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VPLauncher.dat -> update?

RolandScholz

Inserted Coin
VPLauncher uses the screenshot/flyer filenames that are in the VPLauncher.dat. VP-Man needs the screenshots and flyers named exactly the same as the table (version) name. Any idea, how we can try to make still not available screenshots/playfileds and flyers and backglasses and cabinet side art (from any packs) usable with both frontends? I believe, the naming that VP-Man is using works also with 3D Arcade, so maybe that's the solution, because VPLauncher would use them as well, if in the VPLauncher.dat.
If VP-Man needs that the user changes the file name of the screenshot and flyers files, then this means that VP-Man don't need the screenshot/flyer filename from the dat. So if a screenshot and/or flyer is provided with a table, the name of the file(s) should be added to the dat. This way it works with VPLauncher (which needs the names) and VP-Man (which doesn't need this entries).

I have a question: I have changed many/most table file names to my needs/wishes. I used a file manager program to rename them. It's not by using the VP Editor. The crc checksums still seem to be the same. I used this little program to check: http://www34.brinkster.com/dizzyk/index.html (the CRC32 Calculator, windows based program: CheckCRC). I guess I can still use my tables (as long as they aren't changed elsewise) to update the VPLauncher.dat, but I'm not sure 100%. Right?
Unfortunately wrong. If a table should be added to the dat, where no version of this table is already in the dat (i.e. the table is unknown for the dat), you have to enter two entries:
First entry is an entry to match (hopefully) all future versions of the table by using a part of the table file name which identifies the table. Second entry is the one matching exactly the version of the table by using the checksum. So if you have renamed the table, you can not create the important first entry.
 

yogiholzer

Pinball Wizard
About the screenshots/flyers file names I mean this (i. e.):

If the table is named 'yogiholzer_1.vpt', the screenshot and the flyer for VP-Man have both to be named 'yogiholzer_1.jpg' (or 'yogiholzer_1.png'). VPLauncher could use each screenshot/flyer file name, i. e. 'yogi_holzer 1.0.jpg', if it's in the VPLauncher.dat. To make the screenshot/flyer useable for both frontends without renaming, it would be best to use 'yogiholzer_1.jpg' (or 'yogiholzer_1.png') in the VPLauncher.dat, or?

I mean to use the same screenshot/flyer file names in both frontends, or better even in 3D Arcade. I'm actually overstrained to bring this in relation to Meecro Hyperions gamelist updater 3DArcade Utilities - Pinball Nirvana Forums

Table file name: I still have to think about. I'm not sure if I understand correctly. If I i. e. have table file name 'AF_1.0.vpt' for 'Addams Family 1.0' and make 'Addams Family, The' as the first entry and make '1.0' as version number (second entry) and the checksum is the same, wouldn't that work?

However, it probably means I have to download all tables once again (if still available).
 

Meecro Hyperion

Pinball Nudger
yogiholzer said:
About the screenshots/flyers ... : Do you mean to add the file names to the VPLauncher.dat, or do you mean to collect the files to offer them later as additional screenshot/flyer pack?
RolandScholz said:
If VP-Man needs that the user changes the file name of the screenshot and flyers files, then this means that VP-Man don't need the screenshot/flyer filename from the dat. So if a screenshot and/or flyer is provided with a table, the name of the file(s) should be added to the dat. This way it works with VPLauncher (which needs the names) and VP-Man (which doesn't need this entries).
Yogi, I mean add the file names to the VPLauncher.dat, but only if they are privided in the distribution pack. That will benefit VPL users, and VP-Man users can change the filenames if needed.
RolandScholz said:
If a table should be added to the dat, where no version of this table is already in the dat (i.e. the table is unknown for the dat), you have to enter two entries:
First entry is an entry to match (hopefully) all future versions of the table by using a part of the table file name which identifies the table. Second entry is the one matching exactly the version of the table by using the checksum. So if you have renamed the table, you can not create the important first entry.
Roland, I have noticed that VPL seems to name unknown tables from the vpt file's 'Table Name' field in Table Info. For example, I have two versions of Gottlieb Devil's Dare. One is called dd098.vpt, has no Table Info, but is known and recognised. VPL and the .matches and exported CSV files call this table "Devil's Dare" as expected. The other is unknown to VPLauncher.dat, filename "Devil's Dare.vpt" - version 0.30, is called "GOTTLIEBS DEVIL'S DARE" in the Table Info -> 'Table Name' field, and appears as "GOTTLIEBS DEVIL'S DARE" in VPL, .matches, exported CSV, and .userdat (which I assume is for tables unknown to VPLauncher.dat).

