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The Quality of Our Archives
Posted by Michael on 4 March 2004, 22:29 GMT

You may have noticed the low numbers of new files added to our archives. We're having a debate about what to do with a growing problem: Programs that simply aren't very useful to anyone. There are more quadratic solvers in our archives than should ever exist, notwithstanding the fact that most models have this as a built-in feature. Our possible solutions are:

Currently, all files that meet the site policies are processed and uploaded to our archives. Since this doesn't seem to be working well, here are the ideas under consideration:

  • The file archivers could manually screen programs for those deemed "junk", in the sense that they lower the signal-to-noise ratio of our archives rather than increase it. Authors would have to e-mail an appeal for rejected programs. This would cause a longer waiting time for processing files.
  • We could implement a rating system and organize programs by rating. This allows all programs to remain on the site, but the most useless could be filtered out. A method of dealing with new programs and low/high numbers of votes would have to be developed.
  • Our current folder system stops at games, programs, math, et cetera. For ease of browsing, this could be expanded to sub-categories like games/board, games/shooter, and games/guessthenumber. This doesn't limit the number of files added, it only categorizes them so folders are more concise and relevant.
  • Lastly, we could just leave everything as it is now.

We're asking for your input on what to do. There is a survey posted in conjunction with this article where you can vote on this issue. Thank you.

Update (Archiver): We will not be deleting files (at least not this time around), that was never one of the options. If you do want some of your programs deleted e-mail filearchive@ticalc.org.

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The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.


Monoply is #1
angelboy Account Info
(Web Page)

Yes I agree with the downgrading quality of our archives. Even some of the programs I have uploaded are not worth it. I think we should have a committee go through and mark the ones that should go. If more than 50% of these people think a certain program should go, then delete it.

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 22:34 GMT

Re: Monoply is #1
DavidL  Account Info

Yes, I agree with the committee thing.

Hey, has anyone played 'Phantom Star v.0.81b'? It's the best side scroller shoot em' up ever!

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 22:42 GMT

Committee
jgworthey  Account Info

I strongly agree with the committee idea. If there's gonna be a committee, I want to be on it. I enjoy deleting other people's files.

Drew Worthey
Head programmer of BHW Software

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 23:50 GMT

Re: Committee
Patrick Sidney  Account Info
(Web Page)

wow! They actually listened to my ideas!

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:19 GMT

Re: Committee
angelboy Account Info
(Web Page)

But to qualify to be on the committee, you have to prove you know how to filter between good and bad programs. (Someone who has uploaded a ton of BASIC quadratic solvers should not be on the committee)

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:26 GMT


Re: Committee
austin granger  Account Info

that is evil! you actually ENJOY deleting peoples files? that is cruel I have about 6-8 files i'm waiting to show up and I think the whole committee thing is the worst idea ticalc.org has ever had.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 01:08 GMT

Re: Re: Committee
austin granger  Account Info

you had better not delete my new esolve series, that is a program that is actually HELPFUL!. it isn't already on any voyage 200 and unlike most programs, it shows its work. when you see an esolve program, dont delete it. it can help lots of algebra students with homework!

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 01:13 GMT

n00b
angelboy Account Info
(Web Page)

For one thing, this is a free site. You do not control it, so they can delete any and all of your files at their own free will. YOU ARE AT THE MERCY OF THE STAFF!!! GET THAT THROUGH YOUR HEAD!!

The committee is a very good idea. It gives a chance for some extra people to help out a little more in the TI community, and the deletings will be fair.

Who cares about a program that shows work?? Most people can do that, so what's so special about it?

Sorry for the boldness of my comment everyone, and MV.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 03:35 GMT

Re: n00b
Final_Epsilon  Account Info
(Web Page)

well.... we could have a hired staff, like the file archivers. That way, the exsisting Ticalc.org staff can screen through the honest people, and the not so nice and honest people to be on a file removing commitee.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 04:45 GMT


Re: Re: n00b
nolekid  Account Info

Actually, none of the staff is paid. I actually wonder how the owners of the site pay for it. No way they could pay for all the bandwidth on the site and a bunch of guys working 20+ hours a week (I assume this much).

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 17:54 GMT


Re: Re: Re: n00b
Morgan Davies  Account Info
(Web Page)

Quottion form the hardware page:
"All of our machines are physically located at SolNet in Sollentuna, Sweden."
And a quote from Magnus' staff page:
"He is also the provider of the network connection."

I'll let your mind fill in the rest.

