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nickrud

Overwrite vs. Override in Guide

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Hi, a very satisfied MO user here. While looking for the Guide link to give to a potential user I saw some language in the "What do the Flags mean?" topic box. May I suggest using override instead of overwrite there, and any other relevant location?

 

It better reflects what actually happens and would help prevent any confusion on the part of a new user - "MO claims to keep mods completely separate but it overwrites stuff?"

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Got ninja-ed by Double you. When typing my post I got a notice from the forum software that someone has posted an message. I agree with you and also DoubleYou agrees. Note: It is a wiki and anybody can and is very much encouraged to add/change information. Should you see other things feel free to change it.

 

One remark: Tannin uses the term 'overwritten' in the conflicts tab (when right clicking information for a selected mod). I think its best to use the same terminology in the MO wiki and in the program. Perhaps Tannin agrees with the suggestion and can change the wording in a next version of MO or he has a reason for using the word 'overwritten'. I don't know.

 

PS. Good work DoubleYou. Hadn't looked at the wiki for a while and it has certainly improved. Especially the 'overwrite' tab. Feel a bit ashamed to after initial wiki editing I let it slip.....

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Hi,

 

I finished up the Left Pane panel simply so it's consistent, 'overwritten' got missed.

 

I stopped there due to your excellent point about tannin's use of overwrite in mo itself - as you say, he may have a good reason for using that word instead of override. If you hadn't started the changes already I'd go with doing nothing until running it past him due the confusion that using override here might cause.

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I noticed the changes, thanks for that. I've written Tannin an email about it and asked him to give his opinion about it here.

 

Perhaps he agrees, changing text in the MO GUI is easy (I think) but then there is also the 'overwrite' directory - if one want to be 100% consistent.  That is much likely to be far more of a problem as its probably used by a lot of code and plugins and it could break stuff..... I'm so used to the word overwritten and the overwrite directory that I totally don't have problems with it, but I can imagine new users might.

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I have mentioned this naming problem before and was basically the same point I said then it needs to be changed in the program first as docs must match MO.

It does cause confusion as does both Load Order and Mod Order's main columns being labelled "Priority".

My point that got Lost is they should have unique names, what those names are is not as important as being different.

Descriptive names are always better but nothing confuses everyone involved as much as the same word having more than one meaning.

Tannin should make the change for this reason only, not because I or you want a certain name.

We will then adapt to how MO is, not before, however good the idea may be.

 

In summary my mistake was asking for name suggestions at the start.

First the need for change must be agreed, only then does what the new name is matter.

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Tannin should make the change for this reason only, not because I or you want a certain name.

Not to sound harsh but to be honest a phase like  that could be interpreted the wrong way. It is his program which he codes in his spare free time and so far nobody has bothered to contribute to it. That includes me, though I was at the point that I was able to compile MO and wanted to improve the NMM importer. RL and personal stuff interfered.

 

I can imagine he has bigger things on his plate atm. That said I totally agree that a consistent wording or rewording in MO and wiki could make things (a lot) easier/clearer for new users. If he agrees (with changes in MO) perhaps we can start a thread discussing what wording would be better in MO. As a 2+ year user of MO I have to admit that I don't 'register' those inconsistencies (any longer) and I simply use MO with great satisfaction. That's not to say that (little) things can't be improved which would result in a better, more consistent, more powerful  experience.  Again it was not my intention to sound rude. Feel free to PM me if I should have overstepped a boundary.

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I didn't mean it that way.

I meant if long established names are changed it should be because it makes understanding MO easier and not because a name is popular or not. I see your point but I chose should instead of must to emphasise it's my opinion but not my decision.

Obviously didn't read that way to you.

I do not take any offence to you pointing out how I have confused things by the words I've chosen, especially in a post about that subject.

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I agree on Overwrite being Override in all cases where it does NOT refer to the Overwrite directory.

 

I do not agree that the term "priority" should be changed to be different between the mod list and plugin list.

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I didn't mean it that way.I meant if long established names are changed it should be because it makes understanding MO easier and not because a name is popular or not. I see your point but I chose should instead of must to emphasise it's my opinion but not my decision.Obviously didn't read that way to you.I do not take any offence to you pointing out how I have confused things by the words I've chosen, especially in a post about that subject.

Great.

 

Bit OT. I want to rectify something, as in make it clearer. It is true that afaik nobody has contributed code to MO but it does not mean that users have not contributed to the development of MO. They imho have done so indirectly by answering questions by users in the official S.T.E.P MO forum and also the Nexus MO forum. Either by being a (MO) moderator or just a regular user. You know who you are. I  know from experience how time consuming that is. I think and hope that by doing so we have saved Tannin time, time he can invest (if he chooses so) in the further  development and refinement of MO. He still helps users when we can't answer certain questions or when he feels its needed to rectify things. A big thanks to everyone who have helped others this way. Also a big thanks to DoubleYou for his ongoing work on the wiki (been slagging myself) and others. And of course the videos from last  year (MO 0.12.6) by DeathNeko11 and Bridger and the new series by RichardPelleds. ALL are awesome. I bow for you all. It all resulted in a very healthy and respectful MO community.  NUFF SAID. No need to comment further on this......

 

Edit: Forgot that Jacko is currently doing coding for an automated installer. My bad.

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Last things first: There have been a lot of contributions to MO in some form or the other.

There's the help people provide on forums, on the wiki in videos. There's the translations, graphics (splash screen and icon are user contributed), bug reports and improvement requests, ... And in fact there have been a few code contributions.

 

But the reality is still that most of the programming work is done by me and I have to weighted regarding use vs. cost by me and very often the cost may be surprising to users. And all that I have to weigh against my free time which, to me, also has value.

