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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
C-14Physicist  Account Info

Not really directly related, but on the same topic. I think their should be a new quality category authors are rated on in their author profile. It could be a ratio of the number of downloads in the past seven days by the number of files the author has posted. So authors who dump many useless programs will be identifiable.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 03:15 GMT


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

How would that really work....we have to think realistically!?

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 03:18 GMT


Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
C-14Physicist  Account Info

The authors could then be ranked based on the resulting number. Someone who made 100 versions of absurdly pointless math programs that only gets 5 downloads a week would have a quality rating of .05 and be ranked far behind someone who has 10 really good games and gets 300 downloads a week with a quality rating of 30.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 03:28 GMT


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

"10 really good games" and "300 downloads a week"...that's only 30 per week which is generally a pretty crappy program (with some exceptions such as programs that have been up for years).

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 05:56 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
C-14Physicist  Account Info
(Web Page)

The programs that I have that have been up for years still get descent and consistent downloads.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 18:10 GMT


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

ImpQuest is a relatively crappy program (by me) and it gets 130 downloads a week.

Reply to this comment    9 March 2004, 04:09 GMT

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

Maybe part of the problem is the lack of standardization in programs. It makes it hard to judge a program when the set up is so different between them. What i mean is that every program should require a _descriptive_ screenshot that really captures the essence of the program, i.e. not just the title screen. Every program should also require a readme file in the zip that can be read in the browser like the current .txt ones. If you want a html readme thats okay, but you should complement it with a regular text file. And the readme shouldnt just repeat the description of the program, but should really do a good job describing the program and its features so it is easy to use. File descriptions should be screened to be unbiased and simple descriptions. Then the rating and sorting systems already discussed should be implemented.

The other thing I have to say is that we should not simply delete the bad programs. Every program uploaded (and accepted by my "standards") should be around for one year, and then if it is a truly worthless program the author should be contacted and offer consent for the deletion of the program. So in other words, every program is safe for a year, but then only if it is a "good"(as in not worthless or repetitive) program will it stay in the archives. As much as I would like for all of the programs to stay, it is unrealistic as the archives continue to grow.

Well, i hope not to write another lengthy discussion of my theory on this topic.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 04:17 GMT

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

so your saying if i made a basic program like this:
>
disp " "
>
and made 50 copies of it under diferent names, then put them all on the site, that my incredable magnifisant engenious (i just spelled 3 words in a row wrong) programs would be safe for a year?

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 04:34 GMT


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

yes, if you wrote a good description, a quality readme and made an accurate screenshot.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 04:53 GMT


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

I think the archivers would catch on.

Besides, there is a "request to be deleted" form, and it works too. Trust me, I know. I had to "censor" Kill Bin Laden because of it :)

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 21:29 GMT

Censor BinLadin?
Lewk  Account Info

That's stupid. Everyone hates him and if they don't they should be censored.

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 23:19 GMT

Re: Censor BinLadin?
Ben Cherry  Account Info
(Web Page)

It was clearly in violation of the site policies, both of these are given as in violation of the policies:
# Content depicting any real person besides the author
# Content promoting or depicting terrorism or racial/ethnic hatred

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 06:02 GMT


Re: Re: Censor BinLadin?
Lewk  Account Info

All right.

So if I made an educatoinal program about George Washington that would have to be censored because he was a real person?

Besides, the game is anti terrorism not pro terrorism. and as far as I can tell it didn't back any racial comments, only anti Osama BinLadin comments. How come this game got censored because in it you have to kill a well known teerorist. Heck, in Wolfenstein you have to kill Nazis and the game makes it pretty clear. It has all kinds of swasticas on the walls and half of the enemys have them on their backs! This is definitly not to say that Wolfenstein should be censored, its a great game. I'm just saying that your logic in censoring Bin Ladin is shaky at best.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 14:51 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Censor BinLadin?
Ben Cherry  Account Info
(Web Page)

I didnt censor it. I was just rationalizing it. I agree that it wasnt much of a problem and that i would be fine if it were still "kill bin laden." BTW, George Washington wasnt a _real_ person ;)

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 21:04 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Censor BinLadin?
Lewk Account Info

He's on my quarter.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 04:28 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Censor BinLadin?
jrock7286  Account Info

Really??? He's on MINE TOO!!! What a coincidence! All the other quarters I have though just hav a picture of a bald eagle... :( lol

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 06:00 GMT


Re: Censor BinLadin?
ti_is_good_++  Account Info

You would be surprised at how much grassroots support he has outside the US.

Reply to this comment    7 March 2004, 06:04 GMT


Re: ?
Lewk  Account Info

By the way, that is a heck of a lot of Re:'s

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 23:24 GMT


Re: Re: ?
joeman3429  Account Info

sorry, i did that, i hope it hasn't caused too much confusion......

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 00:48 GMT


Re: Re: The Quality of Our Archives
Adrian Anderson  Account Info

The only thing is, how do you determine a repetitive program? Sure, there are hundreds of "guess my number" games out there, but what about some of the others? How do you determine which triangle solver is the best and which are repetitive? I certainly wouldn't want my files pulled off the archives. Then again, mine have quality screenshots, .txt ReadMe's, and good descriptions... But still, how do you go about picking and choosing? I like the subfolders idea, and I think it could do a lot of good. Even better, a featured program subfolder...

Reply to this comment    5 March 2004, 05:03 GMT


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

I really dont want anything deleted, but it is unrealistic to keep it all. The most important thing is for beginners to have there programs around, which is why programs should be safe for a year. But then if someone has a worthless solver, it should be removed. Again, I dont like this, but i dont see a way around it in the future seeing as how ticalc is nonprofit. But, if the staff found a way to keep everything, then im all for keeping all programs around.

Reply to this comment    6 March 2004, 06:06 GMT

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