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

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AtariZoll
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Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:15 am

Idea is not new actually, and myself too talked here about couple times.
Purpose is to have one place where people can easily find useful informations about all relevant Atari SW, + they can submit own experiences, test results. Later part will be not easy to achieve, but is absolutely necessary.
As we know there are many possible reasons why some SW works not on certain config - like TOS versions, RAM size, etc. It is really hard to judge what is exact reason. Especially for beginners. So, let's help each other.

I'm thinking about MySQL database with following fields:
1. SW title - in case of multiple SW with same title recommended to add publisher in brackets
2. Publisher
3. Year of release
4. Version # if exists
Since there is SW published in compilations, and then often it is not exactly same as original release we should add field for that:
5. Part of compilation - name of compilation, year of release

Above was for original releases. But I want to include all "other releases", so cracks, menu disks too. Some don't like them, but things are that in many cases they are still only source for some titles.

6. Cracked by - if you have some better idea for field name, shoot :D
7. On menu disk(s) - Crew, #(s)
8. Hard disk adapt. - Done by ..

Availability of original
9. Place(s) where can order or DL original . It may be Atarimania in case of PD and freeware. But stays not for STX images.
Availability of copy
10. Place(s) where can DL copy . Like STX, SCP, MSA, etc images

11. Where can DL crack

Section about on what runs and on what runs not:

12. Works on TOS version(s):
13. Works not on TOS version(s) - with comments of exact symptom
14. Min RAM size
15. Max RAM size - unfortunately not rare case that ...
16. Falcon compatibility - works it without compatibility utilities as Backward, works it with them ...
17. TT compatibility
18. STE compatibility - not TOS version related - like in case of Grand Monster Slam .
19. Mega STE compatibility - not same as TOS 2.06 compatibility. There is many SW with not good enough code (direct FDC access) for Mega STE for instance.
19. Hard disk installable by factory - is there option for that in original. But I must say here that those installers are now pretty much outdated in many cases, and will not work with newer configs.

20. Emulator compatibility

Problems, bugs in specific releases:
21. Free description of problem

Other
22. Place for notes which belong not in any previous category

Feel free to suggest some other fields, ideas ..

Probably the hardest part is to ensure proper contribution of interested and good willing people. Must say that this will be not easy at all. It is very easy to make wrong conclusion about reasons why some SW works not on specific config. I usually do multiple tests on HW what I have + testing on diverse TOS versions in Steem, Hatari . Where can set diverse RAM sizes too.
May expect that some people, crews will be offended when see that their releases are "marked" as problematic, so will maybe write bad things there - according to my experiences so far. I can only suggest that instead that spend some time to fix the problem.
In any case, submissions must have some control, so we can exclude problematic people, or those who take not enough care about accuracy.

Idea is to maintain database on my WebSite (8bitchip.info) and have some support, connection with it on this forum. If later will not be supported here, there is forum too there. What I want is to make little order in all this, and help people. Some minor personal issues are inevitable. Pls. be grown enough and see what is more important good.
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby Dal » Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:15 am

Maintaining a database with some of these fields will be tricky. Things like the 'TOS versions" field will be difficult to populate and search on. If I was designing such a database, I would ensure everything is relational. As an example, for TOS versions, I would have a single child table that looks like this:

Code: Select all

|ProdID|v100|v102|v104|v106|v162|v202|v205|v206|v207|v208|v301|v305|v306|v400|v401|v402|v404|vEmu|vEmuMin|


ProdID would be a reference back to the master record for the software entry, the other fields would largely be flags to indicate the TOS versions supported. The vEmuMin field is a text field to indicate the minimum EmuTOS version required.

If you want to do this properly, then I suggest we come up with a better structure.
FireBee, Falcon -Soundpool case: CT63@95Mhz + 14MB/512MB + 16GB SSD + FPU + Phantom 25/50 + SuperVidel + SoundPool FDI + FA8 + ADAT + Eiffel, TT030: 4MB/16MB + Crazy Dots, Mega"SST" 12, STbook, STacy 2, MegaSTE, STE: Desktopper case, IDE interface, UltraSatan (8GB + 512Mb) + HXC floppy emulator. Plus some STE's/STFM's

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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:23 am

In most cases people will don't have complete answers. So will be not able to say is it work or not for all existing TOS versions. Additionally, some SW will start only on specific language TOS (checking TOS language flag) . That means lot of combinations. I think that in this case child table will not help really. Who can judge correctly about on what works will be able to fill it. Like : Works on: 1.00-1.02 Works not: 2.06 Others are unknown for submitter. EmoTOS is not something what many people using, I think. Especially not on real HW. But if someone wants to point about work under EmuTOS, no problem.
I think that best is to have some flexibility instead predefined input choices. In some cases like Min RAM, max RAM predefined is better, of course.
Don't see what you think about better structure.
Suggestions are welcome, but certainly I can not accept every suggestion. Probably some things will need corrections after some time it is online.

