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Fixing the Database: #1 Dedicated Help: The database is crucial to the Launchbox experience, but it seems to always go to the wayside in favor of flashier features. It's even somehow still in "Alpha". So why not let Jason handle Launchbox development, and have designated volunteer(s) or a paid staff member handle the database? #2 Protect Correct Data: Values in the database should have an "Is this is correct?" option next to them that is only visible to moderators. Selecting "Yes" on this option + games that haven't been changed in years would go into the current DB change approval queue with a poll for mods asking: "Is this correct?". Once there are a very significant number of "yes" votes, the data would no longer be open for requests to change it. Moderators would also have the option to flag previously marked "correct" data as invalid. Records should be kept on which games are constantly being changed so that they can be fixed 1 time, marked as correct, and everyone moves on. We should narrow our focus on completing a correct database, rather than wasting moderator time on junk requests for popular games. #3 Protect "complete" Platforms: Changes to "complete" platforms (for example: NES, SNES) should require much more votes than normal to pass. This would lead to less junk for moderators to sort through and fewer duplicates. Currently a request can be made about any game or value. No one wants to moderate when the next several changes are just someone adding Mario, Zelda, etc to the NES. #4 Moderator Ranks: Moderator ranks could be a continuing incentive and could serve many different functions. The Lowest tier would just be the same as the current moderator. Medium tier would be unlocked at x20 the current DB moderator requirement. This would give double the voting power on any changes, and requested changes would say "Submitted by a veteran moderator". Top tier moderators would have all previously mentioned perks, but would only be selected by Launchbox staff. Their votes would count significantly more than a regular vote. They would also have the option to suggest a timeout or ban on users. Both medium tier and top tier moderators would have access to an exclusive forum section to discuss the database & suggest database changes/features. Finally, anyone who has submitted a very significant amount of work to a certain platform should get a badge/tag marking them as a "Platform Expert". #5 Fix Platform Names/Organization: Platform names should be consistent. Either make all Platforms have their company as a prefix or none of them. For example, all other consoles made by NEC have "NEC" in front, so "PC Engine SuperGrafx" should be changed to "NEC PC Engine SuperGrafx". Platforms should also be grouped together by their company. Please add a "Database Revamp" option in the next poll so the community can decide on this. @Jason Carr @Lordmonkus @neil9000 @Zombeaver @DOS76 @RetroHumanoid @Charco @Retro808 @keltoigael @kmoney
I believe for the future integrity of the database and continued success of Launchbox these basic database features are necessary and should be considered. Please add a "heavy DB revamp" option in the next poll, and link to this post so the community can decide on it. Thanks. #1 Dedicated help. Jason has talked before about having another developer in the future. This new dev position should be someone working full-time on the database. At the very least, have someone part-time or a volunteer who is fully knowledged in the database working on features/fixes. The database is crucial to the Launchbox experience, but goes pretty much goes to the wayside when Jason goes back to working on features. It's a constant balance for Jason between Launchbox features, and database features. Jason seems to enjoy developing the app more, so the next paid position should be someone working on the database. If you can't pay someone, or can't justify paying someone, get a dedicated volunteer, vet them, and put them to work. Requests like this list could be directed to this person and implemented, instead of competing against more flashy features for the program. Launchbox has been in development for years now, yet the very service that makes it all work is still in "Alpha". That's just crazy. We absolutely need an official (ACTIVE) person overseeing it. #2 Protect correct Database data. Existing data values could be given a "this is correct" option that could be voted on by moderators. Once data hits a certain threshold of "correct" votes, it would become protected so that future changes could not be requested for this data. Data that hasn't been changed in years should also be marked as "correct". Moderators would have the option to flag "correct" data as invalid. Records should be kept on which games are constantly being changed so that it can be fixed 1 time with the correct values, and stop the users that keep modifying it. We should narrow the focus on completing a correct database, rather than moderators seeing absurd junk requests for popular games. #3 Protect "complete" Platforms from