Can you confirm the order in which VPL names the tables:
e.g.
1) Compare vpt CRC32 with values in VPLauncher.dat. If found, use field 0 (Table Name) of VPLauncher.dat in .matches and exported CSV files. If not found:
2) Search .vpt Table Info for Table Name. If found, use that name in .matches, .userdat and exported CSV files. If not found:
3) Use an algorithm (would be interested to know which algorithm) to attempt to match field 0 in VPLauncher.dat with the table filename (minus .vpt extension). If a match is found, use field 0 of VPLauncher.dat in .matches, .userdat and exported CSV files. If not found:
4) Use the filename?
 
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RolandScholz

Inserted Coin
About the screenshots/flyers file names I mean this (i. e.):

If the table is named 'yogiholzer_1.vpt', the screenshot and the flyer for VP-Man have both to be named 'yogiholzer_1.jpg' (or 'yogiholzer_1.png'). VPLauncher could use each screenshot/flyer file name, i. e. 'yogi_holzer 1.0.jpg', if it's in the VPLauncher.dat. To make the screenshot/flyer useable for both frontends without renaming, it would be best to use 'yogiholzer_1.jpg' (or 'yogiholzer_1.png') in the VPLauncher.dat, or?
If a table author releases a zip-file, which contains mytable.vpt and mytable_screenshot.jpg, then mytable_screenshot.jpg has to go into the dat. If VP-Man needs that the screenshot has to be renamed to mytable.jpg, then this name should not be used in the dat.

Table file name: I still have to think about. I'm not sure if I understand correctly. If I i. e. have table file name 'AF_1.0.vpt' for 'Addams Family 1.0' and make 'Addams Family, The' as the first entry and make '1.0' as version number (second entry) and the checksum is the same, wouldn't that work?
That should be the second entry for version 1.0. The first entry should be an entry for all (future) versions. This entry should not have any version information and the file name "AF" instead of the checksum. Lets assume after the dat is released, there is a new version, AF_23.0.vpt. VPLauncher (and I think VP-Man works the same way) first checks the checksum of this file against all checksums in the dat. As this version is not in the dat, no checksum matches. In this case VPLauncher tries to match the file name. This would match the "AF" entry with all information except the version number. This is much better then to not match at all. That's the reason why the first entry is so important and has to use the correct file name.

However, it probably means I have to download all tables once again (if still available).
Unfortunately yes
 

Meecro Hyperion

Pinball Nudger
yogiholzer said:
If the table is named 'yogiholzer_1.vpt', the screenshot and the flyer for VP-Man have both to be named 'yogiholzer_1.jpg' (or 'yogiholzer_1.png'). VPLauncher could use each screenshot/flyer file name, i. e. 'If the table is named 'yogiholzer_1.vpt', the screenshot and the flyer for VP-Man have both to be named 'yogiholzer_1.jpg' (or 'yogiholzer_1.png'). VPLauncher could use each screenshot/flyer file name, i. e. 'yogi_holzer 1.0.jpg', if it's in the VPLauncher.dat. To make the screenshot/flyer useable for both frontends without renaming, it would be best to use 'yogiholzer_1.jpg' (or 'yogiholzer_1.png') in the VPLauncher.dat, or?', if it's in the VPLauncher.dat. To make the screenshot/flyer useable for both frontends without renaming, it would be best to use 'yogiholzer_1.jpg' (or 'yogiholzer_1.png') in the VPLauncher.dat, or?
Yes. But if the distribution we already have has 'yogi_holzer 1.0.jpg' as the screenshot, then we use that in VPLauncher.dat.
yogiholzer said:
If I i. e. have table file name 'AF_1.0.vpt' for 'Addams Family 1.0' and make 'Addams Family, The' as the first entry and make '1.0' as version number (second entry) and the checksum is the same, wouldn't that work?
That should work, since you are only changing the filename, not it's contents, and therefore the checksum remains the same.
 

