Talk:Hosting sample maps

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Though I'm sure you're fine, I'd be more than happy to help maintain/optimize/clean code if nessicary. I have lots of experience with user-community-type and database code. --AndrewNeo 12:00, 17 May 2006 (PDT)

That would be great. I think you could help optimize/clean the code after I'm finished... It will take a little while, since I'm thinking of adding a little forum, for problems and questions. You can look at the progress at . You can only click on the links, but nothing will happen (it will just ask for an empty page) I'll contact you once I've got any other questions ^^ Thanks anyway, in advance and very much :P --CrabbyData 13:02, 17 May 2006 (PDT)
  • No problem. :) --AndrewNeo 15:54, 19 May 2006 (PDT)

Layout wider

Maybe you could approach the main layout differently, I use a resolution of 1600x1200 and pages built at a static 800x600 are a pet peeve. If you could develop some form of extension into your design so it behaves liked the VDC it would be greatly appricated. I try to make every page I build follow the variable sizing scheme as it suits the largest user base. Angry Beaver 14:42, 17 May 2006 (PDT)

Ok, I'll update it... I'll update the Hosting_sample_maps-main-page in a sec with details... --CrabbyData 05:44, 18 May 2006 (PDT) =DONE

About Copyright-PHP-script

By Created a PHPscript for automatic updating of the copyright-year do you mean <?=date("Y")?>? --AndrewNeo 17:10, 21 May 2006 (PDT)

$naam = 'uploadVMF :: CrabbySoft';
$anno = '2006';

$date= date("Y");
echo ($anno == $date) ? "© $anno - $naam" : "© $anno - $date, $naam";

--CrabbyData 23:23, 21 May 2006 (PDT)

Note: the copyright-mention hasn't got any extra juridic meaning... --dutchmega 10:13, 22 May 2006 (PDT)
I know, but it just looks good xD BTW, could anyone help me with setting up the copyright notice that the logo (and other things) are owned by ValveERC (or just Valve or just Valve Software?)? --CrabbyData 11:59, 22 May 2006 (PDT)

Suggested Features

  • Screenshot can (must?) be posted with each vmf.
  • Each example map has a list of entities used for whatever's being demonstrated. Given a vmf, this could be done by a script.
  • A database search will allow searching and sorting on entities. —BJ(talk) 06:13, 22 May 2006 (PDT)
Point one is a very good one! Nice, thanks :D But point two and three are a little difficult... Since I don't know anything about the coding-buildup of a .vmf-file... If someone could help me with this, and implant it in any sort of website-coding-language, I would appriciate (correct spelled?) it a lot! On the other side, since the sample-maps are (average) for just one purpose, making a tutorial clearer (e.g.), it won't be such a big one... So I could also let people fill them in thereselves... Let your mind speak about this ^^ --CrabbyData 10:01, 22 May 2006 (PDT)
I'm sure we could figure out how to make a VMF parser in PHP, then cache/catelogue all of it as metadata in a database. I already have it figured out in my head -.- --AndrewNeo 11:35, 22 May 2006 (PDT)
Yeah, me to, but now for the coding/parsing of it xD --CrabbyData 11:58, 22 May 2006 (PDT)
You probbaly know but I wrote the VMF documentation for just such a purpose. Hoping someone puts it too good use Angry Beaver 21:27, 22 May 2006 (PDT)
Just assume that the vmf is valid...then you can just search the whole thing for "classname" and find the next token—ts2do 17:44, 22 May 2006 (PDT)
I'm gonna chime in with my tuppence, like those before me:
I would raise an eyebrow at how useful parsing VMFs is (especially when compared with the time spent implementing such a feature). For example, most VMFs will have a light_environment, but very few of the maps uploaded will actually be about using a light_environment. Similarly, consider something like an npc_citizen, where there are many different aspects of the entity to be demonstrated, but simply parsing for which VMFs have an npc_citizen in it will not distinguish between those aspects.
It strikes me that for a fraction of the cost of writing a parser, you can get more intelligent system by sticking to user-entered data. If you want to provide a sortable list of "which maps use which entities", get the uploaders to write the list.
I would also caution against feature creep. Get your original, simple plan done, working and "released", and then think about adding fancy extras. You'll find it's much more satisfying that way round. --Giles 02:03, 23 May 2006 (PDT)
I think the most useful thing about parsing a VMF would be in checking it's actually a VMF, and not (for instance) an offensive JPEG or other unnecessary content. Probably just necessary to look at the header, then... —Cargo Cult (info, talk) 03:33, 23 May 2006 (PDT)
I get your point Giles, but the thing I asked is if someone COULD make it... Since I'm not an expert in parsing files or stripping them down. I think this parsing-bit is best to do before the release, becuase else you'll have to upload everything again (because it will check/parse the .vmf-file directly on upload) --CrabbyData 05:29, 23 May 2006 (PDT)
I think the whole point (well, 98.73% of the point) of an example VMF is to illustrate the use of entities. There are a lot of aspects to entities for which a tutorial would be overkill and an example map is entirely sufficient. User-entered entity data will definitely be inconsistent, likely incomplete and possibly incorrect. Incorrect isn't really important if it identifies entities that aren't there. I'm willing to work on scripts for both upload parsing and for going through a database given some arbitrary parameters if php and mysql can be used. A separate database or list of entities to ignore (like lights, player_starts, etc.) can be used. Actually, a text list would probably be adequate and would probably be bettered implemented as a filter for displaying info on the file and not on the data to store about it. I don't envision these scripts being particularly exotic at all. Am I dreaming? —BJ(talk) 10:56, 23 May 2006 (PDT)
No, you're not dreaming, else you couldn't write this level of English (or American) ;) I just figured out that a .vmf file is just a very simple-to-parse-tekst file. Look at this line below here, this is a part of a .vmf file... Little fact: a 22,8 KB file has 1110 lines of script!
	"editorversion" "400"
	"editorbuild" "3368"
	"mapversion" "3"
	"formatversion" "100"
	"prefab" "0"
	"bSnapToGrid" "1"
	"bShowGrid" "1"
	"nGridSpacing" "1"
	"bShow3DGrid" "0"
	"id" "1"
	"mapversion" "3"
	"classname" "worldspawn"
	"skyname" "sky_day01_01"
	"maxpropscreenwidth" "-1"
	"detailvbsp" "detail.vbsp"
	"detailmaterial" "detail/detailsprites"
		"id" "24"
			"id" "48"
			"plane" "(-2 322 322) (322 322 322) (322 -2 322)"
			"material" "TOOLS/TOOLSSKYBOX"
			"uaxis" "[1 0 0 0] 0.25"
			"vaxis" "[0 -1 0 0] 0.25"
			"rotation" "0"
			"lightmapscale" "16"
			"smoothing_groups" "0"
Note:Sorry Valve if this is wrong, delete it if you want, it was just for showing purposes

