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Gimpy is here to apply for a position designing our web based model management system.

 

 

Hi, my name is Ben (Gimpy)

 

I would like to enquire about the post "The Dark Mod Wants You!, (if you

can handle web design, that is)"

 

please reply

 

Ben Saunders

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Well, basically we need a system which can handle our resources. You should have a thumbnail which shows the image and we need to put states to it. The hierarchy should be customizable and it should support multiple users obviously. It would be prefereable if the states are customizable too, so that we don't need to implement changes every time we have a new requirement. With this approach we can handle sounds, textures and models (or other resources) with the same software without changing code.

 

It should run on an Apache using PHP and MySQL running on Linux. If it runs on Windows as well it is a bonus but not really required

Gerhard

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ok, so you want a process where you can simply upload a texture (and a thumbnail, i will prolly be able to process a thumbnail from the uploaded pic, depending on format and extension) have it alocated into a hierarchy (i assume you want "Texture->Wood->Floor" style). Please fill me in on states (i think i know what you mean, but you'd better explain anyway)

 

This sounds like i can do this, can you give me a time frame too, so i can honestly tell you if i can do what you want in the time.

Edited by Gimpy
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That's what we want. Another thing that would be usefull is to link objects to each other. So we create a hierarchy "Texture->Wood->Floor->Marble01.jpg" and we add a normal map as well. Since usually we don't need to see the normal in most cases it owul dbe enough to link the normal to the texture so that you can easily determine which textures already have normals and which one will still need them. the state would determine how far the processing is done. So for textures we would define states like Created, Normalmapped, Gameready, maybe others. That's why I don't want to have states hardcoded. The best thing would be to allow creation of states as an independent object and then assign it to a class/group.

 

So I create a group textures, create a bunch of states and then assign these states to the group textures. I could create another group "Models" and create some different states (needed, assigned, modeled, animated, gameready, ingame) and assign it to the model group. For sounds this would be similar. The problem is that if the states and groups are hardocded it will not be flexible. If I can create groups and subgroups I can cfreate any structure that I want without being locked on textures or models specifically. Unfortunately I have only seen one such a program once but this was done in NET for Windows. It abstracted the objects from their functional purpose, so that the program itslef didn't need to know anything about what a object means. It just needs to know about it's relation to other objects and a state.

Some things that I forgot. It would be also usefull if objects could be linked to different groups. So for example I could create group for sounds textures, character models and animations. Each of these are an individual group, but if I can link them together I can create a kind of metagroup. So that I can link a character model to the sounds that needs to use without the need of mixing this in in groups where it doesn't belong. The problem is how to define the hierarchy. A sound is a sound. But if it is needed only for character models, should it go into the soundsection or in the character model section to the character it belongs to.

We also need to add a description text as well (which should be easy).

 

I can try to write a document where I specify what we need in more detail, I just wanted to give you an overview so you can estimate wether you can do it or not or if you think it would be to complex.

Gerhard

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I currently creaet a small sample application where all the dialogs can be seen which should give a good idea how the thing should work. Of course I don't implement functionality, only the dialogs, so you can click through them. When I'm finished I will upload it and give you the link. I think this way it is easier to estimate how much work it will be to implement the details. Of course the dialogs are just there to give you an idea which functionality should be provided, so the layout is not really important as long as the features are there. Since I don't know for sure what can and can not be done in an web application you should give me a feedback afterwards if this is feasable.

Gerhard

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From a modeling perspective, what I'd like to see is a way to organize our model lists into albums.

 

The front modeling page would list 3 albums (WIP, ON FTP, and In-Game) with the most recent upload displayed. Each album would have a series of thumbnail images that link to screenshots of the model. All albums must be accessable to everyone so modelers can make the updates themselves.

 

If we could organize each album into sub-folders (WIP Lights/WIP furniture, etc) that would also be great.

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We already can do that with the gallery I have installed.

