POUET - three improvement suggestions

category: general [glöplog]
Here are my ideas to improve pouet.net... what do you think?

1. New platform
Let's introduce a new platform for prods:

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It would be really nice to see it, where can you run a prod:
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Revison 256b compo:
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Our latest prods:
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Another thought that as we are introducing DOSBox platform, at the same time we may change the naming conventions for the previous Dos platforms.

from MS-Dos to DOS
from MS-Dos/gus to DOS+GUS

Then the 3 similar platforms would be close to each other on the list.
(and also FreeDOS is more common in these days than MS-Dos).

2. The average rating

When pouet calculates the average rate of a prod,
please do not count the credited people's vote.

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Then things like self vote or counter-vote become meaningless.

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3. More valuable comments.

Comments larger than 256 chars, should give more glöps.
For example if a short comment worth 1 glöp, then long comment could worth 2 glöps.

(quoted chars and code snippets should omit of course).
So, what you are saying is the DOS platform should be subdivided?
added on the 2020-06-21 16:03:32 by okkie okkie
1. This is not a Pouet problem, this is a scene problem. Parties should reconsider accepting DOSBox only 256b intros. (They won't but oh well.)

2. I don't see why people shouldn't be able to vote on their own prod.

3. Length doesn't correlate with value.
added on the 2020-06-21 16:22:01 by Gargaj Gargaj
Many tiny intros won't even run (smoothly) on an 90s machine simply because of the needed power. It's a can of worms. Plus do you then have to subdivide the different builds of dosbox? I think adding it as platform is not needed.

Well if someone want's the 1.00 they just should not comment :D And isn't the counter vote not a good old tradition :D

What gargaj said on the 3rd point plus copy & paste one long comment won't be hard (or even filling the 256 it with ...........) So this would only make things more complicated than they have to be imho.
All of these are fundamentally questions of demoscene/pouet culture and good luck trying to herd cats/demosceners/liberatarian nerds.
added on the 2020-06-21 21:02:13 by Preacher Preacher
#1: I think adding a dosbox platform would be more-or-less painless, and would provide some (minimal) added value (will this product run on my modern pc with dosbox? will this prod run on my historically authentic 90s era pc? Does this intro needs 100 mhz or 2000 mhz to run smoothly?)

#2: meaningless, especially as scene points are kind of meaningless to start with

#3: completely meaningless, what glöps even mean lol. seriously? Also what kind of AI technology you have which would detect "value" in pouet comments, please contact me about the monetization of this ASAP!
added on the 2020-06-21 21:50:43 by blala blala
yeah, i agree with other commenters that point 2 and 3 are completely meaningless, as are thumbs/glops/whatever... In this day and age with a smaller amount of active sceners (commenting) on the platform, the whole appreciation/thumbs/glops/whatever has little relation to the actual quality of the product anymore. I.e. it would take a lot of force outside the inner circle of the demoscene to even get your prod in a top50, let alone top10 of best products in categorie these days (like for example memories more recently). You can't get there with just the demoscene feedback like you could in the old days.

As far as dosbox vs freedos. No need to further divide categories , but i do think that it should be a default rule for any party organizer is that it is fine to run a prod on dosbox, but to require a working realdos/freedos version as well for the product. I try to support both platforms equally with every release in terms of compatibility and keeping the performance in check (i'm currently building a P3 dos setup to always be able to run my on prods on real hardware) and i think even hellmoods recent prods all contain a freedos version as well :b

So if any party organizers are actually reading this: Make a working (free)dos version a requirement of your sizecoding compeition, otherwise i agree with the point i'm guessing Tomcat was also trying to make: it would just be like have C64 or Amiga demos only run in Vice/UAE or a downward spiral to delivering a 32b intro can only be ran on my awesometinyintroemulator.exe
added on the 2020-06-21 22:37:34 by superogue superogue
Adding DOSBox as platform sounds good... rest should be kept as it is.

completely meaningless, what glöps even mean

Well, at least you obtain additional CDCs for collecting more of them
added on the 2020-06-21 22:50:21 by T$ T$
Well, at least you obtain additional CDCs for collecting more of them

ah, you are completely right about this. The solution, is clearly, to give out CDC slots by merit instead!!
added on the 2020-06-21 22:55:55 by blala blala
Rather than spamming even more platforms, let's think about platform tags again.
(I'm especially interested in that USB Fondue Kit.)
Just let me more explain what i mean.

1. @gargaj it's not about compos, it would be

just an option, for the authors to mark the correct target platform.

btw only dosbox compos would be a catastrophe.
many intros from the top64 don't run under DOSBox!*
and we would be much poorer without these masterpieces!
(half of the rest intros also run much smoother under DOS)

Look at the top64 256byte intro:
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*use unsupported instructions or run incredible slow.
(few of them may have a dosbox port but at cost of extra size)

One Baudsurfer intro doesn't run nor under DOS, neither under DOSBox
(it's a WinXP prod in reality - and works at DOS prompt)

When I say that the target platform is DOSBox and not DOS?

