Extended ES[P|M] format with dependency handling

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mots
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Joined: 30 Aug 2012, 14:10

Extended ES[P|M] format with dependency handling

Post by mots » 30 Aug 2012, 14:38

In order to support new, openmw-only features, we will need a new file format for extensions. This gives us a chance to change one of the most strenuous aspects of Morrowind Modding:
Mod incompatibilities, dependencies and possibly even manually installing mods.
I propose to include some form of dependency handling in the new format, similar to .deb packages.
To sum things up, modders could put things like "requires Better Bodies", "conflicts with Fashionable Merchants <1.0" or "recommends Vurt's Trees" directly into their mod files, thus taking out the hassle of having to manage mod compatibility yourself.

If we take this thought even further, we could even create a package manager and set up repositories, so that users just need to do the equivalent of apt-get to install the mods they want and to keep them up-to-date. This would also make modpacks like Morrowind 2011 easier, as modpack creators wouldn't be required to actually redistribute the mods of others, thus skipping the whole licensing issue.
Instead of making one huge modpack to download, they could just make metapackages that basically tell the package manager which mods to install.
Installing the latest and greatest graphics mods could be as easy as

Code: Select all

apt-get install mots-graphics-pack
(or even simpler with a graphical frontend like synaptic)

Now i know that the last paragraph is not exactly the scope of the openmw project, this would need to be created separately. However, if we need to create a new format, why not make one that could potentially make things like this possible?

AlexanderR
Posts: 9
Joined: 31 Mar 2012, 00:16

Re: Extended ES[P|M] format with dependency handling

Post by AlexanderR » 31 Aug 2012, 00:08

IMO, this may be done after adding custom script language to OpenMW, so that package build scripts could be written in this language.

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ElderTroll
Posts: 499
Joined: 25 Jan 2012, 07:01

Re: Extended ES[P|M] format with dependency handling

Post by ElderTroll » 02 Sep 2012, 14:52

I don't know how easy this would be, but I think it's a pretty radical idea. Maybe it would allow for more huge overhaul packs. Great idea.
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

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sirherrbatka
Posts: 2154
Joined: 07 Aug 2011, 17:21

Re: Extended ES[P|M] format with dependency handling

Post by sirherrbatka » 02 Sep 2012, 15:08

It's more about the effectivness of mod distribution. Quest mod don't need to include models, it just uses moder resources.

But the problem is that this way is completly against the way community works now...

mots
Posts: 3
Joined: 30 Aug 2012, 14:10

Re: Extended ES[P|M] format with dependency handling

Post by mots » 04 Sep 2012, 11:08

Yeah, the community might need some convincing :D However, I think it would be worth it in the long run...
No more struggling with incompatible mods, much easier installation.

Maybe we could have something like Mint's Software Center, but for mods, in the long run. I think that would be the most user-friendly approach to modding there is.

Here are two screenshots of Mint's Software Center for those of you who don't know it:
Image

Image

I think the interface could be adapted to Morrowind mods quite nicely... Instead of software categories, we could use mod categories like "Graphics Mod", "Quest Mod" or "Landscape Mod".
Installing a mod could be as simple as browsing the "Mod Center", finding something that sounds interesting and pressing the "Install" button, completely hassle-free.
This could potentially increase the number of interested users dramatically, because not everyone likes having to search around for mods on various sites, checking for compatibility, manually installing and then hoping for the best :)

But like I said, the Package Manager/Interface part would need to be a seperate project, I don't think we should divert resources from the main openmw project for this.
However, if the new openmw package format doesn't support package relations, none if this will ever be possible.

StraToN
Posts: 11
Joined: 28 Aug 2011, 11:35

Re: Extended ES[P|M] format with dependency handling

Post by StraToN » 04 Sep 2012, 14:01

Nice idea, but a lot of mods made a long time ago for Morrowind vanilla will eventually have to be remade for different languages. For example, currently, French people who own a french version of the game tend to use mods adapted to french from Wiwiland website. This way they avoid conflicts as much as possible. Think about it ;)

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sirherrbatka
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Joined: 07 Aug 2011, 17:21

Re: Extended ES[P|M] format with dependency handling

Post by sirherrbatka » 04 Sep 2012, 14:24

No big deal, there can be a locale specified for every file and user would be asked to put his prefered language for profile.

The idea is nice but it needs a lot of work and somehow bringing community to it. If someone wants to do it would be cool but honestly why this must be just another OpenMW project? Someone can start even now and later just use expirence to make openmw version.

mots
Posts: 3
Joined: 30 Aug 2012, 14:10

Re: Extended ES[P|M] format with dependency handling

Post by mots » 04 Sep 2012, 23:10

Like I said myself, this doesn't need to be a openmw project. However, if you are going to introduce a new package format anyways, it wouldn't be too much additional work to support metadata like this.
The package manager part itself could always be done separately, at a later point if somebody (might even be me ;)) has the time and motivation for it. I'm just asking for a basis on which this could eventually be built.

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