About registration: idea is that must register - after reading some instructions, guides - for instance how to fill TOS version fields. That will ensure some control and better quality of submitted. There will be some tracking of submissions, so can have some table of best submitters. In free text fields submitter will be indicated.
Or maybe to have it for all inputs, so every user submission(s) for particular title will be in separated record.
Then maintainer can compose something like master record combined from all inputs.
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby Dal » Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:15 pm

I just see no point in capturing anecdotal information in a database field as it serves little purpose for those searching for something specific.

As an end user, I would like to perform searches on such a database that fit the target system I want to run on. A query to such a database should return me an accurate list of prods that will run on my particular setup. Having a arbitrary text field for TOS version would make these types of searches impossible.

As an example, let's suppose I have a 512K STFM with TOS 1.04 and a hard disk. I would like to specify all this in my search and have a list of product that will work on that config.

Your approach would simply not allow for such a search to be accurate unless you wrapped a lot of rules around the format your text field needed to be populated. As soon as you go down that road, you may as well have design the database properly in the first place.

I just think if you're going to implement a database like this, you should consider the wider possibilities and not just confine yourself to something that at best would work as a rudimentary bug tracker.

Let's continue talking if you want to produce something great. If you just want to carry on down your own path then best of luck to you, I'll happily keep my suggestions to myself.
FireBee, Falcon -Soundpool case: CT63@95Mhz + 14MB/512MB + 16GB SSD + FPU + Phantom 25/50 + SuperVidel + SoundPool FDI + FA8 + ADAT + Eiffel, TT030: 4MB/16MB + Crazy Dots, Mega"SST" 12, STbook, STacy 2, MegaSTE, STE: Desktopper case, IDE interface, UltraSatan (8GB + 512Mb) + HXC floppy emulator. Plus some STE's/STFM's

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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:19 pm

It will take years until there will be so much data that doing search you talk about will have sense.
Idea is to have informations about specific releases - as primary goal. So when someone picks, gets, downloads some SW to be able to get some help. Otherwise can easily get lost while determines why it works not for him. That's primary goal.

Then, I don't agree that with free user inputs search will be not possible. As said at the end of previous message probably best would be to hold separately user submissions and having special table with combined results, where data will be entered by maintainer.
I don't think that it will be too much work in short time.
"would work as a rudimentary bug tracker."
So, among some 22 fields you come with single one - about bugs :D Things are that I'm probably the one who seen most of bugs, and not just seen, but traced lot of them. But that's partially because I went out from quality games, and now deal mostly with not so well done ones. In other words, there is no so big %-age of SW with bugs. I would say that it is under 10%. Maybe 5% . Will see maybe after some years what is exact %-age.

Btw. your example with 512K and hard disk is really not recommended config :mrgreen: Plus, I really don't want to go in such overviews - like what games are runnable from hard disk. You have 3 sites with such content, so go there and will see it without much hassle. Of course, it is easy to add field(s) about is there hard disk patch from Klaz or other for specific title - by demand. But count of fields should be not too much. I think that 25 is max what is still not too hard to follow.
Doing statistics may come when there will be enough data. We need to start with something. It will be never perfect and by everyone's taste.

I don't think about it as something "great" . I want to do something useful, using my experience, and hope that some other people will contribute.
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby cb » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:13 pm

So basically, you want to reinvent the wheel? The database over at Atarimania already includes a big part of what you are planning here.
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:32 am

cb wrote:So basically, you want to reinvent the wheel? The database over at Atarimania already includes a big part of what you are planning here.

You are very wrong. There is no any validation - except when someone writes them that STX image is not OK (what I did many times already). Then they may remove it, what is again not ideal solution. They excluded cracks from discutable reason "only originals are reliable" - but I can say only that nothing is 100% reliable. No external DL links in their database, only that Marakatti added in some cases links to Klaz and my site. No fields for bugs in SW. Etc.
But main thing is that no interactivity.