And if you are interested in knowing what SolNet is:
http://www.edu. sollentuna.se/

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 03:33 GMT

Re: n00b
Brian Gordon Account Info
(Web Page)

Work showing is an anti-teacher method, so for example I made a simple distance formula program that shows the original coordinates plugged in and then them simplified under a square root and then that "deradicaled". So all I have to do is just copy down the whole thing and it looks like I did work. Of course, I never see the dformula any more, and it would be possible just to type the whole thing into the homescreen, but you know :)

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 11:52 GMT


Re: n00b
TiBasic  Account Info
(Web Page)

I don't know guys I like the rating system... I think it will turn out better results seeing that even if you they remove "junk" there still will be a lot of junk on the site. also it is less offensive the saying ppls stuff is junk

Reply to this comment    9 March 2004, 00:10 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Committee
Tzazak Account Info

Don't worry. If your series of progrmas really is useful, then the committee will do its job and your programs won't get filtered out. I for one think it is a great idea. I've loaded two basic programs, and one of them I'm sure would have been filtered out...it was my first program. My second would have easily made it through because it is very useful. Remember that with this idea if your program is good you won't have to worry.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 17:23 GMT

Re: Re: Committee
austin granger  Account Info

correction, this committee idea it the only bad idea ticalc.org has ever had

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 01:18 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Committee
Joey Gannon  Account Info
(Web Page)

I would simply like to point out that this was not ticalc.org's idea, but rather the opinion of angelboy, a member of our community.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 04:25 GMT


Re: Re: Committee
Lewk Account Info

I likewise have several programs waiting to be uploaded and i too think that a committee is a horrible idea and find it amusing that someone who has not authored any program thinks he has the right to delete other peoples!

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 17:48 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Committee
jgworthey  Account Info

Actually, all of my programs are authored under Sam Brotherton's name. We are both members of BHW Software, but I don't have the means to transfer my files to the internet. So, Lewk, what say you now?

The Omniscient Drew Worthey
Head Programmer of BHW Software

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 00:11 GMT

can't upload?
Lewk Account Info

If you can't upload files from your computer, why not log onto your account through Sam Brotherton's computer, then upload it?

Lewk has spoken.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 04:21 GMT


Re: can't upload?
BlackThunder  Account Info
(Web Page)

Perhaps because HE DOESN'T FEEL LIKE BUYING A US$1000 PLANE TICKET?! Just a wild guess.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 20:16 GMT


Re: Re: can't upload?
Lewk Account Info

Have Sam whoever log on for him then. Besides, what I was really geting at is what the guy below is talking about, he obviously does have means of uploading stuff to the internet. Just look at his post!

Reply to this comment    10 March 2004, 00:15 GMT


Re: Re: Re: can't upload?
jgworthey  Account Info

My computer is not able to upload files to the internet. That doesn't mean that I can't use web site features such as comment posting. There is something wrong with my built in FTP protocol, so file cannot be uploaded to the internet from my computer. Get off my back, or I'll find something to get on yours about.

Drew Worthey
Head Programmer of BHW Software

Reply to this comment    10 March 2004, 20:51 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: can't upload?
Lewk Account Info

Please do. I love constructive critisism!

Reply to this comment    11 March 2004, 20:49 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: can't upload?
Lewk Account Info

Get Sam to log onto your account, THEN have him upload it, or have him put you down as a secondary author. Chill out man.

Reply to this comment    12 March 2004, 05:01 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Committee
Chivo  Account Info

How do you not have the means to transfer files to the Internet? You've already uploaded some data from your computer to the Internet as evidenced by your post.

Reply to this comment    8 March 2004, 02:26 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Committee
molybdenum  Account Info

"Authored" vs "Submitted" is the fine line here. Just because we do not post a "hello World" program does not mean that we cannot code, or that we can not decide if a program is good or not. If your program is good enough, the commitee should let it through. I prefer the rating system, but still...

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 01:08 GMT


Re: Re: Monoply is #1
Sam Brotherton Account Info

I think that this will make people start downloading BASIC programs, finally. Contrary to popular belief, there are some very good BASIC programs out there. The fact that there are about five thousand totally useless ones discourages people, and with a slow connection you can barely load the page.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:44 GMT


Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
Matthew Marshall  Account Info
(Web Page)

I agree with that. I am sure that there are many great BASIC games hidden somewhere in there, but I really don't feel like going through all of the muck to find them.

