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Mattcrampy
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Firstly, an important message.

It's come to our attention that some spyware scanners are picking up one of DROD's components, a DLL that's used to parse the XML used by DROD save files, as spyware. This DLL is open-source, popular, and it's a fairly common one to use if you have some XML that needs parsing. It's clean, hundreds of people keep an eye on it, and we wouldn't have picked it if there were doubts about it.

The problem is that it's also been used by a spyware program, which means it's treated as a spyware component. There's nothing inherently malicious about it, it doesn't save your passwords or anything. It's an innocent in the wrong place at the wrong time, coerced into doing nasty things by its superiors.

DROD doesn't contain any spyware. If you scan your DROD folder, you'll find that at most you'll get one component coming up. Spyware generally has several components and a folder at the very least. We don't like it and we have better things to do (like our jobs) than try and put a program in there that will just piss people off. It's an unfortunate co-incidence that one of the tools we're using is also being used by spyware, but we've done nothing wrong.

If you do get a hit in the DROD folder, don't delete the file. Your savegames need it, and there's nothing wrong with it. We may take steps to fold the DLL into DROD, but then that increases the download size and the maintenance required. Until that time, you can rest assured we're not making any money from DROD by selling your privacy to a third party.

If we were, you'd hope Erik'd at least pay me.

Onto lighter news...

You may have noticed a new forum sitting there, about a third of the way up, called Holds.

Yes, Schik has been hard at work and has got the Holds system up! This is a place for completed holds to go. The Architect's forum will still hang around for beta testing and so forth, but this is where you go when you want actual completed ones. I'll put a link up in the forum, but for now submit your holds via http://www.drod.net/forum/uploadhold.php and we'll make sure they're complete.

For reference, at the moment we're saying Dugan's is a 5 on the brain-o-scale. Oneiromancer (Neil to his friends) has suggested another scale that takes into account the sorts of challenges one can expect from holds, but we haven't worked out how we're going to work that just yet, and you'll all so impatient! Down, boy!

You can rate holds by both difficulty and how fun it was - the brains are difficulty (click on them) and the drop box is how much you liked it. You can change your vote as well! You can also make specific comments and download the hold as you normally do on the forum.

The site's download page isn't complete yet, but most of it's in place. Schik's putting some stuff together for me.

I urge anyone who hasn't tried any of the user holds to have a look. And anyone who's still playing Webfoot, we've got a much better version for you! Go take a look on the download page.

Matt

[Edited by Mattcrampy on 11-18-2003 at 05:52 AM GMT]

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11-18-2003 at 05:50 AM
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Oneiromancer
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Um, can you tell us what the name of the file is? I run Spybot: Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware at least once a week and I probably never would have noticed if a file was in the DROD directory.

And yeah, about that other scale I was working on...we'll have to see about that. It was getting too...unwieldy, shall we say. There's no reason to have someone read a 500 word document just to rate the difficulty of a hold. I need to find a way to trim it down a bit. It might be an interesting read for that "DROD article" thing you had planned, and I could rewrite it to be more readable, but Schik and I decided that it was best to keep things simple in terms of hold ratings. And after all, everyone can change their votes if we do decide on some kind of standard. :D

Game on,

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11-18-2003 at 07:26 AM
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Mattcrampy
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The name's libexpat.dll.

It's a fairly standard library file, so I'm told.

Matt

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11-18-2003 at 09:54 AM
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eytanz
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An ad-aware "smart scan" doesn't find it - but a full scan of the hard drive does.

The easiest thing to do is to point ad-aware at the DROD directory, let it find the file, and then add it to the ignore list.

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11-18-2003 at 01:34 PM
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Mattcrampy
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Didn't think of setting it to ignore. Thanks, Eytan.

Matt

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11-18-2003 at 01:54 PM
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Schik
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I forgot to mention this - Since we now have optional email notification per board, when a new board is added (as Holds just was) nobody has email notification turned on for it. So for those of you who use email notification, don't forget to go into your profile and turn it on for Holds.


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11-19-2003 at 07:46 PM
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Tscott
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It's great to see a holds area now. I plan on adding my 3 main holds as soon as I get a chance.

A couple questions first, though. When I upload do I need to know the number of rooms/monsters? Do those numbers include secret (not required) rooms? Do I need to have my personal ratings set at the time of upload? And I'm guessing it will ask me for a prepared description of the hold sometime during the upload process, right?

Also, I liked the hold I made in my longest room attempt, This Unrest, (uploaded in this thread) but it's only one room that's pretty tedious if you tire of roach killing easily, but still pretty challenging. Is this a sort of hold you'd like to see included here too? Or would everyone prefer that we stick to "fuller" holds, and leave out the more experimental ones?

