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GitLab MegaMod Project - All The Mods

AnprionsaAnprionsa Member Posts: 106
edited August 2018 in General Modding
Hello Everyone!

A little greetings are in order. I'm Anprionsa. I've played Baldur's Gate since I was a teenager back in 99. I've played and installed the game different times on a lot of computers. I've not always used this nickname, and I didn't always comment regardless of whatever username I chose to use. But ever since I found out about modding the game many many years ago I've always played with mods. I could never mod myself, as I'm just a terrible coder with a poor imagination, but I do like organizing. The current state of mods here is amazing and I'm glad I get to play all of your hard work on what may be one of my favorite games of all time.

That said, after my recent attempt at installing through the BWS or EE Install Tool and having different websites down or having files spread out all over the place, it got me thinking about something I could do to help organize the mods in a place that I could find out if a project was updated, search, or know if it was defunct. Now I couldn't build a website and do this, but I can use existing tools on other websites to help this. What I found was that GitHub had a lot of the mods and mod authors that had re-uploaded their work there (but not all!). I didn't want to use GitHub though as I didn't want to use the same platform. So I looked through everything and put together a very crude setup on GitLab that mirrored the work of over 200 mods and tools that I have checked (though at this current juncture I didn't realize that it was all set to private and I have to go back and set it all to public) from all sorts of mod authors. This will allow me personally to see if a mod has been updated as it mirrors the authors work. No one can edit this work or change it and I don't make any claims to the mods, everything is an exact copy that updates every hour.

What I'm looking for is all of the authors that have mods on SHS (which is currently down) or Gibberling (they have a lot of the mods on GitHub) to upload them and let me know when you have so I can mirror them in this giant list of searchable content that can be used by the whole community.

I'm also not able to do this all myself, so if anyone would like to help "maintain" this list, please let me know. I come in and out of community work like this and know that I won't always be around, but would like to know if others can be involved to help.

Perhaps this is an awful idea and people won't want to have it, but I was making it for myself anyway and thought I would share it with all of you.


You'll see this list update as I turn the mods from private to public.

Post edited by Anprionsa on
Wilbur
«1

Comments

  • WilburWilbur Member Posts: 1,173
    That is an absolutely brilliant idea. I'm currently struggling with the fact that SHS is down (so BWS isn't working) and I can't start playing the game after a longish brake.

    Anprionsa
  • AnprionsaAnprionsa Member Posts: 106
    @Wilbur

    Thanks! I'm hoping to get in contact with as many mod authors as possible in order to have their work preserved. It seems to be all over the place with some of it here and some of it on SHS, Gibberlings, or any number of other places.

  • ALIENALIEN Member Posts: 1,140
    Agree with previous posts. It's perfect example how to use great service in bad and harmful for the players and modders way. You didn't think about the consequences, did you? You cannot ignore problems which others mentioned. I hope that you already see that what you did brings more bad then good. Think it through and act accordingly.

    JuliusBorisovContemplative_HamsterRavenslight
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,618
    @Anprionsa As this forum's admin, I strongly ask you to listen to modders, and act according to the feedback provided by 6 modders in this thread.

    Contemplative_HamsterLavaDelVortelRavenslight
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    I get your feeling bro, and I know your intention is good, but I'll join the "not a good idea", even not being half the modder that the other fellows are.

    Artemius explained well the problem: logistics. Your mirror will be soon or later outdated and it would reflect as problems to us modders.

    The hardest part of modding is not build, but support and everything that has the chance of making this harder will not be welcome by the modding community.

    I had one situation in my own Github page where a player made a download between uploads and had an issue. And I'm talking about a three minutes window between he/she finishing his/hers download and I finishing my upload, so your project really could make situation like those happen more frequently and in a larger scale.

    It would be wise to shut down this project.

    LavaDelVortel
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,415
    Raduziel said:

    I had one situation in my own Github page where a player made a download between uploads and had an issue. And I'm talking about a three minutes window between he/she finishing his/hers download and I finishing my upload, so your project really could make situation like those happen more frequently and in a larger scale.

    @Raduziel - That's why I use GitHub's releases functionality. Any downloads of "master.zip" are at the user's peril. :wink:

    AnprionsaRaduziel
  • AnprionsaAnprionsa Member Posts: 106
    (As a note before I begin, I have respected the wishes of the people in this thread, it has been taken private to only myself).