Meecro Hyperion

Pinball Nudger
Quote:
<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0"> <tbody><tr> <td class="alt2" style="border: 1px inset ;"> Originally Posted by yogiholzer
Table file name: I still have to think about. I'm not sure if I understand correctly. If I i. e. have table file name 'AF_1.0.vpt' for 'Addams Family 1.0' and make 'Addams Family, The' as the first entry and make '1.0' as version number (second entry) and the checksum is the same, wouldn't that work? </td> </tr> </tbody></table>
RolandScholz said:
That should be the second entry for version 1.0. The first entry should be an entry for all (future) versions.
Ok, I know you wrote it, but the first entry in my VPLauncher.dat for Devil's Dare:
Devil's Dare\(Patatrox) v0.1\$00DF088E\PataTroX\1982\Gottlieb\VPinMame\devils_dare_pat.jpg/devils_dare_f1.jpg/devils_dare_f2.jpg\?\n\\

Just checked - most of the others have a generic first entry. Got it
 

yogiholzer

Pinball Wizard
Sorry, I guess I wasn't precise enough to explain what I meant, but your answers made it clear anyway (I think).
 

yogiholzer

Pinball Wizard
Mmh? I think we are ready to start, or?

I guess, anyone needs to sum up the previous posts and write down the rules. Maybe I can do that later somewhen next week, but I would prefer, if anyone else with better English capatibilities would do that.

In between I started to download tables once again to make sure that the table file names are correct. I'm nearly complete with the available vpm tables from PN and the VP8 tables from VPF.org. I still have to compare them with my previous table downloads and backups. That can last some time.

None else is willing to help?
 

Meecro Hyperion

Pinball Nudger
I'm in - got a bit distracted with Facebook 'Farm-town' game. More Addictive than Tetris!!!
[EDIT] Farm-Town has gone from 0 to 7,000,000 users in 3 months!!!! Can you imagine the bandwidth & server capacity needed to support that kind of growth???
The forums there use the same engine as PN, but they have over 1M users (in 3 months...), with 3-4K on at any one time.... Someone needs to convert VP to Flash and add it as a FaceBook App....

I'm happy to write down a proposal, data flow diagram, conventions....
 
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yogiholzer

Pinball Wizard
Farm-town?

Tetris was included when I bought my first 'computer':



I will try to get more tables next and test the undocumented command line option -admin, which adds another entry to the VPLauncher menu bar. Change to the directory where VPLauncher is installed and start with this command: VPLauncher -admin (see attachment).

I guess I will test it on an empty VPLauncher.dat first.

Please post your tutorial when ready. No need to hurry!

This just comes to mind while looking at the attachment: What's about the screenshots implemented into some table files? The screenshots tab in the VPLauncher.dat stay empty?
 

Attachments

RolandScholz

Inserted Coin
This just comes to mind while looking at the attachment: What's about the screenshots implemented into some table files? The screenshots tab in the VPLauncher.dat stay empty?
In this case VPLauncher (and I think VP-Man also) extract the screenshot from the table info, so it is correct to let the screenshot entry empty.
 

yogiholzer

Pinball Wizard
Thanks, Roland.

While still downloading tables ( :trippy: :dizzy: :ko: ), this came to mind as well:

How to differentiate between VP 8.1.1, VP 9.x.x, 16:9, FS and what else?

@ What's about the IPDB reference in the unused fields 11 & 12?
 

Meecro Hyperion

Pinball Nudger
yogiholzer said:
What's about the IPDB reference in the unused fields 11 & 12?
The massive database of pinball machine resources is at http://www.ipdb.org
Each Pin has a unique reference number, along with resources like photo's of real pins (I use them to generate skins), manuals, electronic schematics, ROMS etc.