I must say that did not expect much here. So far pure negativeness and some resistance from really not understandable reasons. And as my suggestions about reorganizing forum sections were not being considered (I guess I should ask some newbie here to put them on :D ) I really will not continue this Don Quijote battle here. I have my vision about something what Atari community lacks. As I see, most is interested in first place in collecting stuff, and do not care about quality. Look in TOSEC archive: several thousands of images, where same release may have 3-5 image versions (which actually differ only in some silly details). But people will be impressed with share size of it, and that's is just sad.
So, from now on I move all about this on http://forum.8bitchip.info/
This thread may be locked or removed, whatever admin likes .
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby Dal » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:00 am

AtariZoll: you need to be more patient. Things are happening here on the forum, I just don't have anything ready for release. I've just started a new business and just mega busy right now.

If you can just have some faith rather than constantly bitching because things don't happen immediately, we'd all get along a little better.

PS. I wasn't being negative, I'm just not interested in getting involved with something unless it is being designed properly. Databases are very much my 'thing' so when my suggestions are cast aside as irrelevant, I'm no longer engaged.
FireBee, Falcon -Soundpool case: CT63@95Mhz + 14MB/512MB + 16GB SSD + FPU + Phantom 25/50 + SuperVidel + SoundPool FDI + FA8 + ADAT + Eiffel, TT030: 4MB/16MB + Crazy Dots, Mega"SST" 12, STbook, STacy 2, MegaSTE, STE: Desktopper case, IDE interface, UltraSatan (8GB + 512Mb) + HXC floppy emulator. Plus some STE's/STFM's

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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:20 am

Dal wrote:...
If you can just have some faith rather than constantly bitching ...

Very well said. Now just imagine that I had same thoughts while read your replies :D
Btw. I expected not database design ideas, at least not in this stage. Plus, I gave you detailed answer about why I don't see that child table as good idea.
Truth is that we just can not do it ideal without some experience - so will need corrections after it is started. But I just repeating myself here . Time for less talk and more action. Unless some constructive idea appears, I'm done with this thread.
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby cb » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:19 am

Well here´s something constructive: why dont you share your technical knowledge with the guys at Atarimania? They would be more than happy to fill in some gaps.
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby penguin » Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:22 pm

A bit disapponted that only Atarimania is mentioned - I'm the maintainer of atariuptodate.de, which is a universal ST software database and includes external links (e.g. http://www.atariuptodate.de/en/1616/texel) and compatibility notes (currently targeting only Firebee): http://www.atariuptodate.de/en/260/1st-word-plus-gst. I had to do some database adjustments as the website grew (in fact, the first version didn't even use a proper database, just a bunch of text files).

That being said, creating a new database is a huge task and there's only a small number of people contributing. Good luck! :)
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby AtariZoll » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:43 am

cb wrote:Well here´s something constructive: why dont you share your technical knowledge with the guys at Atarimania? They would be more than happy to fill in some gaps.

At my best knowledge, their orientation is not exactly that, what I mean and plan. Not to mention limited time of Marakatti - who is responsible for Atari ST section there, which is not most important there for main guy (again, as I know it). There is lot of my technical knowledge available on my WEB pages, even considering games. Don't see that people really want to go deeper in those things. They want results, simple answers. There is lot of experiences and discovered things what I had during deal with games. and that just may get lost if not recording it properly and organized.

Something more: I see that many people wants to contribute and add their collection's images to some online host. That's nice, and I try to help them as I can. But best would be if they can have some overview about what is already imaged and online, and especially about what is validated/tested .
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby AtariZoll » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:54 am

penguin wrote:A bit disapponted that only Atarimania is mentioned - I'm the maintainer of atariuptodate.de, which is a universal ST software database and includes external links (e.g. http://www.atariuptodate.de/en/1616/texel) and compatibility notes (currently targeting only Firebee):
...

Well, never heard about your site. I see there pretty limited count of SW, though. Of course, if you are only one who maintains it, that's good achievement. That about targeting Firebee in compatibility notes gives me idea:

Since most of people will be interested only for specific informations, best is that user self can set which fields will be visible for him. That will make usage and overview much better. And we can then have lot of fields, so compatibility with some rare clones too. Many of them could be simple Yes/No type.
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby penguin » Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:14 pm

AtariZoll wrote:Well, never heard about your site. I see there pretty limited count of SW, though. Of course, if you are only one who maintains it, that's good achievement. That about targeting Firebee in compatibility notes gives me idea:

Since most of people will be interested only for specific informations, best is that user self can set which fields will be visible for him. That will make usage and overview much better. And we can then have lot of fields, so compatibility with some rare clones too. Many of them could be simple Yes/No type.


