Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

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Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

Post by phontanka on Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:11 pm

After starting my holiday a couple of days ago I decided to download all the routes which were released or updated while I was away. While doing this, one thought came to my mind from time to time: why are most route downloads split into three separate files instead of putting them in one?

It is probably not a lot of time wasted, but users have to do three unpackings instead of one and all into a different folder. Wouldn't it be simpler to put it all in one file? And just one unpacking?

At least that is what I have always done and all my routes have been packed that way. In BVE 2 & 4 times I even used to create installers to make it easier for newcomers to install routes.

Plus usually the object archive takes up around 90% of the full size, route is like 1% and the rest is sound. So I don't see a big reason for splitting it this way.

If there is a file size limit on the web host, that is of course understandable but I think it's not the case I'm asking about.

So, why is this?
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Re: Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

Post by leezer3 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:26 pm

Long and the short of it, is that it's always been done that way Razz

I think it originated way back in the BVE2 days and before, when dialup internet was the norm. At that point, downloading a large route could take several hours, and so it was only natural to split them into smaller chunks for when (Not if!) your internet threw a wobbly it was easier to download just a little less.

I *wish* more people would package into one thing you just extract into the railway folder, would save so much confusion for new users!

Cheers

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Re: Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

Post by phontanka on Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:56 am

I *wish* more people would package into one thing you just extract into the railway folder, would save so much confusion for new users!

That is why the question came to my mind. I often see 8-12 year old kids coming from Facebook struggling with it.

It would be logical to include the Railway folder in the archive and then users could just copy it right on the already existing Railway folder.

Michelle didn't want OpenBVE to have a specific place for routes, if she did, we could still use the installers which is the easiest possible thing for a newbie, just click-click-finish (we would still provide an archive for Linux and Mac users). Of course, this is not an option any more, but using just one archive would still help quite a bit, I suppose.

What's more, I can still imagine using installers for Windows, in which the user would just have to point to his already existing Railway folder and of course, the installer would take care of the rest. Just like this one. Archives must be provided though for Linux and Mac.
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Re: Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

Post by Dexter on Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:34 am

Well, for me, it is probably a matter of habit, rather than anything else. The truth is, it is not difficult to put everything into one archive, or even into one source installation. I have quit putting the route into installer creating an *.exe file, because these are no good for other OS than windows.
+Moved the topic here, as it does not discuss add-on development.
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Re: Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

Post by graymac on Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:40 pm

I would imagine a very large proportion of BVE enthusiasts use Windows.  Thanks for the installer tip, I will look at the possibility of offering it for CTS material at some point in future.
Currently I split downloads in three, the "object, route, sound" convention.
Less conventionally, I use a PDF instruction sheet with live links to download the content. For the reason of ensuring users read the bloody instructions - which saves the need to pester me when they go off at half-cock and make a f**k-up of the installation Rolling Eyes

(rant NOT aimed at Linux users who are, mostly, a lot cleverer than I am!!)
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Re: Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

Post by phontanka on Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:56 pm

I've just checked Google Analytics for www.bveklub.hu and found the following stats on visitors' operating systems:

Windows: 58.7%
Android: 20%
Mac OS: 16.3%
iOS: 2.6%
Linux: 1.5%

I should of course put Android and iOS aside, because they will not download OpenBVE routes and just concentrate on the three desktop OSs. 17.8% don't use Windows but Mac or Linux. So, my idea for the installer may not be that good. I presumed the rate of Mac OS and Linux would be much lower. So, a single archive is my ideal thing.
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Re: Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

Post by graymac on Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:36 pm

Unless there is no pre-existing "Railway" folder, a single archive will still need to be split up to insert the components into the object, route and sound folders. Which surely reduces any advantage somewhat?
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Re: Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

Post by phontanka on Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:41 pm

The Railway folder must be there, unless the user has never had any routes installed before. If it's a clean install, he can just drag the Railway folder to a place he likes and he is good to go, all the components of the route will be copied.
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Re: Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

Post by thehoviskid on Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:37 pm

graymac wrote:Unless there is no pre-existing "Railway" folder, a single archive will still need to be split up to insert the components into the object, route and sound folders. Which surely reduces any advantage somewhat?
If you drag "railway" to the folder containing the existing "railway" does it not merge the two, including sub-folders?
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Re: Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

Post by Quork on Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:31 am

Erm... If you use a sensible archive manager like 7zip, you can extract the files into preexisting folders without any problems. I as a user also very much prefer single archive addons. "Extract to", select "LegacyContent/Railway/", hit "Extract", done.
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Re: Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

Post by Sausage Muncher on Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:17 pm

As long as the user is not entirely unusable, he /she should be able to perform simple file operations...

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Re: Why are BVE route downloads split into multiple files?

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