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11-19-2003 at 10:07 PM
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eytanz
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quote:
Tscott wrote:
It's great to see a holds area now. I plan on adding my 3 main holds as soon as I get a chance.

A couple questions first, though. When I upload do I need to know the number of rooms/monsters?


No, the forum determines that automaticcally.

quote:
Do those numbers include secret (not required) rooms?


Yes. But that's not really a problem unless you have a very small hold, because people won't usually go around counting rooms and cross-referencing the forum.

quote:
Do I need to have my personal ratings set at the time of upload?


Yes.

quote:
And I'm guessing it will ask me for a prepared description of the hold sometime during the upload process, right?


Yes.

quote:

Also, I liked the hold I made in my longest room attempt, This Unrest, (uploaded in this thread) but it's only one room that's pretty tedious if you tire of roach killing easily, but still pretty challenging. Is this a sort of hold you'd like to see included here too? Or would everyone prefer that we stick to "fuller" holds, and leave out the more experimental ones?


I vote, for now, that we only keep the "fuller" holds. Maybe in the future the uploading system could be tweaked to add hold "catagories", so that holds could be classified to seperate full holds, and mini-holds of various types (experimentations, demonstrations of weird/quirky behavior, one-room puzzles, etc.)?

[Edited by eytanz on 11-19-2003 at 10:16 PM GMT: Forgot to close a tag]

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11-19-2003 at 10:15 PM
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Oneiromancer
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quote:
eytanz wrote:
quote:
Tscott wrote:
Do I need to have my personal ratings set at the time of upload?
And I'm guessing it will ask me for a prepared description of the hold sometime during the upload process, right?


Yes. (x2)


Note that at some point Schik will fix it so we can modify what we have said. Probably around the same time as he makes it such that we can update holds in case of errors, major modifications, etc. As he suggests in another thread, this should only be done sparingly and will probably be closely watched by the admins, but it will help if you accidentally forget to include some information you wanted to. Of course you can always add an extra reply like Eytan did to his Tomb of Nomb hold post.

quote:
quote:

Also, I liked the hold I made in my longest room attempt, This Unrest, (uploaded in this thread) but it's only one room that's pretty tedious if you tire of roach killing easily, but still pretty challenging. Is this a sort of hold you'd like to see included here too? Or would everyone prefer that we stick to "fuller" holds, and leave out the more experimental ones?


I vote, for now, that we only keep the "fuller" holds. Maybe in the future the uploading system could be tweaked to add hold "catagories", so that holds could be classified to seperate full holds, and mini-holds of various types (experimentations, demonstrations of weird/quirky behavior, one-room puzzles, etc.)?


Probably one thing that could be done is that Matt (either one) periodically rounds up all the random little holds that are worth keeping and puts them in a zip file so people can download them all in one place. Not sure if this is really a good idea or not though. Also, the hold submission setup probably can't read a zip file and so would get confused. But I agree that the Holds forum should be only for "real" holds, it shouldn't get cluttered with little one-room things. People are still going to frequent the Architecture forum, so that's still a perfectly valid place to post these files. Hey, a sticky thread there with the zip file would work perfectly.

Game on,

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11-19-2003 at 10:27 PM
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Schik
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quote:
Tscott wrote:
Also, I liked the hold I made in my longest room attempt, This Unrest, (uploaded in this thread) but it's only one room that's pretty tedious if you tire of roach killing easily, but still pretty challenging. Is this a sort of hold you'd like to see included here too? Or would everyone prefer that we stick to "fuller" holds, and leave out the more experimental ones?

I think that after the competition, eytanz (or anyone, if he doesn't want to) should put all of the submitted rooms into a hold. That hold would certainly fit in the Holds forum nicely.



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11-19-2003 at 10:40 PM
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eytanz
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Yeah, I was thinking that too... But in truth I'm a bit ashamed of going back to that thread, given that I started it and lost control of it (a good thing), and sort of ignored it later (a bad thing).

That said, my suggestion was more in context of what will happen once there is a hold download page on the official website (which will probably feed of the forum) - there, holds could be sorted by catagory, so smaller demo holds won't clutter anything; while people who don't frequent the forum will still be able to find them. This will be more important, I believe, in future versions of DROD, since once the possible object population increases, there will probably be a far greater list of weird and unpredictable combinations and setups to demonstrate to each other, and experiments to make.

But these are suggestions for the future - it's by far best to complete the current plans first and worry about them later.

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11-19-2003 at 11:13 PM
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