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Resolved Premature "Outdated Mods" Movement

Discussion in 'Website Feedback/Issues' started by Mackinz, Jun 7, 2016.

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  1. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time

    I decided to stop and think about the recent movement of approximately 400 mods, including a couple of my own, to the "Outdated Mods" category. I could not come up with a reason for it beyond the eventual release of Cheerful Giraffe for Starbound but, at the same time, that is still only in Nightly and several of the moved mods still function properly for Glad Giraffe and some even function for Cheerful Giraffe. I, for example, had four mods moved:

    One, Two, Three, Four

    All of my moved mods are still fully compatible with Glad Giraffe, despite not being updated in a long time (and not explicitly stating it)... simply because they didn't need to be. And for Cheerful Giraffe, I am confident that all but Pop-Off Lighting work just fine and I believe Pop-Off Lighting still would work.

    And it was not just me. Essentially all mods moved, with the exception of some of the old race mods (thank you for moving those), still work in Glad Giraffe and some may work in Cheerful Giraffe depending on their relative complexity. For example, several sprite edit-only mods from the Charcter Improvements category were moved, and several armor mods from Weapons, Armor & Clothes were moved. As neither of those specific categories are going to be affected once Cheerful Giraffe is released, moving them was a rather poor decision in my opinion. I am certain the system that was used to determine which mods moved was a simple date system rather than a system involving the testing of the mods beforehand.

    While I am appreciative of the effort to keep the mod repository as clean as possible, I, in short, think it was rather hasty to move all these mods well before Cheerful Giraffe is even being polished in Starbound - Unstable for Stable release.
    Xylia likes this.
  2. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    I agree. I notice that xbawks was also slapped with an "Outdated" tag on it and I was like "huh? the game wasn't updated".

    IMO, a mod should not be labeled as out of date unless it was designed for a previous game version. Unless the game version changes, a mod is going to work perfectly fine, regardless of if it was released yesterday or last year. An Upbeat Giraffe mod will work at any point during Upbeat Giraffe. Seems kinda stupid to slap an "Outdated" label on it just because it hasn't been updated in awhile when it would work perfectly fine.
  3. The | Suit

    The | Suit Agent S. Forum Moderator

    There is a lot of logic in what everyone is saying, but there is also a practicality issue.
    Right now and more then likely in the future there is no real way to implement version checking on the forum side which would allow auto transfer of mods.

    The ideal situation is the mod developer properly writes the version down in the name and constantly updates it them selves with each new release. That way users will always know it is compatible.

    We have been seeing a lot of reports of users complaining various mods are out of date and hitting reviews because it, much more then a few complaints of being improperly shifted.

    The best option to avoid such a thing in the future is to always push a update - even if it is the same file - with proper version naming correlating to the version of the game.

    It only takes a few seconds for mod author to report a mistake in transfer and send it back to the proper spot.
    It also only takes a few seconds to push a fake update of your mod to the newest version.

    But it does take a long time to look through thousands of mods and test each one to to see if they are up to date and working.

    Long story short -
    In order to give the best experience to users - we want to make sure all mods are 100% compatible with the latest version. So in order for the best experience it is also good for mod authors to make sure their versioning matches properly with the released edition to avoid such problems in the future.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
    Dunto likes this.
  4. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    So why not just make it REQUIRED to state the Game Version in the name of the mod, then?

    And instead of version checking, you know what dates the updates are released on, right? Let's say Cheerful Giraffe is released on, I don't know, July 1st (just a date I pulled out, not to be taken seriously). Then you know Any and all mods before July 1st are out of date. So you basically run a script on July 1st that marks ALL mods as being out of date. Whenever they get updated to the next game version, the Outdated tag is removed.

    And just do that each time the game is updated. Since we only get 1-2 updates a year, this shouldn't be that hard to do, right?

    Or, more simply put, we know that Upbeat Giraffe was released on, what was that again, Dec 1st, 2015? Therefore any mods dated before 12/01/2015 are out of date. Mods released after that are not. It's just that simple.
  5. The | Suit

    The | Suit Agent S. Forum Moderator

    That is basically what happened, any mods before a certain date were moved. So you are basically arguing for what he already did.
    Also mandatory versioning is not a feature the forum has.

    But when it comes down to the nitty gritty - the most important fact still remains. Even with your suggestions the mod author is still required to push an update for the latest version ( which I said in the previous post.) . Since the move was done manually and not by script - it allows the mod author a period of time to push an update when a new version does come out.