MWM

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 03:16 GMT

Re: Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
Jedd G  Account Info
(Web Page)

They could always make 2 catagories, "muck" programs and the "good" programs. Of course then people feel discriminated against, or picked on, it's not fair, however you want to phrase it. Or they can make a "best programs" catagory, and post only the games and programs worth downloading in there. I'm sure ticalc.org can think of something to allow everyone to upload their games and yet give downloaders the choices of viewing only the "useful" programs.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 04:26 GMT

Re: Re: Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
Matthew Marshall  Account Info
(Web Page)

I don't think that seperating them into two seperate directories would work the best. I would prefer just to have an option so that I can hide all files with less than a certain rating, much like how a user can hide fake news items. Perhaps there could be somewhere to click in each directory that says "Show all files in this directory" also.

MWM

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 15:27 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
jrock7286  Account Info

Exactly what I would do...back when the user reviews came up (about two weeks ago?) that is exactly what another member and I were suggesting. In addition to the reviews, there should be a "Would you like to rate this program?" option. Also, another thing that would help me to filter these "bad" programs out would be to get the search engine back up. Not that I want to burden you guys with any more tasks to do, but it would be really helpful... -Jake

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 16:47 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
Morgan Davies  Account Info
(Web Page)

I personally think that the current search engine through google works better than the old.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 19:24 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
Matthew Marshall  Account Info
(Web Page)

I can do with out the seach engine, but what I really want is the mailing list archives! How much longer will it take?

Also, take a look at the subjects in this thread; is that a bug in the system?

MWM

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 23:58 GMT


Shhhh
Lewk  Account Info

Hey now! Don't attract attention to something like that. They might just take down the message boards for a few days to fix such a trivial thing, that is if it is a bug in the first place. I mean common man, what are you thinkin'?

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 04:02 GMT


Re: Shhhh
Joey Gannon  Account Info
(Web Page)

We already know about it, and it should be fixed fairly soon. I don't think we'll need to take down the boards to fix it. :-)

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 04:26 GMT


Re: Re: Shhhh
Joey Gannon  Account Info
(Web Page)

AFAIK, it's fixed now.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 04:51 GMT


Re: Re: Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
BlackThunder  Account Info
(Web Page)

That's why most rating systems go:

Good, Very Good, Excellent, Superb, THE BEST.

Instead of

Very Bad, Bad, Okay, Good, Very Good.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 20:18 GMT

¤
burntfuse  Account Info

My position exactly. That's why I almost never even visit the BASIC program archives.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 15:19 GMT


Re: Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
JD Green  Account Info

As you can see if you look at my little profile thingy, all i can do is program in basic. I really cant program in assembly. So a few times i have been really bored and i have looked through all the lists of basic programs. Some of them i have found very useful, however, even as there are some useful basic programs, there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of them that are stupid and utterly useless. I like the rating idea. With the rating, the newer people would get discouraged because there files were deleted and might just give up programming. If there are no newbies, then there is no future for programming. There will just be the same old people and no new people resulting in the extinction of programming for the TI's. The rating system is by far the best idea.

Think about my point and i think it will make sense to you. GO WITH THE RATING!!!!

Peace and good programming to all-JD

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 03:14 GMT

Re: Re: Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
MaxReviewer14 Account Info

I strongly agree with you. If it weren't for newbies trying to learn more about programming, then we wouldn't be here listening to sound on a TI or playing games. We would just use the calculator for math class.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 03:36 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
Jedd G  Account Info
(Web Page)

You can do math on calculators? Wow... :)

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 08:07 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
Lewk Account Info

Amazing what crazy stuff people come up with.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 16:55 GMT


Re: Re: Have you ever heard of "The Settlers of Catan"?
BlackThunder  Account Info
(Web Page)

Everyone's a pessimist, eh?

If a program has a bad rating, that could encourage newbies to improve their program, learn more about programming, and not be newbies anymore.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 20:20 GMT

¤
burntfuse  Account Info

That sounds like a good solution.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 15:17 GMT

Re: Monoply is #1
min max  Account Info

Some programs I have posted I would like to be deleted. When I first started writing programs I thought they were good, but now I realize they're not worth anything!

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 19:02 GMT

Re: Re: Monoply is #1
PlaidPhantom Account Info

Is there not a way to remove your own programs?
If not, there should be. It might help cut down the work that a committee would have to do. Also, would it help to have a way to block uploads from those who have a history of junk programs? They might then have to petition to upload anything else.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 19:20 GMT


Re: Re: Re:
Morgan Davies  Account Info
(Web Page)

The problem with letting everyone delete their own files is that some people could find ways to access oters accounts and delete their whole author record. So that won't be added.

