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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.


Re: The Quality of Our Archives
ti_guy  Account Info

Whats the process you guys use when you update files? I looked at all of the files from the last update and almost all of them are made by William White. Did he upload a ton of files a the same time or do you not update by date?

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 17:47 GMT


Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Dennis Tseng  Account Info

The archivers don't do this by day, they upload it on a certain date(when they feel like it :E)

so its possible he uploaded it all in one day

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 21:18 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Daredevil Account Info

I think you should create folders with sub-catagories. That way people who were just starting to program could have a chance for others to see their work. With the sub-catagories, a newby programmer could have a chance for people to try out their programs and not have you not post them.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 20:58 GMT


PURGE... OBLITERATE... SMITE... KILL... ANNIHILATE...
jgworthey  Account Info

I say we should just delete every file and start over the archive. That will be the real test of which programs are best.

Drew Worthey
Head Programmer of BHW Software

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 00:05 GMT

ยค
burntfuse  Account Info

But...but...some great programs, like Ztetris, whose authors no longer visit ticalc.org frequently, would then be lost because they weren't uploaded again! Also, plenty of people would just upload their quadratic solvers a second time!

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 00:23 GMT


Re: PURGE... OBLITERATE... SMITE... KILL... ANNIHILATE...
Ben Cherry  Account Info
(Web Page)

That is the worst idea presented yet in this 300+ comment discussion. (I'm not trying to flame you)

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 05:23 GMT


Re: Re: PURGE... OBLITERATE... SMITE... KILL... ANNIHILATE...
Jeremiah Walgren Account Info
(Web Page)

Either that, or he's just a little delete happy.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 06:18 GMT


Re: Re: Re: PURGE... OBLITERATE... SMITE... KILL... ANNIHILATE...
jrock7286  Account Info

OOH OOH!!! CAN I DO IT?!?! I LOVE DELETING THINGS!! YAAAAAYYYYY!!! sorry... ;)

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 06:20 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: PURGE... OBLITERATE... SMITE... KILL... ANNIHILATE...
jgworthey  Account Info

Thanks for agreeing with me. Seems we share the same ideas.

Drew Worthey
Head Programmer of BHW Software

Reply to this comment    8 March 2004, 22:39 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
ti_is_good_++  Account Info

OK, here's my justification.

Archivers rejecting meaningless files could produce developers who don't want to send something in that is a specialty file, but still useful that they worked VERY HARD on, simply because the archiver could see no lcd public relevance.

A rating system is subject to the same disadvantages as the one above.

Keeping everything the same isn't working.

That leaves New Folders. I voted for it because it takes files that, according to some people's opinions are irrelevant, and places them in a location where people who want it can access it. For example, for all most of us know, there could be an informal QUADFORM contest to see who can use the most advanced methods, debugging, graphics, optimization, etc., which would serve as a school for advanced programming techniques (something dearly needed). Who cares if it's QUADFORM or an OS? people download the file, learn from it, update other programs and make a positive contribution to the community. Just keep it away from the people who don't need it.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 00:59 GMT


Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
molybdenum  Account Info

If someone rates a file, we will have to assume honesty. Perhaps if a file drops low, it could be looked at before a delete to see if the rating is useful.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 03:58 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Noah Leavitt  Account Info

I agree that we have a problem, but I think that two of the points are supurb solutions for it.
1) Subcatagories would be fantastic, I can't tell you how many times I say "I want to find a good puzzle game" and have to spend hours digging through the other programs
2) The rating system would be great, however, it could be abused. So, I think that the admins should instead implement the rating system, but when a program gets rated low they have to approve it's deletion, this way there isn't a long waiting period to get your program uploaded and people can't totally abuse the system :)

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 02:12 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
molybdenum  Account Info

What I would like is a "pile of good programs" reccomended higly by a few people, to easily find good programs. This brings up the idea of no one bothering to try untried files...