 

I wouldn't know since I can't load it. :P

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Ok, what you’re asking is very do-able, I’ve had much weirder and far more complicated requests.

 

I hope you have a monster sitting behind this web application; the SQL tables will get pretty big after a small time. (I specialise in economising code so don’t expect it to be really slow)

Would you be happy with the uploaded textures/sounds/models to be placed in an FTP location? I can store everything you want in MySQL but it will become very slow.

 

I also assume you want a login system with an add/remove user function.

 

I would like to have a go at what you’ve asked BUT I would really like a detailed outline of what you want (just a small explanation of each feature, I have done this before but never for textures or sounds, I assume the components of each format will be different to what I’ve done and thus the information you wish to have placed in front of you.) I’ll create a very simple mock-up after the weekend.

The time spent on that would be very much appreciated.

 

Springheel, Your album request is very easy to do (to a point) so you can look forward to that.

 

The states that you have said you don’t want to be hard coded, do you want to input the state in a textbox or did you want an administrative area where you can add/remove states from a list (this is an unusual request, if you where to delete a state that had objects defined within it, those objects would have to be moved to a different state manually).

 

I would love to see your sample app, if its just so you can show me what you want it too look like, that’s great :D (The only problem I’m having so far)

 

This will take a while to accomplish, I do have a LONG holidays coming up (I don’t have much of a life anyway) I would estimate 2/3.5 months. Just so you’re aware, I have quoted up to 10 months and only taken 3, so its best guess from me :)

Is this time frame acceptable?

 

I’m sorry to ask, but I need testing and development space (I can do this with VMWARE but is slows me down considerably). If you are interested in me, can I arrange some with you?

 

Thanks.

Edited by Gimpy
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Ok, what you’re asking is very do-able, I’ve had much weirder and far more complicated requests.

 

:)

 

I hope you have a monster sitting behind this web application; the SQL tables will get pretty big after a small time. (I specialise in economising code so don’t expect it to be really slow)

 

The SQL is probably not THAT big of a problem. I don't really expect the tables to grow so fast. The bigger handicap is my bandwidth, but this is another issue. :)

 

Would you be happy with the uploaded textures/sounds/models to be placed in an FTP location? I can store everything you want in MySQL but it will become very slow.

 

Yeah. Actually I didn't intend the images and binaries all to be stored inside the DB. that would be a big waste. It's enough to store this in the filesystem and only the pointer inside the DB.

 

I also assume you want a login system with an add/remove user function.

 

I would like to have a go at what you’ve asked BUT I would really like a detailed outline of what you want

 

As I said, I already started to create a demo application where the screens are shown, which should give a good idea how the app should work.

 

(just a small explanation of each feature, I have done this before but never for textures or sounds, I assume the components of each format will be different to what I’ve done and thus the information you wish to have placed in front of you.)

 

Actually it shouldn't matter to you wether an object is a texture or a model or a soundfile (or something else). The only thing where it might matter is that for textures we should create a thumbnail and for sounds or other stuff we need to use a default thumbnail image.

 

I’ll create a very simple mock-up after the weekend.

The time spent on that would be very much appreciated.

 

ok.

 

Springheel, Your album request is very easy to do (to a point) so you can look forward to that.

 

But this is not really needed, because such software alerady exists. It would be a waste of time to code another one with the same features already available.

 

The states that you have said you don’t want to be hard coded, do you want to input the state in a textbox or did you want an administrative area where you can add/remove states from a list (this is an unusual request, if you where to delete a state that had objects defined within it, those objects would have to be moved to a different state manually).

 

The states should be user defined. If a group or a state is about to be deleted you should give an error that it is still in use. Otehrwise we could get orphaned objects.

 

I would love to see your sample app, if its just so you can show me what you want it too look like, that’s great :D (The only problem I’m having so far)

 

The look is not important to me. It's more the functionality that matters. The look can always be improved later if somebody doesn't like it. :)

 

This will take a while to accomplish, I do have a LONG holidays coming up (I don’t have much of a life anyway) I would estimate 2/3.5 months. Just so you’re aware, I have quoted up to 10 months and only taken 3, so its best guess from me :)

Is this time frame acceptable?