    If the mod author does not push that update - then it just gets moved until an update does get pushed. After which the mod author only needs to take a second to report it to be moved to the appropriate section.

    There is a limitation to the amount of automation that can happen.
    Dunto likes this.
  6. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    Was the wrong date used? It seems like some of these mods that got marked out of date were more recent than Dec 1st.

    Maybe not a forum feature, but it can be a rule. A rule that can be actioned if necessary. *shrugs*
  7. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time

    As I said in my openingpost, numerous mods that were moved were still compatible even if they have not been updated in forever. It's hard to call a Character Improvements mod that was last updated sometime in 2015 "Outdated" when Avian Tail Feathers was last updated in 2014 and still works just fine even on Nightly - and it hasn't been touched by your script, by the way. Still in Character Improvements.
  8. The | Suit

    The | Suit Agent S. Forum Moderator

    As I said it wasn't done by script, it was done manually by an individual.

    Either way mod authors should take some responsibility in providing information to users that their mod is compatible with the current version. Steam Workshop - when it does get implemented should solve a lot of these issues though.
    Dunto likes this.
  9. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time

    ...who only looked at the date of the last update instead of the content type, correct? Because a few sprite editing mods have been moved. Sprite-editing mods are virtually "update-proof" and should never be moved to "Outdated Mods" because they will virtually always work, discounting the off-hand possibility of a complete mod format rework.

    Not only that, but apparently mods last updated in April, less than two months ago, qualified as "Outdated" material? And mods last updated for Glad Giraffe as well (after December of 2015... though I will admit that three of the first ten mods in the Outdated Mods category are there for good reason)?

    I would like to bring the criteria into question. What exactly was the cut-off date?
  10. The | Suit

    The | Suit Agent S. Forum Moderator

    Content type doesn't matter - since only individuals who are well versed in compatibility will take such considerations.
    I am only aware of what was done - which was mods before a certain date were moved.

    Any other mods which were moved not part of that date - probably were moved for some other reason.


    Anyway the point still stands - push an update with the current version and there shouldn't be an issue.
    An if there was a mistake just report it and it will get moved as soon as a moderator is on.
  11. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time

    And what, exactly, was the date criteria?
  12. Dunto

    Dunto Guest

    I apologize beforehand for the mixed order of quotes, I'm just responding to points as I see them.

    I moved the mods and marked them as Outdated. The criteria was exactly what @The | Suit said, a specific date. Specifically, I looked through the developer blog posts and moved anything last updated two versions ago (or more) from the current Stable major game version. In other words, those mods that received attention from their author (IE, had an update) during the current version or the one prior were left alone, and everything else was moved to Outdated.

    I'm also certain of this as this is the system I used when I decided what mods to move to Outdated. I'm not going to test each mod (automatically or manually) to determine whether it just happens to work with a new version of the game. You may determine that to be lazy by whatever criteria you're using, but it is no more lazy than not bothering to test your own mod each game version and marking it as compatible with that new version. If I can't tell if your mod is compatible while looking through the repository, then neither can a new user looking for mods.

    This was the criteria used. If a mod was last updated two or more versions ago, then it was designed and written for that older version. Simple as that.

    Fixed, thanks. Apparently it was overlooked. Feel free to report any other Outdated mods.

    You misunderstand. The mod cleanup was done after the current Stable release for the current Stable release, not as a preemptive strike for the new version (whenever it comes out). Basically, the number of complaints about reviews for non-working mods was starting to increase (when those reviews were only pointing out that the mod was nonfunctional, which was entirely accurate for a lot of those older mods). At some point I decided it was bad enough to warrant a cleanup, so I went through and moved old mods to the Outdated category.

    This. It's not the job of moderation to test your mod for compatibility, you need to do that yourself.

    If your mod still works on the new version, you should be able to simply increment your minor version number in order for XenForo to detect an update (you shouldn't need to upload another file). Just put "Tested for <game_version_here>" or something as your update and any users watching your mod will be able to see that their favorite mod is indeed compatible with the latest version of the game. Moderation is not going to check your mod for you. If you have not done anything with your mod for several months (~6-7 months or longer for the ones that were just moved) then moderation may assume that your mod has been abandoned. If you don't want this, you just need to show some activity in the form of an update for moderation to see that your mod is still active and that you are still supporting it. Being in Outdated does not mean users cannot download it, it just means that it may not work and that the author likely will not provide support for it. If the mod does get moved, the author can always update it and ask for it to be moved back (the Outdated tag isn't permanent by any means). However, if the author never updates and/or asks for their mod to be moved back, then it is indeed abandoned and should stay marked as Outdated.