--CrabbyData 12:36, 23 May 2006 (PDT)

  • If vmfs for different mods will be supported, sorting on mod should be supported (HL2, CS:S, etc.) and be required to be specified by the poster. The TWHL mapvault (and other) uploading scripts support several of these features. —BJ(talk) 16:04, 23 May 2006 (PDT)
  • Some sort of moderators or stewards may be needed. That is, vmfs which have map problems (Map/Check for Problems - alt+p ) or which have leaks, unsupported textures, etc., should be so noted or rejected. VMFs should use only textures from the supported mod wads. —BJ(talk) 16:04, 23 May 2006 (PDT)
Can you tell? I'm looking forward to this site! —BJ(talk) 16:04, 23 May 2006 (PDT)
  • That WILL be possible, sorting on Mods. But I think the only way of making sure that this happens is by user-input. There is no real information stored inside the .vmf about a game. It's just about with which configuration you start Hammer. Most maps work in all Mods, so if it's gone wrong, it shouldn't be that big problem
Maps will load in other mods but there may be invalid textures if mod-specific textures are used. So, yes, the user should specify the mod. —BJ(talk) 23:53, 23 May 2006 (PDT)
Really? I knew about Mod-specific-models, but I assume you're right about this... But it will be a hell of a lot work to create a entire database with ALL the textures, per Mod... I think it's the best to just make it user-defined, and hope there honest about the map. Then again, the Admins (& Moderators) will check the map as fast as possible, on as many Mods as possible... --CrabbyData 00:26, 24 May 2006 (PDT)
Each mod, in addition to common textures, has a set of textures available that are unique. That's one of the reasons that you have to specify the mod when you open Hammer. I don't think there'll be any problem with the user specifying the mod. If a mistake is made, a quick check for problems when the map is loaded in Hammer will reveal any invalid textures, unrecognized entities, etc. —BJ(talk)
Indeed, you're absolutly right about this ^^ --CrabbyData 11:27, 24 May 2006 (PDT)
Models and some textures are unique from mod to mod, but there are also other mod-specific differences. E.g., DeathMatch does not need item_suit entities. They're supplied to each player in-game. CS:S has buyzones. And so on. Nothing the database needs to worry about except to faithfully parse the info in the vmf. I can't think of any mod-specific parsing that will be needed. By the way, when you get around to staffing the site, please feel free to make contact with me for moderating, coding, sweeping the floors. This could become a very valuable site. :) —BJ(talk) 08:35, 24 May 2006 (PDT)
Check the main page ^^ Also for the other readers: The open jobs are updated with Moderators!
There will be spammers, I would think. I would think it very unlikely, but the uploading parse script or an admin parser could search for offensive language (in several languages?) just as a general text search through the file. Invalid textures could be given undesireable names, etc. Speaking of languages, (pardon my ignorance) are there language-specific versions of Hammer? Does that need to be considered? —BJ(talk)
As far as my knownledge goes, there aren't any language-based Hammers... All the Hammers are in English, but the website will be in multiple languages (which will be clear by now :P ). I think we should keep the user-comments (for or on a map) must be in English... --CrabbyData 11:27, 24 May 2006 (PDT)
  • Indeed, I also thought about that in the main (of first) idea. I (& some others) will have Admin-rights and will be the only one to delete or alter the post. We will allow people to post their map(s) and view them right away, e.g. if someone needs it very badly right away, then you can't wait for a day or two to let it become validated by one of the admins, right? Consider it done ^^
Certainly! Others may want to use the map immediately, even if it has problems. And, even with problems, a map could be useful if it illustrates a particular type of entity use. Perhaps by the admins marking it as having "problems," it would also let the original user correct it. —BJ(talk)
Good idea :D Thanks! I could think of something like here on Wiki, like the Speedy Deletion, Stub or Nonsense-tags, but then things like Incomplete, Corrupt (=non-valid-.vmf), Works fine, but small compile problems, etc., etc. Thanks again :D Very nice idea! --CrabbyData 00:26, 24 May 2006 (PDT)
  • I can tell you everything :P I sure hope you'll all enjoy this site and make much use of it :D --CrabbyData 22:46, 23 May 2006 (PDT)