When an intro doesn't do any timing, just set the dosbox cycles
or don't initialize the midi port, just set it up in the dosbox.config
or use dosbox specialized constants from initial regs or memory (PSP).
(LES [BX], FS or the upper half 32 bit regs)
the entry won't run on any real computer.

Furthermore, intros with covox or midi music won't run on any modern PC.

On the other hand the intros using PPro or SSE instructions won't run under DOSBox
and the emulator will never be able to compete with the hardware (in terms of performance).

@sensenstahl when I say DOSBox I mean the vanilla DOSBox (but there is no significant difference between the different builds).

Yes, I feel some author (not me) don't want to decrease the avg prod rate by a piggy, and don't wanna selfvote as well. So rather he don't comment on his prod.

not commenting is not the best solution (imho)

Ok, not correlate with value in general.
But a comment with only one character (!), or with one word more likely less valuable than comments with more words or sentences.

i think two words already better than one... "nice" or "nice font"

@blala yeah :) glöps and cdcs are nice building blocks of this game called pouet.
btw only dosbox compos would be a catastrophe.

I meant the opposite. If Amiga compos don't accept UAE, DOS compos shouldn't accept DOSBox either.
added on the 2020-06-22 00:25:10 by Gargaj Gargaj
without DOSBox tiny intros lost.
added on the 2020-06-22 08:14:34 by g0blinish g0blinish
i think two words already better than one... "nice" or "nice font"

bull shit
added on the 2020-06-22 09:23:06 by Sir Sir
Memories runs on FreeDos, it even does so on old hardware (Capture), so the "DosBox only" tag above is wrong.

"But i can't hear the music!" - Yes, if you for whatever reason decide that "Category: MsDos" suddenly means "My modern *FreeDos* Notebook that doesn't work with oldschool soundcards", then you can't hear the music.

Why don't you just apply the "TomCat Seal of Approval" to the productions you think deserve it ;)

Well, and assigning "Centurio" to the "Windows" category is just ridiculous. Why not say it like it is, Baudsurfers productions pretty much ran mostly on his - and only his - computer, and thats okay with almost everybody. Subdivide further into "Windows XP SP3 NT VDM DOS", anyone?

Speaking of windows: countless old windows productions do not run on modern windows any more, but i don't see anyone trying to remove the "Windows" category from them, and instead appling a "Virtual Box running Windows 2000" category to them, i wonder why?

In general i wonder why this is about subdividing operating systems, when it's really about the hardware. For countless productions above, you cannot really say they "run" on DosBox, they barely run smooth on top notch modern hardware and look like a power point presentation on hardware of MSDOSs prime time (and DosBox). That includes most of Baudsurfers prods, and many of Rrrolas/DigiMinds. And yes, along the way we lost the possibility to connect old school sound hardware to newer PCs. Again, that's a hardware issue, and has nothing to do with different DOS versions.

If this is really just about the "unfair advantage" of having MIDI music, let's find somebody that owns a decent setup with - let's say - a S3 Trio, a capable soundcard including correctly installed drivers, MSDOS 6.22 (let's keep it real) and at least a Pentium 3. This should then work as reference hardware to decide if the above labeled "Dos Box Only" productions really don't run on a real system. We should not at all cut this process short by just booting a notebook to FreeDos, right? ;)

Of course we should allow the coders to adapt their productions to this new circumstances before we lightheartedly remove the precious "MsDos" ... sorry ... "FreeDos" label from the productions. You know, adding some bytes to be compatible, removing some to fit into 256 bytes again. Just because a production does not run on a FreeDos notebook right away, doesn't mean it couldn't run in general on the reference system with some minor tweaks, which simply had not been done at the time of coding because the demo party in question specifically allowed DosBox entries and almost nobody actually owns that reference system ;)

Seriously, i don't see how this subdivision makes sense without recategorizing and patching A LOT of older productions. Too much work, too little gain.

If you need a special section for "DOS alike, but requires a lot of computing power, but i'd like to also forbid MIDI/Covox but instead allow PC Speaker, which can not be connected to the compo system without a weird hardware hack, but i'm working on that" you could instead define a new category for that =)

I suggest the following icon for it ^^
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added on the 2020-06-22 09:51:33 by HellMood HellMood
My impression was that the biggest advantage of DOSBox is that it routes the PC Speaker into an actual audio channel you can send to a PA, which is why parties use it.
added on the 2020-06-22 10:08:49 by Gargaj Gargaj
Yes, I feel some author (not me) don't want to decrease the avg prod rate by a piggy, and don't wanna selfvote as well. So rather he don't comment on his prod.

