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The design decision of using the My Documents folder

Discussion in 'Unreal Tournament 3' started by leilei, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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    The other reason has to do with administration rights. If you happen to be playing in a cyber cafe, it would still be possible to use custom content for UT3 as you have access to the My Documents folder generally. Some people never use Windows in adminstrator mode (for security reasons) thus would be grateful for this. However, we're all used to the old way of doing it, and personally I don't really programs trashing my hard drive with their stuff everywhere.

    Actually, not quite. Unreal Engine places dominance over certain directories. If you do not use -nohomedir, it'll litter your My Documents folder with ini files and so forth. Worse yet, if it finds duplicate files it'll place priority over the ones in the My Documents folder.

    The decision to do this was merely to make it compatiable with Windows Live! and so forth. Was it a good method? I don't know. But I don't quite like my hard drive being turned into swiss cheese. Also from a developers point of view it makes things *much* harder to figure out and causes more complications. The number of people who have installed UWindow2 incorrectly, due to the complex nature of exactly where to put files and also duplicated ini files made my life a development hell.
     
  2. dub

    dub

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    tl;dr

    My sentiments are pretty much the same Hourences.

    Like the 'Program Files' folder I try and avoid that messy folder called MyDocuments. Also it doesn't fit into my folder system and the way I do things on my PC which is very efficient for me.
    The argument that it doesn't delete your configs when re-installing is a moot point as a lot of games made in the last 4 years will at minimum, even have a script that asks you whether or not you wish to keep or discard your player profiles and save games. That's completely ignoring the fact that if I had to choose between backing up my config files manually (which if they are really that important to you, you would anyways) or having it adhere specifically to my install instructions, I'd choose the later.

    It really shouldn't force you into using a file structure that you don't use. It just complicates things unnecessarily. Choice is good.
     
  3. gregori

    gregori BUF Refugee

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    I HATE IT. Old way was so much easier and tidier. I hate messy programs sprawled across my computer.

    Epic fix plz.
     
  4. Jrubzjeknf

    Jrubzjeknf Registered Coder

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    What is 'correct design'? The fact that a program's configuration file is seperatedly stored in another place than where the program resides, isn't imo correct design. Correct design would be to place the configuration file along with the program, and place an entry of it in a collection of configuration files where the user has access to.

    Backups could be made my making a backup of all entries in that collection. You could also feature directories there, so UT3's MyDoc's folder can be easily backupped as well. Also feature the ability to add files and directories yourself and being able to choose whether or not to backup that specific entry and you've got quite a powerful backup utility there.

    The main problem would be getting all the programs to use the utility, but you know how software deals with consistency.
     
  5. [VaLkyR]Assassin

    [VaLkyR]Assassin Kidneythieves and Poets of The Fall Fan

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    I'm not a fan of maps and mods held in the My Documents folder either - my windows partition is just too small to host all the extra custom maps I would have liked installed, so I'm basically having to keep only a very small number of the very best now. I have about 255Mb left on my C: drive currently lol.
     
  6. T2A`

    T2A` I'm dead.

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    Srsly. It's not "correct design." It's not even conceptually solid.

    My Documents is not my documents anymore; it's now all of my programs' documents. Now everyone is forced to create a new folder to function as My Docs used to simply so things don't get overly cluttered with extra crap they can't control.

    In my case, I use four folders on my desktop to store things where I used to use subfolders within My Docs. Early into WinXP's life I used My Docs just fine, and as things started installing there over the years I simply set them to hidden. But now it's gotten so out of control that I don't even use My Docs anymore. Fail!

    Conceptually speaking, games should install their stuff into Application Data rather than My Documents. That would be much closer to "correct design" even though it'd still be annoying for people who want game-related stuff completely outside their C:\ drive.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  7. haarg

    haarg PC blowticious

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    This, like many thing with Windows now, is a legacy of past design mistakes. Now that Microsoft is trying to do the right thing, the transition is somewhat painful. User and system data should have been kept separate all along but was not. If they were separated in the past, people wouldn't have allocated tiny amounts of space for user data and the most common complaint I hear about this wouldn't be an issue. And it isn't difficult to move My Documents to a different location.

    Jrubzjeknf: There are number of reasons configuration shouldn't be placed in the same place as program data. Primarily multiple user support and keeping static data separate from data that changes. Games are some of the last things to transition from storing config in the program directory.

    I would argue that the correct place for this would be mixed between Application Data and Local Settings\Application Data, but that would probably result in even more complaints.
     
  8. ne_skaju

    ne_skaju lost and found

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    My Garbage Dump folder.