The software count is 8660 - that's not "pretty limited". Of course it's a matter of what you count as a seperate piece of software - every cracktro? Every different version of the same program? The app counter could be certainly higher if I would e.g. count every version of 1st Word Plus seperately.

Hiding/showing certain fields based on the user is a good idea and should be easy to implement if you have some kind of user registration for the site.
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby calimero » Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:48 am

If this database tend to be "Universal database" than it must be flexible.
Predefined fields in database would never be "universal".
Universal database structure could be something like ZigZag which is far more flexibile than traditional database with predefined fields.
I do not see how it would be differ from http://www.atarimania.com, http://www.atarilegend.com or any other archive (diference are only in predefined fields)?

my two cents:

I am big fan of Papyrus and Papyrus Database!

Main power of Papyrus Database is realtime search of ALL fields (or some specific on your request). This was my guiding principle when I design

http://milan.kovac.cc/atari/software/ (last infos I add are in GRAPHIC section)

- DATABASE:
There is no SQL database there. There are no predefined fields (there are only initial suggestions of fields but you can arbitrary add them anytime for any item). There are only N:N pairs of informatio. e.g.:

Code: Select all

PROGRAMER: Marwijn Hessel


- SEARCH:
if you want to find what software have any connection with Marwijn Hessel than you just wrote: "Marwijn Hessel" in search. If you want to narrow search and find software only from 1992 then you search for: "Marwijn Hessel 1992"

More advance search (I still did not implement it!) would be more precise search of specific fields like this: "Marwijn Hessel date:1992" (name of field like date: would search string only in that field, just like in Papyrus). And I also need to add real-time search results (with ajax).

- ADDING STUFF:
anybody (without registration) can add new software, screenshots, video or any information regarding software (everything is drag&deop and in place-edits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfWra5ZgF6Q). I do not require registration because I have logs and tools for maintenance.

- MAINTENANCE:
There are few stuff that help with maintenance.
There is log file with date, ip... of every modification. I implemented "revision history" so every modification is saved and can be easily reverted to previous state (similar to wikipedia, just click on "^" simbol at the end of "last modified:" line in description).

I need to implement table overview of fields that would be used when to many people make to many similar fields like e.g. "programmers" or "coder"; just to be able to merge them in one.

- TEST RESULTS:
I implemented "test result" feature on http://milan.kovac.cc/atari/software/
so everybody could wrote their configuration and results - if program works and how (tt-ram, resolutions...). Unfortunate I did not have time to test this feature so it is still not available in public.

GOALS:
my goals are:
1) to make this (or any other archive) like repository - something similar (or same) that CosmosEx have for Atari ST games!
2) search to be flexible as in Papyrus
3) to finish "Test results" section
Last edited by calimero on Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby Dal » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:05 pm

Of course it could be fully relational by having a table full of operating system versions and then a "supported platforms" table with a one-to-many relationship between game IDs and OS IDs.

What is clear is attempting to use a single text box for that kind of data is practically useless.
FireBee, Falcon -Soundpool case: CT63@95Mhz + 14MB/512MB + 16GB SSD + FPU + Phantom 25/50 + SuperVidel + SoundPool FDI + FA8 + ADAT + Eiffel, TT030: 4MB/16MB + Crazy Dots, Mega"SST" 12, STbook, STacy 2, MegaSTE, STE: Desktopper case, IDE interface, UltraSatan (8GB + 512Mb) + HXC floppy emulator. Plus some STE's/STFM's

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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby calimero » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:06 pm

^ It is not "single text box".
I use "field:values" pairs but I do not impose any database predefined fields - you can arbitrary add new fields as you go.

Other "text box" that I will add is "Test results" - there will be many "Test results" boxes and they will be uniq for every user and his configuration. They will be also organised as filed:value pairs.
I will try tonight to enable this feature on site, just as show case...


btw Dal, in my previous post I just randomly use your words as quote. My post does not explicitly refer to that quote so I will be delete quote in previous post.
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby christos » Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:33 pm

So why are you all trying to reinvent the wheel when something like joomla - virtuemart and magento are more thqn enough for this job?
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby calimero » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:24 pm

^
me personally: because I think that they are less usable than my custom made site.
other thing is that I would spent more time on patching them if I would like to extend or modify them than writing everything by myself from scratch.
and ultimately: because I like to design and build stuff :)
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby christos » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:50 pm