Awww.. nothing matters and nobody cares! Thumb your own shit up, comment on your entries, the avg is fucked anyway, so whatever :D
added on the 2020-06-22 11:23:58 by okkie okkie
I usually thumb my own shit down, as it sucks.
added on the 2020-06-22 11:24:27 by okkie okkie
Dosbox is not a platform.
added on the 2020-06-22 11:28:25 by Optimonk Optimonk
as much as i would like to see all productions also run on real hardware, i must agree a bit with hellmood here.

1) Yes, productions with MIDI sound run perfectly fine on a real dos machine with e.g. MT-32 (or maybe gus too, havent tested this myself). Covox prods run fine with a covox.

2) Even though i am a fan of trying to see what is possible with PC speaker and covox too (working on that myself as well), it is not that Midi sound is free in terms of bytes. Productions without sound (like our own Enigma) can spend those bytes elsewhere.

3) I believe his memorires freedos version in 256bytes or less without sound is also available from within the package. So labeling it dosbox only would not be correct.

As far as dosbox vs real/freedos in my experience is that there are pros and cons to each platform. save 2 bytes on ES initialization on dosbox, save 5/6 bytes on you FPU compare in real dos. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Feel free to call it dos/msdos/whatever, it all depends on your setup: booting dos from your from USB on your laptop will give different results than dosbox or a real dos machine.

Personally i try to provide versions for both within 256bytes and keep my cycles count sensible so that it will run fine (or even faster than my dosbox) on a real PC. It helps that my shitty laptop won't give any better results on anything above 50000 cycles :D
added on the 2020-06-22 11:34:31 by superogue superogue
@superouge : I agree. I also like to see stuff run on real hardware, and i don't think that dosbox is a platform. My point is, that Memories in fact runs on real hardware, real dos, with sound. That was also confirmed by "jmph" who has a whole zoo of different systems. Even if it didn't run on another system, it would be easy to patch it to account for a slightly different environment. And i think a lot of productions that right now would not run as intended on "the reference system" also just need a few bytes tweaked to make them run.

So it should be totally okay to develop for older hardware setups, even if these are rarely seen. It's also okay to develop for newer setups, and make use of incredibly more power and parallel execution and so on. If that comes with some disadvantages, that shouldn't concern existing intros and approaches. But it's not okay to redefine the reference hardware drastically and then basically label the older productions "fake".

Imagine the outrage if somebody was about to develop some Turbo Hyper Amiga, which is technically almost the same, just super super fast, but pitifully without some of the sound features, and would relabel all the original Amiga release to ... something else ;)

I always considered dosbox as a tool to develop on what most people think a dos pc should be like. A not too fast Pentium with a decent graphics card and plenty of sound options - which is a luxury not everybody had back then. That doesn't make it a real thing. But if it runs on dosbox, then - even with little tweaks - it will run on the exact system the dosbox emulates. If it does not run on *your specific* setup, well look at all the AMD GPU users for windows demos, or everybody that doesn't yet own a RTX 2080 Ti for some of these.

To pick just one example of plenty many. In Dosbox, There is this graphic mode 0x69 that switches to 640x400 in 256 colors. Does it only work in DosBox? No, it works just fine on the EXACT graphic card that dosbox emulates. It will most likely not work anywhere else, but the point is, it will work on REAL hardware, just not necessarily on YOUR hardware. (And that finding basically inspired the Secret Mode Finder which TomCat later completed)

So i think it's not "Yeah, but it only runs on emulator". It's the opposite. Stuff runs on real hardware, and more often than not it fails to work properly in an emulator. And *if* it is the other way around, then usually there is a simple fix for that. It's just that i wouldn't want to invest time to prove for every intro out there that the space needed to make the intro compatible can outright be codegolfed away from it.
added on the 2020-06-22 12:20:39 by HellMood HellMood
For me the current policy of parties either allowing DOSBox (...for easy sound access) or FreeDOS (for speed) is (almost) perfectly fine. The look back in time on all those entries and may be recategorize them is a kind of a waste of time IMHO. I prefer to learn from them and look to the future...

The technical question for DOS is how can we have an normal/easy/small access to sound on current and future hardware generation to achieve new stuff by using the full power and make some music (midi...,raw...,) ? It seems by now there's no solution for that technical problem...if we can't fix that it seems the status quo hast to be okay.
added on the 2020-06-22 12:56:58 by Kuemmel Kuemmel
For sound solutions, Trixter has a pretty good video on the subject.
added on the 2020-06-22 13:07:52 by Gargaj Gargaj