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getting rid of users\...\Documents\OpenRA folder
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:01 am    Post subject:   getting rid of users\...\Documents\OpenRA folder Reply with quote

I just noticed after downloading RA1 assets, that the OpenRA folder didn't get bigger. So i was wondering where OpenRA stores the downloaded files.
Only by doing a full search in C: i found the place.

Is there a chance to keep the game together in one folder and not have it create folders and files in unknown places somewhere on C ?
Since i copied OpenRA on drive D where it has full write/read permissions (unlike the default C:\Program Files folder), there is no need for it to use other folders.

I don't like having Programs to clutter up my PC by creating files and folders in unknown places.
Especially for such a game as OpenRA, it would be great to stay portable, like using it on USB drives.
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Graion Dilach
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Joined: 22 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, create a Support folder in your OpenRA folder.

According to pchote "all players install OpenRA to Program Files" so this nonsense won't be changed. Even better, thirdparty mods are actively encouraged to put all their data to My Documents/OpenRA (although there were discussions to shift it to Local Settings/OpenRA because that's even hidden(!)). Yes, exactly.

This is pretty much one of the few times when I consider OpenRA design going full retard. But apparently everyone else is completely fine with that.
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MustaphaTR
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Joined: 22 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed with LKO that ORA needs to be portable or have a portable version. Making game portable by itself shuld be eaiser that creating a complete new version tho.

Or that can be also good if we can set where user files will be written(during installation?). So i can put them in USB/External Drive too and game can read from there.
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, adding the Support folder and copying the contents of Documents\OpenRA into it, did the trick. Thanks.

Well, with so many dumb computer users today thinking "if it's not visible on my desktop, it is not there at all", i can understand that they use the crap windows user folder system.

Does OpenRA use the Registry?
I'm not a fan of programs that clutter up this never cleaned up again garbage area of windows.

Last edited by Lin Kuei Ominae on Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:26 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Graion Dilach
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Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyörgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dammit, LKO ninjaing!

@MustaphaTR:
The existance of the Support folder within the OpenRA game folder is checked at runtime start so technically that's there.

There were ideas to make the support folder's path completely customizable but those got dropped.

@LKO: No, AFAIK the registry isn't used and longterm will be only used to look up orig game installations for assets.
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graion Dilach wrote:
@LKO: No, AFAIK the registry isn't used and longterm will be only used to look up orig game installations for assets.

that's great to hear (uh read)

Even though the last point will surely cause trouble when users have mods installed in the installations found via the registry.
So imo the current system having a download and/or load from CD works perfectly fine.
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Graion Dilach
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Joined: 22 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It won't cause issues. Only the used original game assets from the installs are copied into the respective OpenRA folders after validated via checksum, so edited assets are getting caught.

This was necessary for Ultimate Collection/TFD support.
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Mig Eater
General


Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Location: Eindhoven

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a similar grievance awhile ago when OpenRA install incorrectly, resulting it graphical glitches ingame. The usual method of uninstalling & reinstalling the program didn't fix the problem tho. Because unbeknown to me there were files in My Documents that had been corrupted during installation & uninstalling OpenRA didn't remove these files. Reinstalling didn't rewrite them either, so I had to find & delete them manually before I could do a clean reinstall.
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Matthias M.
Jumpjet Infantry


Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a known problem https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/2790 Interestingly programs like CCleaner now come with rules to fill the gap.

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Blade
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 23 Dec 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ideally, it shouldn't matter where the game stores things as long as there is an interface for installing it and cleaning it up.

User data like saves and config absolutely should live in a location under the users folder so the game behaves correctly for none admin users, but static data, well it depends on if you want users to be able to install user specific custom content or not. The installer for the original games contents should probably expect admin access and install to the program folder, but other stuff like custom mods? Perhaps not.

Remember even if you don't use it as such, Windows is a multi user operating system and programs should behave correctly as such.

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pchote
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 06 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Installing mods and their assets to the user-specific directory is indeed a bit crap.  #10374 tracks splitting our internal handling of user-level data (replays, screenshots, settings) from game/mod-level data (assets, maps, custom mods).  Under windows we could then follow Microsoft's guidelines and put the second set in SpecialFolder.CommonApplicationData (C:\ProgramData by default) where it would be shared by all users on the system.

Writing the game assets into the OpenRA installation directory isn't feasible:
  • We can't present a trustworthy runtime elevation prompt in a cross-platform way that is guaranteed to work.  Asking people to give their root password to OpenRA itself is a joke, and even if we wanted to add a pile of horrible logic to detect and use gksudo/kdesu/applescript/whateverwindowswants dialogs we can't guarantee that they will be displayed in front of the OpenRA SDL2 window.
  • Installing the mod content during OpenRA installation forces people to install all our default mods up-front and can't be reliably implemented in a cross-platform way.  It is also unfair on and requires a separate solution for third party mods.
  • Letting users bypass their system's software installation infrastructure and directly modify their system-installed files is bad practice on pretty much every modern OS.

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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i understand that you want things to work for the ordinary user

though consider also the following
-i want multiple OpenRA's (duplicate folders) so i can have a test version, a mod version, a play version, a version for DTA, a version for TI etc.
I don't want all these mixed together, making it hard to separate them again once it's time to pack and release one of them
Currently i have 10 different folders with Tiberian Sun for TI, DTA, TO, TS, Hyperpatch etc. The same could also come for OpenRA, maybe not for the ordinary rules/art edits, but when new core game logics are written into the engine.