    I must say that this response has been very disappointing. Please allow me to apologize if this has come across as brash or offensive to any of you. Also, allow me the opportunity to explain my reasoning and probe your concerns.

    @jastey The mods that I have mirrored, I tried to the best of my ability (as I am one person), were the only ones that I could find on GitHub. I understand that mistakes happen, but this was far from a "first version". And like any modder would know, it was bound to be very buggy from the get go. This was one of the reasons I reached out. I tried to reach out with some progress already made, but I can see that it wasn't taken well.

    This isn't the same as say PPG or any other self hosted website. I don't have to re-upload the files every time there is a change as it links directly to the modders own GitHub source, there are no changes that can be made on my end that affect that source. As long as the modder has his GitHub source there isn't a chance of having a different version then the one they produce. I used PPG a long time ago, I remember.

    Finally, I was hoping to have the help of the community and making it a project we all could invest in. It seems reasonable to have a place where I can go to find mods. Currently I must use either these forums and if they are hosted here, SHS, Gibberling, Sorcerers, Dropbox (if they are not hosted anywhere else or if they are but that site is down prompting numerous requests), or personal websites. Doesn't that seem a bit much for the lay person who would just like to find them? And honestly the modders response here in this thread has been made clear here, but the response from those who aren't has been more positive.

    @argent77 I can see the concern for having mods that aren't updated. But the mirrored mods are updated automatically with no input from me. They are directly linked in every fashion. There should be no confusion at all with the end user. They are not mirrored in the traditional sense of being rehosted, this is a copy that is updated by the source modders own GitHub.

    @Artemius_I The concern is noted, but I'm not sure anyone has actually looked at what was done? Other than the few places were I have mistakenly used the wrong source (which is amendable), there is no chance of having an old version

    @LavaDelVortel I have not uploaded any mods from other websites at all. That is a step too far in my opinion, which is why I have not done that, but asked if it was possible. As I have laid out above, the reasoning is to make it easier for others who may want to use your mods but doesn't know where or if they are the latest version. Or if they are they can't get them because websites are down.

    @ALIEN Honestly what consequences are we talking about?

    @CamDawg I honestly respect that opinion, which is why as I stated first and foremost I have made it private for myself only. But 1) I never claimed it was my own work, my name isn't anywhere on those mods, it links directly to the owners own Git and always updates from their source. 2) Once again it links to their source directly, any update they make can be seen, this isn't a re-uploaded thing, it's directly linked. However, I don't want toes stepped on.

    Finally, I must say that I was hoping for more collaboration from the people who do mod. I can understand wanting to stay loyal to certain websites. Those places have been around a long time and communities have formed. But realistically when a site like SHS is down for this long on many different occasions, surely you can see how that can be frustrating for players, like myself, who have a bit of time and use a service like BWS only to find that it doesn't work because the downloads are all over the place?

    I don't want to step on any toes, and none of this is meant as anything but a love letter to all the great modders here. Please take anything I've said above as nothing but. I'm actually genuine in my earnestness, and I hope that perhaps we can see what I'm wanting to have done here, even if we don't agree.

    Nostariel
  • ALIENALIEN Member Posts: 1,140
    edited August 2018
    @Anprionsa

    Well, you should start with big red remarks: "I'm not mirroring mods, this is only a list of links". Even I didn't know that such "linking" was possible for GitLab. Every people who read this thread were thinking that you just "cloned" github repos. If all purpose of this project is to have "yet another link list" then we have already several threads with links. Can you please exmplain what/how it's different when player check forum thread vs he checks gitlab?

    Also, what if pleople will start posting issues for eg here: .../Installers/BigWorldSetup/issues
    I don't want to check and monitor yet another site.

    Post edited by ALIEN on
  • AnprionsaAnprionsa Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2018
    @ALIEN

    Links are one thing, a searchable database is another.

    It seems that I can't change the project name and have it break the link, unfortunate. I've deleted it from my post to stop linking from here (if you could do the same thanks).

    I'm not quite sure what the issue is there. If someone links to the GitLab site then it would just be clicking the link to the original GitHub host? The issues don't change, the mirror updates every hour and everything is the exact same? Permissions on GitLab can be done in a way that prevents users from posting their issues there and instead can be instructed to go to the source to make an issues known to the creator.

    Having a list here and other places would simply be used, in my mind, as a database that updates without interaction from anyone (except where an author stops updating and someone else picks it up, but even in that scenario, they would have to let everyone know anyway.

