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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
Enchanted Coders  Account Info
(Web Page)

I like options 2 and 3. I think #1 will cause lots of arguments - it seems like more trouble than it's worth. #2 would help deal with the excess junk, and #3 would help people find the good stuff more easily. I think #2 and #3 would work well together.

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 23:04 GMT

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

I fully agree. A simple rating system would be great. You could do like a 5 star system or something, and on the file info page put a box labeled "Help Others, Rate This Game" or something. It would have 5 stars and you click the rating and then it sends it in and leaves you on the file info page for the program. Then just average all of the ratings. Advanced sorting methods would be in order as well. Option 3 is a good idea, but i know that some people just want to find a good game, and not any specific type. So you should be able to view the entire game directory, or in subcategories, and you should be able to sort it all by average rating, # of ratings, etc. I think over time this will really get the archives better organized without deleting programs. I dont like the idea of deleting programs, but eventually it will probably have to happen. So we can prepare for that time now by starting a rating system. In a year or two we will need to clear out the archives and can use the ratings to guide decisions. Until then, lets start rating and sorting.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 02:04 GMT


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

ahh.. but 5 whole stars, or would it support partial stars, and then, only halves and wholes, or thrids as well? decisions, decisions..

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 02:28 GMT

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

it really doesnt matter. It could be any number of points. a ten point system might be more accurate, but also harder to decide on a rating.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 02:42 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
no_one_2000_  Account Info
(Web Page)

While we're on the subject of pieces of stars, I say that somebody gives me pi stars ;-)

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


Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
no_one_2000_  Account Info
(Web Page)

I completely agree with you.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 21:19 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Michael McElroy Account Info
(Web Page)

I think that a combination of a ratings system and further category subdivisions would be very helpful.

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 23:10 GMT

Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Konrad Meyer  Account Info
(Web Page)

agreed... options #2 and #3

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 23:37 GMT


Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Matthew Marshall  Account Info
(Web Page)

I highly agree!

MWM

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 03:24 GMT


¤
burntfuse  Account Info

Yes, that would be good. Even though the ratings can be inaccurate, you could require 20 before they're displayed or something. I used to support the archiver screening, because the archivers would be less biased, but that could get people who upload pointless progs angry at the archivers if their files are deleted.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 15:21 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
ti_guy  Account Info

I like option number 3. You wouldn't need to delete people's files but it would still be organized.

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 23:17 GMT


Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
MaxReviewer14 Account Info
(Web Page)

I agree. It isn't fair that peoples program get deleted. The directories should get more specific. There should be board games, card games, shoot-em up games, etc. That would help in searching for good program of a specific category. Some people look for board game while others look for card games. It takes me hours to find a card game or a shoot-em up game. This would allow people to search much faster.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 03:31 GMT

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

Shooting games should definitly have their own folder because I like them and I am selvish.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 04:28 GMT


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

Still, the archives are going to eventually fill up and files will have to be deleted sometime.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 19:34 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Morgan Davies  Account Info
(Web Page)

Well we did just get that new server...lots more space. So it might be a while before they fill up.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 06:34 GMT


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

So right now it looks like you have 140 GB of hard disk space. How many GB of files do you have?

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 20:17 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Matt M Account Info

Since download statistics obviously indicate what is the best/most popular, why not simplly sort all the pages by number of downloads, most to least.

I also saw someone suggesting the deletion of files that are un-completed demos that have never been finished. I like that idea too.

$0.02

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

Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Matt M Account Info

oh, yah--
Also, we should not delete things, just move the things down to the bottom of the page where fewer people look. Besides, it's not even completely sorted alaphabetically, by date, by size, or any other logical thing that I can tell.

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 23:25 GMT

Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Andy Kukwa Account Info

They're all sorted by the zip file name, and sorting files instead by popularity would be a great idea.

And if a program is an unfinished, 3-year-old demo, the author probably wouldn't mind if it is deleted.

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 23:36 GMT


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

What if the author has been working on it for 3 years? I released Monoply a year ago and am still working on it.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:48 GMT


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

You could update the demo every once in a while so that it is known that you haven't forgotten about it.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 05:54 GMT

Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Konrad Meyer  Account Info
(Web Page)

its alphabetically (by ascii number for non-alphabetic characters) by filename

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 23:38 GMT


Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
mike White Account Info

but if a good program starts off on a bad foot it could never be brought up

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

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

ARRGGG!!! Number of downloads does not indicate popularity!!! You have to download it before you know if it sucks! Suppose someone downloads it because it has a nice description but the program is stupid so it just sits there on their computer, it still counted as a download even though the person that downloaded it hates it! I wish you people would think once in a while! Download statistics obviously do NOT indicate popularity!!! What are you people? Insane?!?