 

Now regarding priority vs. x - no offence - but I whole-heartedly disagree with you Uhuru. For one thing "Load order" for the plugins would be wrong because what I currently call "priority" puts all plugins, enabled and disabled into an order. Not all of them get loaded! "Mod Order" would also be confusing because differentiation between "mod" and "plugin" is hard. After all, the index of a plugin which corresponds to its load order is called "mod index" in almost all documentation. So, how am I gonna explain to users that the "Mod Order" is an attribute of the "mod package" whereas the "mod index" is an attribute of the plugin? Its madness.

Secondly "Load Order" is a technical term: Order in which things get loaded. It has been largely established in the community but it's not a very good term because it doesn't say what that order means for the user. You have to know how the engine loads plugins to understand that a plugin loaded later will override stuff from plugins loaded before. Or if you don't know you may assume and there is a 50% chance you assume exactly the opposite of what is happening.

"Mod Order" on the other hand is not technical it doesn't communicate anything. It's an order of mods. So is "alphabetic". So is "by size". But what does the mod order mean to the user?

Thirdly: I consider priority on mods and priority on plugins the same thing, they both say: "The contents of this thing (mod or plugin) is more important to me than that with the lower number. So in case of conflict, I'll take the stuff from this thing, thanks.". It's a more abstract concept.

 

Regarding override vs. overwrite: I'll have to trust you guys if you say "override" is more appropriate. I'm not a native english speaker, the word override in this context never occured to me. In programming "override" means something very different.

I considered "overwrite" an appropriate term because for all intents and purposes the files from one mod overwrite those of the other mod virtually.

 

Either way, I'd like to point out that the word "overwrite" appears in many places. "mod a overwrites mod b". the overwrite "mod" overwrites all other mods. the overwrite mod corresponds to the overwrite directory on disc.

Where are we going to make the cut? Do we still call the overwrite mod "overwrite"? isn't that more confusing than anything if we then have to explain two terms "override" and "overwrite" instead of just saying "overwrite is virtual. It doesn't affect the files on disc it just says which file becomes visible in the virtual directory."

Or are we going to rename the overwrite mod too? In this case I'd have to migrate existing MO installations. And what do I do if a user already has a directory (or file) called "override" in his MO directory? And what about users that have set up scripts to move files from the overwrite directory to separate directories?

In both cases we would have to update the wiki, update the tutorial update the videos because if we don't we will be causing more confusion by changing terminology than we're going to clear up by using a better name. And what about tutorials/explanations/... outside our control? There are MO discussion threads on other boards in foreign languages (and a more xxx oriented community ;) ).

 

We'll be outdating a lot of information about one of the more complex topics on MOThis is sooo much work and so much potential for breakage. I'm not saying changing the term is a bad idea but is it really worth it?

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I think I have to agree with you Tannin. Overwrite may be a confusing concept at first, but to try to make a distinction between Overwrite and Override, or to implement Override universally, is downright confusing.

 

And I've always consider priority to be the best term.

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Sometimes tradition and accumulated cruft trumps precise terminology :)  

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Possible change in language?

 

 

If a lightning icon with a green plus sign Posted Image appears in the Flags column, when the virtual data directory is created the corresponding mod will overwrite files from another mod, and no other mods will overwrite files from it. If a lightning icon with a red minus sign Posted Image appears, the mod will have files overwritten by another mod, and the mod will not overwrite files from any other mod. However, if a lightning icon with both a green plus sign and a red minus sign Posted Image appears, the corresponding mod will overwrite another mod's file(s) while being overwritten by another mod. If a lightning icon Posted Image appears without a plus or minus sign, the mod will be completely overwritten by other mod(s) and might as well not be installed.

The red X Posted Image icon appears when an installed mod does not contain any data that Mod Organizer recognizes as valid mod information. In addition, the mod name will be greyed out and italicized. If you want to use the mod despite this fact, you can right-click the mod and select Ignore missing datato remove the flag. This will put an empty textures folder in the mod directory, which MO will see as valid data despite the fact that it does absolutely nothing.

The heart question Posted Image icon appears when a mod has not been endorsed.

Edited by nickrud

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Tradition should never trump Truth, IMHO ;)

 

The 'Overwrite Mod' term is 100% accurate. Files are actually changed and overwritten on disk (this is the definition of 'overwrite')

 

The definition of 'override' precisely means that one takes 'priority' over another where they would occupy the same space (be it virtual or physical), but neither is altered as a result.

 

As I interpret it, the virtual directory is assembled on the fly by MO from physical sources that are never altered (except for the Overwrite Mod). This means that all mods and their assets are virtually prioritized as a series of overrides.

 

This differs from the traditional concept of layering game assets on disk and letting the game engine manage only the plugins in a series of virtual overrides.

 

One exception about the traditional physical management of mod assets: BSAs contain assets that are virtually managed, and they can NEVER override a physical asset, but they can be overridden themselves by loose files or by other BSA assets. This is not something that changes anything, but I thought it worth bringing up so that we can be all inclusive about terminology and to what it applies.

 

Now, in order to allow mod-management discussions to include MO along with other mod managers, it is important to be able to refer to a common terminology; therefore, I think that it is important to distinguish file-management virtualization and the differences of MO right up front and then it is probably simpler to use the term "virtual overwrite" wherever "overwrite" would be used when referring to traditional TES asset management. Then all else can remain the same with respect to 'override'. This way all discussions can remain consistent and compatible, regardless of the mod-management mechanism being discussed.

 

SOOOO, I propose changing only all instances of 'overwrite' to "virtual overwrite" and NOT to 'override' for clarity and "nomenclature portability" (except when referencing the "Overwrite Mod"). Otherwise, discussions could get very confusing.

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