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 04:00 GMT


Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Ben Cherry  Account Info
(Web Page)

Maybe there could be a "ticalc reccomends:" side bar. It would present a few very good programs that may be commonly overlooked, and it could rotate every few days. This would not be used for new programs, but for old ones, and would be like a mini featuring of a program.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 05:27 GMT


Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Eugene Talagrand Account Info
(Web Page)

Sounds like a great idea ... each directory has a "most downloaded" file, but that is not enough.
Besides, this way, nobody's programs get labelled as 'junk'

Reply to this comment    8 March 2004, 07:12 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Jeremiah Walgren Account Info
(Web Page)

I really don't want to look through 300+ comments to see if it's already been suggested, so I'll just add a thought here.

What if the rating system was created so that each one of the files could be voted on, giving it a rating of one through five say. Then the search engine could be reworked or something to have an option that could search for files having a certain rating.

Example. If you wanted to find a quadratic solver (since there's so many of them), you would enter "quadratic solver" into the search and select which rating level you'd want it to have. Then the search would only bring up files with that specific rating level. Nothing's removed from the archives, and people can still search through the "junk" files.

But that's just an idea...

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 04:53 GMT


Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
cloudofstrife  Account Info

Nice idea about the search engine. I think a problem with it is that Google is used, and rewriting the search engine for google might be a little difficult...

How long is this debate going to go on for? The topic's been out for only a couple of days and it already has way more than three hundred posts? Is some ticalc.org staffer going to make an executive decision at some point and just declare the matter closed? Not everyone is going to be happy with what happens...

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 23:26 GMT


Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Jeremiah Walgren Account Info
(Web Page)

They used to get into the 700-800 range. But that was before they hired Michael Vincent to do some moderating around here.

It could go for a while. This is the most current news topic...

Reply to this comment    8 March 2004, 19:40 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
ti_is_good_++  Account Info

OK, please be patient with my ignorance on this topic, but since when has there been a quadratic solver on the calc? I typed in a quadratic equation in the symbolic solve() function in my Voyage 200 and the result was most assuredly not the quadratic formula. Doesn't it just use some version of push_internal_simplify (), not the quadratic formula?

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 07:03 GMT

Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
ti_guy  Account Info

I don't know about the Voyage 200 calcs, but on the 89's you need to use "nsolve(" to get the roots.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 07:15 GMT


Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Barrett Anderson Account Info
(Web Page)

"solve(0=x^2+2x-3,x)" returns "x=1 or x=-3"

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 17:11 GMT


Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Jeremiah Walgren Account Info
(Web Page)

Probably because you entered a quadratic that didn't need the formula to solve.

Reply to this comment    8 March 2004, 19:38 GMT


Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
ti_is_good_++  Account Info

I used solve(ax^2+bx+c,x) and expected it to return the quadratic formula, which it didn't.

Reply to this comment    10 March 2004, 18:26 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Ben Cherry  Account Info
(Web Page)

But it doesnt really matter _how_ it solves the equation, the point is that it DOES, thus there is no need for more silly quad form programs.

Reply to this comment    11 March 2004, 06:13 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Ben Cherry  Account Info
(Web Page)

oh, after my other post i checked it on the calculator. It definitely did return the quadratic formula. You must have typed it in as:

solve(ax^2+bx+c=0,x)

you should have typed:

solve(a*x^2+b*x+c=0,x)

The calc will interpret ax and bx as whole variables, not two multiplied. So it wont even be able to find an x in the equation and it will not know what to do, because there is nothing to solve for.

Reply to this comment    11 March 2004, 06:17 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
ti_is_good_++  Account Info

I did the same thing you did. I guess I'll just reflash it and see if it was corrupted.

Reply to this comment    13 March 2004, 14:30 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
ti_is_good_++  Account Info

That did it. Slightly different, but basically the same, with the exception of sqrt(b^2-4ac) is sqrt(.25b^2-ac)

Reply to this comment    13 March 2004, 17:35 GMT

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