However you can delete any of your programs at any time. Just e-mail filearchive@ticalc.org and after I prove that you are the author of the files I will remove those that you wish.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 19:27 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re:
KermMartian Account Info
(Web Page)

Even that's faulty though - someone once send you an email with forged SSH headers telling you to delete all of my files.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 20:08 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:
Lewk  Account Info

Just a little paranoid arn't we?

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 03:53 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:
molybdenum  Account Info

thanks for the tip

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 03:52 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:
Morgan Davies  Account Info
(Web Page)

I usually ask for their password if I need further verification.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 03:55 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:
Ben Cherry  Account Info
(Web Page)

do you have access to the passwords?

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 04:54 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:
jrock7286  Account Info

yes they do...I remember a while back when Morgan (i think) went on someone's account to check some bug or something...it was in some news post about 6 mos ago. The "victim" said he felt violated...it was pretty funny

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 05:21 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:
Morgan Davies  Account Info
(Web Page)

Without giving away any specific details, I can, from what you stated, tell you that statement is completely false.

If need be I can compare passwords to check for validity. If you want to change your password before I do so then change it back after that is completely fine and a good thing to do if you don't trust me.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 06:28 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:
BlackThunder  Account Info
(Web Page)

Are you saying that we can't trust you?! :O

NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 20:21 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:
Chivo  Account Info

Do you store the passwords encrypted like Unix or even (though not as securely) Windows do?

If you don't, you probably should.

Reply to this comment    8 March 2004, 02:34 GMT


password
hat118  Account Info
(Web Page)

Granted the server is running postgresql I bet the hash is stored in the data base and then compared by the script. (that is how is is done normally)

I wouldn't go as far as saying md5, but maybe.... (md5 author claims only he can reverse the hash so its not likely they would be able to look at the tables and see what your pass is)

Reply to this comment    8 March 2004, 05:44 GMT


Re: Re: Monoply is #1
KermMartian Account Info
(Web Page)

I agree with this sentiment.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 20:07 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Monoply is #1
angelboy Account Info
(Web Page)

Then why do you still have so many programs? It is also possible to put all calculator versions in one zip file then have that cross-linked to all the different directories

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 21:44 GMT

No it's not.
KermMartian Account Info
(Web Page)

I think that you need to implement the first and last ideas. Definitely do the folders - we've been asking for that for a long time. Also, the manual review by the archive staff would help. However, I think that some people might misuse a peer rating system.
Just my $0.02.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 20:06 GMT

Re: No it's not.
no_one_2000_  Account Info
(Web Page)

I think the rating could be controlled. If the ratings of files were done by user account (much like a poll), then that way, people would be less likely to misuse it. If they hate a file enough to make tons of accounts and vote poorly for it, then they have serious issues.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 20:58 GMT


Re: Re: No it's not.
Morgan Davies  Account Info
(Web Page)

If ratings is the way that we go, I think a system of ratinf where you can over write your olf rating would most likely be used. Thus you can only rate a file once and if they ever update the program you can change your rating.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 03:57 GMT

Re: No it's not.
Lewk  Account Info

I think that you just realize that people hate all your useless programs and you are afraid the programs might be voted off the site.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 22:45 GMT


Re: Re: No it's not.
molybdenum  Account Info

I agree, if the people don't like it, it can have a "this stupid program sucks" sign next to it, or can be deleted in low memory conditions; perhaps a notification of soon to be deleted programs for people to try out and save in a re-rate if good enough...

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 01:11 GMT


AYBABTU
mike White Account Info

look whos talkin :)

just kidden

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 03:36 GMT

Re: Monoply is #1
no_one_2000_  Account Info
(Web Page)

I really like the rating idea. I think we should implement that. The only problem is, it (as well as many of the other ideas) could be abused.

The subcategory idea also sounds nice, to me. That way, people could track down whatever type of game they wanted to download, much easier.

If the two of these ideas were both done, I think that would solve the problem.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 20:46 GMT


Re: Monoply is #1
mike White Account Info

it's a good idea but you would need it to not have a bunch of asm people because no ofence but they seem to think that most basic programs are dumb because there basic

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 03:33 GMT


Re: Re: Monoply is #1
nolekid  Account Info

I don't think there are many people that believe that basic is absolutely evil. There many good programs in basic, just not as high a percentage as asm.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 18:01 GMT

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