    Edit: So for that particular mod where you can have issues reported (and once again this was a test to see if people would want something like this, I never claimed this was a final version, which is why I asked for help) if you turn on that permission. If you check that link again (please delete it afterwards) you can see that you can no longer report issues there. It's a simple fix.

    NostarielLoldrup
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716

    Raduziel said:

    I had one situation in my own Github page where a player made a download between uploads and had an issue. And I'm talking about a three minutes window between he/she finishing his/hers download and I finishing my upload, so your project really could make situation like those happen more frequently and in a larger scale.

    @Raduziel - That's why I use GitHub's releases functionality. Any downloads of "master.zip" are at the user's peril. :wink:
    I would send it to you through a PM, but apparently it is not possible.

    Can you explain how do I use this function?

    Thanks.

  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 3,420
    Raduziel said:

    @Raduziel - That's why I use GitHub's releases functionality. Any downloads of "master.zip" are at the user's peril. :wink:

    I would send it to you through a PM, but apparently it is not possible.
    See the 'Making a Release' section of my shiny, new A Basic Modder's Guide to Git and Github tutorial.

    RaduzielAstroBryGuy
  • ALIENALIEN Member Posts: 1,140
    edited August 2018
    @Anprionsa The issue is that you didn't comunicate the "link instead of clone/mirror" feature strongly enough. I hope that now it's clear that it isn't the case but humans are only humans. I suggest you to abandon this topic and start a new one where you start with big red info "i'm not cloning/mirroring any mods/files!"

    It seems that when you do a proper configuration, the problem which I mention is no more.

    But still, my question is:
    Links are one thing, a searchable database is another.

    what's different between searching gitlab project page vs searching nice topic at the community boards like this:
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/50340/bg-ee-2-0-and-siege-of-dragonspear-compatible-mods/p1
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/34882/list-of-bg2ee-compatible-mods/p1
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/64948/list-of-ui-mods

    Maybe I'm missing something, like the thing with "gitlab links"?

  • AnprionsaAnprionsa Member Posts: 106
    @ALIEN

    Hey Alien, great question. First off I love your work and am looking forward to your new projects that you've mentioned.

    One of the biggest things about this is that I want it to be collaborative. I do not want the only control of what this could be. I want it to be something that mod authors have direct access to, not as something to update, but just as a community project.

    The problem with lists on forums is that the creator can't give permission to update his post on the main page. There is no "organization" into folders, tags, or types.

    One of the main benefits of using something like GitLab (besides the mirror effect to the original) is that you can have tags that are searchable, if something isn't organized right it can be. Also it's search capability is far superior to a forum.

    Each and every mod could be catalogued in a way not done before without the limitation of older versions like PPG or other hosted websites or forums. It would be easy and searchable.

    Perhaps I'm overtly naive, but it's what I think could be amazing, which is why I've tried, even if it fails.

    I've given you access to look things over and see what you think. Any thoughts or comments would be most welcome.

    Nostariel
  • AnprionsaAnprionsa Member Posts: 106
    @CamDawg

    Thank you for this well thought out response. I absolutely agree with everything you've said.

    I completely understand that this list will be incomplete. It can't be complete.

    Nothing would please me more than having the following scenario occur:

    I hope that this becomes successful so that people can go to GitLab and search for a mod. That mod links directly (and is always updated with the latest version) to the original GitHub (or other Git repository) source.

    Usually I've noticed that mod authors will have links to various websites so that their mods can be discussed. I don't dismiss using communities as "site loyalty and/or self promotion". I welcome it. Mods need to be discussed in order to improve and be noticed and be integrated with other mods. It's what makes a game like Baldur's Gate last as long as it has.

    What I don't like is that when I do want to play and the list of mods that aren't available due to down time make it impossible, or that I need to search many different websites for the links there only to find it gone. This can be down right frustrating.

    What I hope is that mod authors here and other places can recognize that dilemma.

    Let me have an example (to the best of my ability).

    Let's say that I am successful (along with I hope many others that contribute). On Gibberling, SHS (if it's up), Beamdog, or personal websites (whichever they feel most comfortable with) people have the "discussion" of their mods. But instead of linking to a download hosted on their website, they link to their "personal" GitHub, where they list the other websites they have discussions on or where they talk about how to use it, etc... On each one of those websites we also see the "Mod" list that I've talked about. People click on it and see all the mods available. They search, but can't edit this list or the mods therein, that list links only to the direct GitHub acccount which links to the discussion. The only thing this list will do is allow the community to know MORE about which mods are available, which mods have been updated recently. Old mods could be archived and still available (but listed as such), and sorted by tags and other features.

