#37648 by Tracy Poff
28 Nov 2013, 00:58
28 Nov 2013, 00:58
Of course my reasoning isn't that we're going to fill our server up with too many images or whatever. Rather, screenshots of a web page aren't as useful as a (durable) link to the actual webpage, and saving a webpage isn't as simple as just saving the HTML or whatever. People like the Internet Archive have great expertise at archiving web pages, and they're likely to do a better job of it than we are.MZ per X wrote:Here, I disagree.
Static content delivery is cheap, and easily scaled, so I don't see why we should make Oregami dependent on other online ressources, as durable as they might be. Especially when it comes to sources, which are a very important part of our goals of transparency and scientific approach, but not very often downloaded at the same time, there's no good reason to send people somewhere else, I think.
On the contrary, I'd argue that much more important than avoiding duplication is making the data more readily available. If a screenshot of credits is valuable as a source, then it's valuable, period, and there's no reason we shouldn't include such a screenshot with others. If a screenshot of the options screen of a game confirms that it supports 16:9 and 4:3 (for 'tech specs' or however we might store that info), I also think that people might just want to see the options screen for themselves--I know it's often the first place I look when starting a game, and there are rarely screenshots available.MZ per X wrote:While I can see the value in your suggestions, avoiding redundant data being the most important, I'd still vote for the source data being independent from any other data.
Box scans, screenshots, manual scans, whatever. If they were useful as a source for our data, someone might find them useful in and of themselves, and I think we'd do a service by ensuring that they're available wherever someone might expect to find them, rather than 'hidden away', relative to more foregrounded data.
All that said...
This is an important point. All the good intentions in the world won't save us if they make the process difficult for contributors. I don't let the practical concerns about contributing go far from my mind, I assure you. My thoughts are something like this: if all we have are low-quality screenshots to verify some data, that's unfortunate, but certainly no reason to reject the data. Later, though, someone might take better screenshots, at which point these better screenshots could replace the lower-quality ones as a source to verify the data. And, if those screenshots were of sufficient quality, we might as well store them right along with all other screenshots.MZ per X wrote:This independence will save us from quite some problems, the main problem being turning off people like Jotaro Raido who are only interested in a certain part of the data (credits in his case). The quality of source material for credits contributions doesn't need to be high, only the text needs to be readable, I once even used a camera to shoot Nintendo DS credits, or people use to paste dozens of credits screenshots together into a single one to better handle it. I see the danger that these contributors are then told to provide standard quality scans and shots for introduction into the covers or screenshots section of Oregami, then use the source link facility to save space, which would be counterproductive.
That would be a big problem. This is why I suggested that the source information should include some description like "These credits are taken from the staff roll displayed upon completing the game." in addition to the screenshots or video or whatever, so that while the source may be less readily available, we will at least know what it is.MZ per X wrote:Furthermore, it could happen that covers or screenshots will need to be deleted for whatever reason, leaving us with unsourced data scattered throughout the database. In summary, I don't think that the added complexity of the data model for source links is worth its drawbacks.
I think this is mostly an operational issue, anyway: we should be careful when deleting screenshots of credits, since they may be used as a source, but that's one of the few times when we'd need to worry about deleting screenshots. Or, maybe we should just never delete screenshots, and instead unlink them from a game and hide them, but leave them available. That's easy enough. Or if screenshots are database objects, we can refuse (programmatically) to delete them while they're linked as sources. But this is all implementation details, and there's no point discussing such things at this early stage, so I'll stop with that.
There's just one more related thing that I want to say, since I think I explained myself poorly a few posts ago:
I envision that the source information that we display should be a 'first class' data field, just like a game's description. It shouldn't be merely the collection of all the notes people stuck on the changes they submitted. For this reason, it doesn't worry me too much if some particular video used as a source should be taken down, or whatever, since, as long as the source is described and not merely linked to, we can always replace the link, and someday we can maybe link to our own screenshots showing that information. The source information is as much a 'living' part of the database as anything else, so I believe we can always improve things in the future. So please take my 'screenshots should link to our own screenshots section' sort of comments as 'ideally, in the future, when we're able.'