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 23:54 GMT

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

sorry if i offended anyone but my point still stands

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 23:55 GMT

Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Umm... Yup Account Info
(Web Page)

Yeah. And files farther down alphabetically may not get as many downloads just because people don't want to scroll through the entire list of programs.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:22 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
no_one_2000_  Account Info
(Web Page)

I thought about that, but the more I think about it, that's probably not as true as it seems.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 21:23 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Matt M Account Info

VERY TRUE**

I know I will do CTRL+F and search for what I'm looking for. I don't scroll through the whole thing.

Example: If I want a program that's a game, I'll search for somthing like "fast" or "graphic"

Reply to this comment    8 March 2004, 20:57 GMT


¤
burntfuse  Account Info

VERY true.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 15:24 GMT

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

This is why if we mix it with a rating system it would work. I say let a file sit there for at least one year (so all programs can go though the August back-to-school download session) and then a rating of at least 50% would let you stay in the archives. Of course that file's stats would have to be reset every year to make sure it's a good program year after year, but lets say after 5,000+ downloads and a rating of 75% or better and you can be permanently in.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:27 GMT


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

Amen!

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 19:38 GMT


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

But then, once everyone has the program, its stats will be low for the following years. Just because noone downloads it anymore means it's no good anymore.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 05:57 GMT

¤
burntfuse  Account Info

Yeah, that would cause unfair deletion.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 15:24 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Morgan Davies  Account Info
(Web Page)

Not true...my very hated series of physics solving programs has been at a steady pace for around 2 years now, they haven't seemed to slow down yet and they are BASIC science programs.

I think that point is flawed.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 04:09 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
jrock7286  Account Info

I LOVED those programs when I was in physics! If we implement the rating system, I will DEFINITELY give them 5 stars! or 5 digits of PI, 5 smily faces or whatever...but thanks for those programs...they were a great help, and got my through my physics class with the teacher from hell who didn't know a magnet from a light bulb...

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 05:43 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Morgan Davies  Account Info
(Web Page)

That actually makes me feel pretty good. Thanks!

Most of them in in BASIC, but 1/4 of them are in ASM, but the stats hold true to those as well.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 06:37 GMT

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

Like I said above, it is fair if people can "undo" a download.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:55 GMT


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

Few people would bother, and a rating system is more accurate either way.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 20:36 GMT

Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
no_one_2000_  Account Info
(Web Page)

Um, yes, downloads do indicate popularity, for the most part.

Besides, if you REALLY don't know if a program is good or not from the screenshots, the documentation, and the reviews, then most people wouldn't download it anyway.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 21:22 GMT


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

Would you please idicate for the apparently less informed how doanloads indicat popularity.

I can write great documentation for a patheticly stupid program. Several programs don't have screenshots (at least not ones that tell you much) or reveiws.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 23:07 GMT

¤
burntfuse  Account Info

I agree completely!!!! Number of downloads has almost NOTHING to do with program quality. ZTetris has a huge number of downloads, but so do a lot of the junky BASIC math programs.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 15:23 GMT

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

I agree with you. However, it would be fairly simple to set up a system whereby you could sort by downloads OR alphabet OR ratings OR date OR whatever. So if you dont want to sort by downloads you dont have to, but those people who do want to can.

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


Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Joey Gannon  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yeah! Number of downloads has NOTHING to do with the quality of a program. Look at ZShell, for instance. *ducks*

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 04:59 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Morgan Davies  Account Info
(Web Page)

Man that post definately needs to be deleted before Magnus and Dan see that...man that's called taking a risk with your job :-)

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 06:39 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Joey Gannon  Account Info
(Web Page)

You know I have the utmost respect for those guys... I even met Dan last summer. ZShell is an absolutely incredible piece of work, considering it was written before you kids had all these nice, easy tools like TASM, and TI-released .inc files.

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


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

In my day, we didn't have hand-held calculators. We had to do addition on our fingers. To subtract, we had to have some fingers amputated. :-)

Reply to this comment    8 March 2004, 02:46 GMT


Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Justin McKinley Account Info

Sorting programs by downloads, or rating, if that is put into effect, sounds like a good idea to me. As to unfinished programs, I think adding a "demos" directory would be better then deletion.

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

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