 

Yes. I wouldn't have expected it the next week anyway. :)

 

I’m sorry to ask, but I need testing and development space (I can do this with VMWARE but is slows me down considerably). If you are interested in me, can I arrange some with you?

 

I can offer my server for this, of course, but I don't know if you wouldn't be faster with a VMware machine. :) My upstream bandwidth is rather limited, so this would be not a fast way. Unless you mean that you send me the package and I test it locally, which of course would be feasable.

Gerhard

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Iv'e stared working on it now, i'll get back to you on my initial progress.

 

Can you tell me what format the uploaded textures will be in, i know it wont be something like jpg. If this is the case, would a thumbnail upload field be acceptable?

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At the moment all our textures are TGA, but we've talked about converting some of them to jpg to cut down on the size.

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Ok, well the steps ive taken here include options to upload both.

so, say on a texture submission form, there will be an upload field for the *.TGA files and then a field to upload an (optional?) jpeg thumbnail.

That way when you go to search or just browse the already uploaded textures, the ones with thumbnails will have pics representing them.

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ok, what i have working so far...

 

Login: _SIMPLE_ login/logout with cookies and add/remove user function...

 

File Upload: Can upload ANY admin defined File type (and as many as you want at once :D) at ANY admin defined size. The uploded file has its own database field. The field keeps the name of the user who uploded the file, the size of the file, a link to the thumbnail (working on that part next) the time it was uploaded and ALL of its classifiaction data (Wood->Floor->floor1.jpg(*.tga))

 

I have another question for all the mod members..

 

If i where to set the php uploader to rename the file, i'll probably bring the hierarchy into the equation, so that file names make sence.

so "randomimagewithwood.tga becomes Wood_Floor01.tga" when uploaded into the Wood->Floor-> directory, the number will come from its location in the database ( e.g. id=1).

would that be acceptable or would you rather keep the names you give them?

 

OR

 

i can give a required field at the upload page, allowing the uploader to rename the file as he/she sees fit...

if you want to make my life easier...

 

 

Ok, well.. now you know where im at...

 

Im getting my server back from school (thiers was dead) very soon, so i'll have a live copy going from home for everyone to have a look at (1-2 weeks :D)

 

toodles

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Ive just finished a drop down class selection tool.

 

its essentialy a form that has 2 drop down fields, one has a name of all the primary classes, the second dynamicaly fills when a selection has been made from the primary select field, so as usual Wood -> ALL WOODS SUB_CLASSES.

 

These are very easily modified and editied, so now you have your user definied classes.

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Ok, well the steps ive taken here include options to upload both.

so, say on a texture submission form, there will be an upload field for the *.TGA files and then a field to upload an (optional?) jpeg thumbnail.

Why does it need to know which format they are in?

Gerhard

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I create this sample application which shows the functionality I had in mind. eep in mind that this is just an empty shell. So you can only see the functions that should be visible to the user via the buttons and controls, but they do not work apart from the buttons that will open other dialogs.

 

Of course since this is an web app the buttons will be links instead and also the layout doesn't really matter.

 

TDM Resource App 0.1

 

Take a look and tell me what you think.

Gerhard

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ITs more for security, PHP has the ability to limit the types of files that are uploaded, i can set it to accept only a cirtain type or accept anything but. Its more so that anyone using the program cant upload a php file and steal my source code.

 

I had a look at the app you made. looks good. i'll get the webpage to have same work flow shown. thanks.

Edited by Gimpy
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sure, i'll make them editable for you.

 

i may have a small working sample for you ready by the end of the week.

 

I had heaps of code that would have made this a breeze but im not allowed to use it (its technicaly owned by a company i used to work for) but now they have gone belly up and i can use it.

I'll get done faster this way.

 

can i have a special title now ? :D

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