-i want to be able to copy the game from one PC to another, without having to search minutes through hundreds of GigaBytes of MicroSofts horrible organized folder system, just to find all the necessary files belonging to the game

-i would like to use OpenRA on a PC at work (for the breaks), without having it instantly visible for anyone checking my user data that this program is running here. (games at work aren't that welcome you know Wink )

But if the "Support" folder logic is kept the way it works now, all things are fine to me. It might be only good to have a checkbox in the installer "install in one folder, like portable app" which instantly creates the Support folder.



btw, if i can avoid it, i never install programs in the microsoft system's software installation infrastructure.
If possible they are all used as portable app and copied to the second partition D.
With windows getting slower and slower with each installed program and update, it's almost unavoidable to create an image right after the first complete OS installation and then restore the image every 4 to 6 months to get rid of all the crap that Windows collects.

Last edited by Lin Kuei Ominae on Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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pchote
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 06 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The local support folder feature is there specifically for those use cases, so we wouldn't remove it completely (but we may change the way it works).

We used to have a checkbox in the installer, but removed it again after we got sick of dealing with bug reports from players who selected it (without knowing what it did) and then installed to a read-only location.

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Bittah Commander
Defense Minister


Joined: 21 May 2003
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about just restoring that checkbox and throwing a very clear "are you sure..." warning dialog in people's face whenever they tick the checkbox, telling them that they'll require admin rights to properly run the game in certain locations?
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pchote
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 06 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mainly because that adds more complexity for us (code) and for the 99% of players who don't need it (UI).  It is safer and easier for the few people who do want it to take the one extra step to do it manually.

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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though it's not easy to find out that "extra step" is actually available. Luckily we have this forum, but many ordinary users are completely unaware of this and don't even know where to ask.
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^Rampastein
Rampastring


Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lin Kuei Ominae wrote:
Though it's not easy to find out that "extra step" is actually available. Luckily we have this forum, but many ordinary users are completely unaware of this and don't even know where to ask.

If you know how to deal with the Windows multi-user permissions system and know that you'd like to store data files in the game folder instead of ProgramData / AppData / Documents, then you aren't an ordinary user and also know where to ask (or can find a place where to ask with a quick google search) Wink

I'm glad to hear that OpenRA will store mod content in ProgramData instead of My Documents by default. It's how it should be done, and I found it confusing how mod data was stored in Documents. I have never encountered another Windows application that would store core data files in Documents.

Lin Kuei Ominae wrote:
With windows getting slower and slower with each installed program and update, it's almost unavoidable to create an image right after the first complete OS installation and then restore the image every 4 to 6 months to get rid of all the crap that Windows collects.

Haven't personally encountered this btw. Used the same XP installation for 6 years, then Win7 for 2 years, Win8.1 and now Win10 for 1 year each. I've seen no performance degrade over time.
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At my work we have several education laptops that constantly need windows updates and different programs installed. These get every 2 to 4 months a new image installed, because boot up and reaction times in windows (7 and 10) slow down to unbearable speeds.
From 5-10 seconds boot up duration after a fresh image down to several minutes after a few months (they show the desktop after 30 seconds, but stupid windows is working for a long time after that, making any usage impossible because there are still tons of things loaded and a even simple click can take several seconds before any reaction)

In one of our test we deinstalled everything on one of these slow laptops to a point where it had less things installed than the image, yet it was still slow as hell.
This showed very well how bad windows cleans stuff up and how inefficient it works over time.
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Bittah Commander
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Joined: 21 May 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used Windows 7 for a good number of years without having noticed any major slowdowns (but certain things that need to start up with Windows such as virus scanners obviously do slow down the startup a bit).
Of course I'm the only one that installs software on my own PC, so in your case it's likely that whoever uses it installs lots of adware and the like and that can indeed take its toll after a while. I recommend trying CCleaner for such situations though.
pchote wrote:
Mainly because that adds more complexity for us (code) and for the 99% of players who don't need it (UI).  It is safer and easier for the few people who do want it to take the one extra step to do it manually.

I'm pretty sure there's a good number of people who'd benefit from having a simple option during the installation to make it portable; primarily those who'd wanna play this at school or work and aren't knowledgeable enough to manually search for a way to do this themselves.
While it's obviously not something to explicitly encourage, having a number of people play this at school or work is free publicity, since classmates or colleges will see ask what it is and possibly join in (even if they weren't interested in C&C in the first place).
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G-E
General


Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also keep in mind Windows/Users directories can be purged for other reasons, including profile backups... keeping it portable as Bittah suggests is the preferred way in my opinion.
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Matthias M.
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Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We could also make the data folder folder configurable. OpenRCT2 has a config.ini located at a standard location ($XDG_CONFIG_HOME/OpenRCT2/ on Linux) which has a setting:
Code:
[general]
game_path = "/home/matthias/.wine/drive_c/GOG Games/RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 Triple Thrill Pack/"

Combined with a proper backfall at a sensible default location for every platform, this could make advanced users and people, who just want to play right away, happy.

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Bittah Commander
Defense Minister


Joined: 21 May 2003
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point is to make portability accessible to less advanced users (in other words, it should be configurable via the installer, instead of having to manually edit some INI file).
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pchote
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 06 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The top google result for "OpenRA portable" takes me to http://portableapps.com/node/32463, which has instructions on how to create a local support directory.

All indications (from social media, the website comments, ingame chat, and all the forums and other websites we follow) are that this is sufficient, even for less advanced users.  We see perhaps 1 question a year about portable installs, which is much lower than other things wanted by non-technical users (smartphone versions, installing FMVs/music, sharing custom maps, etc).

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