I would like to get that reference number added to VPLauncher.dat in one of the unused fields. I (think) I can write a script to do it automatically after we have updated the .dat with all the new tables.
My plan is to use the Name in .dat field 0 as part of an automated query to download the ipdb page, isolate reference number and add it into the .dat. Might take a day or so to run!

Maybe we can use the other unused field (or add more) for VP version, aspect etc.
Maybe do that later?
 

Meecro Hyperion

Pinball Nudger
Meecro Hyperion said:
Roland, I have noticed that VPL seems to name unknown tables from the vpt file's 'Table Name' field in Table Info. For example, I have two versions of Gottlieb Devil's Dare. One is called dd098.vpt, has no Table Info, but is known and recognised. VPL and the .matches and exported CSV files call this table "Devil's Dare" as expected. The other is unknown to VPLauncher.dat, filename "Devil's Dare.vpt" - version 0.30, is called "GOTTLIEBS DEVIL'S DARE" in the Table Info -> 'Table Name' field, and appears as "GOTTLIEBS DEVIL'S DARE" in VPL, .matches, exported CSV, and .userdat (which I assume is for tables unknown to VPLauncher.dat).

Can you confirm the order in which VPL names the tables:
e.g.
1) Compare vpt CRC32 with values in VPLauncher.dat. If found, use field 0 (Table Name) of VPLauncher.dat in .matches and exported CSV files. If not found:
2) Search .vpt Table Info for Table Name. If found, use that name in .matches, .userdat and exported CSV files. If not found:
3) Use an algorithm (would be interested to know which algorithm) to attempt to match field 0 in VPLauncher.dat with the table filename (minus .vpt extension). If a match is found, use field 0 of VPLauncher.dat in .matches, .userdat and exported CSV files. If not found:
4) Use the filename?
Roland, you might have missed this post on page two.....
 

yogiholzer

Pinball Wizard
Matt, are you still in? I read about your banning of all MS and already thought, I now have to do all on my own. Ok, not exactly, Deep Stuff offered his help at VPF.org.
 

RolandScholz

Inserted Coin
Roland, you might have missed this post on page two.....
Sorry, I really did.

Roland, I have noticed that VPL seems to name unknown tables from the vpt file's 'Table Name' field in Table Info. For example, I have two versions of Gottlieb Devil's Dare. One is called dd098.vpt, has no Table Info, but is known and recognised. VPL and the .matches and exported CSV files call this table "Devil's Dare" as expected. The other is unknown to VPLauncher.dat, filename "Devil's Dare.vpt" - version 0.30, is called "GOTTLIEBS DEVIL'S DARE" in the Table Info -> 'Table Name' field, and appears as "GOTTLIEBS DEVIL'S DARE" in VPL, .matches, exported CSV, and .userdat (which I assume is for tables unknown to VPLauncher.dat).

Can you confirm the order in which VPL names the tables:
e.g.
1) Compare vpt CRC32 with values in VPLauncher.dat. If found, use field 0 (Table Name) of VPLauncher.dat in .matches and exported CSV files. If not found:
2) Search .vpt Table Info for Table Name. If found, use that name in .matches, .userdat and exported CSV files. If not found:
3) Use an algorithm (would be interested to know which algorithm) to attempt to match field 0 in VPLauncher.dat with the table filename (minus .vpt extension). If a match is found, use field 0 of VPLauncher.dat in .matches, .userdat and exported CSV files. If not found:
4) Use the filename?
The third column of the dat has for every entry either a CRC32 or part of a table file name. With this in mind, the following steps are executed in this order until a match is found
1. Exactly your point 1 above
2. Match the file name against all parts of a file name in column 3.

If it matched, all information from the dat is used with one exception:
If it matched due to 2, try to use the information from table info for the table name (and not from the dat). If there is no table name in table info, use the table name from dat.

If it didn't match in 1 or 2, use table name from table info, if available, else use file name.
 