The only functionality in your site that doesnt exist in those Systems is the frontend editing which i wouldnt recommend anyway. Still i can certainly agree on the i like to do my own stuff point
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby calimero » Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:32 pm

Hi,
I just add new functionality to site: now you can add new 'notes' for every program as many as you like (main purpose is for compatibility information but you can add whatever you want!) :)

I added just few 'notes' as example in ARCHIVERS section: http://milan.kovac.c...older=/ARCHIVER

I still do not impose any strictly rules about fields (nor keys, nor values) so every user can edit infos freely as long as they are in key:value form (If there would be sudden explosion of contribution, I will normalise all keys/values).
...and there is no need for relation database; key:value pairs are enough for any kind of search or data manipulation. For now, I improve somehow search, but if you have idea for anything specific, please let me know ('notes' are not searchable for now).

and If you find bug, please let me know! ;)
and if you wish source (not a pretty since I add stuff for few years now :) but it is quite small, less than 1000lines for all (html, php, mysql, css...))
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:25 am

Well, why this moves not is well visible from this thread too. Maybe I gave wrong name to thread. Should put there word game. And focus only on games, while some others focus on serious stuff. Things are that lot of people with some knowledge in this has own ideas, and practically things that it is best.
But truth is that no one knows what is best - and only way to learn that is to start site and improve it by time.
Idea is just to move somewhere from current, very chaotic state. For me it is not satisfying what is on some sites. There are very limited informations about diverse releases of Atari ST games. Actually, some sites wont proper infos, and just care about own fame. While I care about truth, and in case of some error to fix it - or doing new release for floppies if existing ones are not good. In other words, D-Bug will feel offended if someone write that their crack of Potsworth & Co. is bad, and can not play 3 levels from 6 - reaction is usually to do counter attack - but that's stupid because it was not attack, just intention to help users. So, they should do 2 things: thank for information about bug and correct it. Or if later is not possible from some reason to add info on their own sire about bug in release. Otherwise site is just not serious.
Of course, I found only small fraction of errors in cracks and in originals. This is why we need large user base, who will to contribute.
main concern here is not how some input fields will be solved, but how to motivate people, and teach them to do tests, reports in proper, useful way.
I'm not against GMO, I'm against that children play with fire.

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calimero
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby calimero » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:12 pm

I just try to achieve same goal with my site: to everyone can contribute in most non-obstructive way. Easy way for adding new stuff, commenting, giving test results... and I hope that other will find it useful so everyone will start to contribute.

I would love to share source and to add new functionality to site.
using Atari since 1986.http://wet.atari.orghttp://milan.kovac.cc/atari/software/ ・ Atari Falcon030/CT63/SV ・ Atari STe ・ Atari Mega4/MegaFile30/SM124 ・ Amiga 1200/PPC ・ Amiga 500 ・ C64 ・ ZX Spectrum ・ RPi ・ MagiC! ・ MiNT 1.18 ・ OS X

AtariZoll
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:38 am

Just some info, if anyone is interested at all: it seems that I gave up whole idea. Just lost interest - did nothing in latest 6 months. Why to spend lot of time in something what will be not used, only by very small number of people. What I see is that much more popular is collecting SW, regardless of how usable it is. Quantity vs. quality.
In this forum most active are threads with faithful copies of originals (SCP, Kryoflux) . While I have different approach. Not remembering to see any thanks or like for all those bugfixes in games, contrary, some look it as disrespect or whatever. Someone wanted finescroll update for Hard 'n' Heavy. When it is done, he had no time to even try it. So goes it here in many cases. I will do some things yet, but that will be all on me.
I'm not against GMO, I'm against that children play with fire.

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calimero
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Re: Project Universal Atari ST SW Database - interactive

Postby calimero » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:35 am

Your site is first place where I go to download games for ST that will work on Falcon since you have most of them and nice feature to exit and save state.
second in line are dbug and www.klapauzius.net. I personally do not understand thing about SCP, Kryoflux...

it is really hard to measure how much people use something that you made but I am sure that lot of people appreciate your work!

btw did you receive my email? I send it yesterday at your 8bitchip.info email address
using Atari since 1986.http://wet.atari.orghttp://milan.kovac.cc/atari/software/ ・ Atari Falcon030/CT63/SV ・ Atari STe ・ Atari Mega4/MegaFile30/SM124 ・ Amiga 1200/PPC ・ Amiga 500 ・ C64 ・ ZX Spectrum ・ RPi ・ MagiC! ・ MiNT 1.18 ・ OS X


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