Code complexity

No offence, but are you sure you're up to this? I've been working as a professional web programmer for more than four years now, and even I'd be daunted by the task... —Cargo Cult (info, talk) 11:08, 22 May 2006 (PDT)

  • Actually that's why I offered.. that and today's my last day of school, so I have quite a bit of time to help if it's needed. --AndrewNeo 11:35, 22 May 2006 (PDT)
As written above, the only thing I can think of with which you could help me right now is to make a PHP-parser for .vmf files... That would be a really big task (I think) @Cargo Cult, It's almost to easy for words (of PHP xD )... It's just a damn lot of scripting to do, since I've lost all my previous scripts during a virus... So I had to format my HDD... :( That's a little while ago, but if it happens again (I hope it won't (other virus-scanners)) the Upload.VMf-files are already online (See first post) --CrabbyData 11:58, 22 May 2006 (PDT)
Creating a simple single filetype hosting script in PHP isn't that difficult. I ran an image hosting site a couple of years back (I think I was 15 then) and never had any problems. This kind of thing doesn't really require any real programming skillz, even fixes for most security issues have been built into PHP. I'm sure Crabby's up for it. Jupix 14:52, 22 May 2006 (PDT)
Thanks Jupix :D I'm pretty sure I'm up for it. I made this website also entirely by myself. Aldo some pages are missing I'm (also) working with some friends on a next version ^^ On that website acctually only the forum is used a lot (almost 7000 messages and 39 registered users in less than 130 days(!)) --CrabbyData 22:33, 22 May 2006 (PDT)
Yay, you use phpBB ;) Jupix 00:56, 23 May 2006 (PDT)
I think it's very simple. Crabby, if you need help, just ask. I have much experience in PHP, MySQL. --dutchmega 01:09, 23 May 2006 (PDT)
Wow... I didn't know I would have so much help at my hands ^^ I'll think about something right away with you guys can help me with... I'll give an update/idea somewhere these 2 days --CrabbyData 05:30, 23 May 2006 (PDT)
IDEA... a big one: Could some of you help me with the translations of certain text-lines once I've finished the project (just before the release)? Doesn't matter which language. See the main article page for these and other open jobs (vanacancies(?)). --CrabbyData 06:26, 23 May 2006 (PDT)

Did Valve Reply?

So, did you ever receive a reply from Valve? Jupix 14:32, 30 Jan 2007 (PST)

Nope, not a word in the entier year :P No, serieusly, it's not really needed anymore, that valve-url-tinghy, since I host my own websites now, and I can get of .com or any other TLD (Top Level Domain) for myself. It'll probably be, but I think it will be online around the end of March (I hope to finish the website by than, and also end the bèta-testing). I'll keep you posted ;) --CrabbyData


Awesome ==SideWinderXX

Say what now? --Daedalus 19:49, 3 Mar 2007 (PST)
Thanks :) I'm currently working on 3 websites at-a-time, so it's making progress, but it'll be slow progress... --CrabbyData
Could I help at all, I'm getting bored... alot. I'm running out of ideas for Portal maps and I don't have loads of ways to entertain myself. I have skill with PHP, Javascript, MySQL, HTML, and CSS. I just turned fourteen so I have plenty of time to waste. --Frostyfrog 14:01, 14 Jun 2008 (PDT)