    Is this a long shot? Sure. It's work. But it's the only work I'm capable of because I can't mod well enough. But I can try this. Which is why I'd love to have each and every modder be apart of this. In some fashion. Each modder could be given permissions to make sure that this "community" project could succeed in a way that nothing before it could have.

    Loldrup
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,903
    edited August 2018
    The link [Link removed] is still full public.

    Maybe you should have started by asking modders for their interest and consent before linking all the projects. Just a note: you also have several links in there to inofficial mod versions / mirrors. Collaborating with the authors / forum admins would prevent such things to happen.

    I want it to be something that mod authors have direct access to
    No, thank you. I have mods on two different forums and some on GitHub, as well. My aim is to keep all of those up-to-date. I do not need another place I have to monitor.
    But it updates automatically, you might say. Well, for the linked repositories maybe. But it also happens that a modder gives up maintenance. Thinking that they inform the community is naive at best. All modders I know who stopped modding where convinced they'd be back, until time showed that RL took them away forever.
    Another modder might take over the mod - fork the original rep and updates it there. So, to keep your project up-to-date someone needs to monitor the mod repositories and change links accordingly. Which leads us to the exact same situation of every link list we ever had in the community: someone might do it for a while, then burn out, and then it's another outdated list to confuse players. You can't start such a project without the consent of the modders and think it will somehow keep iteself updated. It is naive to think that this time with this project all modders and lots of players will start working on keeping such a project up-to-date for years.

    A start would be to make only repository links public of which the official mod authors/maintainers gave consent. But, really - if you want to spent time in providing an up-to-date mod list, please ask ALIEN where he needs help with updating links in BWS.

    And do what you also mentioned and convince modders to upload their mods to a GitHub rep. If you manage to convince more modders to do that you do players more good than with this over-ambitious link project.

    (I need to add here that projects like these do not help in convincing modders to use GitHub for their mods, though. Noone likes the feeling of loosing control over one's work.)

    Loldrup
  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 3,420
    Anprionsa said:

    Let's say that I am successful (along with I hope many others that contribute). On Gibberling, SHS (if it's up), Beamdog, or personal websites (whichever they feel most comfortable with) people have the "discussion" of their mods. But instead of linking to a download hosted on their website, they link to their "personal" GitHub, where they list the other websites they have discussions on or where they talk about how to use it, etc... On each one of those websites we also see the "Mod" list that I've talked about. People click on it and see all the mods available. They search, but can't edit this list or the mods therein, that list links only to the direct GitHub acccount which links to the discussion. The only thing this list will do is allow the community to know MORE about which mods are available, which mods have been updated recently. Old mods could be archived and still available (but listed as such), and sorted by tags and other features.

    Right, and this is already happening. G3 has been trying to push as much as possible to Github; if you go through the 'official' links in our download center they'll link to releases on Github, if they exist.

    I agree the lack of a mod list is frustrating, especially with the proliferation of folks who have been posting small little mods all over the forums/Mega/whatever. Personally I'd rather see something like PPG's modlist revived. Short of that, we already have a pretty comprehensive, well-maintained list of mods: BWS itself. Ask @ALIEN how easy it is to maintain. :)

  • AnprionsaAnprionsa Member Posts: 106
    @jastey

    I understand that it is. I'd have to change the visibility of each mod in the subgroup as I can't batch command them to public/private visibility. Barring that option for now until I can change each mod, please delete the link to limit visibility. Please also understand that by doing so I'm trying to wait and see how mod authors respond.

    Now, digging into your post.

    This is still in it's infancy obviously. I obviously expected that it may take convincing some to upload their work and make it more public.

    You do not need to monitor GitLab. You make it seem that you will have to do that. As long as you keep your Gits up to date there isn't a need for you to monitor it. You also say that you have mods spread over many different sites to begin with and then later say I need to convince mod authors to come to github (or any git repository really, if you don't like GitHub thats fine, use another). If I can't convince you to do it, does it really matter? I understand this may be a hump issue. Where if I can get some to cross over perhaps you will too.

    Forking and Archived mods are the only REAL issue. But giving permission to a community of modders that can easily update that in the long run isn't that big of a problem in my opinion.

    One more question. How does this project dissuade mod authors from going to GitHub? They don't lose control through this list, only make the mods easier to find.