duplicate/invalid games. New games for "complete" platforms, for example NES, should require a lot more votes than normal to add since by this point it's probably a user error in not finding that the game already exists. This would lead to less junk for moderators to sort through and fewer duplicates. Currently a request can made about any game or value. No one wants to moderate when the next 50 changes are someone adding Mario, Zelda, ect to the NES. #4 Tiered levels of database moderators. Tiered moderator ranks could be a continuing incentive to moderate, and serve different functions. The lowest tier would just be the same as the current "moderator". Medium tier moderator would be unlocked at x10 the current DB moderator requirement. This would give double the voting power on any changes, and requested changes would say "Submitted by a veteran moderator". Finally, Top tier moderators would have all previously mentioned perks, but would only be selected by Launchbox staff. They would be able to flag "correct" values (as mentioned above), as invalid with only 3 votes required from top tier moderators before it is accepted as invalid. They could also see which user submitted the changes, and have the option to submit a request to ban the user from suggesting changes. Finally, both medium tier and top tier moderators would have access to an exclusive forum section to congregate and also to suggest database changes/features to Launchbox Staff. #5 FIX NAMES Platform names should be consistent. Either make all Platforms have its company as a prefix, or none of them. For example, all other consoles made by NEC have "NEC" in front, so "PC Engine SuperGrafx" should be changed to "NEC PC Engine SuperGrafx". #6 Community Events. I think everyone can agree that at the very least, fan-art submitted should be relevant to the game or sequels to the game on the same console. However this is currently a moderation nightmare, and is heavily influenced by personal bias since no fan-art is "correct". The real question we should ask ourselves is what benefits does fan-art add, and is it worth it compared to an optional fan-art internet scrape upon import? Some fanart from the entire series can be fine, but this could potentially spoil later sequels or even events in the current game (dead characters, betrayals, ect). I don't know how this slipped through the cracks, but personally on my setup any game that has "taz" in it displays fan-art of the Tasmanian devil character for me. Basically, either require fan-art to be specific to the game/sequence of games, or remove it. My solution is that I think we could do without fan-art. *EDIT: I don't mean reconstructions, those should definitely stay* It has no real quality standards so it leaves many high-quality fan-art submissions next to DeviantArt MS-paint fanart. It has no real moderation standards so it bogs down moderation. Seeing as there is no real limit on how much fan-art is "enough", it will constantly take up an ever-increasing amount of database space, increasing import times, but adding little to the experience or even degrading it at times (Tasmanian devil / spoilers). I'm sure many would be mad at the "loss of a feature" but an alternative could be that fan-art would optionally be scraped from the web as an import option. @Jason Carr @Lordmonkus @neil9000 @Zombeaver @DOS76
For many years my brain has struggled to figure out how to organize my mame roms and now that m.e.s.s. has been integrated it is even more of a monster than ever before. So I am trying to figure a way to delete the stuff I will never use while keeping the rest of the files, the problem is not the current version collection I would be working with but.. when it comes time to upgrade my version files to a newer version. What is the best way to go about this? I was going to load all mame roms, software and chds via launchbox and then just one by one delete the ones I do not want in my collection. So then the problem is how do I make a list of the deleted roms/software,chd files and then when I have an updated collection to automatically be able to remove all of the files that I do not want in my collection? Been trying to figure this thing out for years.. launchbox makes it a bit easier since I can delete the files from the software I guess. This process seems very difficult considering the list of deleted files can not be created automatically? Even if it was somehow able to make this list of deleted files then it would need to have software to remove those unwanted files from the newer mame set. Maybe a new launchbox feature to organize and update our mame sets? (hint hint) Also the removal of other files like unused snapshots, titles, bios files and whatever else I may be forgetting. I just want to finally be able to have a mame set that only has what I want in it and not have to go crazy with so many files I will never use and be able to update to a newer set while easily being able to press a button and automagically have it remove my unwanted mame files files for me. This would be a dream come true feature if Launchbox made this easy to do for us!