Meecro Hyperion

Pinball Nudger
yogiholzer said:
Matt, are you still in? I read about your banning of all MS and already thought, I now have to do all on my own. Ok, not exactly, Deep Stuff offered his help at VPF.org.
No I'm Still in. I can run VPL under a Linux Windows emulator (wine).
Wine will run VP and allow tables to be loaded, but not played, so I can still access table info from Linux, or even build an original (just not test it!)
Looking to install VMWare or virtual box to run XP inside Linux, so maybe I will still be able to run VP :)
 

yogiholzer

Pinball Wizard
Hi Deep Stuff,

I hope instructions will follow soon, although I guess, that nearly all can taken from this thread. But a summarisation would be nice.

I'm still collecting tables from everywhere and I'm still on search for further tables. I still didn't start.

Two free weeks from next weekend on, so I don't think, I will start before my birthday.
 

Monyet

Pinball Nudger
Hope this helps.

Hi, just reading through the forum, i'm a part time lurker. I joined to see if this helps.

As far as tables go I recently joined a site called pleasuredome. I'm sure that some of you are members. If not they basically serve up full up to date rom sets for Mame and other systems on a ratio based system. They also have pinball tables and the Pinmame rom set. I don't know if this helps but I was able to get 13 gig of tables in a day or two.

Anyway here is the link - http://www.pleasuredome.org.uk

The trouble I'm having is that I want to run all tables from within the archives since the screenshots and rules are in the zip file. AFAIK there is no way to do this, at least if there is I haven't found it. I generally do as much research as I can before I post anything anywhere but I just can't find it.

Someone must have some idea for the collection to exist in the first place. The uploader of the file is called ARMAX. Anyone have any insight?

Monyet
 

yogiholzer

Pinball Wizard
Hello Monyet,

I had the idea to eventually update the VPLauncher.dat file in collaboration with some others. The file stores table informations like file name, author, year,... and file names of screenshots, flyers, ... to use and to become displayed in the VPLauncher frontend as well as in VP-Man frontend.

To update the VPLauncher.dat, my idea was to get as many tables (not roms) as possible first, then check the missing entries in the VPLauncher.dat and then run the VPLauncher in edit mode and add or change the entries to the VPLauncher.dat.

I already have downloaded a bunch of tables (there's no way to have a complete set of tables, because there are too many and not all are available and nobody knows about all of them).

The problem is: I'm actually not aware, if there are still and really cooperators. That's a problem because I feel/know it's much too much work for me alone. I still wait for the announced tutorial, but I'm not sure, if Meecro Hyperion is still active. I didn't see any post of him last. If not, I would have to make the tutorial myself, because people, who would like to help (i. e. Deep Stuff), already asked for instructions.

Actually I'm undecided to continue further prearrangement, because there's not much common interest at all.

About pleasuredome: I don't use any P2P software, so pleasuredome isn't what I was looking for.

About your trouble: You can't run the tables from within any archives. You have to unextract the table files (*.vpt) to your tables folder and any screenshots, flyers and rules to the folders, where your frontend wants them to be.

Feel free to ask here, if you have additional questions. It's a nearly dead thread now, so you can post off topic stuff until it becomes more on topic again. I don't worry about.
 

yogiholzer

Pinball Wizard
I'm sorry to announce this, but I just even decided, that I give up the project.

The reason is not, that I only feel completely overstrained, but that it's fact that I'm overextended. I can't manage the amount of all the tables available here and there and elsewhere that I already have downloaded and that I still haven't downloaded. Originals, recreations, VP, VPM, VP 8, VP 9, 4:3, rotated, full screen, cabinet, mods, ... .

I lost overview completely, even if I tried to sort all the downloads at once.

Most tables, if not nearly all since about 2 years or more, I still didn't play on my own. The project in mind I lose fun to try them more and more. I finally want to have fun again and that's the most important part of my decision. I will play some 'new' tables next.

Alongside I'm a little disappointed by the lowly interest in an updated VPLauncher.dat at all. I would have expected much more interests and help submissions also.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean, that the project is dead. Everyone is invited to take over the project to continue. I'm out. Please don't try to convince me from the opposite.

Thanks for your understanding.

yogiholzer
 
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