QL Software Preservation - Next Steps

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Pr0f
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Re: QL Software Preservation - Next Steps

Postby Pr0f » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:18 pm

It's a shame you can't put that as a caveat that they are essentially unsupported, and other than post a request on one of the forums, they are on their own.

Now where is my free lunch! And if I don't like it can I have my money back ;-)


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Re: QL Software Preservation - Next Steps

Postby RWAP » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:30 pm

Pr0f wrote:It's a shame you can't put that as a caveat that they are essentially unsupported, and other than post a request on one of the forums, they are on their own.


If only people would read caveats and take them seriously.

The problem is that we tend to forget just how much time and hand-holding it takes to get used to the QL way of doing things, and then people switch between emulators with high colour drivers and high resolution screens to a humble QL with its microdrives and want to know straight away - how do I get the software I have enjoyed using on an emulator on here...

Some of us on the forums have over 30 years of experience, and we don't tend to mind giving advice (even if it is the same old advice time and time again); but unfortunately, we are also often seen as the first point of call


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Re: QL Software Preservation - Next Steps

Postby dilwyn » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:29 pm

RWAP wrote:
Pr0f wrote:It's a shame you can't put that as a caveat that they are essentially unsupported, and other than post a request on one of the forums, they are on their own.


If only people would read caveats and take them seriously.

Tell me about it. Completely pointless suggestion pr0f :x

RWAP wrote:Some of us on the forums have over 30 years of experience, and we don't tend to mind giving advice (even if it is the same old advice time and time again); but unfortunately, we are also often seen as the first point of call

Much of the problem is modern social trends, i.e. social media and immediacy. The shoot first ask questions later attitudes. Easier to ask the same question over and over than look up an existing answer because it would take five seconds to type the question instead of ten seconds to look up an existing answer.


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Re: QL Software Preservation - Next Steps

Postby tofro » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:01 pm

In my opinion, people that need hand-holding with the QL (or, any other retro computer, for that matter) are probably trying the wrong hobby - Fiddling around with that thing and finding out what works and how is the main part of why I still am into old computers. Only if seriously stuck I would ask for help (Why should you guys have all the fun?).

Modern PCs tend to have better hotlines.

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Pr0f
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Re: QL Software Preservation - Next Steps

Postby Pr0f » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:11 pm

dilwyn wrote:
RWAP wrote:
Pr0f wrote:It's a shame you can't put that as a caveat that they are essentially unsupported, and other than post a request on one of the forums, they are on their own.


If only people would read caveats and take them seriously.

Tell me about it. Completely pointless suggestion pr0f :x


It was said with a sense of irony - I work in support for a job, so I know people never read anything important ;-)


dilwyn wrote:
RWAP wrote:Some of us on the forums have over 30 years of experience, and we don't tend to mind giving advice (even if it is the same old advice time and time again); but unfortunately, we are also often seen as the first point of call

Much of the problem is modern social trends, i.e. social media and immediacy. The shoot first ask questions later attitudes. Easier to ask the same question over and over than look up an existing answer because it would take five seconds to type the question instead of ten seconds to look up an existing answer.


Agree - that seems to be the mentallity of the modern world. It's a shame as there is a huge wealth of information (and some disinformation) about anything and everything for the ones willing to do a bit of surfing, googling and forum hunting. These places only work because people contribute their time and information and experiences...


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Re: QL Software Preservation - Next Steps

Postby Dave » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:44 pm

I don't know what the problem is people have with the two main preservation projects. They're both noble causes of capturing software held on very fragile and aging storage media. Rich is a naturally conservative guy, and some people are critical because they want something for nothing.

As my name came up, here's what I was proposing:

I would take copies of all preserved software for library purposes. I would be an extra back-up location on yet another continent.

I would then archive the ones that are not freely distributable.

The ones that ARE freely distributable, several things would happen:
1. They would be placed online for download, with a description, a couple of screenshots, author details, links into the wiki and etc. This info would be copied to the QL Wiki if there isn't already a page.
2. They would be added to a system that would work transparently for those who have a QL-based internet connection. This would involve very lightweight HTML/XML, and download as a ZIP file, for unzipping on a QL. When I say XML< I mean, we can literally have QL display tags in <>'s. <MODE 8><INK 4><PAPER 0><CLS><AT 7,15>Hello!
3. Have a "featured" page which highlights a new or updated piece of software each month. People could publish their software on the platform at no charge. This would also allow people to include code in their software to check for newer versions and prompt to self-update. As I have had the same domain and IP for many years now and will for many more, it's a stable location which can be reliably resolved by any QL. My new wifi/ethernet hardware will do much to improve the internet connectivity of black box QLs, so this will be a much needed service in the coming months.

As an aside, there's a move going through government right now to allow an exemption under the DMCA in the US for abandoned software. This software still legally has copyright, but the copyright is owned by a corporation that no longer exists and the assets were not sold or transferred. In those cases, we are allowed to store, reverse engineer to remove copy or execution protection measures, etc. This would give me a *legal* avenue to get some software which is trapped between the "it has been released from restrictions" and "permission denied" end of the spectrum - the dreaded "we don't know and can't find anybody" plateau. I'm monitoring the situation closely - the ruling will be made in the next few months and will be valid for renewable three year periods.

So, that's what I have in mind.


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Re: QL Software Preservation - Next Steps

Postby Dave » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:26 pm

It would be nice to have some action, instead of just discussion.

Rich, Simone, would either of you be willing to share your archives with me privately, with a document describing what is released and what is restricted? I can then begin the job of getting the released software up, and putting the restricted items on a couple of bluray disks - one in my safe and one in my safety deposit box at the bank?

I am ready to move on this now.


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Re: QL Software Preservation - Next Steps

Postby RWAP » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:10 pm

The problem is that strictly by sharing the archive, I am breaking copyright.

I also have no list of what has been released - you may recall that I uploaded a spreadsheet listing all 1400+ titles for people to go through and add information; check what appears on Dilwyn's site etc - but no-one has done anything with it. I simply do not have the time or inclination because of the lack of any support for doing that.

Remember that ALL of the known released programs are already on Dilwyn's site; so I don't see what benefit there would be in sorting through the large archive and sending you copies of the software all over again. There are also 100s of titles which have been preserved where we don't know the author / publisher or copyright status - that was the final straw for me - because people are very vocal in bemoaning the 'lack of free software' for the QL and yet are unwilling to do anything to help sort out if there is actually some more free software which can be made available. What the moaners actually mean is "there is no freely available well-known QL games"


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Re: QL Software Preservation - Next Steps

Postby Cristian » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:11 pm

RWAP wrote:The problem is that strictly by sharing the archive, I am breaking copyright.

Is there a distinction between sharing/distributing to everyone, and sharing to someone for a strict preservation purpose only?[/quote]


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Re: QL Software Preservation - Next Steps

Postby RWAP » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:30 pm

Cristian wrote:
RWAP wrote:The problem is that strictly by sharing the archive, I am breaking copyright.

Is there a distinction between sharing/distributing to everyone, and sharing to someone for a strict preservation purpose only?
[/quote]

Not so far as I know.



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