    I dont like that way, because its complex and confusing.

    Also i dont get why they made too many subfolders.

    Code:
    
    UTGame\Published\CookedPC\CustomMaps\
    
    
    I can live with that, though, installind complex mods and big mass of maps sometimes problematic. Different mappers pack their maps in different ways (usually, they dont sort them into subfolders inside a package :()

    I use -nohomedir because dont want to install anything big on C: but when i launch UT3 not from Desktop (sometimes use Total Commander to launch) it doesnt use -nohomedir :(


    At least there should be option when you install game: place content to My Documents or install directly to game.
     
  9. leilei

    leilei ANIME ELF'S !!

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    And usually it's a hidden .irsrigmd folder in there so it doesn't intrude your documents. Plus, Linux gives you the ability to link a folder so you could use your big drive for such folder transparently.
     
  10. MonsOlympus

    MonsOlympus Active Member

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    The main problem for me with this is the half and half approach. If it was solid one way or the other I think it would be alot easier to use (there would still be complaints probably) but there would be less errors occurring because of it, some which can cause the game to crash or act unexpectedly.

    It would be nice to have some kind of choice! Myself, I prefer to have my mods in the game directory, even if its a requirement to have a custom content subdir. For my code, that can be in my documents since they are my documents :p

    Its a shame the compiled scripts dont get moved, Im sure I could write a batch or whatnot but the functionality for changing the custom content directory (instead of having 100 of the bloody things) should be the responsibility of the engine to handle based on "user input".

    So if the current system worked in full it might be better, still messy, but only half the stuff works half of the time. I tend to just stick to my little bit that works and works predictably.

    The my documents system certainly has its benefits! Not only for security but when you consider multiple modders using different accounts their work is kept separate, it also allows people with users on network profiles to access their work from a number of systems. The flaw in that is there are people out there who admin their own systems and dont use profile roaming, keeping small boot partitions.

    It is tricky but I think the system could be improved on in both areas, making it cleaner and work well enough to be of use to people wanting to do things either way.
     
  11. haarg

    haarg PC blowticious

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    You can do that in Windows as well, it's just not as straightforward.
     
  12. Sir_Brizz

    Sir_Brizz Administrator Staff Member

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    Haha, I love the chiming in. :p

    It is the "correct" thing to do, I'm not saying they couldn't give you an option, having an option is always preferable. I simply prefer it this way.

    If you hate it, there are other solutions that have been discussed in this thread. Yo0u could even symlink a folder from another drive as your My Documensts folder! Wow! What a thought! ;)
     
  13. JaFO

    JaFO bugs are features too ...

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    You do know that you can move the 'my documents'-folder to D:-drive or any other share you like ?
    It isn't any different from the way Linux does it, except that Windows never enforced it and Linux never needed to.

    btw : Vista has removed all the 'my'-stuff so officially it is the "documents"-folder.
     
  14. Hideinlight

    Hideinlight Member

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    I kinda like it, keeps my vanilla game seperate, I haven't really needed to reinstall my game in a few months.Wish i could do the same with ut2004. If your one partition is too small you could always just increase it, you don't have to format or anything. Just can't renember how you do exactly atm since I'm too tired atm to think.

    Although I did make a custom folder in my start menu, so that i could access My Games folder and the Normal folder quickly.
     
  15. Scuzzbuster

    Scuzzbuster It's Crunchy. It's Nice.

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    I think that giving an option would create unbelievable nightmares for loading and utilizing custom content for online play. I don't speak from programming experience, but I'm guessing that conforming to a structure across all copies of the game that are interacting simplifies things a lot.
     
  16. Emmet Otter

    Emmet Otter I miss XMP :(

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    I agree completely!!!! The person installing it should always HAVE an option!!:mad:
     
  17. WHIPperSNAPper

    WHIPperSNAPper New Member

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    I hate the Application Data folder stuff, too. It was so much easier when it all went into one folder. Even then, the UT3 file structure is icky. Instead of having simple Maps, Textures, and Music folders, etc., it's less transparent.
     
  18. _Lynx

    _Lynx Strategic Military Services Staff Member

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    I guess this pretty much sums all the thread.
     
  19. iCQ

    iCQ Softice/MASM reverse engineer

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    Note: it is also faster when the content is in the same partition as the system (page file and such).
     
  20. leilei

    leilei ANIME ELF'S !!

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    personally I wish UT always managed to load content from single files rather than various files you have to keep track of in several folders incase you don't want to load that one anymore.
    But if they did, then it'll be like Quake, and they don't want to be Quake!! They're Unreal! They have to Think Different(tm).
     

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