    NostarielLoldrup
  • AnprionsaAnprionsa Member Posts: 106
    @CamDawg

    Yeah I've visited their GitHub page and am quite happy to see it like that. I wish other places did the same.

    I can definitely feel for @ALIEN the amount of work needed to keep that maintained is daunting. But I believe it's daunting because it's hard to keep it maintained with downed websites. PPG was great for it's day, but having to re-upload each time a mod is updated is tedious. Having complete control of it yourself is better. Having a "links" page is simply there to help others FIND the mods and see if they are updated.

    Once again I'm not a modder. I can't do that stuff. But I can help "maintain" a list of mods. I can empower and open it up to everyone that wants to help (preferably community staff and modders) so that the list is well maintained, but without needing to do much besides making sure that forked versions are the right ones.

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,903
    How does this project dissuade mod authors from going to GitHub?
    The knowledge that there is a link to a repository that might get outdated if I do not maintain it any longer is enough for me, thank you. Because the time that happens, you will be gone as well and the GitLab links won't be updated to whoever takes over my mods.

    But giving permission to a community of modders that can easily update that in the long run isn't that big of a problem in my opinion.
    Only that non of these modders you so generously include into your working plan did actually ask you to give them more work for updating their mod downloads.

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,903
    edited August 2018
    I can definitely feel for @ALIEN the amount of work needed to keep that maintained is daunting. But I believe it's daunting because it's hard to keep it maintained with downed websites.
    No, it's keeping the links updated is the problem - which will be the same for your project, believe me.
    But I can help "maintain" a list of mods. I can empower and open it up to everyone that wants to help (preferably community staff and modders) so that the list is well maintained
    Two respected modders (if I may call myself that) independently suggested you spend that energy into helping keeping BWS's link list up-to-date.

  • AnprionsaAnprionsa Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2018
    @jastey

    I fail to see how I have given any more work. They don't have to do anything. The only permission (if they wanted) was to be apart, not to maintain.

    The link cannot be outdated as long as your git is updated. It automatically syncs with the modders repository without any need for them to do anything. This is only a problem if they stop actively developing their mod. In that scenario we would have a contingency of either moving it to an archive or finding the fork (which I'm sure people on any forum will happily relay to me or whoever has control of it).

    I don't want full control. That's a recipe for disaster. It could collapse if I ever left it. Giving it to a variety of people is the better solution. Crowdsourced.

    Scenario 1) You leave, your mods don't get picked up by anyone. Archived if they are no longer working properly.

    Scenario 2) You leave, your mods get picked up. People on the forums notice this, ask for the link to be updated. The crowdsourced link section gets updated.

    It just isn't possible to keep a link list up to date when one of the largest hosting sites keeps going down. Which is why I don't have any issue advocating for GitHub or any other repository to be the sole way for things like this to be taken care of.

    Things like BWS are not the same as this list. Some mods will NEVER be apart of BWS. For many reasons. Having an individual list of mods isn't a bad idea.

    Nostariel
  • Contemplative_HamsterContemplative_Hamster Member Posts: 844
    edited August 2018
    Anprionsa said:

    @jastey

    I fail to see how I have given any more work. They don't have to do anything.

    A number of very respected, highly productive, veteran modders have had to spend significant time dissuading you from doing what you want to do, and yet you come back, time and time again, with a new angle that they then have to take apart in order to defend their work and the way they work. THAT is how you have given them more work, and you haven't even started doing the thing you want to do and they want you to not do. Now imagine how much work it'll be for them to keep up with the various demands, feedback, out-of-date versions, bug reports, etc. if you go ahead against their stated wishes, as several modders have explained at length.

    Srsly. Just stop. This is not how they wish to operate. You have no standing to demand, cajole, or flatter them into doing so.


  • AnprionsaAnprionsa Member Posts: 106
    @Contemplative_Hamster

    Significant time? What? Having a discussion on the merits of this project is hardly wasting time. Everything you just said was wrong. There isn't any work that needs to be done by mod authors to support this. It's a link, that's all. They need do nothing if they so wish. If they don't want to be apart then I will never open this up again. That's their decision. I've even asked they take down the links they've posted.

    Perhaps you've failed to read everything here as well. Some aren't as opposed as others. Some have misunderstood how this would work. And others have been far more open to talking and discussing this with me then merely demanding that I stop. Which only yourself and jastey have done.

    Nostariel
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