    TL;DR: You need to check your own mod for compatibility with newer versions of the game. If you haven't posted an update for your mod for the last couple of game versions, moderation may consider your mod as abandoned and mark it Outdated so users will know not to expect a functioning mod or support for it when downloading that mod.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2016
  13. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time


    If you moved Avian Tail Feathers to the Outdated Mods category, you literally focused solely on numbers instead of compatibility which is essentially the reason why I made this post. As I said in the snippet you quoted piecemeal, Avian Tail Feathers was last updated in 2014 and still works now - as do all mods which only edit sprites...

    In fact, it is effectively update proof, as are the vast majority of mods in the Character Improvements category. They edit sprites so unless a given sprite is (re)moved in vanilla assets, the mod will remain compatible for eternity.

    Modding and mod compatibility are not a numbers game and judging mods solely based on the last date of update is not a good measure by which to judge compatibility. Period. It requires much more depth to accurately assess what mods are and are not compatible.
  14. Dunto

    Dunto Guest

    If that's all you saw in the last post you missed the entire point of that post, which was reiterated in the TL;DR part at the bottom. Try reading it again.
  15. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time

    And if all you saw in my use of an old mod as an example was a date older than nine months, then you missed the entire point of my thread. Date is not everything in judging mod compatibility and is most assuredly not even a good way to judge mod compatibility.

    I isolated that segment of your post because you literally ignored everything I had typed up to that point and did the opposite of what I requested. Instead of using Avian Tail Feathers as an example that defies your "rule" for compatibility, you jumped on the old date and moved it anyway (without being asked to).

    Meanwhile I read your post and only quoted the segment that I had issues with.

    To further demonstrate my point, here is Avian Tail Feathers working in Cheerful Giraffe, straight out of the AvianFeathers.zip file with no changes to any of its files:


    It is not an "Outdated" mod. It is a mod that does not need updates, and does not need an active mod author to determine whether or not it is compatible because it is built just so that it will never become outdated.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  16. Dunto

    Dunto Guest

    Nothing is guaranteed about mods when the game updates. Nothing.

    You seem to still be under the impression that moderators should be checking each mod for compatibility, which as I said isn't going to happen. If that's the sole purpose of your thread then you may consider it answered.

    Outdated mods are not guaranteed to be functional nor will receive support. A mod that has not changed for years is definitely not guaranteed to be working or that its author is still around to provide support.
  17. Mackinz

    Mackinz The Waste of Time

    Agreed. However, classifying mods which are not incompatible with the game as incompatible with the game (Outdated Mods) is not what should be aspired for. Date alone is not a good quantifier of compatibility, as I quite clearly demonstrated with the mod which you moved after I said it was perfectly compatible still.

    And, honestly, the kind of mods that are still compatible after several updates more than likely will never need the author to provide support. Avian Tail Feathers, or similar mods, will work just fine as long as the mod is installed properly, which is not a fault of the mod author but the user. The author shouldn't have to provide support in that case as there is a lovely tutorial by The | Suit which covers that. If the game actually updates and renders the mod incompatible, then it should be moved to the "Outdated Mods" category, but certainly not before then.

    Please move Avian Tail Feathers back to Character Improvements as I have demonstrated its compatibility above. There are many other such mods which were moved from Character Improvements that I hope to report and have moved back as well. That particular category should remain off-limits to any future "Outdated Mods" purges because, well, its mods are essentially update-proof.
  18. If you don't update your mod version in line with the game's versions it will be considered Outdated.

    Outdated is not to be confused with incompatible.

    Outdated means to say that the author has taken no additional steps to update their mod in compliance with the game's updates. This informs that the mod can be incompatible, unsupported, abandoned, etc etc. It does not matter if a new update renders the mod incompatible or not.

    You are not required to update your mod version. But the mod being listed as Outdated is a consequence of neglecting to do so.

    It is the responsibility of the mod author to update their mod/mod version.

    If you do not want your mod to be considered Outdated, please make a simple change to your mod's version.

    It's that simple.

    I'm sorry you saw this as an issue, but hopefully you understand now why mods will be moved to Outdated, why this process can't be automated, and why it was done recently.

    There really is nothing more to discuss.
    Dunto likes this.
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