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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
Michael George  Account Info

I believe that if you have to do anything, you should organize the folders into more sub-folders. This would be the easiest way to take care of this problem. Just deleting files you don't like would make a lot of people mad and the rating system that was suggested would be more trouble than it's worth. So if some action must be taken, you should organize the folders into more sub-folders.

Reply to this comment    4 March 2004, 23:51 GMT


Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
X1011  Account Info
(Web Page)

I don't like too many sub-folders, it's too hard to click through all of them. We should do ratings, or "bad" folders.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:08 GMT


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

I agree that clicking through the sub-folders is annoying, so why not just make something like drop-down menus to access them, instead of going through separate pages?

I think a ratings system would be okay as well, except that not many people will take the time to rate programs, even if it just means pressing two buttons.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:36 GMT

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

ARRG! I hate drop down menus!

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 03:30 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Travis Evans  Account Info

It might work to have an index that lists more than one category at once in an outline for those who don't mind longer index pages. Then you wouldn't have to go through as many levels of pages.

For instance, after selecting a calculator:

* asm
- games
o category 1
o category 2
...
- shells
...

* basic
- games
...
...

But it might result in longer pages, which might mean you'd have to have two versions of the index for those who don't like really long pages. And it might be harder to maintain unless the pages are generated with a script.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 14:14 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Travis Evans  Account Info

Oops, the post script deletes leading spaces. Well, it's a good thing I used different styles of bullets for each level. Hopefully you get the idea.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 14:16 GMT


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

Yeah. Remember to use ALT+0160, if it still works.

Level 1,
 Level 2,
  Level 3.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 20:44 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
X1011  Account Info
(Web Page)

I was thinking something like that too.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 00:45 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
molybdenum  Account Info

I say 2 and 3, so junk can be weeded out before screenshotters (sorry, I just don't have much time) have to take pictures, and so people can find out which games, I mean programs, are good. I always have hated the volume of "basic OSes" and "do it all math programs". I could be wrong, but afaik those two categories are nearly useless.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:09 GMT

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

whoops, that's 1 and 2

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:12 GMT

¤
burntfuse  Account Info

Yeah, those are 2 categories of programs that I REALLY hate, along with the quadratic and equation solvers. ;-)

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 15:29 GMT


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

"basic OSes" are kind of useful, but use Mirage or something.

"do it all math programs" are at least better than QuadForm programs.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 20:46 GMT

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

I'd love to know who'd take the time to sift through the current archive to throw away all the crappy programs and whatnot...even more so, how long would it take? The 83+ Basic games alone has over 2000 files...

Maybe what might be a delaying tactic is have pages for the sections. Rather than display them all on 1 page, break it down like alphabetically. That would decrease page load times and wouldn't be that hard to do. Maybe even have selections to sort alphabetically, date added, # of downloads, etc.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:12 GMT


Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Patrick Prendergast  Account Info

I think that categorising stuff a little more is a good idea. Although it may take some time to sieve through everything.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:14 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Sam Brotherton Account Info

I strongly agree with all the ideas (except the last one!) I think that the sub-directory idea would be especially useful. That way you could just click on games/rpg, instead of scrolling through a million guess the number games.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:20 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
yankee0304  Account Info

I like the second and third options equally. I think that a rating system should be put into place and that the filing system should have sub-categories for different types of games/programs.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 00:51 GMT

Moderation?
nicklaszlo Account Info
(Web Page)

I definitely think things shouldn't be deleted. Maybe a slashdot like moderation system should be implemented. Let long-time users who have uploaded and comented get an occational point, which they can use to raise or lower a program's rating. Then let ordinary users set a threshold for which ratings apear and which don't. There would be a way for moderators to list programs in the order they were added to the archive, so new files wouldn't be neglected.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 01:00 GMT

Final decision
nicklaszlo Account Info
(Web Page)

Who makes a final decision on this? Staff? Archive editors? A poll? Should we have a realtime chat conference to discuss it? We could spend a long time deciding how to decide. <Place endless loop here.>

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 01:02 GMT


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

Don't know yet, however we strongly suggest you vote on the survey.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 19:39 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Joe Pinsonault  Account Info

I'm not sayin it would be easy, but what about labeling all the files with their rating and # of downloads, etc....... then letting the user decide which way he wants to view the archives, whether by name, date, rating, downloads. so you could click on "ti-89", "asm", "games", then they can choose to sort it however they want. that way theres no grumbling over what way is chosen to sort the files.

Like Burger King say's, "Have it your way"

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 01:04 GMT

Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Lonely TZacs  Account Info

I believe that you should go to sub-groups. Not everone likes the same games, so we need to seperate the games by their gameplay so people would be on a straighter line to finding a game the would like. The way we have the TI-83+ Basic Games list, no one could find a game they would like because people make different gameplays to the same game, like Tic-Tac-Toe, there has to be 10 different downloads for the same basic game, and that takes up alot of room. Also the game-makers dont put a picture or two, or even a description, how could we tell what the game looks like. There could be a bug on it, thats why people should put a description on the game. So I believe we should create sub-groups and look at the program before we put it on the website to make sure we dont have 100 downloads for the same game.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 01:08 GMT


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

If we begin to delete programs off of the server, then at the same time we will be breaking down the very principles from which this site was created. To judge a program based on its worth would be a hard proposition. This is because a program created by a beginner programmer might not be as good as those created later in his/her programming career.(personally I started with the small programs) Most all of the members on ticalc.org have at one time started with the elementary programs. Although I do agree with deleting highly repetitive programs with a review board committee.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 01:20 GMT

Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
joeman3429  Account Info

I, being one of the begginer programmers, find it very nice to be able to put my programs on here. it makes you feel like you accomplished something, and it encourages you to make more (better) programs. I say this partly because i am one of the people that made yet another quadratic solver {the program has other usefull things of course} : )

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 01:29 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Sam Brotherton Account Info

I partly agree with you. I think that beginners should be able to upload programs, but they should have a low rating so as not to clutter up the archives. Definitely, a programmer should not be penalized for having bad programs. I uploaded a quadratic solver program over a year ago, but now I am much better, and I do not want to have my rating lowered because I uploaded when I was still learning.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 01:52 GMT

The Quality of Our Archives
NEO3.14  Account Info

Thank you! A few people who partially agree with me! (See above)

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 02:21 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
rpgmaster01 Account Info

We shouldn't delete the "junk" programs at all. Why? A person who has just started programming will probably have bad programs. As they improve, the programs get better. Often times, I have looked back to when I was still learning BASIC in 7th grade. I thought that those "arena" games that I made were awesome. Now... I think that it's a pathetic. However, without this first step, SOME beginner programmers may stop programming due to repeated program rejections.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 15:12 GMT


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

Um, what are the basic principles of which this site was created?

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 14:17 GMT


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

To answer frequently asked questions about ZShell. :-D

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 05:01 GMT


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

That's the point I was making. This site was created by zshell and does not have a lofty purpose like the poster I responded to was insinuating.

Reply to this comment    8 March 2004, 19:21 GMT

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